One of the advantages of living in Hawai'i is that if there's news worthy of televising coming from Europe you can see it live. Network coverage of the Pope's funeral mass began at 9:30pm HST last night, so I saw the first two hours or so. The camera work was superb, especially the overhead shots of St. Peter's Square and the Basilica.
It occurred to me that there is no institution more steeped in ritual than the Catholic Church. British royalty may come close, but it's an upstart; it's only had a thousand years or so to practice, while the Church has been doing this sort of thing for twice that. I haven't attended too many Catholic funerals, but I've been to Mass a few hundred times, and some of that experience still sticks with me. It surprised me that I still remembered some of the Latin from my days as an altar boy (1962).
I don't know it it's the right way to put it, but it seemed like a somber celebration; sorrow at the Pope's death but joy at his entry into God's kingdom. The whole thing was remarkable.Posted by Linkmeister at April 8, 2005 09:45 AM