Catholic Confusion!


#1

Why are none Catholic funerals not allowed in the Catholic Church? (Shouldn’t the church be a refuge for anyone even if they are dead? why would we abandon that oppurtunity to let someone into our church? Why would we turn away a funeral in the first place?) Also, why are weddings so strict in the Catholic church? (Like what music to play, what to wear, how to act, how many bride maids, etc.) I’m confused can someone please clear up my misconception? Thank you.


#2

[quote=Robster]Why are none Catholic funerals not allowed in the Catholic Church? (Shouldn’t the church be a refuge for anyone even if they are dead? why would we abandon that oppurtunity to let someone into our church? Why would we turn away a funeral in the first place?) Also, why are weddings so strict in the Catholic church? (Like what music to play, what to wear, how to act, how many bride maids, etc.) I’m confused can someone please clear up my misconception? Thank you.
[/quote]

Everything involving ceremonies and rituals is relatively strict in the Catholic Church. That’s just the way we are. Traditionally, we rock when it comes to ceremony, and some are less likely than others to take kindly to attempts to change anything. :wink:

Specifics, such as music at weddings, varies widely among parishes and dioceses.

I can’t answer the part about the funerals. You seem troubled about all this, but of course I may be wrong. Is there a particular situation you’d like to talk about?

Alan


#3

Becaus Funeral Mass or Requiem Mass is not just a part of being dead. It means a lot.

Catholic Wedding is not just a celebration or Ceremony. It is something. it means a lot


#4

I can’t answer the part about the funerals. You seem troubled about all this, but of course I may be wrong. Is there a particular situation you’d like to talk about?

A young boy was killed in our school but he was not Catholic. His family had asked our priest if they could have the funeral in our church. Alot of the people who go to our church are upset about this and don’t understand why. I guess this was the Icing of the Cake though. It all started when we got a new priest. This priest was alot more strict than are last one. He changed alot of things (such as less music, more rules, etc.). The people who have grown up in that church are very upset because they believe the people of the church should have some say, but the priest sticks his ground. He is also very stand offish and doesn’t really participate in the community activities. When he got ride of the music except for a cantour, and when he abandoned the families parents, that is when people started leaving the church. My parents where some of the people whom left. This really irritates me. I’ve been really struggling to get my parents back into the church and closer to God, but it’s really hard to do that when you have a situation like this.


#5

[quote=Robster]A young boy was killed in our school but he was not Catholic. His family had asked our priest if they could have the funeral in our church. Alot of the people who go to our church are upset about this and don’t understand why. I guess this was the Icing of the Cake though. It all started when we got a new priest. This priest was alot more strict than are last one. He changed alot of things (such as less music, more rules, etc.). The people who have grown up in that church are very upset because they believe the people of the church should have some say, but the priest sticks his ground. He is also very stand offish and doesn’t really participate in the community activities. When he got ride of the music except for a cantour, and when he abandoned the families parents, that is when people started leaving the church. My parents where some of the people whom left. This really irritates me. I’ve been really struggling to get my parents back into the church and closer to God, but it’s really hard to do that when you have a situation like this.
[/quote]

the funeral: did they ask because the church would have held more people? Or did they want the Catholic Mass? If the Mass, then the priest was correct. The Catholic Church and the sacraments are meant for those in full union with the Church. They can’t be “rented” or “borrowed”.

