Having presided over hundreds of funerals, what has amazed me, is the respect the military and people gives to the USA Flag. Many of the burials entails a military ceremony where the flag is given to the deceased’s family.
The soldiers are perfectly dressed in the military uniform with polished patent shoes. They stand perfectly and slowly walk over to the flag to lift it up off the coffin and fold it very very carefully. Then they salute it. They hand it over to the other soldier and again solute it before it is very reverently given to the family. Again it is saluted.
All this for a SYMBOL only. The flag of the United States of America is only a symbol of the country and people who live there. There is incredible rules on how to carry the flag and how to fly the flag. A year ago I went to San Francisco to demonstrate against the president’s Human Health Services Mandate. We took a flag with us and at one point it touch the ground. Someone corrected us for daring to let the flag touch the ground.
I have never seen or heard of anyone protesting against the solemn ceremony of the presentation of the flag at the burial of a person. And remember this is only showing reverence to a symbol standing for the country. Yet over and over again I hear of people upset over the precise ceremony of the Holy Tridentine Mass. This is NOT a SYMBOL. If you are even a little catholic, you should know that the Holy Host is Jesus who is God. So therefore we need to have way greater precaution in handling the Sacred Host and The Precious Blood than how we handle the flag.
First a gold plated beautiful chalice and paten is used because they will be holding God. They were usually made of silver and gold plated, or made of pure gold. People complain, how you can use these when there are poor people. Jesus answered, “the poor you will always have with you, but I will only be with you for a while.” St. Francis ordered everyone to use the best for God in Holy Mass. St. John Vianney also lived so poor, but had the best for Jesus. There is money for Jesus and the poor.
The flag is treated way way better than the Holy Body and Blood of our dear Lord Jesus. People come to church immodestly dressed. How would the people like if the soldiers came immodestly dressed? People stand and receive Jesus in the hands as if it were a cracker. How would people like it if the flag was treated as a rag? Some time they make a quick bow in reverence before receiving. How would people feel about the soldiers grabbing up the flag and handing it over to the family with no salute? People come and receive Jesus who are not catholics and who do not know Who it is. People drop crumbs of the Holy Host all over the church floors and are walked on. How would people feel if the flag was walked all over?
We are so fortunate to be traditional catholics and show respect to the person of Jesus in the Holy Communion. Yes symbols are fine, but the real things is of much greater value especially when it comes to God. Let us do everything we can to show the greatest reverence to Jesus in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, in how we dress and how we receive Holy communion. And let us educate others in charity of who is present in the Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.