The papal funeral

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Thomas Veil, Apr 8, 2005.

  1. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Location:
    Reality
    #1
    Quite beautiful and moving, wasn't it? EWTN carried it in its entirety, and it was impressive. Throngs of people could be seen not only in St. Peter's, but pouring down the streets where they could not possibly see but only hear distantly what was going on.

    It seemed rather unusual to hear the crowd applauding at some points, such after the Litany of the Saints. This is simply not done during a solemn Mass, and it would seem inappropriate (as if people were reacting to entertainment instead of a funeral), but for the fact that it was a spontaneous outpouring of love for John Paul. They were truly reacting from their hearts.

    It was interesting for Roman Catholics to see the participation of members of the Eastern Churches. Also interesting was the commentator's remark that this was probably the largest funeral held for anyone in history. Given how many more hearts a pope touches than any single political leader, he's probably right.

    I have to confess, I did flip over to the news channels for a minute, long enough to see a commentator on MS-NBC said that he hoped that George Bush and other world leaders would be impressed enough by the show of love for John Paul to cause them to stop and re-think what they needed to do to be loved as equally. While I'm not holding my breath, I have to agree with that sentiment.

    And I wonder if Osama bin Laden can see this wherever he is, and if he has the capacity to understand what a pitiful "religious" leader he is compared to a true man of peace.
     
  2. iSaint macrumors 603

    iSaint

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    South Mississippi y'all, near the water!
    #2
    The funeral began at 3 a.m. where I am, CST, but I saw a few bits this morning on CNN. I believe CNN is going to show it tonight at 6 p.m. CST but I'm not sure if it will be in its entirety. I hope so, I would like to see it all.

    I did see the applause and found it somewhat unusual for a Mass. I can only agree with you that they were reaching to their hearts in a way they only knew they could.

    Being Mass, does anyone know how many communions were given? How far out in the crowd did they reach? Also, was the communion open to non-Catholics?

    EDIT: what's EWTN?
     
  3. Thomas Veil thread starter macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Location:
    Reality
    #3
    EWTN is Eternal Word Television Network, a religious cable channel.

    Regarding communion...non-Catholics are never given communion during a Mass. It has to do with the fact that our beliefs about the sacrament are not the same. Catholics believe in transubstantiation, the literal turning of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ (though they maintain their forms of bread and wine). It is considered a miracle which we do not understand.

    I wondered myself how much communion could be distributed. It's pretty much a requirement of Mass that every Catholic who wishes to receive communion be allowed to participate...though it escapes me how they could have had millions of hosts (communion wafers) available for that enormous crowd. I'm not being facetious when I say that it makes me think of loaves and fishes.
     
  4. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #4
    Sounds like everyone in the Vatican proper got communion (assuming they requested it--I doubt they actually checked to see if you were catholic, but I imagine instructions to that effect were given). From the Chicago Tribune:

     
  5. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #5
    I don't mean to be disrespectful, but I've had enough of this popeathon. I'm all pope-d out.
     
  6. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #6
    Italian sign of respect. So my Italian (Neapolitan) friends assure me.
     
  7. revenuee macrumors 68020

    revenuee

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Location:
    A place where i am supreme emporer
    #7

    the media outlets are saturated -- what i gets me is that people seem to be acting like his death was unexpected

    he was 84 years old, a pope for 26 years ---- he had a good run
     
  8. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #8
    And we're not done yet. Not even close. Next comes the College of Cardinals, easily weeks of intense speculation about who the next pope will be, then the selection and weeks more discussion about who he is, the implications of the choice, etc. And all this before he utters a single word, let alone issues an encyclical. Meanwhile, everything else gets shoved to the back pages. Talk about sucking the air out of the room -- this event has sucked the air out of the entire planet.
     
  9. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #9
    It can't be as bad as last time. Two popes died in a row, within a month of each other. We had to go through all this twice. To make matters worse for me personally, I was in the hospital the entire time (8 weeks), with my leg in traction for a broken femur. There were only 4 channels back them, I was 11 years old, and it was all-pope, all the time, on every channel.
     
  10. iSaint macrumors 603

    iSaint

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    South Mississippi y'all, near the water!
    #10
    Many in the Episcopal Church (I'm Episcopalian) believe in transubstantiation, but many don't. I take communion when I'm at a Catholic church, which has only been about twice in 30 years. The most recent being for a funeral of a friend last November. I wasn't questioned.
     
  11. iSaint macrumors 603

    iSaint

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    South Mississippi y'all, near the water!
    #11
    C-SPAN (USA) will re-air the Papal Funeral Mass tonight (04/08, Friday) at 8 p.m. EST
     
  12. Thomas Veil thread starter macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Location:
    Reality
    #12
    You are right, iSaint, that anyone could take communion. To be more precise about what I said earlier, at Masses which tend to draw non-Catholics (such as weddings and funerals), it is usual for the priest to explain that Catholic communion is considered more than symbolic, and that participation is for those who share the Catholic view of transubstantiation. But whether you believe it or not, nobody's gonna "test" you if you go up there to receive the Eucharist. If you know the routine, you'll receive communion.

    I'm not surprised, though, by what you said about the Episcopal Church and transubstantiation, since there are many similarities between the Episcopal and Catholic Churches.

    So now that you mention it, I'm a little less sure now about what I said before. That's what I've been told is the Church's policy on communion. You would think it would be flexible enough to include non-Catholics who believe in transubstantiation...but with the arcane rules and regs of the Church, you never know.
     
  13. iSaint macrumors 603

    iSaint

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    South Mississippi y'all, near the water!
    #13
    I don't recall what the priest said at my friend's funeral in regard to communion. Many Catholics tell me to take it anyway, and as a courtesy I'll ask another friend who I am attending with. I don't want to come across as arrogant. The attending priest was (is) also known to have more progressive views, or so I've been told, about open communion.

    And you're right with rules and regs. We have just been appointed a very orthodox vicar at our small mission church. His services are nothing like I have ever seen, and his beliefs are definitely on the rules and regulations side of things - the ancient rules and regs. For example (if you want to start another topic), the referenced funeral was for a friend who took his own life, and the Priest of the Catholic Parish in which the Mass was held explained that the Church's views after Vatican II were more open concerning Mass for suicide victims. I believe the understanding is that God can save anyone, and it's up to God to grant that salvation. So a Mass on earth for a member of the Catholic faith is certainly acceptable. Our Episcopal priest disagreed, much to my chagrin. Newly out of seminary, he has much to learn about grace in sharing of his opinions.

    Like our discussion, being very graceful and understanding of each other. :)
     

Share This Page