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|Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah
|Obsequies of Late Archbishop Corrigan
j 1 Obsequies of Late ArchbishopCorrigan 1 - s I By a Distinguished Author and JournalistScenes that j Surrounded the Dead Prelate Sombrely, Yet y Vividly Described. A 1 (Julian Hawthorne in the Xew York Journal of May 10.) I T .aI "ii his bier lay the body of Mi- )jj rii;( 1 Oirrigan. a good man, a zealous priest, an archbishop of the Catholic ( luin li. Up had risen from humble be- innings, and in little more than sixty years It1 had become eminent in eccle- ihsti'-al authority and honor. But he ikiw lay dead on his high bier, rigid and pal. with his hands, between 1 which as a small crucifix, crossed on his bosom. That, after all had been H Faid and done, was the central and I iii' st impressive feature of the splendid ; ci-rf-money performed yesterday. ' The k.ad man was clad in his priest- ') ly vestments the princely purple, the hiph white mitre: the bier was richly fi:i',i'd: around it burned a score of .riiniks, shining' in the transparent ; piixm of the great cathedral like flow- i trs of soft tire. i lb' lay before the holy altar; upward I on every side rose the silent rush of ? ihe tiuted columns, draped to the I carvel capitals in black; higher still ' was the delicate tracery of the airy f jjhIWk-s: above them the broad win- 3 riows plowing with sacred scenes pic- ; i tured in stained glass: and, sunnount- ing all, the fretted design of the arched The altar which rose behind him as he lay was rich withharmonious deco- r 1 ration and twinkling' with lights: and I I all the elaborate splendor was striking- I ' ly contrasted with the cold pallor of j I the inclosing walls of the edifice. Near f j by stood the pulpit, graceful and im- I posing, with its great sounding" board, ' on which was painted the dove of the church, seeming to poise itself in air J jUft above -the head of the preacher. It ves, in its entirety, a solemn and p'oriiiuS spectacle, well calculated to i I Fiir the most sluggish emotions. But ' th" eminent priest lay quiet on " his' : birr, unaffected by what moved all 1 th" living; for he was dead: bis race I Ms run and his -work performed. j The hurch was filled to the walls I viih spectators, from whom arose a j yiihflued sound of reverent talk and v ,! i-immoni. Many of them had come ' ! from alar; they were old people and i yosnir. men and women (but women S chic'lyi, rich and poor (but chiefly, it ! ff.mc,i. poor): Catholics and Protest- I fin's. N(.r was the Hebrew race un-rv; un-rv; resented ; in a pew on the central aisK- sal the Rabbi Gottheil, silent and , absorbed. The civilized world is di-1 di-1 . vi.li'd now, as it was in the beginning. . f btvv-n the Jews the democrats and ' ( thf imperial church of Christ. - ! -VI'IHTIKST OF ORGANIZATIONS. The essence of what the one believes, thr miier. now as. always, denies. But in th'se days, though the academic liiff-- riicos persist, the odium theologi-i theologi-i -um is Mibduod. arid men of varying or hos;i. . ret -ds meet as men and friends: ' tlv simiir.g of infidels and the inquisition inquisi-tion on th" heretics are no more. I The church of Home is the mightiest ' "f all human organizations; it is sub- s':;ntia and perfect down to its last 'iMaii. From the central Christ of th tro..d. down through the Roman i l-mtirr, and so on. branching and dis-I dis-I s-'ainating from the red-capped oar-? oar-? dir.i..! to the humblest black-cas-S", ke priest, the august and absolute M'iritual authority is passed along, and exorcised and obeyed. Kvery phrase used by the fathers in 1 th-,r speech with the faithful, in their j f M..y, rs and addresses, in their ritual I f ,. every human and divine occasion. has b" n repeated since the earliest , (Ihvs of the church; there is an endless I si.i ,f history and tradition behind tbio. giving them an awful weight and saa. ;ity ,.f influence and obligation; : they pi.ste.ss something akin to a mag-' mag-' il iit: they are the refined and "'.vsn.Uizd essence of the will of the n'st high: the spiritual spontaneity j !;Mi v(, cultivate in the dissenting J rb i'i!:-s is not countenanced in the I i'-ni ( hurch of Christ; in that '';: h. what has been, ever shall be, i v ''1 without end. Aft'r the nour at which the proces-i proces-i Ff-Ti of priests was scheduled to appear Hi re was a. long interval of waiting, I bn;n, IV t!le vast crowd in the pews i ran:, c,r less patiently; at times the or-) or-) Fa:, s.