On Monday afternoon, I attended the funeral Mass of Bill Penna. Bill died February 12 at the age of 54 following a battle with cancer. He was a member of a political organization in which I am active. The Mass was beautifully celebrated at St. Catherine of Siena Church on New York City's Upper East Side by Fr. Jordon Kelly, O.P. (who I know from my old gig).
Bill's funeral began with a talented schola singing the Introit and Kyrie from the Requiem Mass composed by Maurice Duruflé. Circa 1994 - 1995, I sang this powerful piece as a member of the NYU Choral Arts Society. It's one you never forget. I later asked Fr. Jordan if there is an ensemble of singers at every funeral at St. Catherine's. "No," he replied, the schola and classical selections had been requested by Bill prior to his death.
On Tuesday morning, at St. Columbkille Church in the village of Imperial in Western Pennsylvania, a funeral Mass was celebrated for Helen Kramer. Helen, who died February 13 at the age of 86, was the mother of my Aunt Kay and grandmother of my cousins Amy, Luke, Sara, Mary Ellen and Ben. I was sorry I was not able to be present to help celebrate the long life of this wonderful woman who was so dedicated to her family and community.
In memory of Bill and Helen, below is the Duruflé Reqieum for this week's "YouTube clip for a peaceful weekend." We pray that they are now in God's loving embrace.