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  #1  
Old Feb 1, '08, 7:50 am
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didymus didymus is offline
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Default Eulogy at funeral Mass

A few weeks ago a prominent political figure here in NY lost his wife and the media were allowed at the funeral Mass. He gave a eulogy from the pulpit -- is this licit?
I know that pastors sometimes sneak a quasi-eulogy in under the guise of a sermon but I thought even that was forbidden. I double- checked, it was a Catholic church.
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  #2  
Old Feb 1, '08, 7:55 am
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JimR-OCDS JimR-OCDS is offline
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Default Re: Eulogy at funeral Mass

In my dioceses, they've prohibited eulogies by lay people, because it was getting out of hand. People were giving 20minute Eulogies and other off the wall things. The Bishop finally put his foot down and stopped it. Thank God!



Jim
  #3  
Old Feb 1, '08, 8:03 am
OutinChgoburbs OutinChgoburbs is offline
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Default Re: Eulogy at funeral Mass

In my diocese, they issued a guideline that specifically stated there would be no long, drawn-out eulogies; that the center of any Mass is Christ sacrificed, not the deceased; and any "remarks" were two-three minutes tops AFTER Holy Communion. The guideline also expressly forbid secular music, including but not limited to"Danny Boy" and "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" during the funeral (If the funeralees are walking the body down to the cemetery, what they sing onthe way there does not matter).

As to where the remarks are made after Holy Communion, the ambo is generally the only place with a mic.
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Old Feb 1, '08, 8:08 am
Phemie Phemie is offline
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Default Re: Eulogy at funeral Mass

We allow one person to speak BEFORE the funeral starts.

As far as the priest doing a eulogy, that's forbidden by Order of Christian Funerals General Introduction
#27 A brief homily based on the readings is always given after the gospel reading at the funeral liturgy and may also be given after the readings at the vigil service; but there is never to be a eulogy.
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Old Feb 1, '08, 8:08 am
KofC_SirKnight KofC_SirKnight is offline
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Default Re: Eulogy at funeral Mass

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Originally Posted by JimR-OCDS View Post
In my dioceses, they've prohibited eulogies by lay people, because it was getting out of hand. People were giving 20minute Eulogies and other off the wall things. The Bishop finally put his foot down and stopped it. Thank God!



Jim
Wow! That has not happened here yet, but can see the need of it. I attend 5 - 6 funerals per month with my work in the parish. Every time there is a eulogy, I can see the discomfort on Father's face. Recently we had the son of a woman give her eulogy and what came out of his mouth was astonishing. He was talking about how religious his mother was (and she probably was) - but in doing so, he made it very clear that he had not followed in her footsteps in that regard.

In his eulogy, he tried to compare the Catholic Church today and what it was like when his mother was young. He actually told everyone that "in those days" when the host fell onto the floor at Communion, it was a big deal. He went on to say that if that happens today, it is no big deal. You just move it over to the side with your foot and the vacuum cleaner will get it later.

I will never forget the look on Father's face! They, indeed, can be dangerous and frightening.

Richard
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  #6  
Old Feb 1, '08, 8:37 am
Belfarmer Belfarmer is offline
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Default Re: Eulogy at funeral Mass

In my Diocese, any eulogy is limited to the wake service/rosary the night before the funeral. The family and friends are given a wide latitude in music, support, and any remarks, poems or other tributes to the decedent. I think the wake is the proper time for such paying of respect and clears the funeral mass for a strict adherence to the rubrics and the great celebration and message that is the Rite of Christian Burial.
  #7  
Old Feb 1, '08, 8:42 am
Phemie Phemie is offline
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Default Re: Eulogy at funeral Mass

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Originally Posted by Belfarmer View Post
In my Diocese, any eulogy is limited to the wake service/rosary the night before the funeral. The family and friends are given a wide latitude in music, support, and any remarks, poems or other tributes to the decedent. I think the wake is the proper time for such paying of respect and clears the funeral mass for a strict adherence to the rubrics and the great celebration and message that is the Rite of Christian Burial.
That's what we try to do in our parish too but it's amazing how many people don't understand. They have little experience with a vigil service -- that liturgy is a recent introduction here and some want nothing to do with it. There's this whole attitude of 'but that won't give the people who come to the funeral the opportunity to hear what a wonderful woman Mom was."

Last edited by Phemie; Feb 1, '08 at 8:57 am.
  #8  
Old Feb 1, '08, 9:00 am
Belfarmer Belfarmer is offline
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Default Re: Eulogy at funeral Mass

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Originally Posted by Phemie View Post
That's what we try to do in our parish too but it's amazing how many people don't understand. They have little experience with a vigil service -- that liturgy is a recent introduction here and some want nothing to do with it, the attitude being "If it's not the rosary it isn't worth doing."
Not to get off topic here, but the rosary is a part of our wake service in "most" cases and is totally a family decision. I am an officer of our local council of the Knights of Columbus and we offer a scriptural rosary lead by officers for all deceased Knights at the family’s discretion. It has been very well received as a part of the wake service. I am very comfortable with the idea that if the family wishes, a eulogy is very cathartic and is appropriate during the wake, not the funeral mass.
  #9  
Old Feb 1, '08, 9:09 am
Phemie Phemie is offline
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Default Re: Eulogy at funeral Mass

