My mom is much in demand these days because she has a rare skill that has fallen out of popularity.
She is an experienced leader of the Rosary.
If you are not Catholic, and you haven’t attended any Catholic funerals, then you might not be aware of what an integral part of saying goodbye the call-and-response of the Rosary is.
This week, she was asked to lead the Rosary by two different funeral parlors. She had to turn down the second one because it was at the same time as the funeral for which she was already committed to leading the prayers.
Nowadays, there aren’t many people like Mom who can and are willing to provide this service. On top of that, she is baking a cake for the funeral lunch and has to call her ever- shrinking circle of ladies who bake to see who else is willing to contribute a cake.
It is this generation of men and women who have given the most to society. Through their churches, their service clubs and long-time social contacts, they move quietly through their communities doing the work the rest of us aren’t even aware needs doing.
“Some people don’t even ask for the Rosary anymore,” Mom told me, amazed that a Catholic family would bury Mom or Dad without the comfort of Hail Marys. “I guess they should leave a note or something.”
Nobody is going to give Mom a service award for most Rosaries recited. But I know, from having scrambled to get up early with her to attend daily Mass, that her Rosary count is likely in excess of 4,000 because she also leads the Rosary before Mass, even when only a handful of people attends. And when she wakes in the middle of the night, she recites the Rosary to help her get back to sleep.
That’s a lot of asking Mary to intercede on our behalf.
In case the people at the funeral forget to say it, Mom, thanks. We’re grateful.