Readings at funeral Mass/ Sunday shopping

Posted June 22, 2018 at 7:00 am

By Father Kenneth Doyle

Q Are there restrictions as to which scriptural readings may be used at a Catholic funeral Mass? My dad has told me that he wants St. Matthew 25:31-40 to be read when he dies. He has always liked that reading and has lived his life accordingly. Is there any reason this passage could not be used at his funeral? (Northampton, Pennsylvania)

A The Order of Christian Funerals is the ritual book approved for Catholic funerals in the United States. In it is offered a selection of 45 different scriptural passages for the first and second readings of the Mass and for the Gospel.

In most parishes, it is customary for the pastor or a member of the parish staff to meet with the family of the deceased to decide which of the readings will be selected for the funeral Mass. Often, the family also has input

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    Honoring our fathers

    By Laura Fanucci

    Beer. Golf. TV. Mowing. Burping. Fishing.

    According to greeting cards in the store aisles, this is all that modern fathers care about.

    Father’s Day is clogged with lowbrow stereotypes. Dad just wants to hog the remote control, crack a few crass jokes and drink a cold one.

    He’s not nurturing, caring or involved. He’s not devoted to his wife, children or grandchildren.

    But think about the fathers you know. Chances are they defy such silly typecasting. They’re washing dishes and changing diapers. They’re sacrificing to pay for college or moving to be near grandkids.

    Many men

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    The most important way we remember Jesus

    By Father John Carville 

    On Memorial Day, a month ago, the Advocate carried an editorial about remembering the sacrifice of our fallen military. A note at the end of the editorial said that it was a yearly rewrite with some changes to bring it up to date. That was proper, the editors thought, because we must celebrate this important holiday every year to remind all Americans that “freedom is not free.”  

    The following Sunday we Catholics celebrated our yearly feast of Corpus Christi (the

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    Stirring the smoldering ashes of our faith

    By Father Ron Rolheiser

    Anyone who has ever watched a fire knows that at a point the flames subside and disappear into smoldering coals which themselves eventually cool and turn into cold, grey ash. But there’s a moment in that process, before they cool off, that the coals can be stirred so as to make them burst into flame again.  

    That’s the image St. Paul uses to encourage us to rekindle the fires of our faith when they seem to be burning low: “I

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    EDITORIAL: Irish tragedy

    America’s culture of death is apparently catching on across the pond.

    On May 25, voters in Ireland overwhelmingly approved a referendum to overturn that country’s ban on abortion, paving the way for abortion on demand for up to 12 weeks.

    Two-thirds of the electorate voted in favor of the referendum, with only 33.6 percent against.

    Perhaps most telling is 90 percent of young voters aged 18-26 approved the referendum. Additionally, the vote is further evidence of the marginalization of the church’s once powerful influence in Ireland, a country that only three years ago approved same-sex

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    Strange wording in Our Father?/ Sausage on Ash Wednesday?

    Q For years I had been puzzled by the words “lead us not into temptation” in the Our Father. It always seemed to me unlikely that God would do that, and I wondered whether the phrase had been mistranslated. Now that Pope Francis has agreed that this wording is strange, I wonder if something like “leave us not in temptation but deliver us from evil” would be more correct. (Crozet, Virginia)

    A You should be credited for having seen the difficulty. (Many people, I’m afraid, have prayed the Our Father for years without reflecting on that phrase, without seeing

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    The church, institution or people?

    About a month ago I was at my brother’s house for a gathering of friends and relatives. After about 8 p.m., most of the guests were gone, leaving only the two of us, my sister-in-law, and a couple from out of town who are close friends to the three of us and who were spending the night. We began talking about the younger generation’s attitudes towards the Catholic faith. Before we realized it, the clock was showing midnight. Apparently parents as well as priests are very bewildered by what

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    Mercy, truth, and pastoral practice

    Recently a student I’d taught decades ago made this comment to me: “It’s been more than 20 years since I took your class and I’ve forgotten most everything you taught. What I do remember from your class is that we’re supposed to always try not to make God look stupid.”

    I hope that’s true. I hope that’s something people take away from my lectures and writings because I believe that the first task of any Christian apologetics is to rescue God from

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    Robinson, Brett Guest.pdf

    Yanny vs. laurel

    Our senses often deceive us. The recent “yanny vs. laurel” debate on the internet saw those who heard the word “laurel” arguing with those who heard the word “yanny” when listening to a recording of the word “laurel.”

    Very reasonable people had rather intense disagreements about what they were hearing. (I heard “laurel” and my son heard “yanny.” We simply had to agree to disagree.)

    It may seem like a trivial dispute,

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    EDITORIAL: Poor will pay

    Louisiana legislators are clearly facing a daunting task as the sixth special session of Gov. John Bel Edwards’ term convenes.

    Regardless of the ultimate outcome, it is safe to assume low-income residents, some of the most needy in Louisiana, will be impacted by whatever financial solutions are approved to address the looming $648 million fiscal cliff.

    Options considered in the recent regular session offer little to no relief for the underprivileged.

    Consider that each of the budget bills adopted by the Senate and House, though widely divergent, propose, depending on chamber document, cuts to the

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    Sunday Mass obligation/New luminous mystery?

    Q In the Bible, Jesus says: “Do this in memory of me.” But he doesn’t say that it has to be done every Sunday and holy day. So many young people are falling away from the church because of its rigidity.

    Please explain why we are obligated. (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)

    A The responsibility to gather on Sundays for the Eucharist has been recognized by Christians since the earliest days of

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    Mourning our barrenness

    Several years ago, while teaching a summer course at Seattle University, I had as one of my students, a woman who, while happily married, was unable to conceive a child. She had no illusions about what this meant for her. It bothered her a great deal. She found Mother’s Day very difficult. Among other things, she wrote a well-researched thesis on the concept of barrenness in Scripture and developed a retreat on that same theme which she offered at various renewal centers.

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    Prayer as a spiritual work of mercy

    The seventh and final spiritual work of mercy is “Pray for the living and the dead.” St. Faustina, the patron saint of mercy, commented, “If I cannot show mercy by deeds, I can always do so by prayer. My prayer reaches out even there where I cannot reach out physically.” And prayer works. It is a spontaneous response when good things happen to those whom we love as well as when hardship or suffering strikes them. Prayer creates a solidarity between us who pray and those for whom

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Viewpoint Archived

    No simple solution

    By Father Jeff Bayhi
    Once again, we watch in horror as we listen to the heartbreaking details of another school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas (May 19). Long before the

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    Come, Holy Spirit, come! 

    By Father John Carville

    On Pentecost Sunday we sing, “Come Holy Spirit, Come,” sometimes in Latin (Veni, Creator Spiritus), asking God to send us his Spirit as he sent it

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