Sunt Lacrimae Rerum

The first funeral I ever attended was my father's. I was seven years old and the full magnitude of what I was witnessing didn't really sink in until thirty years later.

Not so today: I was immediately and profoundly struck--right in the depth of my being--upon viewing the lifeless body of a baby in the vestibule of my Church. Only two months old, our parish celebrated her funeral Mass today and it is fair to say that there wasn't a soul in the place who was not moved with sorrow and pity. One of her surviving brothers is only a couple years younger than I was when I attended my father's funeral, and I glanced at him now and again, wondering what he thought of it all. He was one of the few people in the room who was not weeping: ignorance, it seems, really is bliss, at least sometimes.

The church, which ordinarily draws five or six people for a daily Mass, was as full as it is on Sunday morning. After Mass I trekked out to the graveside, where many of us stood around in 95-degree heat for the commendation. In spite of the tremendous sadness and the sense of loss, of somehow being lost, there is some comfort in the action of a community that comes together in this way for this purpose: to bury the dead and comfort the mourning, a Corporal Work of Mercy and a Spiritual.

Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei


dilexitprior said…
May she rest in peace in the loving arms of her eternal father.
Darwin said…
Surely, no one's salvation is more certain than that of a baptised infant. And yet, what funeral can possibly be harder.

Like you my first family funeral was at age seven, though in my case it was for my youngest brother, then six months old. Something that made and broke all of us in different ways.

I'll keep the little girl's family in my prayers, for what little they are worth compared to hers as she rests in God's embrace.

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