Q. 1. What is the Catholic Church teaching regarding the presenting of a eulogy at a funeral Mass by a layperson? My brother passed away and members of the family would like to inform the faithful of how special he was to the family.
A. 1. Eulogies do not belong in Catholic funerals, such being inappropriate at a Funeral Mass. [O.F.C. # 27; Order of Christian Funerals.] Allow me to explain.
Contrary to common beliefs, the purpose of a funeral Mass is:
- To offer worship to God for Christ's victory over death,
- To comfort the mourners with prayers, and
- To pray for the soul of the deceased.
A funeral Mass is not to celebrate the life of the deceased person.
The faithful can be informed of the deceased person's personal life during the two following occassions:
- At the prayer service that is held in the home or funeral home, or
- At the graveside after the Rite of Committal.