I am not very religious…I am probably the most spiritual survivor in my immediate family…but my spirituality is definitely not Christian and certainly not Catholic. My mother, however, was a devout Catholic and so it was completely logical and fitting that her funeral was a requiem mass.
A Catholic mass always includes a reading from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament in addition to a Psalm and a gospel reading from the books of Mathew, Mark, Luke, John or the Acts of the Apostles.
My mom had a very good relationship with her priest and so my aunt who was handling the initial arrangements requested that he choose the readings for the funeral service. My mom’s parish priest sent us the suggestions for the readings.
I was initially very happy to just accept the priest’s suggestions…I certainly believed that he was more qualified for this particular task than I was! But I don’t know if it was my mother’s voice on the wind or simple curiosity that prompted me to go and read the suggested excerpts.
I was very glad that I did…since some of them did not feel appropriate. But that presented an interesting challenge. How does someone who last cracked open a bible over 12 years ago pick the readings for their mother’s funeral?
This was the background that had me and one of my dear friends (who is an atheist) picking through the bible and trying to find the right words for my mom’s send-off. I am not convinced that my mom did not engineer the whole thing from her cloud…just for a laugh.
Thankfully, a combination of my mom’s bookmarks and Google helped us find a message that I believe my mom would have approved of…and provided some words of comfort for my dad and the rest of the family.