From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank all of you priests, family and friends for your masses and prayers for the repose of the soul of my good mother, Estelle Carota.
Being a traditional Catholic priest, in a completely secular world, is very difficult. It is even more difficult when you want to do a traditional Latin Mass for a mother, whose children, for the most part, are no longer Catholic (fruits of Vatican II). I prayed for and asked people to especially pray that my family would not be angry at me at the Latin Requiem Funeral Mass. And God, miraculously, worked it all out. The mission was filled.
The thing I was most worried about, was refusing Jesus, in Holy Communion, to family members who are no longer practicing the Catholic faith. I am eternally grateful that not one approach the Communion Rail, so I was so blessed.
I announced, before the funeral mass began, that no one was to receive Jesus unless they were practicing Catholics who go to mass every Sunday and if they had any mortal sins that they had confessed them. I, again, went over this before the homily.
I put the time of the Funeral on my blog, because I know that some of the people from the Latin Mass Society of Monterey read it. And a cantor from it showed up willing to chant the parts of the Requiem Mass. That was such a great gift from God, Mary and my mother. He sang all the parts of the Requiem Missa Cantata acapella. San Juan Bautista Mission has great acoustics and his voice filled the mission. Thank you to this cantor.
Quite a few priests where there too. They all knelt at the altar rail to humbly receive Jesus in Holy Communion on the tongue. In the Novus Ordo, they take the host from the ciborium themselves and eat it. I am especially appreciative of Fr. John Fitzgerald who came in Surplus, Stole and Barretta. He was able to help me give Holy Communion and knew the latin Mass formulae that is much longer than, “Body of Christ”. It is “Corpus Domini nostri Jesus Christi, custodiat animam tuam in vitam aeternam. Amen.”
I was restrained in my homily, because I know how critical my family is of tradition in general. I think I failed in that way, because the mission was filled with many other souls, (especially the priests), who needed to hear the great truth about the last four things, death, judgement, heaven or hell. I talked about these things, but in a superficial manner.
At the end of the Requiem Mass, my godfather, uncle (who had screamed at me at the Latin Mass 70th wedding anniversary for my parents) surprised me by thanking me for the beautiful mass. The funeral director also said that it was the most beautiful funeral he had ever been to. And, to my great surprise, no one else complained at all.
While everyone followed the hurst to the cemetery, myself, with the help of the altar boys, had to return the mission sanctuary into a Novus Ordo church again. I took pictures of where everything had been placed before, so as to remember exactly how is was.
Yes, it is extremely difficult to do the Requiem Mass for your loved ones. But, how everything worked out so well, shows that God will come through, if you have faith and are ready to suffer to do it. Love of God, love of your deceased family, and love for souls, gives you the ability to suffer for what is sacred, what is powerful and what is meaningful.
Requiem aeternam dona ea Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ea. Requiescat in pace. Amen.
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.