Motherwell: Bishop Joseph Toal Seeks to Restore Some Order to Funerals…

Motherwell, Scotland, Apr 3, 2019 / 05:43 pm (CNA).- The funeral Mass is an important moment of prayer and faith after the death of a loved one – but it is not the appropriate time for eulogies, which are better suited for the funeral reception, said Bishop Joseph Toal of Motherwell, Scotland.
“The funeral liturgy in the Catholic Church brings great consolation and hope to those who have lost a loved one because we proclaim the Resurrection of the Lord and our hope of eternal life,” Toal said in a letter to priests and deacons.

“Its strength is in the faith of the Church and the words of the liturgy that express that faith. We need to accept therefore that it is what the Church offers us that counts most of all, rather than our own words.”

His April 3 letter on the celebration of funeral liturgies aimed to help clergy and lay faithful in arranging funerals.

“Since the liturgy has its own structure and rhythm, especially the Requiem Mass, it should not be interrupted to add in our extras,” he said. The homily during the funeral Mass is “not a time therefore for anyone else to be getting up to talk about the deceased, whoever they may be.”

The bishop suggested “a few words of tribute could be offered” before a funeral Mass or service begins. “These words though should be written down and shown to the celebrant beforehand and should not be prolonged,” he added.

“Often what families want to hear and share can be offered in a more appropriate and less formal manner at the reception afterwards,” Toal continued. “Those closest to the deceased gather for this part of the funeral and it may well be better to share there their happy memories about the deceased in this setting.”

The Motherwell diocese has 66 parishes in Lanarkshire and parts of Glasgow. As of 2015, it served an estimated 162,000 Catholics, the diocese website reports.

“The important point though is the full celebration of the Catholic funeral rites and our intercession that the deceased’s sins may be forgiven and that they will be worthy to share in eternal life with God,” he said. The homily is just one part of the Mass or funeral service, and its role is “reflecting on the Word of God which has been proclaimed and leading into the celebration of the mysteries in which we place our faith.”

The bishop said that Church instruction for funerals clearly state that the priest or deacon who celebrates the funeral should “preach a homily as on other occasions on the Word of God, emphasizing at a funeral the hope of resurrection in Our Lord Jesus Christ.”

“The instruction specifically says the homily should not be a eulogy,” he added. “It is a homily therefore spoken by the priest or deacon.”
It is also not appropriate to add a final tribute to the deceased before or during the close of the funeral Mass, known as the Final Commendation.

Bishop Toal said it is fitting for the preacher to integrate some details about the deceased person’s life into the homily “so that it is personal and recognizes the family’s wish to recall their loved one in a sensitive way.” This requires some skill and “an effort to find out something about the deceased from their family.”

“Clearly the homilist is not there to give a blow-by-blow account of the deceased’s life but rather to use some of what he knows in a fitting manner through the course of the homily,” he said, adding “whatever is said about the deceased should be accurate and prepared.”

The bishop said the faithful should keep in mind that not all celebrants have the same ability to integrate the personal and the spiritual. He also offered guidance for family participation in the funeral liturgy.

While families sometimes want to do particular tasks during funerals, “it may be better to leave liturgical tasks to those who do them normally in the parish,” Toal said.

Discussing in particular lectors and those who say the prayers of the faithful, the bishop noted, “It is an ordeal for people to come forward to read if they are not used to doing so, or perhaps are not even regular attenders in church.”

He encouraged family members of the deceased person to look to the priest or deacon for guidance, given their responsibility to decide on these roles.  Source – Catholic News Agency

Bishop Joseph Toal

Comment: 

The Bishops of Ireland tried this a few years back and I was reliably informed then that it failed. Miserably.  The bad habits had become too deeply ingrained to the extent that things, such as poems, secular music and eulogies, which had at first appeared as a “good idea” or “a nice touch”, were now regarded as a right.

Is this the fate which awaits Bishop Toal’s instruction?  And why are ALL the Bishops not clamping down on these liturgical abuses at funerals? Are they using Motherwell as a testing ground, so to speak, and will only act to correct the circuses that pass for funerals these days if the Bishop of Motherwell is obeyed?  

PUBLIC ROSARY OF REPARATION

U P D A T E . . .

