Patrick Gallagher '83 | May 12, 2016
About a decade ago, I attended the funeral Mass of a subway alumni friend. It was the only funeral I’d ever attended that incorporated Notre Dame: His coffin marched out to the fight song.
In the ensuing years, after my mother’s funeral and, perhaps more urgently, with the onset of my 50s, I’ve thought about my own sendoff, and my thinking includes Notre Dame. I’m hardly alone and I have wondered how Domers include ND in their final bow.
Initially, my idea was simply to have the Alma Mater sung at my funeral. Father Peter Rocca, CSC, ’70, ’73M.A., the rector of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, says the University frequently gets requests for the music to use in alumni funerals around the country. As a hymn to the Virgin Mary, the Alma Mater is appropriate for a church service, unlike the Victory March, which is not sacred music.