Sister’ funeral Mass was held on February 27, 2023. It was a moving ceremony presided over by Bishop Joseph Strickland, and many of her remaining family members and a few friends were able to attend.
Before the funeral, Sister’s body lay in state in our chapel. We kept vigil with her all day and most of the night. We pray the Psalter as we stay with Sister–starting at the beginning and continuing on until time for the funeral, repeating as necessary.
After distribution of the Holy Eucharist, the funeral ceremonies begin:
Praying and incensing the casket.
Then we begin the procession to the cemetery, which is located on our property. THe cross bearer and acolytes (holding candles) go first, then the sisters, followed by the clergy and the Bishop. Then comes a car carrying some of the elderly sisters who can’t walk as far as the cemetery, and finally the hearse.
As the sisters move into the cemetery, the pall bearers bring in the casket.
Sister’s family in the front row.
And at the end, the prayers at the graveside and the final commendation.
We sang the “Magnificat” at the end, which is our custom, and then processed back to the monastery. It is hard to say goodbye to Sr. Mary Annunciata, but we hope and pray that we will all be reunited one day in the glory of heaven. As we have mentioned before on this blog, we go out to the cemetery for eight days following the funeral to pray a decade of the Rosary at the grave and sing a hymn, usually one that had special meaning for Sister. We can’t be certain, of course, but it does seem like Sr. Mary Annunciata has been interceding for us already!
Eternal rest grant to her, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon her. May her soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.