CNP Logo Home
Online Catalog
Musical Musings
Liturgical Planners
Submit Your Music
Contact Us
Company Description
CanticaNOVA Publications
Bookmark and Share

Funeral Done Right

The Mass of Christian Burial for
Justice Antonin Scalia (1936-2016)

Justice Antonin Scalia Justice Antonin Scalia, a devout Catholic, regularly attended the Extraordinary Form Mass at the Church of Saint John the Beloved in McLean VA or at Saint Mary Church in downtown DC. While the family's wish was for a small, parish funeral (as alluded to by Cardinal Wuerl at the beginning of this Mass), perhaps as a Traditional Latin Mass, it was not to be so. The logistics of a large public Mass, in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, leaned strongly toward an Ordinary Form liturgy, in which a great number of people could participate and understand, even those outside the Catholic Faith.

As the majority of Funeral Masses in the U.S. are celebrated in the Ordinary Form, priests, homelists, liturgists and musicians should pay close attention to this liturgy — because it's done extremely well. A profoundly beautiful example of Catholic liturgy, particularly at a time of mourning and emotional crisis.

It is indeed possible, preferable, to structure a funeral without eulogy, without "Amazing Grace" and "On Eagle's Wings," using texts that the Church gives us, and including a deep, touching homily that proclaims accurate Catholic theology, encouraging prayer for the deceased, with no "canonization" implied. Fr. Michael Weston (Shrine Liturgy Director), Dr. Peter Latona (Shrine Music Director), and of course the celebrant Fr. Paul Scalia, are to be highly commended for the beautiful liturgy. Study this to see how things can and should be done!

The Mass of Christian Burial for
Justice Antonin Scalia

Saturday, February 20, 2016, 11:00 am
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington DC

Rev. Paul Scalia Celebrant: The Rev. Paul Scalia, Episcopal Vicar for the Diocese of Arlington
In attendance: His Eminence Donald Cardinal Wuerl, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, Bishop Paul Loverde, Bishop Richard Higgins
Choir: Basilica Choir
Choir Director: Dr. Peter Latona

  • some of the organ Prelude Music
    • Adagio in a minor (J.S. Bach)
    • Adagio from Symphony No.5 (Charles-Marie Widor)
    • Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele (J.S. Bach)
    A large bell in the Knights of Columbus tower tolled slowly as the flag-draped casket was carried up the front steps fo the basilica.
  • Introit: Requiem æternam (Gregorian chant), sung by the men of the choir as the procession moved through the basilica to greet the casket, sprinkling it with holy water and covering it with a white pall.

  • Entrance Hymn: O God, Our Help in Ages Past [tune- Saint Anne]; using the tradtional text with "Thou" and "Thee"; seven verses with soprano descant on last verse
  • Collect sung by Fr. Scalia
  • First Reading: Wisdom 3:1-9, read in Leonard Leo

    The souls of the just are in the hands of God…
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 23 (Richard Rice) Sung by cantor, choir and congregation.

    The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want.
  • Second Reading: Romans 5:5-11, read by Justice Clarence Thomas

    Hope does not disappoint…
  • Gospel Acclamation: Lenten acclamation (Peter Latona)
  • The Holy Gospel: Matthew 11:25-30, proclaimed by Rev. Mr. Colin Davis

    Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest…
  • Homily The Rev. Paul Scalia

    "We continue to show affection for him and do good for him by praying for him: That all stain of sin be washed away, that all wounds be healed, that he be purified of all that is not Christ. That he rest in peace."
  • Universal Prayer
  • Offertory: Beati quorum via (Charles Villiers Stanford)
  • Prayer over the Gifts
  • Preface Dialog & Preface Sung by Fr. Scalia
  • Sanctus: from Chant Mass XVIII
  • Eucharistic Prayer I (The Roman Canon):
  • Mystery of Faith: When we eat this Bread… (chant from Roman Missal)
  • Eucharistic Prayer I (The Roman Canon):
  • Amen: setting by Peter Latona
  • Pater noster: (Robert Snow) Sung by the congregation, a cappella
  • Rite of Peace the optional exchange of peace was omitted
  • Agnus Dei: from Missa quarti toni (Tomás Luis da Victoria); sung by choir alone
  • Communion:

    • Proper Antiphon: Lux æterna luceat ei, Domine (Gregorian chant), sung by the women of the choir
    • Hymn: Jesus, My Lord, My God, My All [tune- Sweet Sacrament]
    • Panis angelicus (César Franck), sung by soloist and choir
    • Ave verum (W.A. Mozart), sung by choir
  • Prayer after Communion Sung by Fr. Scalia
  • Final Commendation

    • Invitation to Prayer
    • Sprinkling the Coffin with Holy Water and Incensation

      Antiphon: May the Angels Lead You into Paradise (Br. Howard Hughes, SM)
    • Prayer
  • Recessional Hymn: O God, beyond All Praising [tune- Thaxted]
  • Organ Postlude: Fugue sur le nom d'Alain (Maurice Duruflé)

The recessional/postlude brought the casket to the narthex, where the pall was removed. The casket was sprinkled with holy water by the prelates and the celebrant before the flag was again draped over.

As the pall bearers carried the casket to the hearse, the bells again tolled, and the concelebrating priests, having lined the broad front steps of the basilica, intoned the chant Salve Regina.

CanticaNOVA Publications / PO Box 1388 / Charles Town, WV 25414-7388
Send website comments or questions to: