Author Topic: R.I.P Justice Scalia  (Read 12426 times)

Michael Slusser

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 5570
    • View Profile
Re: R.I.P Justice Scalia
« Reply #165 on: February 20, 2016, 02:58:21 PM »

Unfortunately, as is usual in most Christian funeral homilies, no mention of the physical resurrection. Jeff Gibbs still has a lot of work to do. "Heaven's OK, but itís not the end of the world."
You'd enjoy talking with my former student, Dr. J. Robert Douglass, who teaches at Ashland Theological Seminary. It looks as if this year he is getting to teach material that interested him in his Ph.D. dissertation, "This flesh will rise again" [electronic resource] : retrieving early Christian faith in bodily resurrection." His interest was specifically in affecting funeral preaching. He's teach a Pilot Course: At Last--Christian Eschatology at Ashland this year.
http://seminary.ashland.edu/directory/j-robert-douglass.

Peace,
Michael
Fr. Michael Slusser
Retired Roman Catholic priest and theologian

John_Hannah

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 5670
    • View Profile
Re: R.I.P Justice Scalia
« Reply #166 on: February 20, 2016, 03:01:32 PM »
It was indeed an excellent example of evangelical catholic witness to Jesus Christ! There is very little that I would quibble with. Grand conduct of the liturgy and brilliant proclamation!

Yes, it was very good Gospel message, even with the reference to indulgence, allusions to purgatory and praying for his purification....


I did notice it. That's what I would quibble about.    :)

Peace, JOHN

Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Boris

  • ALPB Forum Regular
  • ***
  • Posts: 198
    • View Profile
Re: R.I.P Justice Scalia
« Reply #167 on: February 20, 2016, 03:11:12 PM »
Just finished watching Justice Scalia's funeral.  Wow.  What a superb example of the Roman Catholic tradition at its finest, and I meant that most sincerely.  Everything was top notch, reverent and traditional.  Judge Scalia's son, the priest who gave the homily, seems like a wonderful, delightful man.  I thought he did a great job of focusing on Christ in his funeral homily.  The basilica's organist, choir, and liturgics are superb. I thought it was a powerful Catholic witness to the testimony of Jesus Christ.  Well done!

Donald_Kirchner

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 12256
    • View Profile
Re: R.I.P Justice Scalia
« Reply #168 on: February 20, 2016, 03:12:10 PM »
I did not say that it was strange.  I said that it must be difficult.  I'll leave it to you to ponder the rest.

Ah, thank you for the correction. That better makes the point that perhaps the gracious thing would be to allow the son to be a mourner with the family.



What if the son wanted to conduct the funeral mass for his father?  Is there any indication the son felt he was not allowed to be a mourner?

Marie

I've been advised that the son was one of his father's pastors. If he were not, then my question would be, "Why?"

I've seen none.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2016, 03:21:46 PM by Pr. Don Kirchner »
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but itís not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

Donald_Kirchner

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 12256
    • View Profile
Re: R.I.P Justice Scalia
« Reply #169 on: February 20, 2016, 03:13:03 PM »

Unfortunately, as is usual in most Christian funeral homilies, no mention of the physical resurrection. Jeff Gibbs still has a lot of work to do. "Heaven's OK, but itís not the end of the world."
You'd enjoy talking with my former student, Dr. J. Robert Douglass, who teaches at Ashland Theological Seminary. It looks as if this year he is getting to teach material that interested him in his Ph.D. dissertation, "This flesh will rise again" [electronic resource] : retrieving early Christian faith in bodily resurrection." His interest was specifically in affecting funeral preaching. He's teach a Pilot Course: At Last--Christian Eschatology at Ashland this year.
http://seminary.ashland.edu/directory/j-robert-douglass.

Peace,
Michael

Excellent!
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but itís not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

Brian Stoffregen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 44468
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
Re: R.I.P Justice Scalia
« Reply #170 on: February 20, 2016, 03:24:05 PM »
How difficult must it be to preside and preach at one's father's funeral!

