Posted on 16. Jul, 2008
Diocese of Clogher
Regarding interventions by family members or friends during the Funeral Liturgy
1.The practice of a family member or friend speaking after Communion to express thanks etc is not envisaged by the approved rite and should be tactfully but firmly discouraged.
2.The practice is open to abuse in several ways. (a) It duplicates unnecessarily the sentiments of the homily and the Prayers of the Faithful and may be offensive to the congregation. (b) It may put unfair pressure on the bereaved to keep up with their neighbours. (c) It distracts, sometimes seriously, from the sacred nature of the liturgy.
3.Priests in charge of funerals need to explain these reasons with the bereaved in advance of the ceremony and to make the most of what the liturgy makes available in order to meet as fully as possible the needs of people at this difficult time. Suitable liturgical music, well-chosen Scripture readings carefully rehearsed, and properly-constructed prayers of the faithful are the way forward for all of us.
4.On occasion priests may allow (but not encourage) a Communion “reflection,” provided that he has seen the text in advance and that it is not of secular non-faith import or otherwise unworthy of the occasion.
Bishop of Clogher
20 October 1999