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Ottakee

Catholics....I have a funeral mass question

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My MIL was a secular Franciscan.  Her funeral mass is going to be next Saturday morning.  Is it appropriate at the end of mass (after it is done) to have one or more Grand kids read a short tribute to Grandma and have her sister in Law sing Amazing Grace?

None of the rest of us are Catholic so we don't know the protocol and don't want to be offensive but also want to be sensitive to the rest of the family that is Protestant.

Anything else I need to know so as not to mess this up?

 

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23 hours ago, Ottakee said:

My MIL was a secular Franciscan.  Her funeral mass is going to be next Saturday morning.  Is it appropriate at the end of mass (after it is done) to have one or more Grand kids read a short tribute to Grandma and have her sister in Law sing Amazing Grace?

None of the rest of us are Catholic so we don't know the protocol and don't want to be offensive but also want to be sensitive to the rest of the family that is Protestant.

Anything else I need to know so as not to mess this up?

 

Can you talk to the priest before Mass?

Because the song can be part of the Mass but the reading of the tribute should be read after. 

Would any of the grandkids want to do a reading during Mass? You don't need to be Catholic (sometimes, with permission)  to do the first or second readings or the petitions. The Gospel is proclaimec by a deacon if one is present or the priest.

Usually I hear Amazing Grace as the recessional, at the end of Mass.

HTH

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Those would be best done in the funeral home before everyone carpools to the church. 
The mass is solemn and formal, and no private tributes are read, typically. Family can participate in the readings and songs, but that's similar to being a pall bearer: you are ceremonially involved.
 

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2 minutes ago, Orpington said:

Those would be best done in the funeral home before everyone carpools to the church. 
The mass is solemn and formal, and no private tributes are read, typically. Family can participate in the readings and songs, but that's similar to being a pall bearer: you are ceremonially involved.
 

that is not true...

Tributes and remembrances are read AFTER funeral Masses all the time, in the church.

They are not read DURING the Mass.

And not everyone meets at the funeral home before proceeding to the church any more.

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I see there are various views.  There is no funeral home.  MIL wanted everything very minimal and she wanted to be cremated.  She also did not want us to go to the cemetery after the mass for burial.   The family will do that privately as she was Native American and her brother will handle that.

We are not a typical family at all.

  

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This atheist's family of origin is Catholic and I've sat through quite a number of funerals & ime, all this varies with the parish. I agree with "talk to the priest".  I"ve seen some really flexible arrangements, esp in mixed faith families. 

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"Can we have a eulogy?

A eulogy is not allowed during the Funeral Liturgy.  Family or friends may be invited to share such a testimony at the Vigil or at the memorial luncheon or reception that often follows the funeral.  The OCF does allow for a family member or friend to “speak in remembrance of the deceased before the final commendation begins” (OCF 170),  however those words should not be a eulogy. "

http://www.aod.org/being-catholic/prayer-and-worship/christian-funerals/directives-for-catholic-funerals-questions-and-answers/#eulogy

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1 minute ago, hornblower said:

This atheist's family of origin is Catholic and I've sat through quite a number of funerals & ime, all this varies with the parish. I agree with "talk to the priest".  I"ve seen some really flexible arrangements, esp in mixed faith families. 

Yes, talk to the priest. One of my dad’s wishes was to have a particular person sing a certain song during the funeral mass. The priest would not allow it, so it was sung at the wake the night before.

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1 hour ago, Ottakee said:

I see there are various views.  There is no funeral home.  MIL wanted everything very minimal and she wanted to be cremated.  She also did not want us to go to the cemetery after the mass for burial.   The family will do that privately as she was Native American and her brother will handle that.

We are not a typical family at all.

  

While many/most priests are flexible and most that I know would want the grandchildren involved, the order and content of the Mass is usually not where that flexibility happens.

Religious songs are almost always allowed but secular songs are not. 

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I'm so sorry for your loss.

 

Please discuss this with the priest.

The song would easily fit in at some point.

As for the children... at both my father's and my mom's husband's funeral, two people made speeches about the deceased. At my dad's it was my brother and my uncle. At my mom's husband's, it was his son and adult grandson. This must have been DURING the Mass (towards the end) because the final song had not been sung yet. And these were in two different states, not the same church or diocese.

 

So yeah, call the church and they should be able to get you in touch with whoever is in charge of the details of the Mass (sometimes in a larger parish, some one besides the priest will organize the details).

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The priest is coming in from Canada the day of the wake but hopefully I could get ahold of him before that.

