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 Post subject: How do I explain?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:13 am 
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Handmaids of the Lord
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A friend of my husband's family (their mother) has passed away. Last night was the wake and today is the funeral. In the past, I have not made any "gesture" that was specifically Catholic, but this year, since we are now a "Catholic family" with my husband having been received into the Church at the Easter vigil, it occurred to me as I contemplated what to do for the wake that I should "be Catholic." I would ordinarily enroll the deceased in Marian prayers for 1 year and bring a Mass card. Where I lived before, pretty much everyone kept a stash of Mass cards to be used when needed or I could pop in to the rectory and get one. Here, it's not so simple. So, I happened to have one on hand and I did what I would normally do.

The family is going to read this card and have absolutely no idea what it means. Inside the card it explains:

- daily Mass offered for Members
- special Mass offered on First Fridays, First Saturdays and all holy days of obligation and feast days
- a remembrance in the daily Masses, prayers and rosaries of all marian priests and brothers

etc.

My question is this: how do I explain what all of this means? I was thinking of sending a note to the childhood friend of my husband and give a brief explanation, but I'm at a loss for words.

Lisa


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 Post subject: Re: How do I explain?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:48 am 
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Handmaids of the Lord
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Don't explain unless asked.

Even if the family of the deceased doesn't agree with the Catholic doctrine on purgatory, they might see your gesture as kind and thoughtful. But be prepared. Some families will be greatly offended. How dare you suggest their loved one is anywhere other than heaven!!! So tread carefully.

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 Post subject: Re: How do I explain?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:07 am 
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Handmaids of the Lord
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Person wrote:
Don't explain unless asked.

Even if the family of the deceased doesn't agree with the Catholic doctrine on purgatory, they might see your gesture as kind and thoughtful. But be prepared. Some families will be greatly offended. How dare you suggest their loved one is anywhere other than heaven!!! So tread carefully.


Thank you for your response. I think you are right.

If I am asked, I was thinking of saying something more along the lines of "we pray for the souls of the dead... since God is outside of time, we don't know how long it takes to get to heaven so we pray for them." I definitely would not get into an explanation about purgatory. That would not be appropriate.

Lisa


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 Post subject: Re: How do I explain?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:47 am 
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I have masses said for deceased non-Catholic friends and family. I choose NOT to give the family a Mass card. Grief is not the time for me to enter into a debate.

You know your family.

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 Post subject: Re: How do I explain?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:58 am 
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kage_ar wrote:
I have masses said for deceased non-Catholic friends and family. I choose NOT to give the family a Mass card. Grief is not the time for me to enter into a debate.

You know your family.

That sounds like good advice.

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 Post subject: Re: How do I explain?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:05 pm 
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Desertfalcon wrote:
kage_ar wrote:
I have masses said for deceased non-Catholic friends and family. I choose NOT to give the family a Mass card. Grief is not the time for me to enter into a debate.

You know your family.

That sounds like good advice.


:iws


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 Post subject: Re: How do I explain?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:45 pm 
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Handmaids of the Lord
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kage_ar wrote:
I have masses said for deceased non-Catholic friends and family. I choose NOT to give the family a Mass card. Grief is not the time for me to enter into a debate.

You know your family.


Definitely not. No debates. This isn't my family. The deceased was very good friends with my mother-in-law and my husband grew up with her children.

I don't think it would even ever be a debate. I just didn't know if I should explain what everything meant or not in a note or something. Most people here (though this is changing rapidly) are Baptist. They know that I am Catholic and it's never really been discussed. They've been to the Baptisms of my children and just today one of the daughters said that she would've gone to my husband's baptism had she known. Of course, her mother died the night before so everything worked out for the best.

In any case, I didn't write the note. I gave a sympathy card that included enrollment for one year at marian.org. They can look it up on the internet or ask me if they want to know what it is. I think, in general, I think they will appreciate the prayerful gesture.

Lisa


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 Post subject: Re: How do I explain?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:52 pm 
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I'd send them a regular sympathy card indicating that many prayers are being said for their entire family.

You don't need to indicate that one of the family receiving prayers is the deceased.
--Ann

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