OCF 22: Readings

OCF 22 through 27 give some basics on the proclamation of the Word: readings (22-24), psalms (25-26), and homily (27). For those attached to the rosary as a pre-funeral devotion, that’s fine, but keep in mind the place for the Scriptures:

22. In every celebration for the dead, the Church attaches great importance to the reading of the word of God.

Why?

The readings proclaim to the assembly the paschal mystery, teach remembrance of the dead, convey the hope of being gathered together again in God’s kingdom, and encourage the witness of a Christian life.

So the funeral preaches Christ, the dead, heaven, and the Christian life. You know, these benchmarks are not bad for making judgments on both music and homily content.

Above all, the readings tell of God’s designs for a world in which suffering and death will relinquish their hold on all whom God has called his own. A careful selection and use of readings from Scripture for the funeral rites will provide the family and the community with an opportunity to hear God speak to them in their needs, sorrows, fears, and hopes.

This suggests the readings are more than just “favorites,” either of the family or the clergy. This is a bit different from Sunday Mass–our approach is that we have a theme, that fourfold proclamation, and those planning the funeral liturgies are tasked with making choices that align with that theme.

If your parish tracks funeral plans, it might be illustrative to note the distribution of those four themes. If clergy select readings, or lean on the process, do one or two ideas come through? Anything missing?

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
This entry was posted in Order of Christian Funerals, post-conciliar liturgy documents, Rites. Bookmark the permalink.

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