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17 minutes ago, carriede said:

I'm so sorry for your loss.

 

Please discuss this with the priest.

The song would easily fit in at some point.

As for the children... at both my father's and my mom's husband's funeral, two people made speeches about the deceased. At my dad's it was my brother and my uncle. At my mom's husband's, it was his son and adult grandson. This must have been DURING the Mass (towards the end) because the final song had not been sung yet. And these were in two different states, not the same church or diocese.

 

So yeah, call the church and they should be able to get you in touch with whoever is in charge of the details of the Mass (sometimes in a larger parish, some one besides the priest will organize the details).

The order of the funeral allows for brief comments after the Liturgy of the Eucharist and before the Final Commendation. It is before the final song but it is not during the main parts of the Mass (not during the Liturgy of the Word and certainly not during the Liturgy of the Eucharist).

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13 minutes ago, Ottakee said:

The priest is coming in from Canada the day of the wake but hopefully I could get ahold of him before that.

There is probably someone at the church where the Mass will be celebrated who can help with this/the planning. 

But even so, the day of the wake would be enough time to talk with the priest, assuming someone else hasn't already made these decisions and relayed them to the church.

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My dad read my grandma’s eulogy at the Catholic funeral... I do not know what part of the service but I had thought it was part of the Mass. She had requested that my daughter’s godfather sing Ave Maria (he has been known to do this well) at the end and he did. He was part of the choir and sang from there. Afterwards everyone was invited to the parish hall. Her ashes were buried out of state so I did not attend a grave site service. 

I would definitely speak to the priest in advance and ask questions. 

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You've probably figured it out by now, but there's a "eulogies during masses: yes or no?" landmine in the American Catholic culture wars. It's like vaccinations or cupcakes in certain other cultural contexts. Like others have said, talk to the priest; it's the only safe thing.

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I have been to two Catholic funerals recently. One was for a teen and two friends read statements before the mass. The parents had done the receiving of friends before the mass and this was a transition between the two.

My mom was protestant but not a church goer. My dad and my siblings are all practicing Catholics. We had a service for my mom in my dad's Catholic church. (Not a mass because she wasn't Catholic). My brother read a eulogy at the very end, just before the final song. My mom was cremated and there was no funeral home involved. We did receiving of friends just before the service.

Amazing Grace is a hymn we sing pretty regularly on Sundays in my pretty traditional Catholic church so I think that is not a problem at all. The priest (or whoever at the church you are coordinating with) can help you figure out where it best fits. 

It is pretty common these days to have a eulogy of some sort at some point in a Catholic funeral mass or service. Please speak with whoever is coordinating. They will help you figure out how it can go. But do not worry about offending  someone just by asking the question. Most Catholic churches are used to working with non-Catholics and know that our ways are different. Asking how it should go is respectful. 

Unless this church is in a very Catholic area, everyone will be used to the mixed faith participation. 

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19 minutes ago, Violet Crown said:

You've probably figured it out by now, but there's a "eulogies during masses: yes or no?" landmine in the American Catholic culture wars. It's like vaccinations or cupcakes in certain other cultural contexts. Like others have said, talk to the priest; it's the only safe thing.

There are rules set forth in the Order of Christian Funerals that clearly states no eulogies. 

How that plays out in any one Parish might vary ( whether a priest allows words of remembrance before the Final Commendation). 

I've been at funerals where family members did not agree with this. One man started to give a a eulogy after he read the Prayers of the Faithful. I guess you could call that "a landmine in a cultural war."

 

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I would not have asked about a eulogy but the 88 year old lady that is helping to organize this asked me if anyone wanted to speak.

When BIL was buried it was a Baptist funeral.  Then FIL had a Catholic funeral but it sounds like not the complete funeral mass as standard.  There were some songs, readings, communion, etc but not as long as this one seems to be.

I am going to try to get with the priest.  Part of the issue is that I was presented with everything to approve just hours before MIL passed away and honestly I was tired and didn't even know what to ask, had not had a chance to talk to her brother and other family, etc.

 

For many, complex reasons the majority of this falls to me to navigate.

 

 

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4 hours ago, unsinkable said:

The order of the funeral allows for brief comments after the Liturgy of the Eucharist and before the Final Commendation. It is before the final song but it is not during the main parts of the Mass (not during the Liturgy of the Word and certainly not during the Liturgy of the Eucharist).

This is what was done for my uncle's funeral. One of his sons spoke for about 4-5 minutes, maybe less.

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1 hour ago, unsinkable said:

There are rules set forth in the Order of Christian Funerals that clearly states no eulogies. 

