I would have never suspected that I would look forward to attending a Catholic funeral, but there I was, wiping away tears for a man that I had only known in childhood briefly, and as an adult met once in a supermarket.
The fact that he was a vet, and brother of a long time friend made it all the more necessary that I go and participate.
The service had not changed, as the liturgy of my childhood memories of service had not changed, but the fact that the priest was from Viet Nam showed that the church is running out of seminary candidates born in America.
Plus, his accent was so thick I could hardly understand him.
The eulogy given by the deceased son in law was very touching, and got some chuckles, as we found out that the dearly departed had a love for the Raiders, and played a mean horse shoe game.
This VietNam vet was a man of habit, and got up and went to work with no complaints or demands from society.
One new thing that surprised me was that the pall bearers wore Raiders jerseys in honor of this man’s love for his team. What better way to show what was important to him?
Although the words of the funeral mass did not give me any hope of “Life everlasting” I recognize that we as a culture, especially the Hispanic culture need a crutch to get us through the rough patches. Whether it is a religion or a rain dance, we have a need to communicate with the unknown and ask for clemency or assistance.
The one greatest boon to be in church and listening to prayers and eulogies is that the mind cannot wander to stressful happenings other than personal grief.
I am thankful to the church for giving me a respite from discussions of the Man with the Orange Mop Top-You Know Who.