I’m surprised that the Italians have had to wait forty years for a second edition of the funeral rites. What are listed at the link as innovations: a home visit, closing the coffin, texts for different situations of the deceased, and an appendix on cremation–these were all part of ICEL’s funeral rites a generation ago. Msgr Angelo Lameri of the National Liturgical Office describes the visit to the mourning family for the priest as …
a moment to share in the suffering, to listen to the mourning relatives, to learn about certain aspects of the deceased’s life with a view to a correct and personalised presentation during the funeral.
Personalized presentation? Is that like a eulogy?
Msgr Lameri considers the practice of scattering ashes as …
rais(ing) considerable doubts as to their coherence to Christian faith, especially when they conceal pantheist or naturalistic beliefs.
Perhaps so. More likely though, it involves a connection of either the deceased or the mourners to some aspect of life. Previous generations would visit a cemetery. Parishes that maintain cemeteries enjoy a connection that few Catholics these days possess. Otherwise, burial grounds are rows of memorial stones, each of which receiving fewer and fewer visits as the years go by.
Mind you, I’m not advocating a scattering of ashes as an optimal farewell for the dead, but I’d be disinclined to attribute it to pantheism or paganism.