QUEZON City, Feb. 5, 2015—Heeding Pope Francis’ message on the importance of weeping and Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco’s call to “unite in prayer with the whole nation for the victims of the massacre, especially for their families,” a church group in Quezon City is set to offer a Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) for the repose of the souls of 44 members of the Philippine National Police (PNP)’s Special Action Force (SAF) killed in Mamasapano, Maguindanao recently.
“One of the messages of our Holy Father Pope Francis during his visit to the Philippines was to learn how to weep. On Saturday, we shall weep for our fallen heroes, and ask the Lord to grant them eternal rest by offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for their souls,” Miguel Madarang, Master of Liturgical Ceremonies of the Societas Ecclesia Dei Sancti Ioseph-Una Voce Philippines (SEDSJ-UVP) told CBCP News in an interview.
Separation from loved ones
According to him, in the TLM for SAF 44 on Saturday, the names of each of the fallen SAF faithful shall be mentioned in the Propers and Canon of the Mass according to the rubrics.
Quoting Catholic convert philosopher Dietrich von Hildebrand, he shared that while the eternal happiness of loved ones is the “most important thing, the separation from the beloved, even if only for a time, remains a terrible cross.”
Lest first-timers see it as “gloomy” or “lacking in hope,” the lay liturgist explained the use of black elements in the TLM for the dead actually makes the liturgy “somber,” given that the color reflects grief, directing the faithful in a particular way to “mourn and pray for the dead.”
“In a Traditional Latin Mass for the Dead, black vestments are used. Also, the organ is silent, the ‘Alleluia’ is not sung, and incense is not burned at the Gospel,” Madarang said.
“Also, a catafalque shall be built in front of the sanctuary and covered in a black pall. This structure, signifying the brave men who have given their lives, shall be used for the Absolution of the Dead, a series of prayers for pardon and remission of sins,” he added.
Madarang stressed black vestments are nothing new in the liturgy, stating the rubrics of Blessed Paul VI’s Missal allows their use for Masses of Christian Burial and Masses for the Dead on Nov. 2 (All Souls’ Day).
The TLM for the Dead (Requiem Mass) to be presided over by SEDSJ-UVP chaplain and spiritual director, Fr. Michell Joe Zerrudo, is scheduled on Saturday, Feb. 7, 7:30 p.m., at the Holy Family Parish Church in Roxas District, Quezon City. (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News)