Thursday, September 1, 2011

What I Saw:

Song at a funeral for an Atlanta Catholic priest by anelson-1

I attended the funeral of Marist Father Larry Schmuhl last week, and I wrote about it in the Sept. 1 "Georgia Bulletin."

There's a custom I first noticed at other funerals for priests. And I don't know if it's part of the funeral rite for priests, or a nice tradition that has been adopted by clergy. (Or perhaps lay people also have this custom, but I am not familiar with it.)

After the prayer of commendation and the conclusion of Mass, priests gather and circle the casket before it's placed in the hearse.

The group chants the prayer "Salve Regina" in Latin. The prayer may date to the 11th century, according to Wikipedia.

In Latin:
Salve, Regina, Mater misericordiae,
vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra, salve.
ad te clamamus exsules filii Hevae,
ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes
in hac lacrimarum valle.
Eia, ergo, advocata nostra, illos tuos
misericordes oculos ad nos converte;
et Jesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui,
nobis post hoc exsilium ostende.
O clemens, O pia, O dulcis Virgo Maria.
In English:
Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy,
our life, our sweetness and our hope.
To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve;
to thee do we send up our sighs,
mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.
Turn then, most gracious advocate,
thine eyes of mercy toward us;
and after this our exile,
show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.