While there are three big moments for the faith community, the funeral is still the summit of the Christian Burial rites:
12. At the vigil for the deceased or on another occasion before the eucharistic celebration, the presiding minister should invite all to be present at the funeral liturgy and to take an active part in it. The minister may also describe the funeral liturgy and explain why the community gathers to hear the word of God proclaimed and to celebrate the eucharist when one of the faithful dies.
Pastors, associate pastors, and other ministers should also be mindful of those persons who are not members of the Catholic Church, or Catholics who are not involved in the life of the Church.
Pragmatic advice here, especially the directive for the pastor or his representative to offer a few words on the importance of the funeral and on the desire for participation. Liam’s note on the last post about the idiosyncrasies of some parishes is apt: local practice off the mainstream does work against participation at a time when visitors are rarely going to insist or persist on their role.