An elderly gentleman passed away. A former member of the parish who had not been active for years, he wasn't "inactive" because of any illness or anything; he simply "wasn't religious" (according to his family).
His children (all adults and not really religious, either) do not want a funeral Mass for him. Instead, they want a short ceremony (very short, the funeral director tells you) to be done at the funeral home.
Outrageous? Not really. This is not such an out of the ordinary situation for Priests today, and there are lots of ways to handle this, so do you...
- Tell the funeral director that since the deceased was not a registered parishioner at this parish, they have no right to be buried from here.
- Insist that deceased Catholics should have their funeral within the context of a Mass (and essentially "force" the family into church)?
- Do what the family wants (and in doing so give them an implied affirmation that the way their father lived 'irreligious', as well as their own casual indifference towards God, is a valid option)?
- Perform a "Funeral Outside of Mass" at the funeral home, and use it as an opportunity to remind the family that deliberately choosing to not attend Mass and make use of the other Sacraments is a serious sin and not the best way to show God we want Heaven when our life here is over.
Ready? O.K., Pick up your pencils and begin the quiz.