A Catholic Funeral – The Dead Burying the Dead

Yesterday, I attended the funeral of an Aunt who died this past week.  And, as is true for any funeral, it was a sad time as yet another life has come to an abrupt end.  Never again will her voice be heard or will she be able to interact with the sons of men for the time granted unto her by God to live on this earth has expired.  And as such there will be no returning to life for the grave will surrender none of its victims to family or friend no matter how many tears they shed or prayers they pray.  It will only be on the Last Day when Christ Jesus, he who has the keys of the grave and death, will call forth to all the dead to come forth even as he did unto Lazarus, some unto the resurrection of life, and some unto the resurrection of damnation (cf. Joh 5:28-29).  My Aunt, as I am nearly certain (barring a last minute conversion), will be called unto the resurrection of damnation.

I make this last statement because my Aunt was, as is the case for the majority of my family, Roman Catholic.  A Roman Catholic who had religion, but not Jesus Christ.  A woman who was baptised with water, but not with the Holy Spirit.  A woman who ate the Eucharist, but did not eat of Jesus’ flesh or drink of his blood.  A woman who had good works, but never recognized that they were as filthy rags.  A woman who though appearing alive was in fact dead; dead in trespasses and sins as all are who are not born of the Spirit of God per his will.

And what so grieved my spirit and incensed me as I sat through the Mass (not participating in any way) and listened to the words of the priest was that from the moment he opened his mouth and spoke his first words until the time when he closed his mouth as her coffin lay over the grave, all he spoke were lies.  Lies that for the one lying in the coffin were meaningless as she heard not a one of them, but for the living were deadly.  Deadly because they acted as yet another hot iron further cauterizing their conscience to believe that as a baptized Roman Catholic they were in no peril, regardless of anything God’s word or one of his servants might say to the contrary.

This is the tragedy for never once were the people in the pews ever challenged to examine themselves to see whether they were in the faith (cf. II Cor 13:5).  Of course this can not be so because Catholicism is not the faith of the Bible, but even beyond this, they were not challenged even to see if they were in the Catholic faith.  This being all the things that Catholic apologists love to quote when you are debating with them about how they believe this and that, yet when the rubber hits the road and you hear the words from the priest at a funeral, it is all together another story.  All that matters is that you are a baptized (technically sprinkled) “card-carrying” Catholic and if so, you will have a priest say your funeral who will tell all of your family and friends that you are now in heaven (even though Catholic doctrine says you are in the torments of purgatory).

So rest easy all ye Catholics and do not fret about any sins or repentance for what I have stated above will be true regardless of the life you have lived, the sins you have been in bondage to, the company you have kept, the drunkenness, the fornication, the lust, the pride, the hatred of all things righteous, the deception, the disdain for the Scriptures, and any other evidences of a tree bearing bad fruit (cf. Mat 7:13-27).  Because as long as you were at one time sprinkled as a baby, worry not dear Catholic, for you need not be troubled about anything else and can live like the devil, because there will be a priest who will say Mass at your funeral and he will by the supposed powers vested in him transport you to the feet of Jesus in heavenly bliss.  The same thing of course will be true for your family and friends, even if they never attend Mass, avoid Confession, or are the twice of year Catholics who only attend Mass on Christmas and Easter, for they too will be sent to heaven by your local Catholic priest.  Just make sure you pay him for the Mass.

All of this is exactly what I witnessed at my Aunt’s funeral where according to this priest it was Catholic water baptism, the perennial Catholic ticket to heaven, that made her a child of God.  And it was because of this baptism or infant sprinkling, and that she was deemed a “good” person (cf. Romans 3:12) who did “good” things in her life (cf. Isaiah 64:6) and loved those who loved her (cf. Matthew 5:46-47), that this priest in essence told one and all, rest easy and shed not a tear, for she is now in heaven.  Words ironically coming from a man who never even met my Aunt once and only knew of her from the brief bio (all positive of course) presented to him by her daughter before the Mass.  Amazing, simply amazing and oh how tragic indeed.

Much more was said by the priest that made a mockery of God’s word and what true salvation is but to the people sitting in the pews it was music unto their ears.  Music because it sang sweet words of rest and ease unto them whereby they could continue their present course of life, regardless of how dark it might be, because in the end, it would all work out.

It also was music unto their ears because who among them was not likewise, according to their personal scales of justice, a good person, or who did not likewise do good things and love people around them.  Possibly even trumping my Aunt in these areas as they all compare themselves among themselves (cf. II Cor 10:12).  And so one and all left the funeral with a lift in their gait where possibly any twinges of conscience per the convicting of the Holy Spirit (cf. Joh 16:8) were quenched by the words of this one priest.

But this need not be for the Roman Catholic who believes that in spite of their religion, they are sick, for Jesus says, “They that are whole [healthy] have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Mar 2:17)  Jesus is more than able to save to the uttermost those who come to the Father through him (cf. Heb 7:12) and this he will do unto you.  Yet you must believe that you are sick and a sinner in need of repentance.

If this be you than my encouragement unto you would be for you to call out unto the Lord for him to save you, to forsake vain and dead religion, to  repent from your sins, and believe on Jesus Christ alone for salvation.  Because baptism will, in and of itself, bring none into the kingdom of God and those Catholics who are trusting in their baptism and church to save them will be sorely disappointed on that day.  But for those who repudiate the false doctrine of Catholicism and place their hope solely in the finished work of Jesus Christ and not in infant baptism or their church, they will be wonderfully overjoyed on that day.

Finally, let it be clearly stated that the final arbiter of entrance into the kingdom of God is not a priest and his unoffending words of false hope, but rather the two-edged word of God.  Because it will be by this word that all will be judged, not tradition, not smooth sounding words, but solely by the word of God.  For the Lord spoke that, “…if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.  He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” (Joh 12:47-48)

May all Catholics take these things I have written to heart and today, while you still have breath in your lungs and blood in your veins, seriously consider the words I have written.  For today may in fact be your last day as I can assure you my Aunt but a week ago was in no way thinking that the following week she would be lying dead and lifeless in a casket.  So too the same may be true for you whereby next week it will not be my Aunt lying in a coffin, but you the reader of this paper where then it will be too late.