-r.t forth its rolling melodiep; ? '.in;'.s burned: the sunlight fell I th:..;.uii the tinted windows; the ushers j n-".Ve,i ,,n uptoe to and fro; the closing f a t.ew duor resounded through the l"''io,y riif,-c. 1::" audience watched and waited, f '; ! dead archbishop also waited: !8l save waiting was over for him in th:s world, and there was no symptom pr i:t .patiem.-e from him. Hi-s hands tht . iasp,.d xh" crucifix did not trem- I h'-r : the expression on the sunken gray Matures fjjd not change. Rigid and ini-ni"vi:ble ini-ni"vi:ble he lay. waiting for what was ,r c.i;ne; for the dav of judgment and tii" last sound of the angelic trumpets. Till-: AWFUL MAJESTY OF DEATH. T'.'iav -and tomorrow would pass "ay. and vears would follow years. the archbishop would never stir h'i or foot, or draw a laboring Vl,"a;i,. He had entered into hi-3 rest, 8i in. no could disturb him again. He j hy clad in his priestly garments and , the awful majesty of death. At last the wide doors in the front or the ,-hurch were noiselessly thnnvn :'e: and the blank, white daylight 'earner) jn up0n the columned ob-"uritv. ob-"uritv. Thousands of heads were ''' "el. ami gradually the entire mass i . "f human beings rose in their seats and ' looked toward the west. The procession was about to enter. ; Nnwly and with dignity they came. T .ir.g two and two down the central i Scores upon r-eores they passed, j t hundreds treading in the steps of hun-iK-ds: they walked with heads bowed anl hands folded, the priestly dignlta-rif-s of the church in their official est-mits. est-mits. some wore on their shoulders -ai,ts or jackets of white muslin and others were clad in the severe, S&rb of the monks; others appeared In I plain black: still others, as the long lile continued, showed the richer garments gar-ments of the higher ecclesiastical or-. or-. ders. Slowly and interminably they j marched, defiling and deploying, pass-I pass-I ing up and onward until they were ' silently absorbed in the great space before be-fore the altr, behind and around the , high bier with its august occupant, j And still others came and others, till I the broad aisle was fifilled and the marchers paused and seated themselves, them-selves, each man on the folding chair which had been provided for him. SOLDIERS OF THE CROSS. It was a marvellous sight to see the profile of these priestly heads passing successively one after another, bowed and serious. Endless was the variety of types; inexhaustible the diversity of character: they were old and young, high and low. noble aad plain, dignified and awkward, stern and mild, humble and proud, strong and weak; none was like another in all that, multitude; and yet all had in common one look the look of the Catholic priest the look of mingled authority and obedience. There is. no other look that could be mistaken for it in the tribe, of mortal men; it told of such a training and discipline dis-cipline as no other men are called on to sustain. It was the look worn by those who spread the doctrines of the church over the face of the earth; who worked and suffered and died to save souls in the primeval wilderness; who have built up in their fellow-men this mighty fact of the Catholic, church. It allied them one with another and brought them into unity, one stupendous stupen-dous organism, the body of Christ. They constitute one of the greatest forces ever created on earth: quiet, subtle, omnipresent, well night irresistible. irre-sistible. Behind them lies a history of deeds unparralleled. And after two thhousand years they seem as strong, as compact and purposeful as in the days of the early fathers.. These are the men who overthrow paganism, who rule today the larger part of the Christian world. From them emanated the holy army of martyrs mar-tyrs and the company of the saints; from their ranks were chosen the popes who governed Europe and turned i the tides of history. Their outward temporal power is no longer what it was, but the power of no temporal monarch equals theirs. Authority and obedience mingle in