You don’t understand why: please tell your priest you don’t understand, and then ask him to explain it to you. Perhaps you can help “bring him out of his shell”. You know, in spite of what he does, one third of the parish will like him, one third will dislike him, and one third will not care. That is very difficult on the priest, any priest.

a lot more strict: does that mean the former priest was too lax… and permitted anything? Or could it be that the people ran the parish until this priest did his job as a priest - take charge of his flock. After all, the sheperd is not supposed to be one of the sheep,

people of the church should have some say: and they do. The format is usually the parish council and various committes. But the pastor always has the last word (admittedly this is sometimes the problem, and I speak from much experience). But the people should be sitting down with him, expressing their concerns, listening to his answers etc. From what you write, it does not sound like he is doing things that are unorthodox. Perhaps the “fellowship” attitude of the parish is being re-directed to what is really important - the liturgy and the sacraments.

people started leaving the church: that should only be a last alternative. Besides, where will they go… to a church that better fits THEIR idea of how to run things, or to a church where you can worship God, and receive valid Sacraments? Being a Catholic is probably the hardest thing you will ever do… but think of the rewards. A number of people have left my parish. While they often disagree with how the pastor runs the administrative part of the parish, they leave because they sense the decline and the quality of the spiritual life in the parish. Don’t leave… stay and make every attempt to fix the problem… after you identify it (talk with the pastor)


#6

In my city there are 4 parishes, I live in an unincorporated (outside the city limits) part. the priest at the parish we originally participated in began a “renewal” campaign. It was too progressive for my liking, so we left this parish for another which was more traditional. Is this what you’re referring to as “leaving the Church”? Leaving one Catholic parish for another? Or are they really leaving the Church? I would not let anyone, priest or other to separate me from my Catholic faith.


#7

[quote=Robster]Why are none Catholic funerals not allowed in the Catholic Church? (Shouldn’t the church be a refuge for anyone even if they are dead? why would we abandon that oppurtunity to let someone into our church? Why would we turn away a funeral in the first place?) Also, why are weddings so strict in the Catholic church? (Like what music to play, what to wear, how to act, how many bride maids, etc.) I’m confused can someone please clear up my misconception? Thank you.
[/quote]

You might want to post this question on the Ask an Apologist forum to get a definitive answer.


#8

By getting rid of forms of music except for cantor, it sounds like the priest may be changing things that were not wrong in the first place. Of course, he can run things his way, but a shepherd is probably advised when meeting a flock for the first time to start by taking away the traditions and practices they have grown up being used to. Tradition is important to the Church, and it is important to her individual sheep. Sheep get confused when their new shepherd uproots their security blanket of The Way We’ve Always Done It (whether right or wrong) and gotten used to it, and speaks with a different voice all at once. It’s quite possible all that change can confuse, sadden, and even anger the sheep.

As a minimum, the priest might be well advised to be open and forthcoming about why he’s coming in here and changing everything. If half the flock ends up wandering away, he really can’t rest in the knowledge that for those “faithful” sheep who stay, we now have things under control. He cannot rest in this knowledge because if he were a Good Shepherd he would even leave the “faithful” flock to go find and bring home the lost sheep.

We can’t have it both ways. We cannot use the shepherd comparison unless we use it all the way. We can’t pick and choose which characteristics of a Good Shepherd we wish to embody, lest we lose the whole metaphor as merely an excuse to be the way we feel like being due to personality or whatever.

Hence, a shepherd who uses his ordained and assigned authority to control the sheep but speaks to them in a voice half of them don’t understand, and is not open about hearing why they’re leaving or problem-solving with them, has to be considered a Cafeteria Shepherd.

people of the church should have some say: and they do. The format is usually the parish council and various committes. But the pastor always has the last word (admittedly this is sometimes the problem, and I speak from much experience). But the people should be sitting down with him, expressing their concerns, listening to his answers etc. From what you write, it does not sound like he is doing things that are unorthodox. Perhaps the “fellowship” attitude of the parish is being re-directed to what is really important - the liturgy and the sacraments.

He is not doing things unorthodox, but is he doing things that are kind? Or is more like he sees babies with candy and thinks it is time for them to Grow Up so he takes it away?

You bring up a good point about parish committees, and about communicating with this priest. I was VP our of own pastoral committee, president of Home and School assn, member of stewardship and other committees, and my wife was involved in many committees. This can be maddening due to the politics, and often there is a dead end that stops at the priest or one of his delegates the he does not wish to override for one reason or other.

