One of the single-most horrific and tragic aspects of the Novus Ordo paradigm is the total abandonment of the Poor Souls and the truly awful “canonizations” that pass as Funeral Masses. This, of course, is all about the infiltrators’ denial of the Four Last Things: Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell. And THIS, of course, is a direct corollary of the denial of SIN in and of itself.
Novus Ordo funerals almost always canonize the dead person – that is declare them to be a saint in the Beatific Vision – and at absolute worst paint the funeral as a “celebration of life”, which, you realize, is a sneaking nod to one of Antipope Bergoglio and satan’s very favorite heresies: the notion that human souls that don’t reach heaven are ANNIHILATED. So, hey, worst case scenario, Uncle So-and-so, who was a vocal apostate, moral degenerate and all around terrible person, but was baptized Catholic and thus his mother insisted that he have a Catholic funeral, is winkingly assumed to have had his soul annihilated, so, why don’t we have a “celebration of his life”? No harm, no foul.
Thus, most Novus Ordo Catholics today do not have EVEN ONE Requiem Mass prayed for their souls, never mind there being any Requiems offered for the repose of the soul of deceased Catholics who are in Purgatory, going through the final burning purification like gold in a furnace so that they might be totally purged of any attachment to sin, and thus enter into the full, unveiled presence of God.
Yesterday as the news came in, it seemed to get worse and worse. First Bryant and three others… then four others… then the news of 13 year old Gianna… then that it was a total of NINE souls on the helicopter… then the news that the crash was probably due to flying in fog so dense that it had grounded local law enforcement choppers. Which means that this really didn’t have to happen. But it did.
But now, today, better news. The Bryants were practicing Catholics, with Kobe having a strong reversion in ARSH 2003, and they did, in fact, go to Sunday Mass just hours before they died. Kobe was also a regular WEEKDAY Mass attendee, which is particularly good news. I think it can be reasonably said that people who go to daily Mass are generally there not because “I have to fulfill the Sunday obligation because of the Third Commandment”, but are there because they really, really WANT to be there. I dare say that when a superstar athlete with a $600 million net worth gets up and goes to Mass on a Tuesday, it is because he WANTS TO.
Kobe Bryant needs prayers for the repose of his soul, just as almost every adult who dies does. Bryant, we know, did some terrible things in his adult life, with his 2003 rape trial and civil settlement dominating the news in Denver in ARSH 2003. It was a truly sordid, degenerate matter. However, he managed to keep his marriage together, and had four daughters (including a baby born just this past summer) of whom he was clearly enamored and devoted. And, as we are all now reading, the rape trial is what spurred his reversion to Catholicism – yes, there are a non-trivial number of black American cradle Catholics.
So, first and foremost, the Bryants and the other people on the helicopter should have a Requiem just like every other human being (and they will, of course, be included in the Requiem that I have offered every week for ALL of the people who died in the previous week). HOWEVER, I think that this terrible tragedy COULD be a vector for tremendous grace to flow. Here is what I propose:
A SOLEMN HIGH REQUIEM MASS, WITH ABSOLUTION AT THE CATAFALQUE SHOULD BE ORGANIZED, AND LIVESTREAMED AND MADE AVAILABLE ON VIDEO. Obviously, this should ideally happen in Los Angeles, but I would also propose that this could also be done in Italy as well, where Bryant grew up. The FSSP has a parish in Los Angeles, and the Institute of Christ the King services central Italy, including Pistoia, where Kobe lived for several years as a child.
This could be a huge opportunity to show people what ACTUAL Catholic funerary liturgy looks and sounds like, what the Church prays for the faithful departed, and this being merely secondary to the spiritual work of mercy for the dead themselves.
The proverbial bat signal should be sent to Fr. Z. (who does on-site liturgical instruction and assistance), the FSSP Parish in Los Angeles, the ICK in Italy, and anyone else who can help with this. Ideally, professional videographers should be enjoined. EWTN? And, also ideally, professional musicians. Many people find Faure’s Requiem to be sublime. But it would require a full orchestra and choir. Otherwise, Palsetrina, or any other traditional setting.
Here is a video of the Absolution at the Catafalque. A catafalque (CAT-uh-falk) is the frame upon which a coffin, or as in most cases a wooden chest that stands-in for a coffin, is placed for Requiems at which the bodies are not present, which, again, is the vast majority of Requiems said since only ONE Funeral is normally said with the coffin in the church. Not every Requiem has the Catafalque in place, obviously. It is a somewhat special ceremony.
May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
Please spread the word on this and help me agitate to make it happen.