Friday, March 4, 2011


I've seen many of strange things at funerals. Families will request all sorts of things. At the funeral homes, we'll try our best to accommodate them. However, usually at the churches they have their rules. They always stick to their rules and keep the service pretty straight forward. Often with the exception of the mention of the person's name, you wouldn't be able to tell one funeral from another.
 We have a new Priest at one of the Catholic churches that we frequent. And with this Priest, comes a whole new set of rules. Starting with, he only does funerals on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Other days are reserved for things such as Christenings and Communions, etc..  Well, with all of these events that can be important over the coarse of life for a Catholic, you now have the option of the Priest's assistant to be present. He's been to the seminary and really seems to know his stuff. He's a big black Labrador Retriever named, Max.  He's always ready to help out wherever he can. ( With permission of the family, of course. ) I tried to be discreet with the camera so it's a little hard to make out but you can see Max  roaming around during the service. He makes sure that everything is going well. He stops at various pews and lets mourners scratch his ears or give him a pat.  He'll casually mozie up to the alter and sit by the priest while the hymns are  being played.  During communion, he didn't even beg. He even followed Father around the casket while the incense was offered. Although he did let out a little sneeze at that, and everyone found  it amusing. 

(Talk about the dogma of the church.)  Max and the Priest lead us, the pall bearers and family out of church at the end of the service and sat next to the waiting hearse while we placed the deceased inside. He then  met us out at the cemetery when our procession arrived.
After the committal was over I walked  with Max and his  "Father ? " to their truck.
 Feeling a bit mischievous I walked to the front of Fathers truck and overly examined it. Father gave me a questioning look and I replied, "I was just wondering if your licence plate said " Dog is my co-pilot."

Pugsley is very excited to hear of Max's new position and is now inquiring when he can start working with us in the hearse. He says that he can round up cars with the best of them. And after all, he ads, they may need help out at the cemetery with that hole or something. 


JustinO'Shea said...

The few wakes I've been to. . .usually the deceased has a rosary in his hand. . .whether he ever used it in life. . . .? hehe

The worst thing I ever saw was the deceased. .with a Budweiser can in his hands! I bet the funeral directors were a tad hesitant to go along with it. . the man died in a car accident! Hmm. . talk about "tastefree" family. . .
Stew, I bet you guys run into a lot of weird stuff. .

I think the Padre's dog Max is real cool. . .and Padre himself must be laidback. . .;-)


Jim said...

Loved this! Now that is progress that is heartening to hear.
Taking my Dad to a funeral home today for visitation. Seems like he is out-living most everybody.

Coop said...

That's a neat story. I've heard stories in the family of a priest having a dog. A church in Cambridge I think.