I’d like to hear from the OP whether the OP or others have tried to talk to this priest.

people started leaving the church: that should only be a last alternative. Besides, where will they go… to a church that better fits THEIR idea of how to run things, or to a church where you can worship God, and receive valid Sacraments? Being a Catholic is probably the hardest thing you will ever do… but think of the rewards. A number of people have left my parish. While they often disagree with how the pastor runs the administrative part of the parish, they leave because they sense the decline and the quality of the spiritual life in the parish. Don’t leave… stay and make every attempt to fix the problem… after you identify it (talk with the pastor)

This is excellent advice for the OP in terms of not leaving the church, and since Robster is trying to get his parents back to the Church, I’m assuming that Robster isn’t the one who needs this advice.

The problem is many seem to want to blame people leaving the Church on the sheep. Sure not all of them are going to like every priest, and some would leave on grounds that others think is petty. That said, if Robster’s characterization is correct, that this priest came in and changed a lot of stuff that may or may not have needed to be changed, without explaining it to the people, and upsetting them, then I think part of the responsibility has to be taken on bythe shepherd. A good shepherd doesn’t come in, stir things up so the sheep are in a confused frenzy, watch half his flock leave and then say, “wonder where they think they’re going? Don’t they realize they could be losing their salvation? Oh, well, for those left, Mass starts in 10 minutes.”

Alan


#9

[quote=Robster]A young boy was killed in our school but he was not Catholic. His family had asked our priest if they could have the funeral in our church. Alot of the people who go to our church are upset about this and don’t understand why.

[/quote]

There is no reason for them to be upset. The priest, as a leader, really should learn to communicate with people. If his hands were tied and he had to say no, then explain that to the people and if they don’t like it they can talk to their bishop or go email Benedict XVI.

If his hands were not tied, and he had discretion but said no anyway, then it would only be kind to explain why not. Was it because he had scheduling conflict he could not avoid, or because he just didn’t want to deal with it? Did he realize how much this meant, or did the request come in as if it were frivolous (I doubt it but I include that option for completeness)?

As MrS suggested, it might also have something to do with the specifics of what they were requesting. Again, if the leader doesn’t communicate, then that tends to breed distrust, and if the leader is a true leader, then he will take responsibility when his people are grumbling. Maybe they are whiners, but if they are, it’s still his job to deal with it. If he has, in fact, communicated this to the relevant parties involved, and people are still buzzing about it, then he does need to get more involved in community activities, and maybe preach a few sermons on gossip.

I agree with the poster who suggested AAA on this, to find out what the rules are.

For some reason, I just thought of M.A.S.H and Father Mul-whatever his name is. Does being an army chaplain make a difference as to whether you can perform a funeral service for a non-Catholic?

When he got ride of the music except for a cantour, and when he abandoned the families parents, that is when people started leaving the church.

By “abandoned the families parents” do you mean the part about not having the non-Catholic funeral there? If so, I’m not sure it’s fair to characterize him as abandoning them, maybe just failing to nurture them in the way they had hoped. Maybe it’s the same from the way one or more families took it, but at some point the leader can only do so much. Again, learning a bit of communication skills can help, but they can’t always get through to hard hearts.

My parents where some of the people whom left. This really irritates me. I’ve been really struggling to get my parents back into the church and closer to God, but it’s really hard to do that when you have a situation like this.

I have a son about your age, and I can see how heartbroken he would be if his mother and I left the Church.

Maybe this would be a good place to start to help you with your confusion. Since we don’t have the priest here or the sheep who have left, maybe we can work with you to help with your talks with your parents.

If you would like to take the discussion that direction, then perhaps you can give us some examples of what their position is, what you have done to try to help, and how they have responded so far.

Keep the faith! Do what you can do and let God do the rest, with the faith that His will be done.

