Mass or Burial?

Gregory Doniger, a long-time member of St. Alexis Parish died on Tuesday. Since you are the parish liturgist, the family calls you Wednesday morning to begin making arrangements for the funeral rites. They tell you that the pastor, Fr. Apoplexy, has said he can celebrate the rites on Friday morning. Wednesday afternoon, when you meet with the family, they tell you that Mr. Doniger left explicit instructions in his will that he did not want a Mass. As a boy, he had attended too many funeral Masses where the Dies Irae was sung. He never got over the fright it gave him, and he had to fight that wrathful image of God all of his adult life. So, he specified that he could like to be buried according to the Rite of Christian Burial, but without a funeral Mass. You explain to them that the Dies Irae would never be done now; on the contrary, the "funeral Mass" is a "Mass of Resurrection" to celebrate the welcoming love of God for Gregory. Still, they are convinced that Mr. Doniger would not want a Mass, so you make plans for a wake and for the burial service.

Thursday morning, you report these plans to Fr. Apoplexy so he will be prepared for the services. At that point, he tells you:

"I will not permit one of my parishioners to be buried without a funeral Mass! If the family does not want a Mass, then I won't do anything. Let them go to another church and see if they can find some other priest to pander to them!"

Does Fr. Apoplexy have the right to carry out this ultimatum? What do you do?

Analyze this case: