My great uncle's funeral Mass was this morning. There was no viewing, and really no one to come to a viewing, so the church was the gathering place. Very few of my relatives go to church regularly, if at all, and I have come to be very uncomfortable with funerals because of the behavior. They were blocking the aisle and laughing and talking loudly so that I couldn't even see the tabernacle to genuflect to it. I tried to take a seat in the pew as quickly as possible so I could make known by my demeanor my displeasure with all the yukking it up when one of my uncles ran up to me and hugged me. It's nice to have a family that loves you, but...
"Where are you going before you say hello to your uncle?"
You don't know how hard it was NOT to say: "Did you bother to say hello to HIM first?"
I could tell the priest knew exactly what kind of crowd he was dealing with. He instructed them when to sit, stand and kneel. If only he had told them to shut up. One of my cousins talked during nearly the entire Mass. Short of giving a good loud "shush!" I didn't know what else to do. My mother later told me she gave this same cousin two backward warning glances, but to no avail.
My relatives are generally good people who love one another. I just wished they loved the Lord a little more and a little better. Most likely these same folks would come if one of my parents or another family member passed. Perhaps I will include something in the obituary along the lines of the following:
"The utmost silence will be kept in church before, during and after Mass begins out of reverence for the Blessed Sacrament."
I really loved how the priest today handled Holy Communion.
"Only those good Catholics in a state of sanctifying grace, who are not in a state of mortal sin, and have kept the minimum fast of one hour may approach the altar for Holy Communion. The rest of you may remain in your pew where you are to make a spiritual communion, giving thanks to God for all the ways He has blessed you in your life and especially to pray for the repose of George's soul, which is, after all, the reason we are here."
You tell 'em Father!