Funeral By the Book
The Mass of Christian Burial for
Rev. Mother Mary Angelica of the Annunciation PCPA (1923-2016)
Mother Angelica, Poor Clare nun, foundress of the Eternal Word Television Network and TV personality, was a fiesty women on fire with the love of Jesus Christ.
Her amazing life story is one of taking risks in a big way, trusting totally in the providence of God, and watching miracles being worked to further the Kingdom.
Her Funeral Mass was perhaps as remarkable as her life.
Celebrated in the Ordinary Form, it was perhaps the closest format I've ever seen to precisely what the Church asks us to do for a Mass of Christian Burial.
- Mass celebrated ad orientem, that is, with the priest and people all facing "liturgical East."
- A healthy mix of Latin and English, for both the celebrant and the people.
- The Propers used exclusively — there was not a single congregational hymn!
- Six candles flanking the casket, upon which was placed a crucifix, an open Bible, and a bouquet of yellow roses.
- Eucharistic Prayer I (the Roman Canon) prayed.
- Processional cross & candles, incense and torches used appropriately.
- No solo organ music played (as far as I could tell).
There was black bunting over the doors of the Shrine.
While one might have hoped for violet or black vestments, the practicality of securing them for all the concelebrants may have been daunting.
This funeral was certainly done by the book, though.
The Mass of Christian Burial for
Rev. Mother Mary Angelica of the Annunciation PCPA
Friday, April 1, 2016, 12:00 pm
Friday within the Octave of Easter
Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Hanceville AL
Main Celebrant: The Most Rev. Charles J. Chaput OFM Cap, Archbishop of Philadelphia, vice-chairman of the EWTN board
Concelebrating bishops: Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi, Bishop Robert J. Baker, Bishop Thomas J. Ohlmsted, Bishop David E. Foley, Bishop Richard F. Stika
Master of CeremoniesThe Rev. Michael Weston, Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
Choir: from Saint John Cantius Church, Chicago
Choir Director: The Rev. Scott Haynes SJC
- Processional: Requiem æternam (Giovanni Battista Martini), with Latin verses of Psalm 130 sung by the men of the choir to Gregorian psalm tone II.
The procession with the casket moved through the shrine, sprinkling it with holy water at the altar and covering it with a white pall, crucifix, Bible and yellow roses.
- Introit: Introit et Kyrie (Requiem æternam) from Requiem in d minor (Gabriel Fauré) for SATB choir, strings & organ; the ending was altered so as not to proceed to the Kyrie text.
- Penitential Act: Confiteor followed by Kyrie eleison XVIII-B (Gregorian chant) sung by the male Schola and congregation.
- Collect: recited by Archbishop Chaput.
- First Reading: Revelation 21:1-5a, 6b-7, read in one of the MVFA brothers.
- I, John, saw a new heaven and a new earth…
- Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 23, an English chant-style version, sung by the male Schola and congregation; verses used Gregorian psalm tone II.
- The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want.
- Second Reading: I John 3:1-2, read in one of the MVFA brothers.
- See what love the Father has bestowed on us…
- Gospel Acclamation: Alleluia (Melchior Vulpius) using the refrain of the hymn tune: Gelobet sei Gott; this was intoned by the SATB choir, which then sang the verse ("I am the living Bread…") to remainder of the stanza melody.
- The Holy Gospel: John 6:51-58, proclaimed by the first deacon.
- I am the living bread come down from heaven…
- Homily Fr. Joseph Mary Wolfe MFVA.
- You cannot understand Mother Angelica without reference for the one that she loved with a passion: Jesus, the Eternal Word, who became man and dwelt among us."
- Universal Prayer: read by the second deacon, with congregation responding.
- Offertory: Offertoire from Requiem in d minor (Gabriel Fauré) for SATB choir, strings & organ; this included the Proper Offertory text, "O Domine Jesu Christe," as well as "Hostias" and a return to the "O Domine Jesu Christe," text.
- Orate fratres: recited in Latin by Archbishop Chaput; the Prayer over the Offerings was then recited in English.
- Preface Dialog & Preface The dialogue was recited in Latin by Archbishop Chaput and the congregation; the Preface continued in English.
- Sanctus: from Chant Mass XVIII; sung by congregation with organ accompaniment
- Eucharistic Prayer I (The Roman Canon): recited in English, with the proper inserts for the Easter Octave; twenty torch-bearers knelt in front of the altar, honoring the Blessed Sacrament; participating concelebrants included Archbishop Viganò and Bishop Baker; as is the custom, one member of the MFVA lay prostrate in the center aisle during the Canon.
- Mystery of Faith: After the celebrant's sung introduction, Mysterium fidei, the congregation chanted the Latin text, Mortem tuam annutiamus Domine…, using the melody from the Missale Romanum
- Eucharistic Prayer I (The Roman Canon): recited in English, with the proper insert for a Funeral Mass; participating concelebrants included Bishop Foley and Father Wolfe
- Amen: the Doxology was chanted by the celebrant/concelebrants, followed by the normal three-note Amen by the congregation.
- Pater noster: After the Latin introduction by Archbishop Chaput, the Latin text of hte Pater noster was sung by the congregation, a cappella.
- Rite of Peace This dialogue was recited in Latin and the optional exchange of peace was omitted.
- Agnus Dei: Agnus Dei from Requiem in d minor (Gabriel Fauré) for SATB choir, strings & organ; the previously-used texts, dona eis requiem and dona eis requiem sempiternam were altered to conform to the Novus Order texts, "miserere nobis" and "dona nobis pacem"; Fauré's Lux aeterna section was changed in text to Agnus Dei … dona nobis pacem, maintaining the same music.
- Ecce Agnus Dei: recited in Latin by Archbishop Chaput, with the congregation's response (Domine non sum dignus…) also recited in Latin.
Inside the Shrine, Communion was received kneeling at the altar rail; in the piazza, communicants approached the priests in a single file line, and received standing.
- Proper Antiphon: Lux æterna luceat ei, Domine (Gregorian chant), sung by the male Schola, a cappella.
- Ave Maria (Bach/Gounod), for harp and SATB choir.
- Ave verum (W.A. Mozart), for strings, organ and SATB choir.
- Panis angelicus (César Franck), for strings, organ and SATB choir.
- Pie Jesu from Requiem in d minor (Gabriel Fauré), for harp, strings, organ and soprano soloist.
- Prayer after Communion recited by Archbishop Chaput.
- Archbishop Viganò, representing Pope Francis
- Father Wolfe, reading words of appreciation by Mother Dolores Marie PCPA
- Final Commendation
- Invitation to Prayer: recited by Archbishop Chaput ("Before we go our separate ways…").
- Sprinkling the Coffin with Holy Water and Incensation: The male Schola chanted the Benedictus in Latin, using Gregorian psalm tone II; this was followed by the chanted text, Requiem æternam… and the antiphon, Ego sum resurrection et vita, from the Graduale Romanum.
- Prayer: recited by Archbishop Chaput ("Into your hand, O Lord…").
- Dismissal: recited by a deacon ("In peace let us take our sister…").
- Proper Antiphon: In paradisum/Chorus angelorum (Gregorian chant), sung by the male Schola, a cappella.
- In paradisum from Requiem in d minor (Gabriel Fauré) for SATB choir, strings & organ.
- Libera me from Requiem in d minor (Gabriel Fauré) for SATB choir, strings & organ.
The recessionals brought the casket to the piazza, during the tolling of the monastery bell.
Those viewing the Funeral Mass outside were able to pay their respects to the body of Mother Angelica before it was laid in the crypt mausoleum.