"Thanks to St. Jude for favor granted."
"Thanks to St. Rose of Lima, St. Anthony, and the Infant of Prague for curing Mama from her illness.
"Thanks for answering my prayers, St. Thomas."
"Thanks to St. Joseph for helping sell my house."
"To St. Anthony, St. Expedite and St. Jude, I ask for forgiveness and Thank you for answering my request. I pray that you will always be with me. Your Humble Servant. G.T."
And others. These were interspersed with the usual ones:
"I am applying for clemency."
"I am no longer responsible for any debts other than my own."
"I am applying for a license as a public notary."
"I am applying for divorce from that unfaithful hussy Mary Beth ______. Second notice." Apparently, this is a sad counterpart to the banns of marriage listed in church bulletins.
Anyway, thanking the saints still occurs; but less often. Apparently, the Heavenly Throng has moved on to the Baton Rouge Advocate or even the Washington Post.
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Also, I have read that some changes have occurred in obituaries. At one time, those generated by funeral parlors baldly stated that the deceased "died." Apparently, in more recent times, the softer side of obits has crept in:
"So-and-so has departed this life."
"She has gone to be with her LORD."
"He passed away after an untimely illness."
"He is among the Blessed in Heaven."
[Note: in funeral parlor usage, when in doubt, capitalize!]
I suppose it was better than sometimes in the 19th century when reporting accuracy trumped sentiment:
"Jack Slade was hung for being a general road agent and pain in the ass."
But some obituaries make reference to the individual's place in an afterlife, despite an absence of documented evidence. Or, maybe the Times-Picyaune and the undertakers have sources that we are unaware of.
But, after all, Cher recently did the same with regard to Sonny Bono's status!
Who knows, maybe the millenials will reverse things, and come up with obituaries containing something like the following:
"Richard L________ bought the farm yesterday."
"Heather M________ went tits up on Oct. 7, 2032."
"Megan S_______ bit the dust on Nov. 1, 2056.
"Bradley ________ kicked the bucket yesterday."