When my father died of terminal cancer ten years ago he had become an Associate member of the congregation I was serving.  Most of his caregivers in the final weeks were members of that congregation.  His burial was to take place in the church cemetery.

The Eucharistic Funeral was held in that congregation. His primary pastor preached and I presided.   

It was not easy, but it was less difficult than I anticipated because Christ's table of life, spread before the Last Enemy, assures us that He has trampled down Death by death.  His Presence is overwhelming and His mercy endures forever.


When my father died 16 years ago, he and mom had a pastor who had ministered to them during the 8 months of his illness. I was a son - one of three. I didn't seek nor had any part in his memorial service (even though I had preached a few times in their congregation). I did participate some time later when his ashes were the first to be placed in their new columbarium.


I did conduct the service for my mother-in-law, and her daughter-in-law provided music. This service was at the funeral parlor. She had been living in a memory-care unit and hadn't been active in a congregation for a few years.
"The church Ö had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Charles Austin

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 14915
    • View Profile
    • Charles is Coloring
Re: R.I.P Justice Scalia
« Reply #171 on: February 20, 2016, 04:32:31 PM »
Once again, this idea that the pastoral ministry should be so limited to a specific institutional  relationship really puzzles me. The more I think about it, the more I find it demeans the entire office of the ministry.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Oh, my. How close we were to a situation where many people with guns couldíve killed many members of Congress. The possible result? Martial law and/or Civil War. Thank God some people are still coming forward to tell the truth.

readselerttoo

  • Guest
Re: R.I.P Justice Scalia
« Reply #172 on: February 20, 2016, 04:52:03 PM »
I DVR'd the funeral on C-SPAN (I'm sure you can stream it online from them as well).

1.  Inside the basilica, the pall replaced the flag over the casket.

2.  Father Scalia  (the celebrant and preacher), at the beginning of his funeral homily, thanked Cardinal Wuerl (archbishop of Washington) and the bishop of Arlington (VA) for allowing this parish funeral to be held at the cathedral basilica, to accommodate the large crowd.  I haven't researched further, but it certainly sounds like Father Scalia was parish pastor to his father--in the Catholic context of multiple priests to a parish.  The cardinal was part of the procession, along with Father Scalia and the deacon/subdeacon of the mass and the usual acolytes etc.  I was wondering if they might use the extraordinary, but it was the ordinary form of the mass.  White paraments as a result.  The EF traditionalists have an attachment to black for funeral masses.

3.  After these introductory pleasantries, Father Scalia said they were all here because of one man...Jesus of Nazareth.  Of course his rhetorical gimmick was to lead you to believe he was talking about his father (a man loved by some, reviled by others, etc).  I haven't watched the whole thing yet, but it didn't sound like a eulogy for his father.  It was a Christian proclamation of the sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life.  I'm thinking that Father Scalia realized the unique opportunity presented him to proclaim the Gospel to a wide audience.  Personally, I don't know that I could have done it myself.  I know I had no interest in giving a eulogy at my father's funeral--I left that to others.

Sterling Spatz


Indeed, as I watched and listened to the opening of the homily, I too was drawn in to the thought that the rhetoric might lead to a eulogy.  I too was pleased that the techne was to point to Jesus Christ and not to his own father.  I wonder if this wasn't intended to draw the public closer to what goes on between law and Gospel and how the Gospel is the point of all sermons, in the ideal situation.  Nonetheless a great public witness to Jesus was made.  And all this from a Roman Catholic priest as well!  Who thought that a RC priest could do so well in making the grand distinction between law and Gospel.

Dave Benke

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 13344
    • View Profile
    • Atlantic District, LCMS
Re: R.I.P Justice Scalia
« Reply #173 on: February 20, 2016, 04:57:41 PM »
One of the ponderables, Don, is the engagement/disengagement of the pastor/priest in what he says and does during the Divine Service/Mass.  Do I (as a pastor and baptized person) consider my own sin during the Public Confession?  Am I not in pronouncing Absolution, bringing the grace of God to myself?  In proclaiming the message of salvation, am I not hearing and internalizing what I am proclaiming?  Do I not receive the Holy Meal I have consecrated for my own forgiveness, strength and connection to the communion of saints?  Am I not sent forth to be in mission at the Benediction I pronounce?

