Thursday, September 4, 2014

Requiem Mass for Fr. Vincent Capodanno

Bouguereau (1825-1925) Soul to Heaven
Why in the world would we pray for someone who died during the Vietnam War? As our priest likes to remind us, Uncle Guido does not instantly become a saint upon death. But many funeral services focus on pastoral care of the family instead of offering prayers for the dead. Here is a great explanation of purgatory. In brief, a soul cannot enter heaven until it has achieved perfection and the purging away of sins or attachment to sins (come on, admit that you have favorite sins) is completed in purgatory.

And so we pray for the dead. We begin and end with the word Requiem, which means rest of the deepest kind. All the prayers are so beautiful, they bring tears to my eyes. This is how I want to go to my eternal rest. Listen to the IntroitEternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen. And here is In ParadisumMay angels lead you into paradise; upon your arrival, may the martyrs receive you and lead you to the holy city of Jerusalem. May the ranks of angels receive you, and with Lazarus, once a poor man, may you have eternal rest.

Servant of God, Father Vincent Robert Capodanno
Feb. 13, 1929 -- Sep. 4, 1967
Fr. Capodanno was serving the soldiers when he was killed. The boys' group in our parish is named in his honor. They meet regularly to pray, plan activities, and grow in virtue. It is training ground for becoming a man.

So today we pray for the soul of Fr. Capodanno. Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. Ps. 110:4

We are so grateful to have the Traditional Latin Mass in our parish. The priest offers the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in his somber black vestments and it's impossible not to think of the four last things: death, judgment, heaven and hell. Oh, how it makes me want to be pleasing to my Maker, so that when I stand in front of Him, He will say, "Well done, good and faithful servant." That is all. Oh, let me not stumble now that I've found the Way, the Truth and the Life. I long to sing and write in heaven. Mass is the closest I get here on earth.

Yes, heaven is for real ... but remember, so is hell.


Faith E. Hough said...

I had to click over to the Wikipedia page--what an incredible man! And a great patron for young men.
The Requiem Mass is one of my favorite things about being a Catholic--or, just aesthetically, being a person with access to great art. The words are so beautiful, and the many gorgeous musical settings of the Mass throughout the centuries are little windows into heaven themselves.

Johnell said...

I think for some people it's easier to remember hell, especially in a war. That's why people like Fr. Capodonno are important. They remind us of heaven. I read this and I'm reminded that I really want to learn latin. It just has a magnificent ring to it.

Becky Shillington said...

What a beautiful post, Vijaya. I love the prayers. especially. My hope is that God will say "Well done, good and faithful servant," to me, too. I think about this often.

Mirka Breen said...

A wonderful tribute, and a good evocative reminder that our time, and what we did here, matters.

Anonymous said...

This was a very nice tribute and thought provoking.

Vijaya said...

Faith, I do love all the ART! And I love having it on my blog for when I need to see it.

Johnnell, a Mass like this can also heal the wounds of war. Although I've read war accounts and seen war movies, I am thankful I've not had to experience it. God bless our brave soldiers.

Most of the homeschoolers I know are learning Latin. If you want some resources, I can ask on your behalf. In the meantime, if a traditional Latin Mass is held anywhere near you, go and bask in its beauty!

Becky, thank you. It is always sobering to ponder the last things.

Mirka, your comment is the perfect response to one of my characters who wonders, why bother being good?

Catherine, thanks for visiting.