Thursday, 23 February 2017

A funeral

I attended a funeral Mass today. It was the mother of one of our confreres.  She had died almost a month ago.  Unfortunately here in the UK the funeral is much later than the death itself.  Even though she was cremated, I know not why this prolonged preservation of the body.  Anyway, the funeral was quite different from the ones I've attended earlier in India... hence was a bit odd.

Apart from the coffin being brought in, a prayer before the Mass and one towards the end of the Mass, was all that was additional to the Mass itself.  The confrere himself preached the homily, which was very meaningful and truly emotional.

The coffin was totally sealed all along. So none 'paid' their respects.  The pall bearers brought in the coffin before Mass and carried it out soon after the Mass. No one even went close to it and prayed or anything of that sort.  Except for most gently touching the coffin as we went in to receive communion, there was no other possibility of offering flowers or saying a prayer or anything of that kind, which I felt was a bit odd.

Later on our way back home, I asked when do people pay respects to the deceased.  They don't!!!  Soon after death the body is taken to the funeral home. Only the nearest of the family visit.  No one else!  And then from the funeral home to the Church right in time for Mass and then straight to the crematorium.

That the delay of weeks and months between the death and funeral itself is weird.  The family in a way has to 're-mourn' after weeks.  Then there is this weird practice of no one paying respects to the deceased. Then the cremation, not burial.

Anyway, prayed for the deceased and the bereaved family members too. Remembered the deceased mother of Fr Johnny too. 

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