While it is no doubt possible to state that a pastor/priest at the funeral of a loved one might desire to be in a solely receiving role, it is also possible that the same pastor/priest can receive as well as give by participating actively.

Dave Benke
A lot of what you say makes no sense to me at all. When does the presider/pastor NOT consider his own sin? Don't you always listen for and hear the message of salvation, whether you're in the pew or the pulpit?

I and other priests have made a prudential judgment when burying our parents: I presided at my father's funeral, but asked a close family friend to preside at my mother's.

Finally, at a Catholic funeral, the opening rites around the reception of the body normally displace the Penitential Rite. The same is true on other occasions when Mass proper is preceded by a substantial pre-Mass ritual, e.g., Palm Sunday; reception of those to be baptized during the Mass; the Easter Vigil light service.

Peace,
Michael

As someone else stated it, Michael, I am indeed saying the same thing you're saying.  I just put it in the form of a set of rhetorical questions.  I know that's not Lutheran - we do things in the form of propositional statements; that's probably what threw you.

Dave Benke

Eileen Smith

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 2140
    • View Profile
Re: R.I.P Justice Scalia
« Reply #174 on: February 20, 2016, 05:08:13 PM »
It was indeed an excellent example of evangelical catholic witness to Jesus Christ! There is very little that I would quibble with. Grand conduct of the liturgy and brilliant proclamation!

Yes, it was very good Gospel message, even with the reference to indulgence, allusions to purgatory and praying for his purification....


I did notice it. That's what I would quibble about.    :)

Peace, JOHN

That being said, it was a funeral for one who was Roman Catholic in a Roman Catholic church  ;)

Eileen Smith

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 2140
    • View Profile
Re: R.I.P Justice Scalia
« Reply #175 on: February 20, 2016, 05:26:43 PM »
One of the ponderables, Don, is the engagement/disengagement of the pastor/priest in what he says and does during the Divine Service/Mass.  Do I (as a pastor and baptized person) consider my own sin during the Public Confession?  Am I not in pronouncing Absolution, bringing the grace of God to myself?  In proclaiming the message of salvation, am I not hearing and internalizing what I am proclaiming?  Do I not receive the Holy Meal I have consecrated for my own forgiveness, strength and connection to the communion of saints?  Am I not sent forth to be in mission at the Benediction I pronounce?

While it is no doubt possible to state that a pastor/priest at the funeral of a loved one might desire to be in a solely receiving role, it is also possible that the same pastor/priest can receive as well as give by participating actively.

Dave Benke
A lot of what you say makes no sense to me at all. When does the presider/pastor NOT consider his own sin? Don't you always listen for and hear the message of salvation, whether you're in the pew or the pulpit?

I and other priests have made a prudential judgment when burying our parents: I presided at my father's funeral, but asked a close family friend to preside at my mother's.

Finally, at a Catholic funeral, the opening rites around the reception of the body normally displace the Penitential Rite. The same is true on other occasions when Mass proper is preceded by a substantial pre-Mass ritual, e.g., Palm Sunday; reception of those to be baptized during the Mass; the Easter Vigil light service.

Peace,
Michael

Father Slusser - I have one question, open to all herein, but I mention you at the outset to say that my question suggests no disrespect for your decisions regarding your parents.

It seemed very appropriate to me that Father Scalia would preach and preside at the funeral for his father, indeed, it seems appropriate if a close family member is a member of the clergy to ash him/her to be part of the funeral.   My question:  How open should a pastor be to accede to the wishes of a family (or a clergy person) to preach and/or preside at the funeral of a member? As the circle of relationships widen, e.g., friends or some type of collegial relationship, there's a sense of going out to dinner and bringing one's own chef.   Full disclosure, a number of years ago the daughter of a friend/fellow parishioner died.  While the family was active in the congregation and long-time members, they were not particularly supportive of the pastor and, thus, they invited two pastors from other parishes to the funeral - one to preach and one to preside..  I thought it very gracious of the parish pastor to accede to the wishes of the family.   I was, however, a bit uncomfortable with it all - if not a little sympathetic to the pastor who, while not having any role in the funeral, would be the one left to give to this family the pastoral care they would need in the days to come. 

