Monday, December 17, 2012

Man Down

When a priest dies you hold a Requiem Mass, Pontifical if possible, but there's a "pre-funeral" rite before that. A group of clergy meets at the funeral home where the body is laid out. They recite various prayers, including the Litany of the Dead and the Absolution of the Dead. The body is then washed, after which a priest recites psalms, beginning at the 1st, while his colleagues clothe the body in Mass vestments. When this is done, all recite Psalms 147-150 and conclude the ritual. Preferably this should end with the coffin being sealed and brought to the church for a Vigil service. The Requiem follows on the next day.

I did that on Friday, along with two others and in case any of you are planning on doing this any time soon, I'd recommend four persons; three to vest the body and one to act as Officiant.


Please pray for the repose of the soul of Fr. J.R. Baker SSC and, of course, the victims of the shooting in Connecticut.




Third News said...

I didn't realize a priest's body was bouned differently but I know the ritual is comforting for those who participate. Preparing a body is instinctive but I have yet to understand why

LSP said...

First time for me; it's a powerful thing.