their arpeet; these are the virtues to which the world succumbs. Each as he passed the bier cast a glance upon him who lay there: but he gave no answering answer-ing look. He had looked his last in the face of man: he was now facing a Countenance not mortal nor finite. He was dead, and immortality wedded henceforth to interests beyond the grave. THE HIGHEST CEREMONY. The long procession was stayed at last, and then ensued another interval, followed by the entrance of the cardinal, cardi-nal, who was to celebrate the requiem mass. He came walking with feeble seps amidst a company of his brethren; breth-ren; on his head was the crimson bc-rctta bc-rctta and he wore the red robes of his princejy rank. His face was turned earthward; it was a worn and ascetic visage, scholarly and gentle. Cardinal Gibbons is an older man than his fellow priest who lay on the bier, but he still lived and the other had passed on to a life whereof the cardinal knew nothing. He. too, lifted his face as he went 'by the rigid figure outstretched yonder, and he bowed himself again in reverence rever-ence to death. There came no answee-ing answee-ing obeisance; priestly rank had no further concern with Archbishop Cor-rigan. Cor-rigan. and had the pope of Rome done homage to him he would have been met with the same silent and appalling indifference. There is no respect of persons with God. and the archbishop had been invested in-vested with a democratic dignity surpassing sur-passing any that mortal authority can bestow. To death must we all come at last, and in the oust oe equai uiaue, and that equality is greater and more impressive than any nobility or roy-altv roy-altv of living men. ,It endures forever. Now preparation was made for the mass for the dead. Forgive thy servant, serv-ant, O Almighty One. for his sins; raise him up from the grave as thy beloved Son was raiFed up! The organ pours forth its sublime notes and voices rise in music, praising and beseeching the Lord At the high altar priest and acolyte perform their homage and deliver de-liver their ritual. The candles shine in the holy dusk, the vestments gleam, there are bowings bow-ings and protestations, the plaintive V I'.ces of the worshipers implore the Unseen Power, the sweet, faint notes of bells sound from sacred recesses, the censers swing and the delicate precious perfume floats through the still air and dims with Its light haze the adoring figures and the shrine at which they kneel. Nothing done by man is more subtly moving in its influence than the mass; no other dramatic representation approaches ap-proaches it in significance and sublimity. sublim-ity. It is the most wonderful and cogent co-gent appeal ever devised by humanity for the blessing and presence of its Creator. After the plaintive implorings comes a hush. We seem to be looking far into the heart of a holiness and mystery mys-tery too profound for speech or thought. Has' the Most High indeed deigned to come down to us? Are we standing in that ineffable Presence? The silence sings in the waiting ear; then, of a sudden, with a glorious rush of sound, comes the organ thunder and the outburst of triumphant voices, shaking and overpowering the soul. The Lord is with us; biessed be the name of the Lord! Who can withstand that marvelous outburst? What heart j but must leap up and acknowledge j that triumph? The audience vibrates I i with emotion; the priests avow their . spiritual ecstacy; the atmosphere r onks i with the storm of the acclaim; there ; is only one who remains unresponsive. , That stern, meek figure on the bier is I deaf even to this supreme appeal. His ' heart gives not a throb; his ears are deaf; he is dead in the midst of all this life and passion and . uplifting of ; the soul. j Or is he wrapt in a music compared with which this is but a discordant murmur? Do his closed eyes behold glories with which these are but as dust and ashes? We cannot reach him: we cannot move him. What do we here in our darkness and impotence, thinking to honor him who is beyond all human honors? The holy thunders of the mass die away and are stilled, and the archbishop arch-bishop rests as before, inaccessible on his terrible throne. Yet it was a spectacle and a ceremony cere-mony well worth seeing, and to be taken deeply to heart.