Michael Slusser

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 5570
    • View Profile
Re: R.I.P Justice Scalia
« Reply #176 on: February 20, 2016, 06:05:17 PM »
Father Slusser - I have one question, open to all herein, but I mention you at the outset to say that my question suggests no disrespect for your decisions regarding your parents.

It seemed very appropriate to me that Father Scalia would preach and preside at the funeral for his father, indeed, it seems appropriate if a close family member is a member of the clergy to ash him/her to be part of the funeral.   My question:  How open should a pastor be to accede to the wishes of a family (or a clergy person) to preach and/or preside at the funeral of a member? As the circle of relationships widen, e.g., friends or some type of collegial relationship, there's a sense of going out to dinner and bringing one's own chef.   Full disclosure, a number of years ago the daughter of a friend/fellow parishioner died.  While the family was active in the congregation and long-time members, they were not particularly supportive of the pastor and, thus, they invited two pastors from other parishes to the funeral - one to preach and one to preside..  I thought it very gracious of the parish pastor to accede to the wishes of the family.   I was, however, a bit uncomfortable with it all - if not a little sympathetic to the pastor who, while not having any role in the funeral, would be the one left to give to this family the pastoral care they would need in the days to come.
That last concern was not present with my mother's funeral. No one in the family even lived in Minnesota! Mother had been in a nursing home the last couple of years of her life, and I had arranged with the pastor of the parish I had last served before going out to Pittsburgh to teach that when she died, she could be buried from that parish. It had been 15 years since she had attended the parish she belonged briefly to before she and dad had moved to Tennessee. The pastor at neither parish knew her. I asked a priest in the archdiocese who was very close to dad and her, had been in their house countless times, and who had traveled in Europe with them and me, to preside and preach. He did beautifully.

My family who could attend from Philadelphia, Knoxville, Monterey CA and Midland MI hardly knew me in my capacity as a priest, and had differing degrees of comfort with the church; in addition, although, among the parishioners at the parish I had been pastor of eight years previous, I had and still have many of my dearest friends, there were certain points of strain that I wanted to avoid rekindling. So I declared my solidarity with my brothers and sisters and sat with them.

My dad's death, on the other hand, was sudden as they were traveling in England. I was the only family member besides my mother, the Catholic church was closed for repairs, and they were using the chapel of a Catholic girls' school. That's where we celebrated the funeral Mass, with at most a couple of dozen English friends and fellow students in attendance.

Sometimes the pastor/deceased relationship is a ways down the list of considerations, and should be.

Peace,
Michael
« Last Edit: February 20, 2016, 06:07:14 PM by Michael Slusser »
Fr. Michael Slusser
Retired Roman Catholic priest and theologian

Eileen Smith

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 2140
    • View Profile
Re: R.I.P Justice Scalia
« Reply #177 on: February 20, 2016, 06:33:53 PM »
Father Slusser - I have one question, open to all herein, but I mention you at the outset to say that my question suggests no disrespect for your decisions regarding your parents.

