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.
for preparing Remarks of Remembrance
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
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
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
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.
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.