I've been at funerals where family members did not agree with this. One man started to give a a eulogy after he read the Prayers of the Faithful. I guess you could call that "a landmine in a cultural war."

 

 

Don’t shoot the messenger.

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My dad's eulogy is on youtube (he shared with others that could not attend). It is 6.5 min. long if anyone is curious about length. He was the only one that spoke. He put humor in it which made it not so depressing. 

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1 hour ago, Violet Crown said:

 

Don’t shoot the messenger.

I'm not sure what you think I "shot" at you but that wasn't my intention. I'm sorry.

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8 hours ago, unsinkable said:

The order of the funeral allows for brief comments after the Liturgy of the Eucharist and before the Final Commendation. It is before the final song but it is not during the main parts of the Mass (not during the Liturgy of the Word and certainly not during the Liturgy of the Eucharist).

This is what we did at the funerals of each of my parents.  At my dad's funeral, my brothers spoke for a few minutes.  At my mom's I did.  

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Yes, you need to talk to the priest. 

I grew up Catholic and have been to many a Catholic funeral mass. If you asked anyone about the "words of remembrance" they just heard, they would say, do you mean the eulogy? It's a bit of a fine distinction. 

Priests vary in how strict they are. The remembrance is supposed to focus on how God was reflected in that person's life, it is not meant to be as biographical or chronological as a eulogy. It is also not meant to praise the person, except very indirectly via how God worked in their life. Those rules get broken a lot, like really quite a lot, but I would try to stick to the approved method if you don't know the priest and his ways. It is generally done before mass, more rarely during, but then they are likely to be more strict about content and time, they may want to approve it, it can't be an off-the-cuff tribute, and it can only be one person. I wouldn't even go there. I see that Unsinkable says after mass, but I have never seen that done (not in the church, it could be done elsewhere). When mass is over, the priest leads the processional outside, followed by the casket or remains, followed by the family, and then everyone else. There is no "after" mass in the church ime, but it sounds like Unsinkable has seen it pretty often. So, yeah, you have to talk to the priest. You say he's coming in from Canada, is this not his home church? If it's not, you need to speak to the priest at that church as well, because they may have their own interpretation that they require to be followed. 

You will not mess up or offend by asking about it, definitely not, but do follow the instructions of the priest/church. Because the priest will not necessarily hesitate to stop the proceedings if anyone goes rogue. 

 

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7 hours ago, katilac said:

Yes, you need to talk to the priest. 

I grew up Catholic and have been to many a Catholic funeral mass. If you asked anyone about the "words of remembrance" they just heard, they would say, do you mean the eulogy? It's a bit of a fine distinction. 

Priests vary in how strict they are. The remembrance is supposed to focus on how God was reflected in that person's life, it is not meant to be as biographical or chronological as a eulogy. It is also not meant to praise the person, except very indirectly via how God worked in their life. Those rules get broken a lot, like really quite a lot, but I would try to stick to the approved method if you don't know the priest and his ways. It is generally done before mass, more rarely during, but then they are likely to be more strict about content and time, they may want to approve it, it can't be an off-the-cuff tribute, and it can only be one person. I wouldn't even go there. I see that Unsinkable says after mass, but I have never seen that done (not in the church, it could be done elsewhere). When mass is over, the priest leads the processional outside, followed by the casket or remains, followed by the family, and then everyone else. There is no "after" mass in the church ime, but it sounds like Unsinkable has seen it pretty often. So, yeah, you have to talk to the priest. You say he's coming in from Canada, is this not his home church? If it's not, you need to speak to the priest at that church as well, because they may have their own interpretation that they require to be followed. 

You will not mess up or offend by asking about it, definitely not, but do follow the instructions of the priest/church. Because the priest will not necessarily hesitate to stop the proceedings if anyone goes rogue. 

 

 

21 hours ago, unsinkable said:

Can we have a eulogy?

A eulogy is not allowed during the Funeral Liturgy.  Family or friends may be invited to share such a testimony at the Vigil or at the memorial luncheon or reception that often follows the funeral.  The OCF does allow for a family member or friend to “speak in remembrance of the deceased before the final commendation begins” (OCF 170),  however those words should not be a eulogy. "

http://www.aod.org/being-catholic/prayer-and-worship/christian-funerals/directives-for-catholic-funerals-questions-and-answers/#eulogy

It is the Order of Christian Funerals that specifies after the Liturgy of the Eucharist and before the Final Commendation, (which also matches most of my experiences). So it is after the main part of the Mass, but it is NOT during the Liturgy of the Word (which includes the homily, which is when people who are not familiar with the Mass think they might be able to talk about their loved one).

http://www.aod.org/being-catholic/prayer-and-worship/christian-funerals/directives-for-catholic-funerals-questions-and-answers/#eulogy.

