funeral Mass question

I have a question about the Funeral Mass of Shahbaz Bhatti I noticed that his coffin was covered with the Pakistani flag even inside the church during the mass I’m really confused because it was my understanding that flags were not allowed during the mass.:confused: Here is the footage

Your right National Flags are not allowed on Coffins.

However; I’ve seen enough Funerals from deceased Catholic dignitaries and military personnel from numerous countries with national flags draped over the coffin.

In these instances the Church drapes her own funeral pall over the coffin and the flag as it enters the Church.

Can’t really say much because this custom of national flags over coffins happens all the time.

I mean what’s a Bishop or Priest to do in these instances.

Certainly they don’t want to cause a scene. These things typically get over-looked.


So was the flag of Canada on former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s coffin.

While the Church says that only the pall and some Christian symbols are allowed on the coffin once it’s in the church, that has caused so much rancor among veterans and others that, in many instances, priests won’t enforce the rule. I know my former pastor, a military brat, categorically stated that he’d never deny a veteran like his dad the flag on his coffin.

There was a big to-do between the Catholic Church and the Royal Canadian Legion over this in New Brunswick, Canada, a few years ago and as I recall it ended with at least one bishop saying that the flag could remain on the coffin of veterans even though the CCCB calls for removing the flag and replacing it with the pall as part of the reception of the body and replacing the pall with the flag at the end of the funeral liturgy.

Not just Veterans of the Royal Canadian Legion in New Brunswick. This is going nation wide with most Legions across Canada. In fact I’ve see a resurgence of this every time Remembrance/Veterans Day comes up in November.

Wasn’t that (i.e., removing the flag and replacing it with the funeral pall, and v.v.) the “old” practice too? Unless I’m mistaken (and I could be), that’s what used to be done in pre-conciliar times.

I am finding this discussion very interesting thank you for your responses everyone. Personally I would like to see the flag be permitted on the coffin or at the very least I think the family should have the option of having it because there are so many other baptismal reminders in the liturgy. I noticed that a lot of other denominations keep the flag in place during the funeral as well.

Yes it is what happened in pre-conciliar times. Traditionally the flag was removed and the Funeral Pall draped over the coffin.

I think you’ll find when it comes to Catholic political dignitaries and military personnel its often dependant as per local custom of the bishop or the priest doing the Requiem Mass rather than what Church Laws state.

This doesn’t only happen in Canada but the United States as well.

As a former sacristan I’ve attended 100’s of Requiem Masses in my day and yes I have seen certain priest officiating the Mass request that the country flag be temporarily removed. Usually though at the families request it most of the time stays on with the Church Pall draped over the flag.

I’ve never seen too many priests make a fuss over it.

I think the intent of the pall is to demonstrate the equality of all departed. One may have held human honor, but now he is just one more soul begging for God’s mercy.

Insistence on receiving extra honor is a sin of pride; hopefully on the part of those arranging the matter than on the part of the departed. They have more time to atone for it. :wink:

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