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Iceland’s Eruptions & Blessing Homo Couples

Christmas Greetings

Dear Dr. Horvat, Mr. Guimarães and everyone at TIA,


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

     Br. M.J., OSB, England


Iceland’s Volcanic Eruptions

Dear TIA,

I thought you would find these footages interesting in this story on a volcanic eruption in Iceland that started yesterday (here and here). Even the experts are saying this is not a traditional volcano, but something different. Orange skies and what looks like fountains of fire.

Perhaps a tiny preview of the chastisement. What is interesting is the glory and might of God can be seen even in something so frightening.

     In Jesu et Maria,


Iceland eruption

Eruptions of lava coming from an extensive fissure


Atrocity of Same-Sex Blessings

Dear TIA,

So many words are being poured forth to try to explain this atrocity of "accompanying people" in same-sex unions. The US Bishops are trying to justify it by saying it does not affect the Church teaching about marriage. LINK.

It essentially boils down to the fact that two people in an unholy relationship can now appear before a priest, as a couple, and ask for a blessing. Since they are approaching together as a couple, the blessing is a cause for scandal since it gives the appearance that the relationship is being blessed, regardless of any other intentions of the priest or of the couple. It is as if a prostitute and her client came together and asked for a blessing from a priest.

     Frank Rega


Ushaw, Beauty & Ugliness

Dear TIA,

Re: Update on Ushaw Seminary

I hope you are doing well these days of Advent.

I took some time to take in the photos of the Ushaw Seminary. Thinking about the activity that took place there, as well as the beautiful grounds that saw many young disciplined and well-dressed/good-looking men contemplating virtue and a holy life, no matter their vocation, left a refreshing impression.

In contrast, I thought of the picture we see today of most young men, which starkly contrasts that image -- so many young men turning to drugs, tattoos, pierces, ragged clothing and filthy mouths.

How the devil must be in the comfort of satisfaction about all that has been willingly turned over to him by the sheep mentality and the raging heresies everywhere.

How much longer will God allow the continued erosion of all that is good and beautiful? It seems so very few recognize what beauty is, the value of virtue, and the importance of reflecting back to Our Creator what He willed for us.

Hoping Our Lady will soon put an end to all of the ugliness in the world that seems to drown us.

Please trust in my continued prayers for your good health and continued courage and ability to share the Truth.

     E.M.S, Ph.D.


Remembering Jean Guitton


"Jean Guitton was Pope Paul VI's closest friend and confidant. He assured the world that the Novus Ordo was 'the pope's product;' and, that this 'which is referred to as the Mass [was fabricated] to reform the Catholic liturgy so that it should approximate as closely as possible to the Protestant liturgy... [specifically] the Calvinist liturgy.' (Latin Mass Magazine, Winter, 1995)

A Protestant liturgy; and, thereby, a Protestant religion were unlawfully devised and allowed to be promulgated by the occupant of the papacy of the Apostolic See!

Such a papal commission and omission would constitute an unprecedented grave revolt of any pope against the Pope. This pope revolted against the Pope. In the light of this disclosure, which revolt is worse - the Anglican Liturgical Revolt or the Bishops' Liturgical Revolt?

According to Guitton and other reliable sources, the Novus Ordo Liturgies were created by Pope Paul VI in his capacity as the 'head bishop.' These new liturgies were 'his baby.' His 'baby' was purposely a 'Protestant baby'-- a baby which has now grown up to become a child of the New Age." (The Abbot & Me On Liturgy, by Fr. Paul Trinchard, S.T.L.)



Flowers in Catholic Funeral Customs

Dear TIA,

Salve Maria!

I am very interested in reading about the etiquette that elevates the dignity of God’s creatures, and sweetens and consoles us during the joyful and the sorrowful times.

Do you know if casket flower sprays were traditionally used, i.e., the large bouquet of flowers placed atop the casket before and after the Requiem Mass?

     Thank you,


TIA responds:

Dear K.C.

Catholic funerals of the past were filled with much solemnity and seriousness. It could be useful for you to read the series on Catholic funeral customs that TIA has already published: Part I, Part II, Part III.

To answer your question regarding casket flower sprays, since earliest times peoples from all different lands have decorated the graves and coffins of their loved ones with flowers. Flowers are fitting emblems of beauty and symbols of how man blossoms and then quickly fades into death. As the peoples became Catholic, the flowers brought new images of hope to their minds, for flowers seemed to be a foretaste of Celestial Paradise where Our Lord and Our Lady dwell.

In ancient Greece and Rome, funeral wreaths were placed around the tombs and graves as symbols of eternal life. In The Catholic Encyclopedia, we find that the early Christians took this symbolism and applied it with greater meaning to the Virgin Martyrs who truly had obtained the victory of eternal life. Wreaths also became connected with all Martyrs and representations of them can be found in paintings or sculptures of the Saints as well as on Martyrs' tombs.

In the Middle Ages, some peoples arranged the wreath into a crown constructed of wooden hoops with flowers and streaming ribbons. This garland was carried before the biers of virgins and suspended near their graves. In England, this custom continued into the 1600s and was still found in remote parts of Devon and Cornwall in the late 1800s.

Strewing flowers on graves also seems to be an old custom that varied according to region. In the book Plant Lore, Legends and Lyrics, old English funeral customs are described in which the people strewed flowers or laid garlands onto the coffins of their loved ones. Each area developed its own customs for which kind of flowers were suitable for funerals and how the flowers should be placed on the tombs.

The Church permitted all of these customs and did not set a strict rule except for during her liturgies and ceremonies. It is for this reason that flowers are not placed on the coffin during the Requiem Mass, but the pall alone covers the coffin.

In a traditional funeral, the funeral pall is spread over the coffin that is placed in front of the communion rail. The pall is normally a black cloth with a white cross. In the past, however, the palls of kings, nobles and other upper class people were of costly materials, sometimes of gold embroidered cloth that were afterwards used to make sacred vestments. The Church indeed has always encouraged adorning the tombs and coffins in a dignified manner befitting the future glory of a Catholic body.

So while there may not be a specific origin to the custom of funeral casket sprays, it probably sprung from the Catholic respect for the dead and the desire to bring a hope to the gravesite with flowers that are a reminder of Paradise.


     TIA correspondence desk

Posted December 21, 2023


Blason de Charlemagne
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