Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Habsburg Funerals

R. Badger posts a "short video [that] should give an idea of what might happen at the funeral of Otto von Habsburg-Lothringen" — Otto von Hapsburg dies. "When Empress Zita died in the 1980s, some of the old Habsburg ceremonies were resurrected," he writes, elaborating,
    There was a funeral Mass celebrated in the magnificent Stephansdom, the cathedral of Vienna. The old imperial anthem was sung. Finally, the coffin bearing the remains of Empress Zita was taken to the Capuchin church. They knocked on the door leading to the imperial crypt with a mace announcing that they carried the body of Her Imperial Majesty, the Empress Zita. After hearing all the imperial titles of the late Empress, the Capuchin friar said in reply, “we don’t know her”. They knocked on the door again and the friar asked who was there. This time, they said, “a poor sinner”. At that, the door was opened and the body of Empress Zita was taken into the crypt.
Wow. "With his passing, we have lost the last link to the Austro-Hungarian Empire."

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Blogger Stephen said...

There's a video of that ceremony here.

1:58 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

Impressive stuff.

7:26 PM  
Blogger Robert Badger said...

There is another Habsburg custom which will be followed to a degree. When the Habsburgs died, their hearts were removed from their bodies and interred in the Augustinerkirche. Likewise, their other internal organs were interred in the Stephansdom. The bodies were interred in the Kapuzinerkirche in the Kaisergruft. In the case of Dr Otto von Habsburg-Lothringen, his heart was removed from his body and will be interred at the Benedictine Archabbey of Pannonhalma in Hungary. Dr. Otto von Habsburg-Lothringen was a citizen of Austria, Croatia, Germany, and Hungary. He was well respected in Hungary.

3:29 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

Macabre, and very cool.

4:19 PM  
Blogger J.K. Baltzersen said...

I learnt of this removal of the heart in 1998 -- on my first visit to Vienna. I read it in my guide book.

I thought it was macabre too, sir. I still think it is macabre, but I am no longer shocked by it.

As for the Archduke Otto being the last link, yes, he was old enough to have at least a vague memory from the last years of the monarchy, but let us not forget Archduke Felix, Archduke Otto's only surviving sibling. He was born in the reign of the Emperor Franz Josef.

6:39 AM  

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