Alan


#10

I asked my mother why she picked the Catholic church to raise her children in. Her response was rather shocking. She told me that religion gives you good morals to live by, so to have a better life. In this case any religion would of been fine, but we just happened to pick the Catholic faith because the rest of our family was Catholic. I lost it when I heard this and could not figure out what to say. She goes to church to listen to the homily and the music and that is it. Candy on Sunday! She believes in God but on a very personal level.

I was talking with my Dad the other day and his views upon this new priest are all pretty negative. He has been there his entire life and he thinks because he pays the bills for the church, that he should have some say to what is going on with the church. He believes it is more his church than the priests church. He says during KOC cook outs, the priest is very stand offish and does not participate with anything or much less talk much to anyone. My Dad doesn’t believe in a few other things of the Catholic church as well. He doesn’t believe that a divorce should stop someone from recieving communion, until you get an annulment. He thinks that if it’s impossible to get an annulment then you will never recieve communion again. He also disagrees with the strict wedding idea, and the Catholic funeral only idea. He thinks that the prostestant idea or christian idea of just following the ten commandments is ok. He thinks that all religion is baised off of a human rule book and he would just rather follow the Bible. I’m only 22 and I’m still growing alot in my faith life, but I’m really struggling with this because my parents are my foundation. Everything that I was taught at an early age comes from them. Now that I have read a few books and heard a few other opinions, I have opened my eyes to other things. It’s very difficult to know that my parents don’t share those same views. It makes me feel a little alone when I ask them for help or an understanding of something.


#11

we’re praying for your growth in The Faith, robster.


#12

[quote=Robster]I asked my mother why she picked the Catholic church to raise her children in. Her response was rather shocking. She told me that religion gives you good morals to live by, so to have a better life. In this case any religion would of been fine, but we just happened to pick the Catholic faith because the rest of our family was Catholic. I lost it when I heard this and could not figure out what to say. She goes to church to listen to the homily and the music and that is it. Candy on Sunday! She believes in God but on a very personal level.

I was talking with my Dad the other day and his views upon this new priest are all pretty negative. He has been there his entire life and he thinks because he pays the bills for the church, that he should have some say to what is going on with the church. He believes it is more his church than the priests church. He says during KOC cook outs, the priest is very stand offish and does not participate with anything or much less talk much to anyone. My Dad doesn’t believe in a few other things of the Catholic church as well. He doesn’t believe that a divorce should stop someone from recieving communion, until you get an annulment. He thinks that if it’s impossible to get an annulment then you will never recieve communion again. He also disagrees with the strict wedding idea, and the Catholic funeral only idea. He thinks that the prostestant idea or christian idea of just following the ten commandments is ok. He thinks that all religion is baised off of a human rule book and he would just rather follow the Bible. I’m only 22 and I’m still growing alot in my faith life, but I’m really struggling with this because my parents are my foundation. Everything that I was taught at an early age comes from them. Now that I have read a few books and heard a few other opinions, I have opened my eyes to other things. It’s very difficult to know that my parents don’t share those same views. It makes me feel a little alone when I ask them for help or an understanding of something.
[/quote]

Your wisdom is far beyond your 22 years. Please include me your prayers.

but we just happened to pick the Catholic is probably among the worst reasons… but that is behind you and you should count it as a special grace from God…He has a reason

**very personal level **how much more personal can you get than in the reception of Holy Communion only in the Catholic Church. When you really love someone, the most you can give them is yourself. That is what Jesus has done for us.

because he pays the bills sounds like a reason to get involved, not just back out (been there, done that). You and your dad both have a responsibility to contribute time, talent or treasure. Do a little more than the best you can. The priest only has the obligation to spend “your dad’s money” wisely. But he also has the obligation to listen to your concerns and address them - also wisely. Talk to him.

cook outs, the priest is very stand offish so don’t let it continue to happen. If you invite him to your house for dinner, I doubt he will prefer to stay out on the porch. If he says no, wait a week and ask again. You have not said how old he is… but perhaps he has gone through many tough years (as a priest perhaps, or even as a layman). Keep extending your hand!

