Bishop Eugene reflected in his journal:
Funeral obsequies of Count Pagano, consul general of Sardinia, Knight of St. Maurice. His position as consul of Sardinia and Knight of St. Maurice, as well as the good turns he did me in his day, decided me to go and assist at his funeral liturgy and perform the absolution. I warned the family in advance by way of a very polite letter.
What was my astonishment, on arriving at St. Charles, the deceased’s parish, to learn that there would be no High Mass at the funeral although the poor deceased had made quite contrary arrangements. I reproached the person who came to make excuses to me in the family’s name, as it had undertaken with the cortege not to delay it overlong in the church, and to mark my disapproval of a complacency so strongly contrary to the spirit of the Church all the more expressly, I indicated that I would not be prepared to give the absolution as I had proposed.
This lesson must have gone home and the parish priest also will have learned that it is not opportune to lend oneself so easily to the scarcely religious caprices of families. It was the third example in succession of this kind of impiety, in the parish of St. Charles.
Eugene de Mazenod’s Diary, 4 February 1837, EO XVIII
Times seem not to have changed! How often we are asked to sacrifice the the true sacramental celebration in favor of the wedding reception venue or the convenience of the funeral directors.