OCF 170: Eulogies and Rubrics

The final commendation is introduced in OCF 145-147. The rubrics and texts are located in the sections numbered 170 through 175. The rubrics of OCF 170 mention something you might find surprising. Here they are in full:

170. Following the prayer after communion, the priest goes to a place near the coffin. The assisting ministers carry the censer and holy water, if these are to be used.

A member or a friend of the family may speak in remembrance of the deceased before the final commendation begins.

Many bishops have attracted news coverage over the years for “banning” eulogies. As chief liturgists of their dioceses, they certainly have that power. Pastors can also make a call here, as those responsible for the orderly celebration of the rites. Ideally, you’re in a situation in which the pastor or a trusted pastoral minister works with a family to finesse how this remembrance will be handled. As long as the rubric remains in print, a eulogy is on the table as a possibility at every funeral. You or I may view that as unfortunate or ill-advised. But the Church would not take an absolute view on the matter. Comments?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Order of Christian Funerals, post-conciliar liturgy documents, Rites. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to OCF 170: Eulogies and Rubrics

  1. Liam says:

    The late pastor of the parish up the road from me, Fr Jim Field, wrote this column for US Catholic just before he died after battling pancreatic cancer for a few years:


  2. Todd says:

    It’s a good piece, from a sensitive and intelligent priest. I agree with all of his emphases, but unfortunately, I think this “good word” of “remembrance” will remain in the funeral unless and until the Vigil comes to better prominence.

    Note that the rite presumes people are standing here. With the post-Communion prayer, the presider will have invited or indicated this. That should shorten up this “remembrance” to an appropriate length.

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