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Author Topic: Archbishop Bans Eulogies at Funeral Masses  (Read 1032 times) Average Rating: 0
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sinjinsmythe
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« on: January 24, 2003, 06:14:26 PM »

Archbishop Bans Eulogies at Funeral Masses
Thu January 23, 2003 09:58 AM ET

NEWARK, N.J. (Reuters) - A U.S. archbishop has banned eulogies during funeral masses, saying the personal tributes were getting out of hand.
In a decree to local priests Archbishop John J. Myers of Newark, New Jersey, said last week there was growing abuse of eulogies by friends and family members and the tributes should be delivered before or after the mass or at graveside or the funeral home.

A spokesman for the archdiocese, which includes about 1.5 million Catholics, told Reuters the tributes were a distraction from the scriptural message of the mass and that eulogies traditionally had not been part of Catholic funeral rites.

"The number and the length of eulogies that had been happening in the church had been getting out of hand," archdiocese spokesman Jim Goodness said, adding that some funeral tributes went on for an hour or even longer.

The priest celebrating the funeral mass could still talk about the deceased in his homily, Goodness said.

But the decree has angered some parishioners.

Mary Jo Dervos, of Glen Rock, New Jersey, told the Record of Bergen County, which reported the ban in its Wednesday editions, that her family was prohibited from speaking at her grandmother's funeral mass.

"We felt it really wasn't asking a lot for family members to speak," Dervos told the newspaper. "My grandmother was so devoted to the church."

The issue is extremely sensitive because family members want the opportunity to say something personal at the mass, but "there is an understandable concern about things in various ways getting out of hand," the Rev. John Langan, a professor of ethics at Georgetown University, told Reuters.

"I don't know that there's any simple recipe for doing this," Langan said. "I think a lot depends on the local pastor having the right touch in working this out."

The eulogy controversy is not unique to the United States. Catholics in Ireland have also expressed anger at similar moves to ban eulogies in some churches there.
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« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2003, 05:05:17 AM »

I have to say that this practice of the family members giving a eulogy is a new one to me.

Here in the many Funerals I have attended in our Archdiocese [ and I would not like to try and estimate the total] I have never heard anything said by anyone other than a priest. Maybe I have been 'fortunate' but all the priests seem to have spent time with the families [ even those from outwith the Parish ] and found out about the person whose funeral it was and the homily has dwelt on their life - the good parts, the sad parts and sometimes the downright funny parts that the family wish to remember.

The most recent one I attended was that fo the father of my S.D. and his 2 Priest sons celebrated the Funeral Mass for their father - you would have expected them to have found it hard - but no they remembered thier father with joy  and deep love - and shared memories that made the whole Church laugh with them at these .

Maybe I have been lucky - but there is a time and place for everything - and a Church Funeral is not the place for every one to say their own little piece - that can be done afterwards.
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"Never let anyone try to tell you that, in order to be Orthodox, you must also be eastern. The West was fully Orthodox for a thousand years; and her venerable liturgy is far older than any of her heresies."
- St. John Maximovitch
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