Eulogies

February 24, 2007

Australian archdiocese limits funeral eulogies

Feb. 23, 2007 (CWNews.com) – Cardinal George Pell of Sydney, Australia, has imposed strict deadlines on eulogies delivered at Catholic funerals.

In a move to protect the sacred character of the liturgy, the cardinal has ruled that any speaker at a funeral must confine himself to at most a 5-minute talk. Only one talk is allowed, and the tone of the eulogy should be in keeping with the spirit of prayer for the deceased, avoiding jokes about his weaknesses, the guidelines add.

Cardinal Pell explained that the guidelines were necessary to prevent abuses in the funeral liturgy. In some cases, he said, a series of eulogists spoke at length, resulting in overly long services; in other cases a highly emotional speaker added to the grief of the families. In most extreme cases, laughing references to the drinking or sexual conduct of the deceased profaned the ceremony.

The cardinal noted that in some countries– including the US– Catholic funeral guidelines do not allow for any eulogy (as distinct from the priest’s homily at the funeral Mass). In the Sydney archdiocese, he said, the new rules “uphold the principle that the funeral Mass is an act of worship and prayer that should not admit elements foreign to its intrinsic nature.”

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2 Responses to “Eulogies”

  1. Anita Moore said

    It’s too bad this rule isn’t applied in my diocese. We recently had a funeral for a deceased retired priest that I didn’t know; the homily/eulogy dwelt so much on his faults that I came away from the affair thinking he was a real jerk — and they were trying to make him sounds good! (In fairness, the bishop did not preside and wasn’t even present, being on retreat.)

  2. gabdandie said

    Nice coach.

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