Funeral on Ash Wednesday?
  • Carol
    Posts: 636
    My mother's funeral is set for this Tuesday, but the weather is looking very iffy here. It will be our call, but before I talk to Father I was curious if a funeral on Ash Wednesday is permissible. I know this is the place to find out. Thank you all in advance.
  • Carol
    Posts: 636
    I mean the funeral home said it was our call, but I know it's Father's call.
  • MarkB
    Posts: 427
    Yes, it's permitted. Refer to the attached table. Item #5, Ash Wednesday, states that a funeral Mass is permitted (D1+). A note also refers to GIRM 380:

    380. Among the Masses for the Dead, the Funeral Mass holds first place. It may be celebrated on any day except for Solemnities that are Holydays of Obligation, Thursday of Holy Week (Holy Thursday), the Paschal Triduum, and the Sundays of Advent, Lent, and Easter, with due regard also for all the other requirements of the norm of the law.
    Thanked by 1CCooze
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,264
    In the EF? I don't know whether this is current, but only if there is another Mass.
    General Rubrics of the Roman Missal 393.
    Any Mass of the dead whatsoever, including the funeral Mass, is prohibited:
    a) in churches and oratories where for any reason there is exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, for the whole time of the exposition; the Masses on the day of the commemoration of All the Faithful Departed are excepted (no. 352);
    b) in churches having only one Mass, whenever there is an obligation of a conventual Mass which cannot be satisfied by another priest; unless the conventual Mass itself must be said or may be said for the departed;
    c) in churches having only one Mass, on February 2 and on Ash Wednesday, if there is the blessing of candles and of ashes respectively; and on the greater and lesser litanies, if the Mass of the rogation is to be said.
    Thanked by 1CCooze
  • Carol
    Posts: 636
    It will be OF, sorry I didn't make that clear. I knew I could count on you all. Thanks!
  • Regardless of whether it is permitted, the priest may not want to given how busy Ash Wednesday can be.
    Thanked by 2Carol MatthewRoth
  • Carol,

    With your permission, I'd like to ask the readers a further question, based on what you've already asked and what they've already provided....


    Is the Office of the Dead (Matins, Lauds, Vespers) restricted in the same way that the Requiem is? To put the question another way, are there any times when the Office of the Dead may not be prayed? I would guess that it may not be prayed on 1st Class feasts (and therefore after the 1st Vespers for such feasts), and on days when only one Mass is permitted (say, Maundy Thursday) but beyond that I'm out in the tall weeds.

    Thanked by 1Carol
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,264
    For the OF GILH contains no directives on the Office of the Dead. Neither does the text of the Office, apart from advising choosing/adapting the prayers in gender and number.
    If the rule is as for a votive Office
    245 Except on solemnities, Sundays of Advent, Lent and Eastertide, Ash Wednesday, during Holy Week and during the octave of Easter, and on 2 November,
    a votive Office may be celebrated either in whole or in part for a public or devotional reason: for example, at the time of a pilgrimage, on a local feast, or during the external solemnity of a saint.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,264
    For the EF, wikipedia Office of the Dead asserts "This office, as it exists in the Roman Liturgy up to and including the current 1960 Roman Breviary, is composed of First Vespers, Mass, Matins, and Lauds." If accurate, that would suggest that it is all under the same Missal rubric 393. (above)
  • Hawkins,

    Surely a "Votive Office" is a Saint's day of particular importance in a particular region or to a particular religious community. The Office of the Dead, being an add-on and not a replacement, wouldn't be covered by regulations about replacement offices, would it?

  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,264
    I won't venture further into the complexities of the EF 1960 rubrics.
    For the OF, are we talking of what the laity may do in private, or of the public celebrations in a parish church? Of what a cleric might do for private devotion, or of what fulfills his obligation to the Office? All I can say is that GILH gives NO guidance that I have found.
    The Enchiridion of Indulgences 1968 grants
    18. Office of the Dead (Defunctorum officium)
    A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful, who devoutly recite Lauds or Vespers of the Office of the Dead.
    No suggestion of restriction of times and seasons.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,264
    Poking around further I find that all Votive Offices were abolished by Divino Afflatu in 1911, except fo Our Lady on Saturday. That does not cover the Office of the Dead, which is sui generis.
    However the concept of a votive office was revived for the OF.
  • Hawkins,

    When the concept was revived, did it mean the same thing as it had previously, or (as many things) did it take on an entirely new meaning, distinct from or perhaps contradictory to what it had meant before?
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,264
    Before 1911, the votive offices were not like votive masses chosen by the celebrant. They had come to require someone, order/congregation/chapter/?, to ask for them, and once the indult was granted they usually became obligatory. There was another class of entitiy - the office ad libitum, I know nothing about that, maybe it escaped the dead hand of SCR bureaucrats.
    The OF votive office has similar flexibility to the votive Mass, returning it to the state originally intended. Note that votive Mass and Office both have advice on the virtue of maintaining the calendar cycle of readings.