The funeral is over, my father is buried, and an Eastern rite Christian burial is concluded. For those who have never been to a Byzantine funeral, the Constantinopolitan authors of the service must have been dealing with a congregation stricken with doubt as to the death of the deceased, because the troparia and farewell rites constantly reiterate that the dead's eyes will never see, his ears shall never hear, and that we shall never ever speak to him again. Beyond emphasizing how utterly miserable death is, I left with the conclusion that the old Roman Mass would have been textually cheerier, Dies irae and all. There is, however, the moving conclusion when the priest taps the coffin with his cross and says "This is sealed until the Second Coming of Christ," leaving we the living with one thing to look forward to.
We the living are seemingly bereft of direction in the Church right now. Events with correspondents and physical acquaintances nearly brought me into writing something bordering on confessional disputes, which is neither in my nature nor that of this blog. Instead I will seek to write a short series in the coming month on the various maladies afflicting orthodox Catholics in our times, which are perhaps not as turbulent as we believe in our narcissism.
In the interim I would like to thank you, kind readers, for your prayers and support in these difficult months and request you not relent just because the worst is past.