I recently went to my aunt’s funeral and I was surprised that the priest at the funeral Mass basically gave a eulogy instead of a eulogy. I’ve heard a couple of homilies at funerals that were sort of disguised eulogies but this was nothing but.
Also, the priest stated that my aunt had gone to Heave (which may be true, knowing her) and there was no mention of praying for her soul.
I always thought eulogies were forbidden at Catholic funerals? I mentioned this to my Mom & she said, “Oh, they do it all the time now.”
Eulogies are forbidden (at least in the sense that they cannot replace the homily), but might be possible after the funeral Mass.
No priest should ever be canonizing the deceased–we hope that your aunt is in heaven, but at the same time, we pray for her soul.
Take some comfort in knowing that regardless of what he might have said, you and your family were/are still praying for her soul, and the funeral Mass itself was a prayer for her soul–the best prayer possible.
When you were a youngster and tried to use the argument “all my friends do it” to your mother, what did she say?
Please accept my condolences on the death of your aunt.
Unfortunately, the homily is not the venue to extol the virtues of the deceased; rather, it is to preach about the Gospel. While some can say that the homily that th former Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger delivered at the funeral Mass for Pope John Paul II was a eulogy, if you carefully study the text, he applied the Gospel reading to the late Pontiff, as it related to the Petrine ministry.
We cannot make a solid determination on the fate of a person’s soul. It is the Church to decide should the person be on the way to canonization.
When my step-grandfather died three years ago, his pastor in Austin all but canonized him during the homily. However, he did not know that the deceased was verbally abusive and had major issues. My father and I cringed. When my grandmother died about a month later, I asked my parochial vicar to come to Austin to celebrate the funeral Mass. He briefly knew my grandma, but, he preached on the Gospel.
My grandmother died a week ago yesterday, her funeral was last Saturday (may she rest in peace).
I had the honor of working with the priest to determine readings, write the prayers of the faithful, and other details. He said that he wanted two or three people to come up right after Holy Communion and say a few words about her. :eek: I politely asked if this could be done after Mass, and that I did not feel comfortable with it being during Mass (he did look at me like I was green). We compromised, and one of my uncles came up and spoke very briefly right before the recessional hymn.
The homily really was a nice combination of the readings and speaking in general about how are we living our lives and preparing for our own last day. He did speak about my grandmother, but not in depth, not like some Catholic funerals I’ve been to. I was very grateful for this.
My husband has told me - if he goes before I do, he wants absolutely NO mention of him AT ALL at the Mass, and ONLY the readings of the day with an appropriate homily.
Requiem Masses mention the baptismal name of the deceased. Look in the Sacramentary some time: "N."s all over the place. As another poster has pointed out, though, homilies are to speak to the Scriptures, no matter what the Mass is.
Our archdiocese allows some words in the way of eulogy at the end of Mass, but these are by no means required. Rather, the funeral guidelines put these remarks within certain limits. Having said that, if there are complaints about a funeral, it is the priest or deacon officiating who’s generally going to hear them, not the family of the deceased…including those complaints he gets from the rest of the family of the deceased.