St. John the Baptist Catholic Church & School
835 2nd Ave NW New Brighton, MN 55112
Phone: 651-633-8333  |  Fax: 651-633-7404
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Remarks of Remembrance
It has become increasingly popular to remember the deceased at the funeral Mass by asking a member of the family or a close friend to share some thoughts about the deceased.  While this can be a very fitting way to honor the deceased, it is actually preferred to have these remarks shared during the Vigil.  Through the presence of Christ found in the Eucharist, Scripture, the gathered faithful and the priest, the funeral Mass moves us from intense grief and loss, to hopefully joy and peace.  Having a sad or unrehearsed eulogy after Communion can tend to negate the prayer before it.  It is for this reason that the preferred place of the eulogy, if done at all, be at the Vigil or before the Liturgy of the Word of the funeral Mass.

STEPS for preparing Remarks of Remembrance

  1. What sets this person apart or what can you share about the person’s spirit, particularly in living out the faith or bringing Christ’s presence into the world?
  2. Be specific and brief.  About 3-5 minutes is the norm.  Remarks should always be written out for better delivery.  Hearing a poorly prepared, longwinded or incoherent eulogy can be embarrassing and can be detrimental to the atmosphere of prayer and the proper spirit of the occasion.
  3. The remarks should be done with decorum, decency, and with respect to the Catholic faith and tradition. Referring to things such as poems or song texts that are in opposition to the Catholic belief of death and resurrection are not appropriate.
  4. It is most appropriate that the remarks or other stories be shared during the time of the Vigil.  Do not feel that it is necessary to offer memories at the funeral.  In fact, it is an option.
  5. Writing can be especially helpful during the grieving process.  In place of a eulogy, the family is encouraged to write down loving memories of the deceased.  These memories could be given to the priest or deacon a day or two before the funeral so that he can include those memories in the homily.

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