It seemed very appropriate to me that Father Scalia would preach and preside at the funeral for his father, indeed, it seems appropriate if a close family member is a member of the clergy to ash him/her to be part of the funeral.   My question:  How open should a pastor be to accede to the wishes of a family (or a clergy person) to preach and/or preside at the funeral of a member? As the circle of relationships widen, e.g., friends or some type of collegial relationship, there's a sense of going out to dinner and bringing one's own chef.   Full disclosure, a number of years ago the daughter of a friend/fellow parishioner died.  While the family was active in the congregation and long-time members, they were not particularly supportive of the pastor and, thus, they invited two pastors from other parishes to the funeral - one to preach and one to preside..  I thought it very gracious of the parish pastor to accede to the wishes of the family.   I was, however, a bit uncomfortable with it all - if not a little sympathetic to the pastor who, while not having any role in the funeral, would be the one left to give to this family the pastoral care they would need in the days to come.
That last concern was not present with my mother's funeral. No one in the family even lived in Minnesota! Mother had been in a nursing home the last couple of years of her life, and I had arranged with the pastor of the parish I had last served before going out to Pittsburgh to teach that when she died, she could be buried from that parish. It had been 15 years since she had attended the parish she belonged briefly to before she and dad had moved to Tennessee. The pastor at neither parish knew her. I asked a priest in the archdiocese who was very close to dad and her, had been in their house countless times, and who had traveled in Europe with them and me, to preside and preach. He did beautifully.

My family who could attend from Philadelphia, Knoxville, Monterey CA and Midland MI hardly knew me in my capacity as a priest, and had differing degrees of comfort with the church; in addition, although, among the parishioners at the parish I had been pastor of eight years previous, I had and still have many of my dearest friends, there were certain points of strain that I wanted to avoid rekindling. So I declared my solidarity with my brothers and sisters and sat with them.

My dad's death, on the other hand, was sudden as they were traveling in England. I was the only family member besides my mother, the Catholic church was closed for repairs, and they were using the chapel of a Catholic girls' school. That's where we celebrated the funeral Mass, with at most a couple of dozen English friends and fellow students in attendance.

Sometimes the pastor/deceased relationship is a ways down the list of considerations, and should be.

Peace,
Michael

Thank you for sharing this.  I do agree that it is very appropriate for a family member, who is ordained, to be invited to preach and/or preside at the funeral - even if it means that the parish pastor step aside.   I suppose there'a a sense that the deceased is known in many ways.  In the workplace s/he was a colleague, at home a parent, child, grandparent, etc, as a friend.  I'm going to suggest that all of these are, of their own being, communities.   The funeral brings these communities together in a community of the faithful - the parish the deceased was a member.  I wouldn't think a pastor would have a problem with an ordained family member having a role in the funeral.  My question is how far down does one go.  I worked on the MNYS for a while.  My colleagues, for the most part, were clergy.  I have friends who are clergy.  How far into the circle of relationships does one go as far as respecting the family's wishes.  I am speaking to situations where the family is involved in the life of the congregation. 

Donald_Kirchner

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 12256
    • View Profile
Re: R.I.P Justice Scalia
« Reply #178 on: February 20, 2016, 08:54:01 PM »
I do agree that it is very appropriate for a family member, who is ordained, to be invited to preach and/or preside at the funeral - even if it means that the parish pastor step aside.

I did not get the impression that Fr. Shuster agrees with your proposition.

In response to your statement, why?
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but itís not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

Eileen Smith

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 2140
    • View Profile
Re: R.I.P Justice Scalia
« Reply #179 on: February 20, 2016, 09:28:43 PM »
I do agree that it is very appropriate for a family member, who is ordained, to be invited to preach and/or preside at the funeral - even if it means that the parish pastor step aside.

I did not get the impression that Fr. Shuster agrees with your proposition.

In response to your statement, why?

For the most part, I do think Father Slusser and I agree that there are instances where, it is appropriate, for an ordained family member to preside and/or preach at a loved one's funeral. 

Why?  There is a subtle difference, I believe, between the Sunday worship service and those events in our lives that take place outside of this Sunday worship.   Recently a baby was baptized in our congregation.  Her grandfather, an LCMS pastor, asked to preach.  The pastor and worship committee discussed this request and it was decided that baptism is a sacrament that happens within the Sunday congregational worship and, as such, the called pastor would preach.  At yet another baptism of the granddaughter of a long-time member wanted friends who were not members of the congregation to read.  We again said no - same reason.  There does seem to be leeway, however, with weddings and funerals.  Funerals, most especially, are a time when we try to work with the wishes of the family - for their comfort in a very difficult time - as much as is possible.