I attended a funeral Mass this morning and a member of the family spoke about the deceased following the reading of the Gospel. I was told, long ago, that the order of the Mass cannot be interrupted for things like that. After the daughter spoke about het fathet, the priest began his homily and continued on with the Mass. I thought the eulogizing was to be done at the wake/vigil. Any clarification would be appreciated. Thank you.
At a funeral mass the homily (given by a bishop, priest, or deacon) follows after the Gospel. Nothing else can be substituted or inserted there. In fact the GIRM explicitly disallows a eulogy at this time (#382). However, according to the Order of Christian Funerals:
- a friend of member of the family may speak in remembrance of the deceased before the final commendation begins.
The proper time to speak about the deceased is after the prayer after communion and before the final commendation. We should note that this is not absolute. The ritual says that this “may” happen it does not say it must happen or must be allowed. The rule is permissive in nature and thus can be limited by the competent authority. In a diocese that begins with the Bishop who could ban such things altogether. And even if the bishop allows it, the local pastor by ban it from his parish.
As you have noted, there are amply opportunities for eulogies even outside of Mass. A eulogy can be given at the funeral home during the wake or before leaving for the church, at grave side after the committal prayers, or at the reception following the burial.