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Originally Posted by Belfarmer View Post
Not to get off topic here, but the rosary is a part of our wake service in "most" cases and is totally a family decision. I am an officer of our local council of the Knights of Columbus and we offer a scriptural rosary lead by officers for all deceased Knights at the family’s discretion. It has been very well received as a part of the wake service. I am very comfortable with the idea that if the family wishes, a eulogy is very cathartic and is appropriate during the wake, not the funeral mass.
Our Knights do that too. I agree that it's appropriate at the vigil and we stress that but most don't want the mourners who attend the funeral to miss out on hearing the lauding of the loved one. It's a hard fight and without a diocesan policy Fr. caves every time. FWIW, new policies should be developed during the coming year so maybe well see something on this. It's certainly the policy of the Archdiocese which we've just joined.
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Old Feb 1, '08, 9:19 am
Belfarmer Belfarmer is offline
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Default Re: Eulogy at funeral Mass

I guess my main point is that the wake should be a very flexible and varying service reflecting the family/friends wishes as well as the decedent. Put that together with the Mass of Christian Burial which is more restrictive as it reflects the universal church, and I think we Catholics have a beautiful and fitting sendoff for our loved ones not equaled in other traditions.
  #11  
Old Feb 1, '08, 9:40 am
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Default Re: Eulogy at funeral Mass

Our guidelines are that eulogies are to be given at the wake or at a get-to-gether after the funeral. The priest normally tries to incorporate something about the deceased into the homily.

But for pastoral reasons brief eulogies are commonly allowed in the case of large funerals where it is unlikely most people will attend anything other than the funeral itself. Eulogies are also typical if the press is likely to be present. (Those tend to be big funerals with large numbers of non-Catholics present. They are usually because a public figure died or because someone died as a result of a newsmaking accident or crime.)
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Old Feb 1, '08, 10:10 am
Phemie Phemie is offline
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Default Re: Eulogy at funeral Mass

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But for pastoral reasons brief eulogies are commonly allowed in the case of large funerals where it is unlikely most people will attend anything other than the funeral itself. Eulogies are also typical if the press is likely to be present. (Those tend to be big funerals with large numbers of non-Catholics present. They are usually because a public figure died or because someone died as a result of a newsmaking accident or crime.)
If ever there is a time when the rubrics should be followed to a T it's when it's a big public Catholic funeral with the press present!! For Canadian Catholics the funeral of Pierre Trudeau was a terrible example of a Catholic funeral. It was good theatre but it was BAAAD liturgy. A funeral celebrated by a Cardinal featuring 3 eulogies, a flag draped coffin, and IIRC at least one reader went up with a crumpled page from which to do the reading. I cringed.
  #13  
Old Feb 1, '08, 11:02 am
OutinChgoburbs OutinChgoburbs is offline
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Default Re: Eulogy at funeral Mass

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Originally Posted by Phemie View Post
If ever there is a time when the rubrics should be followed to a T it's when it's a big public Catholic funeral with the press present!! For Canadian Catholics the funeral of Pierre Trudeau was a terrible example of a Catholic funeral. It was good theatre but it was BAAAD liturgy. A funeral celebrated by a Cardinal featuring 3 eulogies, a flag draped coffin, and IIRC at least one reader went up with a crumpled page from which to do the reading. I cringed.
No national flags on caskets in this diocese, the diocese next door, or the Archdiocese. If the deceased is entitled to rendered honors via military or civil service, the flag comes off at the door, in the vesitbule. Once in the door but in the back of the nave, the casket is blessed and the pall is placed on it (Lots of incense, too). It usually doesn't matter whether the deceased is the Mayor of Chicago, President of the County Board, or a military member killed in action. When Mass is over, the pall comes off and the flag goes back.
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  #14  
Old Feb 1, '08, 12:00 pm
Uncle Norbert Uncle Norbert is offline
 
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Default Re: Eulogy at funeral Mass

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Originally Posted by OutinChgoburbs View Post
In my diocese, they issued a guideline that specifically stated there would be no long, drawn-out eulogies; that the center of any Mass is Christ sacrificed, not the deceased; and any "remarks" were two-three minutes tops AFTER Holy Communion. The guideline also expressly forbid secular music, including but not limited to"Danny Boy" and "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" during the funeral (If the funeralees are walking the body down to the cemetery, what they sing onthe way there does not matter).

As to where the remarks are made after Holy Communion, the ambo is generally the only place with a mic.
Sounds like you must have seen Harry Caray's funeral
  #15  
Old Feb 1, '08, 12:03 pm
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Default Re: Eulogy at funeral Mass

in this diocese it is allowed only at the wake, and only after the priest or deacon have done the formal part of the service. no one speaks at the funeral liturgy except the priest or deacon, although the family is allowed to make a short announcement about reception after the burial, thank yous etc.
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