Traditions are gone in my family

One by one, the older people in my mom’s generation are dying. As a fairly “traditional” Catholic, it is killing me to see beautiful Catholic traditions being abandoned for a generation who, for the most part, were devout. Their Boomer children (my generation) are opting out of things such as saying the rosary at wakes, *having *wakes, having funeral Masses, and handing out holy cards (they seem to think cards with trees and lakes are more appropriate if they have any at all). It just seems that in one generation, the Catholic Church is gone. I feel awful for the WWII generation who are all being buried as if they were new age gurus and not life long Catholics.

My own sister is no longer Catholic and when we discuss what will happen when our mom passes away, I feel like the last Catholic in the world.

Funerals and death are difficult enough to deal with, without having to re-invent traditions each time someone dies.

Ask you mom what she wants. One thing your mom or anyone else in your family could do is to specify in their will how they want things to be done. It’s a good idea to place in your will the request for a series of Gregorian Masses, as well as what kind of Mass you want, especially if the rest of your family is drifting away from tradition.

In our Catholic Church, it’s common to have a funeral Mass that is like a wake, with people coming into the sanctuaries and giving eulogies, and the playing of inappropriate recorded music that should never be heard inside a church. A Catholic funeral should not be a wake, but the ones I have been to in my town are just like that.

Someone on another board suggested putting one’s own wishes re: funeral arrangements in a will. I think that is a great idea. I know my mom wants a Mass. I don’t think she’d really mind if she didn’t have a wake.

No one even knows anymore that eulogies do not belong in a Mass. I honestly think that many people see the Mass as sort of secondary. It just makes me very, very sad.

Here is a link for Gregorian Masses. Every Catholic should seriously consider putting this request in their will.

Wow! What a great link! Thanks!!!

She could also put a note in her will that she would like to see her daughter (your sister) receive communion worthily at her funeral…once a catholic always a catholic. Only one short confession away…


Wow…I’ve never thought of that.

As a member of a men’s Gregorian chant schola, we have had many people come up to us after an appearance and request us for their own funerals. It’s a solemn honor that we try to respect. A person’s funeral is their last statement in this world, and to be asked to be a part of that is humbling.

I think that America is so much of a “melting pot” that many citizens are essentially “mutts”. I am one of them. My heritage is half Czech, but after that, I’m all sorts of ethnicities. I can’t really claim any ethnic tradition, so I am without a past.

However, when it comes to Catholicism, there is hope for identity. Traditional Catholicism is on the rise because the younger generation is no longer encumbered by the 60’s mentality (ever wonder why “Fiddler on the Roof” did so well? It’s because it came in the wake of all the anti-tradition movements of the 60’s and 70’s). Consequently, we can take a more objective look at the traditions people rejected and see if, indeed, we are better off for having left these things. I think people are seeing that we threw a lot of treasures aside.

It is typical: for every huge swing of the pendulum, there is usually a return in the following generations.

There’s reason to hope.

I think you are right, Windmill–there is reason for hope.

If your mom is able, have her put her wishes in writing and have that on file at her parish. The same advice would be good for all of us to follow. Our priest told a story of a woman at his last parish who attended daily Mass, whose faith was very important to her. She died, her kids came in, and had her buried without a funeral Mass. There was nothing he could do about it–she left no instructions, so he couldn’t stop the kids from doing what they wanted.

Thanks for reminding me to talk to my parents about this.

They have fallen away themselves and I know some of my siblings may have trouble with a funeral mass given their "new age’ focus. I do have two brothers who are in the KofC with me so I think they would be fine. But better safe than having to wrangle this down at a tough emotional time.

God Bless.

I feel for you.

As I read your post, something that our priest told us during instruction for our daughter’s baptism occurred to me. I am not saying this applies to you, but I wondered about how I had come to be in a similar situation some time ago.

If we as parents don’t understand the faith, and if we don’t take the lead in educating (instead of expecting the Church to do it) our children in the faith, within one or two generations my wife and I won’t have any Catholic decendants.

What a heartbreaking thread to read. I believe the most tragic thing about the new American Church is the cold brutality with which the religious legacy of our Catholic parents and their parents reaching back for centuries were so thoroughly and ruthlessly trashed. We’ve been stripped of our cultural heritage as Catholics.

You are so right. It’s a disgrace to see what takes place as a substitute for a funeral Mass these days. I have only been to one that was liturgically correct. The others were just like the protestant services where they show slideshows and videos of the person’s life during the service.

And one funeral Mass I attended had the brother of the deceased reading the gospel and giving the eulogy in place of the homily, while the priest sat in the sanctuary. This brother was a Protestant pastor,and yes, it seemed just like we were at a Protestant funeral. Then for the grand finale, they played a C&W song “O Lord it’s hard to be humble.”

Our traditions are disappearing.

Wow. That really makes you stop and think.

Truly a heartbreaking thread to read…I so much sympathize with your situation. All suggestions here are such good food for thought. Persons our Grandparent’s age are so valuable to us to learn all of these traditions. My Mother and MIL(boomer children) both went to catholic school and were raised in the faith. All those traditions were not passed down. I was not raised Catholic. As a convert, it is very difficult for me to pass down certain things to my kids as I am learning them as I go. We joke and say that we are going to adopt a devout grandma. Sometimes though, it’s not so funny.:frowning:
I have yet to attend a Catholic funeral Mass and not because I haven’t lost any one yet or do not have active Catholics in the family. Truly sad.

As a generation Xer I will be the first to say that my generation is leading that Charge. I suggest anyone out there read the book “The New Faithful”

I am an older Gen Xer and for strange reasons still harbor some resentment towards the boomers. I am getting over it but the resentment was from mostly misguided information that pointed towards the boomers responsible for the fiasco of improper interpretations of VII. I now know that is an unfair accusation…

Hello! I know you from your blog!

In addition to what was said, please remember to have Gregorian Masses said for your relatives when they die. As was already said, talk with them about their wishes. It is possible that our Traditional views will help keep the Catholic Faith alive and thriving.

Hi, Matt! Thanks for the link. I will definately check it out. Paramedicgirl posted a link for Gregorian Masses too. Its the first I’d heard of them.

I was astonished to find the Catholic schools in my area do not teach the rosary. Along with that, where is the “traditional” May Procession? Have we forgotten Mary?

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