Public Rosary of Reparation – Saturday, 4th November, 2017, 2pm

Our group prayed the fifteen decades of the Rosary outside St Bride’s in Cambuslang today at 2pm. We then prayed the St Michael, Archangel prayer (original version) and sang “I’ll Sing a Hymn To Mary”. Before the Rosary, during the Prayer to St Michael, and at the end of the event, different members of our group sprinkled the doors of the church with holy water.

Today, the weather was cold but dry.

Imagine then, our astonishment, when a rainbow appeared over the church during the Joyful Mysteries, fading away as we began the Sorrowful Mysteries. During the Sorrowful Mysteries, a few drops of rain fell: “not even a drizzle” as one person said, only a few drops (later, someone suggested that those few drops might represent Our Lady’s tears). Then, for the first three decades of the Glorious Mysteries, the rainbow re-appeared arching right over the church building, disappearing again during the final two decades. The rainbow was much brighter during the Glorious Mysteries than during the Joyful Mysteries.

As our group dispersed and I was heading out of the church grounds, I saw Fr Morton who approached me with outstretched hand. All the rumours about him are true – he is a very nice person, kindly and friendly. When I told him about the rainbow he made the obvious (joking, I hope!) connection with the LGBT lobby but I reminded him that they have stolen this beautiful biblical image – so, no, the rainbow, we believe, was not God signalling his approval of homosexuality, but – on the contrary – God’s merciful and generous way of letting us know that He is pleased with our humble effort to make reparation for the recent scandal associated with St Bride’s, and we pray that some repair has been achieved.

I had a very pleasant short chat with Fr Morton – he is, certainly, as many people have told me, a very nice person, most affable and approachable. Let’s all continue to keep him in our prayers.  To comment, click here

ORIGINAL NOTICE…

Don’t you love it when a plan comes together? 

Just telling a few people about the Evening Times report and our blog   on the scandal of Father Paul Morton this evening after Mass, we have around a dozen signed up for a public Rosary of Reparation to take place outside St Bride’s church in Cambuslang. Details of date and time will not be published in order to minimise the possibility of troublemakers seeking to disrupt our prayer, but anyone who is interested in participating is welcome to email me on editor@catholictruthscotland.com    

Email to let me know to which parish you belong and why you are interested in joining us for this public rosary. None of your personal details will be published.

There is a very seriously concerned group of people from the Diocese of Motherwell who also wish to join us – note, it was one of these parishioners from the Diocese who alerted me to the Evening Times report yesterday. It looks like we will have a fairly strong group,  then, judging by the interest so far, but please encourage as many people as possible, to come along. There could never be too many.  It has been made clear to us now that Bishop Toal approves of Fr Paul Morton’s public statement of approval for indoctrinating children with LGBT propaganda, with specific reference to “transgenderism”. This is an outright scandal and must not be permitted to pass without protest and, above all, a protest of reparation. We plan to pray the fifteen decades of the Rosary, and the Prayer  to St Michael (which is essentially a prayer of exorcism) so do, please decide to come along to please Our Lady by seeking her powerful intercession in ending this diabolical scandal.

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle –
Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the Devil;
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
And do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host,
By the power of God, 

Cast down into Hell, Satan, and all wicked spirits,
Who wander through the world, for the ruin of souls.
Amen. 

Motherwell Priest Facing Eviction…

ImageJun 28, 2014 — Hi, Just to inform everyone that on Monday 30th June at Hamilton Sheriff Court, the RT REV Joseph Toal will be pursuing a claim to EVICT Father Matthew Despard (pictured). I will be posting the above details on the FB page and the petition page at change.org hoping that people will come and show their support for Father Matthew. I feel this is the beginning of the end for Father Matthew…  Source

Comment

Only a couple of days ago, I was speaking to a reliable source who told me that, whatever we think of the wisdom of Fr Despard’s decision to publish, the information he published is “more of it true than not”.

Given that Bishop Devine has never denied the allegation made about him, and that none of the others either identified or alluded to have identified themselves to deny the claims about them (note: the priest who phoned me, but would not give his name, did deny the allegations but the failure to publicly do so, causes me to doubt – sorry, but that’s the truth of the matter. In their place, I think the majority of innocent people would want to remove all doubt and openly deny the claims.)  Thus, I’m afraid our sympathies have to remain with Fr Despard. He appears to be suffering unjust treatment, disproportionate to his decision to publish his book.  Indeed, Lady Vengeance appears to be in the driving seat in the way the diocese is pursuing this priest.  Or maybe you disagree?