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Online Exhibits > Father Edward Sorin and the Founding of Notre Dame


The Funeral

Notre Dame Scholastic, November 11, 1893

All day Thursday, whilst the remains lay in state, the sacred edifice was thronged with religious and friends who had come to look for the last time upon the features of the revered Superior and offer up a prayer to the God of mercy for the repose of his soul. His Grace, the Most Rev. Archbishop Elder, of Cincinnati, had arrived on Wednesday evening, and during the day each succeeding train brought numbers of the reverend clergy from near and distant points. In the evening came the Rt. Rev. Bishop Rademacher, the Ordinary of the diocese, the Vicar-General, Very Rev. Joseph Brammer, the Rt. Rev. E. J. Dunne, Bishop elect of Dallas, Texas, the Rt. Rev. Mgr. Bessonies, of Indianapolis, and others whose names, as far as we were able to learn, appear on another page. The grand representation of the clergy, friends and former students, who gathered to pay the last tribute of respect to the distinguished dead, did honor to themselves, and was consoling to the spiritual children of the departed Superior, testifying, as it did, to the general appreciation of his worth.

On Friday morning, at nine o'clock, the last sad rites of the Church were begun by the solemn Office -- Matins and Lauds -- of the Dead, at which the Right Rev. Bishop Rademacher officiated. The members of the clergy who assisted completely occupied the large sanctuary, and very many were obliged to take chairs outside the railings. The choir, led by the Rev. Fathers Klein, Hurth, M. Lauth, A. Kirsch and L. Moench sang with touching expressiveness the beautiful music so appropriately designed in the ecclesiastical liturgy to accompany the prayers and aspirations of the Church militant for her departed faithful children. During the office the crowds of friends and sympathizers that filled the large temple to its portals and extended far without were permitted to file past the catafalque and view the remains. The large numbers of the poor who formed part of that mournful procession, all anxious to look for the last time on the face of him whom they had known and loved so well, was a pathetic but deeply impressive tribute to the large - heartedness and noble charity which characterized the life and work of Father General.

After the Office, the University band, stationed in the choir gallery, under the direction of Prof. Preston, played a beautiful dirge with organ accompaniment. The Pontifical Requiem Mass was then begun, by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Rademacher who was attended by the Very Rev. Provincial Corby, as assistant priest; the Rev. President Morrissey and the Rev. Vice-President French, as deacon and sub-deacon of the Mass, the Rev. J. M. Toohey and N. J. Stoffel, C.S.C., as deacons of honor; the Rev. D. J. Spillard, C.S.C., Master of Ceremonies and the Rev. J. M. Just, C.S.C., assistant Master of Ceremonies. The Most Rev. Archbishop Elder, vested in Cappa Magna, assisted from a throne on the Epistle side, attended by the Very Rev. Vicar-General Braminer, of Fort Wayne, and the Very Rev. J. F. Frieden, Provincial of the Society of Jesus for the Province of St. Louis. The beautiful music of the Mass was well sung by the choir, while Bro. Basil, C.S.C., presided at the organ.

After the last Gospel, His Grace the Most Rev. Archbishop Elder of Cincinnati ascended the pulpit and delivered the sermon. His discourse was marked by fervor, piety and a thorough, heartfelt appreciation of the grand qualities and gifts of the departed, and it was delivered with an eloquence that brought every thought and expression home to the hearts of his auditors whom he held in rapt attention throughout. On another page we reproduce substantially, the touching and appropriate sermon of the distinguished prelate.

When he had concluded, the Archbishop, vested in cope and mitre, proceeded to give the last Absolution over the remains. And then the great mournful cortege was formed escorting all that was mortal of Father General to the last silent resting-place. The pall-bearers were the Rev. P. P. Cooney, C.S.C., the Rev. P.W. Condon, C.S.C., the Rev. T. Maher, C.S.C., the Rev. J. A. O'Connell, C.S.C., the Rev. M. Robinson, C.S.C., and the Rev. P. Johannes, C.S.C. Reverently they lifted the casket from the catafalque and bore it slowly down the aisle to the hearse in waiting at the door. The funeral procession was then formed as follows:


Cross bearer,
Two Acolytes,
Sorin Cadets,
Princes of St. Edward's Hall,
Students of Carroll Hall,
Students of Brownson Hall,
Students of Sorin Hall,
Members of the Faculty,
Religious of Holy Cross,
University Band,
The Rt. Rev. Bishop with Ministers,
Pall Bearers,
Sisters of Holy Cross,
Visiting friends,
Members of the Congregation.

The immense cortege, the like of which had never before been witnessed at Notre Dame, was pathetically grand and impressive as it slowly and solemnly wended its way through the groves rich and beautiful in their autumnal foliage to the little Community cemetery near the Seminary of Holy Cross. All hearts were sad, and the mournful marches played by the Band with muffled drums served to intensify the sense of woe felt by everyone. More eloquently than words spoke that deeply solemn spectacle, that grand tribute of respect paid by representatives of the hierarchy, clergy and laity in the Church, and by non-Catholics, to the memory of one who had labored so long and so well for the good of religion and humanity in this country.

At length the cemetery was reached, and the pall-bearers removed the casket from the hearse and place their precious burden beside the open grave which had been prepared for it. The Rt. Rev. Bishop recited the last prayers of the Church, and, while all knelt in prayer, the remains of the loved Father General were lowered, slowly and sadly into the tomb, there to await the summons of a glorious resurrection. May his soul enjoy light and rest and peace eternal!


COME forth, then, O Mary, Our Lady most dear!
Stand forth on thy Dome, 'neath the welkin so clear!
Stand forth, crowned with stars, the whole world at thy feet;
Thyself must to-day thy leal champion greet;
Thyself, as his Mother, his Lady alway --
Come forth, Notre Dame, to meet him to-day!