The Funeral Mass - Mass of the Resurrection
As the congregants are seated and the celebrant stands in the pulpit his words must reach deep within those who mourn, who listen for any solace to lift their spirits with God.
He begins, the Easter Vigil comes to each one beginning in a darkened church; a parallel of Christ entering with the light that is he, and the darkness does not overcome him who is the light of the world.
The very meaning of this funeral is not to seek the deceased's achievements or eulogize their time with others, but to bring the thought of resurrection as (name) lies before us. We must bring out the very meaning of the moment he/she closed their eyes and immediately is drawn into a realm of peace that the living cannot understand since our time has not yet arrived.
Music is played that portrays the feeling of moving away from whatever held onto our physical desires and releases the weight of the results of sin that may have held us captive. (name) is now free to enjoy an existence that can only come through the sound of angels escorting this soul to its eternal place where angels, saints, and God himself reside.
As each step of the Vigil Mass continues each of us are caught up in ecstasy as water is brought before us and new neophytes are baptized and welcomed as members of a praying community. The sacraments this person received during his/her lifetime is now given to one or more new Catholics and the very words spoken over your casket are reiterated over the heads of the newly baptized. You both shared the same redeeming blessing that makes each of you a coheir with Christ.
There is no darkness surrounding either of you, and the colors of baptism and the last rites of death is white; resurrection from death to life. As the concluding song is sung the reminder that he will raise you up on eagle’s wings, bear you on the breath of dawn, make you to shine like the sun, and hold you in the palm of his hand.
Our Mass of resurrection is repeated each time we attend. It is a constant living of the Easter Triduum and the meaning of the Paschal Mystery. This funeral mass is the Easter for (name) who has attended his/her final mass, and entered into the very essence we look forward to as well.
We pray in the Apostle’s Creed the communion of saints where each of us, those living, the Church Militant, souls in purgatory Church Penitent, and all the saints in heaven the Church Triumphant are today collectively praying for (name) as he/she awaits the final call into eternity and God’s final judgment.
Ralph B. Hathaway