Please visit my blog as I write my first book, the authorized biography of Leonard Pennario.
Monday, November 2, 2015
A haunting tradition
It is too bad that the Catholic Church has pretty much dropped the ball on All Souls Day, leaving people to associate this day only with the Mexican version of this ancient feast. The Mexican All Souls Day is the Day of the Dead and that is all you hear about.
That is too bad!
A few years ago we got to have All Souls Day masses at St. Anthony's and they were tremendously moving and powerful.
The sermon was usually about how we were all heading toward death at breakneck speed.
They have this black coffin called the catafalque surrounded by candles and the coffin stands for all your departed loved ones. And the priest would do a Solemn High Requiem Mass. With all the candles lit. There was an unbelievable moment of silence at the end when he would bless the catafalque with incense. He would walk around it in complete silence as everyone watched. You would look on and pray for your own personal loved ones. I remember thinking of Leonard Pennario. And my father, and my Auntie Rose, and my Uncle Bob.
I will never forget that! Good thing because I do not know if I will ever get the chance to see it again.
Hmmm. I see that year that I had marketed the Mass, telling people to show up, that they would not feel conspicuous, that they would be fascinated by the rite if only for anthropological reasons. Perhaps that kid read that! Wow, that was funny how I overslept that year, after gaining the hour. All the things you forget. This is why God created Web logs.
It is a Catholic tradition to pray for the dead as we discussed in the 2009 post "Fatlings and Fuggers." And the All Souls Day Mass was such an opportunity to do it. It is a pity the tradition is so lost. No more Latin High Requiem Mass. No more catafalque surrounded by incense.