(I know that my redeemer lives; on the last day I shall rise again)
Glasgow Archdiocese marked the passing and funeral of the late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI with a quietly respectful Mass for the Dead on 5 January, presided over by Archbishop Nolan.
At the Mass, open to all in the Diocese, Archbishop Nolan began his homily by noting how people make judgements of those in public life. In advance of Pope Benedict’s visit to the UK, a lot of the public comments had been negative, and yet people had learned, on meeting and hearing him, that he was humble, gentle, courteous and kind. In the end, anyway, only God’s opinion matters, said the Archbishop.
Pope Benedict was a great teacher whose Angelus catechesis had been a great resource for Archbishop Nolan when he had been a parish priest. The Pope had focussed his teaching on the fact that faith is about a personal relationship with Christ and with God, and his own last words, reported by a nurse, were “Lord, I love you” – what a life of faith. Chances are, said Archbishop Nolan, that he will be remembered as being the first Pope in 600 years to retire. Yet this was again a sign of his humility and faith – content to leave the fate of the Church in the hands of God. And so we look back on a life inspired by simple faith and humility, courtesy and compassion. The Lord will say to him “Benedict , I love you” and the Lord will say the same to each of us.
Musical support for the liturgy was provided by members of the Archdiocesan choir, the St Mungo Singers, and Carissa Swan on harp.