Since you've seen the words of remembrance spoke before Mass, how did that work? Were the mourners already in pews? Where was the priest?

Where was the coffin?  Or was it a Memorial Mass and not a Funeral Mass?

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Another atheist who was a Cradle Catholic. I agree with the suggestions to talk to the priest. Regardless of the rules some priests make independent decisions. It's unlikely they'll be able to say anything during the actual mass (other than to do a reading from the gospel), but it might be allowed after the end of the mass before everyone is dismissed.

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34 minutes ago, Lady Florida. said:

Another atheist who was a Cradle Catholic. I agree with the suggestions to talk to the priest. Regardless of the rules some priests make independent decisions. It's unlikely they'll be able to say anything during the actual mass (other than to do a reading from the gospel), but it might be allowed after the end of the mass before everyone is dismissed.

In a Catholic Mass, the Gospel means a specific thing. It is proclaimed by a deacon, if one is present (this a cool thing about being a deacon, IMO :-) ) or the priest if no deacon is there. 

So a family member would not *read from the Gospel* at a Catholic funeral unless they are an ordained deacon or priest.

[During Holy Week, there can be a narrator of when the Passion is read but this doesn't apply to a Funeral Mass situation.]

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52 minutes ago, unsinkable said:

In a Catholic Mass, the Gospel means a specific thing. It is proclaimed by a deacon, if one is present (this a cool thing about being a deacon, IMO :-) ) or the priest if no deacon is there. 

So a family member would not *read from the Gospel* at a Catholic funeral unless they are an ordained deacon or priest.

[During Holy Week, there can be a narrator of when the Passion is read but this doesn't apply to a Funeral Mass situation.]

I am aware of what's involved in a Catholic mass. I was born into an Irish-Italian-American Catholic family and grew up in Catholic culture. I attended Catholic school in the Franciscan order. I've attended Catholic churches in three different states and and several different parishes.

A non Catholic relative read from the gospel at a dear friend's wedding. In another case a non-Catholic relative read from the Gospel at a recent funeral. The priest did a scheduled Gospel reading first, then the layperson did another reading. Notice that I put gospel (when the layperson read) in lower case, which is not the same as the official Gospel reading portion of a mass. I'm not talking theoretically but am talking about what actually happened in a Roman Catholic church at two different types of masses (wedding and funeral)*. As I said, there are official rules and there are local priests. It's always been like that. 

*Both were full masses, not just the short service.

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49 minutes ago, Lady Florida. said:

I am aware of what's involved in a Catholic mass. I was born into an Irish-Italian-American Catholic family and grew up in Catholic culture. I attended Catholic school in the Franciscan order. I've attended Catholic churches in three different states and and several different parishes.

A non Catholic relative read from the gospel at a dear friend's wedding. In another case a non-Catholic relative read from the Gospel at a recent funeral. The priest did a scheduled Gospel reading first, then the layperson did another reading. Notice that I put gospel (when the layperson read) in lower case, which is not the same as the official Gospel reading portion of a mass. I'm not talking theoretically but am talking about what actually happened in a Roman Catholic church at two different types of masses (wedding and funeral)*. As I said, there are official rules and there are local priests. It's always been like that. 

*Both were full masses, not just the short service.

IMO, it is better to tell someone the rules as set forth by the Church rather than the exceptions. YMMV

As such, I thought I'd let people know (not just you, but I quoted you bc you mentioned "gospel reading.") how the RC Church does the Gospel reading during Mass. 

 

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On 4/8/2018 at 7:41 AM, unsinkable said:

 Since you've seen the words of remembrance spoke before Mass, how did that work? Were the mourners already in pews? Where was the priest?

Where was the coffin?  Or was it a Memorial Mass and not a Funeral Mass?

 

 

The coffin was always in between the pews and the altar, and it was like a regular visitation at a funeral home with people walking about, talking, comforting family. When they are ready to speak, they ask everyone to sit.  I'm pretty sure the priest always leaves at this point. I think that they generally call for last visitation from non-family and then family at this point, and then close the coffin, but it's possible they sometimes do it before speaking. 

Mass then proceeds as usual. I can't remember if the priest walks up the aisle as usual or not, but I would say yes. At the end of mass, he leads the procession out of church as usual, the casket and family follow him, and then everyone else. 

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