Wednesday, September 25, 2019

A former parishioner's funeral and the Mass

Lieutenant Colonel Gary Gretter Service from Bill McKnight on Vimeo.

This is video highlights from the burial for Gary Gretter, a parishioner who moved back to Virginia about two years ago because of health reasons.  Gary died several months ago.  Gary was one of the more humble men I've ever met, so much so that I didn't even know he was a Lt. Colonel.  This footage is absolutely stunning.

Most people that watch this will not be able to help being deeply moved.

What makes it stunning?

1) Precision of movement.  Everything has been prearranged, there is absolutely nothing that is impromptu

2) Uniforms.  People are dressed up, and, whether it is the family or the military folks assisting in the service, all who might walk by or see this service would know, by their dress "Something important is happening here."

3) The music.  It fits the occasion, and it is not something the people in attendance say "play something that we can sing along with so we can join in"

4) Latin.  Others who have watched it, particularly former marines, have responded "Semper Fi".  That is the Marine motto, but it is interesting even here that having something in a language that isn't the vernacular seems to carry more weight.

5) The reverence.  The way the body is treated and the way the flag is treated shows to ANYONE watching, even if they've never seen a casket before and even if they've never seen an American Flag before, they would know, by watching this ceremony that the body and the flag are both HIGHLY valued by those who are in attendance.

1-5 can also be said about the Catholic Mass when it is celebrated well.

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