[quote="anndh, post:1, topic:274430"]
I was recently told by a friend that when her mother died about a month ago her father called the local Catholic Church, where my friend had gone to grade school and the family were parishioners, to arrange a Celebration of Life service. The priest told him "you shouldn't do that". and he was very vague about what he should do. They did not know this particular pastor. They ended up having a celebration of life at a Presbyterian church. This saddened me a great deal.
What is correct here? Does the Church allow celebrations of life in the church building? I know about 4 years ago a local Catholic parish provided a Celebration of Life for a friend's son. It was not a Mass, but was in the church. There was a slide show of the person's life together with songs that he liked, and testimonials from his friends.
If the Catholic Church does not allow Celebrations of Life in the church building my solution would be to arrange for a Catholic requiem mass (Mass of Christian Burial), and then have a celebration of life gathering afterwards at another location. Or better yet, have the celebration of life first and then the Requiem Mass at the church before the burial..
I would think that the wake/visitation would be an appropriate time for a "celebration of life service". The Church provides a funeral Mass as an appropriate expression of prayer for the deceased. It is highly appropriate for all deceased Catholics to have a funeral Mass.