**should stop someone from recieving communion **your dad is not entirely wrong. A divorce does not stop reception of any sacrament except marriage. It is the re-marriage that breaks God’s law. The annulment is a declaration (hopefully after thorough investigation) that the marriage was not valid to begin with.

Finally, todays homily was right between the eyes… the priest deplored those who satisfy with just being nice… not making waves… not resolving critical differences in what is the Truth. When one says, “let’s not go there” or “let’s just agree to disagree” stand up and say no.

If you let these problems remain silent (“let’s not go there”) you will be wrong.


#13

I just wanted to thank everyone for thier comments upon this thread, it means a great deal to me to hear other’s opinions. I try to read a chapter a night in the bible and have some other book to meditate upon as well. Right now I’m reading “The Bible as a History” by Werner Keller. It’s pretty hard to read but sometimes I can relate to the material and then it’s pretty interesting. The reason I say this is because I wanted to let you know that I am interested in facts. Anything that better helps me understand my faith is something I thrive upon. It makes me feel like a hypocrite when I cannot defend my faith and end up telling someone I don’t know why our church does this or that. I’m interested in books, prayers, facts, Catechism qoutes, or anything that you would think is interesting.

When I meet someone new, after getting to know them I always end up picking at thier brain to find out anything new that might enlighten me. I know it’s rather selfish, but knowledge is something I am addicted to. I may not have very much of it, but I certainly pray that one day it will all make sense. It continues to be my prayer. I ask that on this thread, however long it may continue, that anyone and everyone will share that knowledge and help spread the Word. God help us!


#14

[quote=Robster]Why are none Catholic funerals not allowed in the Catholic Church? (Shouldn’t the church be a refuge for anyone even if they are dead? why would we abandon that oppurtunity to let someone into our church? Why would we turn away a funeral in the first place?) Also, why are weddings so strict in the Catholic church? (Like what music to play, what to wear, how to act, how many bride maids, etc.) I’m confused can someone please clear up my misconception? Thank you.
[/quote]

Why are none Catholic funerals not allowed in the Catholic Church?

The same reason why dead Catholics don’t want to have a Budhist funeral. If they don’t believe in and never believed in the Catholic Church, they don’t want a Catholic funeral and a Catholic funeral would be of no help to them. You have to will to be in the Church and recieve the sacraments. Non-Catholics can not recieve Catholic sacraments, (if they are Eastern Orthodox or Polish National Catholic they can recieve communion). Death is a sacrament in the Church.

(Shouldn’t the church be a refuge for anyone even if they are dead?why would we abandon that oppurtunity to let someone into our church? Why would we turn away a funeral in the first place?)

The Church is both the visible Church here on earth and the invisible Church in heaven. We have only one life here on earth. Earth is an exile away from heaven. We are judged for our actions here on earth. Those who did well will go to heaven. Those who did not do well go to hell. Those that die without repentance of grave sin do not enter the heavenly Church. The heavenly Church is a refuge only for those worthy enough to make it there.

Also, why are weddings so strict in the Catholic church? (Like what music to play, what to wear, how to act, how many bride maids, etc.)

**Do you want a circuss style wedding? The Episcopal Church in NYC recently had a circus style mass, lol. Go and check that church out if you want that, lol. **

Anyway, every mass (which is what a wedding is) and sacrament has scriptural and traditional roots, not just cultural tradition, but mostly Apostolic tradition. The mass can not be the way anyone wants it to be, it has to meet certain requirements in order to be valid. These requirements come from sacred scripture, apostolic tradition, and the magisterium (successors of the apostles).

It’s not “everything goes” when it comes to sacred worship, we must worship a certain way. Sacraments are also parts of worship because they help us with our daily lives to be good Christians. Worship is not just go to mass and go home. Worship requires mass, prayer, devotion, and a life of righteousness following the commandments of God.


closed #15

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