An insightful directive:
13. As a minister of reconciliation, the priest should be especially sensitive to the possible needs for reconciliation felt by the family and others. Funerals can begin the process of reconciling differences and supporting those ties that can help the bereaved adjust to the loss brought about by death. With attentiveness to each situation, the priest can help to begin the process of reconciliation when needed. In some cases this process may find expression in the celebration of the sacrament of penance, either before the funeral liturgy or at a later time.
A careful look will find this is healthier than it first appears. Many rifts among families and in parishes run very deep. The reasonable best we can often hope for is a beginning of reconciliation: “Funerals can begin” and “the priest can help to begin.” The Church is best-placed most time to facilitate this, and funerals are indeed the time when people will gather and be confronted by both the need for unity as well as past hurts and chasms in relationships.
Any good experiences from the trenches to share?