As a devout Protestant, I recently had the unique opportunity to attend a Catholic funeral at a church in the round. Stepping into this sacred space, I was struck by the atmosphere of reverence and community, despite being unfamiliar with the Catholic liturgy. In this blog post, I will share my experience of witnessing this solemn occasion and offer insights on the similarities and differences between Catholic and Protestant funeral services. Join me on this spiritual journey into a world outside of my comfort zone.
My Experience Visiting a Catholic Church in the Round: Witnessing a Catholic Funeral as a Protestant
I recently had the opportunity to visit a unique Catholic Church in St. Louis, Missouri that is built in the round. This church, officially called Church of The Little Flower, is named after Saint Teresa. It is stunning with a unique round shape and a castle-like appearance. During my visit, I witnessed a Catholic funeral, which was a new experience for me as a Protestant. Father Lawrence Herzog was the gentleman who guided the tour and provided insights about Catholicism and the Catholic funeral customs.
The Church of The Little Flower: A Unique Catholic Church in St. Louis ##
The Little Flower Church is one of the most unique Catholic churches I have ever seen. It is circular in shape and has a majestic castle-like appearance that is truly a sight to behold. The interior of the church is stunning, with intricate stonework and beautiful stained-glass windows.
Catholic Funeral Customs ##
During my visit, I had the opportunity to witness a Catholic funeral. Father Lawrence Herzog explained the steps of the funeral mass and the customs that are followed during a Catholic funeral.
All Souls Chapel and the Wake ###
The Little Flower Church has several chapels, including one for Mary and one for All Souls. The All Souls chapel is where bodies are brought for a funeral mass. The wake, which was held in the All Souls chapel, is an opportunity for family and friends to express sympathy and pray for the bereaved and the deceased’s soul.
Catholic Funeral Mass ###
The Catholic funeral mass is structured around several components, including the Liturgy of the Word, the Liturgy of the Eucharist, and the Final Commendation and Farewell. The Liturgy of the Word includes readings from the Old and New Testament, a homily, and prayers. During the Liturgy of the Eucharist, the priest blesses the bread and wine, which is then distributed to the congregation. The Final Commendation and Farewell is the final farewell to the deceased.
My Experience as a Protestant Witnessing a Catholic Funeral ##
As a Protestant, I found the Catholic funeral to be a unique and new experience. Witnessing a funeral mass with all its different components was quite different from the Protestant church funerals that I have attended. I found it very interesting to learn more about the Catholic church and the customs that are followed during a funeral.
In conclusion, my visit to the Little Flower Church and witnessing a Catholic funeral mass was a unique and valuable experience. I enjoyed learning more about the Catholic church and the customs followed during a funeral. The Church of the Little Flower is a stunning example of unique architecture and serves as a testament to the dedication and devotion of the Catholic community.