Sunday, July 22, 2012

Funeral of Otto von Hapsburg

Last summer, in July, Otto von Hapsburg, son of the last Austrian Emperor, Blessed Charles I (reigned 1916-1918, +1922) died.  His death marked the end of an era, and actually reminded me very much for a short story by Roth, "The Bust of the Emperor."  Its text is found here:

File:Wappen Kaisertum Österreich 1815 (Klein).png

The funeral Mass and ceremonies surrounding the death of Otto were rich in artistic, religious, and historical significance and beauty.  I offer a couple of examples here:

This video clip shows the introit of the funeral Mass of Otto von Habsburg at St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, Austria, composed by Michael Haydn (+1806), brother of the more famous Franz Joseph Haydn:

The following clips shows after the funeral, the procession arriving at the Capuchin Church, site of the Imperial Crypt in Vienna. The Herald knocks and a Capuchin asks “who demands entry?” The Herald responds with the name & titles of Otto. The Capuchin replies: “we don’t know him.” The procedure is repeated with other honors of Otto, with the same response. Only on the third try, when the Herald replies “a sinful, mortal human”, are the doors opened.

Let us pray for the repose of the soul of Otto von Hapsburg.  What you are now, he once was; what he is now, you soon shall be.

Live well, so that you, too, may die well.

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