Funerals do have a twofold purpose beyond kerygma and the focus on Christ:
7. The celebration of the Christian funeral brings hope and consolation to the living. While proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ and witnessing to Christian hope in the resurrection, the funeral rites also recall to all who take part in them God’s mercy and judgment and meet the human need to turn always to God in times of crisis.
“Hope and consolation” to the mourners. But also a focus on “mercy and judgment” to all who observe a Christian funeral. Do you think today’s clergy attend to both of these aspects? Many priests I know look to funeral ministry as a quiet opportunity to evangelize, to gather people back into the Church. Charismatic ministers may find themselves with something of a a handicap with regard to the last item, urging people to rely on God.
What do you think?