Eulogy or Lift Up Jesus : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

Calgary's Catholic bishop is cracking down on the misuse of eulogies at funerals in Catholic churches.

Bishop Fred Henry has issued a memo outlining the diocesan policy on eulogies to clarify when they're acceptable.

"At a funeral, there is storytelling to be done -- a real person's story -- not on its own but in relation to God," the memo said.

A Catholic Bishop issued a Memo regarding funerals.

The bishop cited the Order of Christian Funerals which dictates a brief homily encouraging those present to consider the deceased person's life and death in relation to God, is acceptable at a funeral in the Catholic Church -- a eulogy is not.

"A eulogy is a certain kind of rhetoric or public speaking, focused on the deceased person with the intention of praising him or her," the memo said, whereas a funeral should only praise God.

"In (a eulogy), there may be an implication that the praise is exaggerated or even untrue."

Such words of remembrance should be limited to certain times during the vigil (which takes place the day before a Catholic funeral), at the gravesite, at the reception after the funeral or at the church before the deceased's body enters the church (before the funeral liturgy). What implications may we draw from this relating to the typical Funeral Service we have and allow in our local churches.

Please share your thoughts!

Be Blessed! WHS

-- Anonymous, April 11, 2003


I couldn't agree more that eulogies do not glorify God. All that we do should be to God's glory and I have been sickened at the many funerals I have attended where the preacher tried to preach the person into heaven on their own merrit. This is foolishness. We do not have that right. Also, some funerals today, lack a sermon whereby the word of God is presented (I just attended one yesterday) and this is not good. Many time, more often than not, there are family members at these services who don't know the Lord and He is not even offered. It's ok to lift the deceased but as stated above it should be in connection with their connection to God. Amen to the Catholic Bishop for recognizing that God is First and always should be!

Peace and Blessings

-- Anonymous, April 12, 2003

Interesting thread. I am not Seminary trained. I consider a funeral as a unique opportunity to minister. When I visit with the family during the arrangements and during all my contact with them, I try to "feel" the spirit of the family. Then, my message is crafted to minister to the next of kin and close friends. However, my message is always "double-spaced" leaving room for the Spirit of God to speak His mind. So the message is created dynamically with the Spirit of God, the family spirit and my spirit, thereby making each "eulogy" a unique experience. If the Holy Spirit says to issue a call for discipleship, then I do it. Otherwise the call is not issued.

BE Blessed

Pastor Paris

-- Anonymous, April 12, 2003

Rev. Paris you are Holy Spirit Trained!!! And your love for Christ pour through. When I was in seminary we were required to take a course on how to do "worship" funerals, marriages etc. The first thing our professor said was for us to adhere to the rules of our denominations and use the order of worship from our respective denominations. I ALWAYS give a sermon at the funeral services I do. For that is how I can comfort the family and friends. I am always sensitive to the fact that a funeral is a time to introduce non- believers to christ and this is done in the wermon. In terms of the eulogy I take my cue from the family. They know what they want said about the loved one. It is not up to me to judge if what they are saying is the truth or not for God knows the true story.

-- Anonymous, April 12, 2003

Too often today funerals have become luke warm attempts at providing condolonces to the bereaved family through light laughter, nostalagic reflections and feel-good commentary. This form of appeasement is soundly rejected by the new Catholic position. My experience is that this form of appeasement and capitulation to the bereaved family is more noticeable at cremation ceremonies. I don't understand why this is the case, but I have my theories. The Presidng Prelate of the 19th Epsicopal District, Adam J. Richardson, makes the timely observation at homegoing celebrations that every funeral is a dress- rehearsal for your own. That being said, it is better to praise God than man. QED

-- Anonymous, April 13, 2003

Eulogies are very much a cultural event. I do believe that the funeral homily should be reflective of the deceased's life and the hope that Christian faith offers to all who believe. Stories are a part of our culture and communication and I think when the stories are shared in an appropriate manner within the funeral service they can add breadth to the minister's message.

-- Anonymous, April 14, 2003

Hello Everyone,

Now let me get this straight. The death of a loved one is one of the most stressful and sad point in ones life. I am wondering from reading excerpts of this catholic bishops' opinion as to how one can " misuse a euology". If a minister chooses to use " words of comfort" to comfort those in need, then certainly God is glorified by the minister. This is the reason that I have broken ranks with religious practices which have no compassion in them.


-- Anonymous, April 14, 2003

I have attended funerals where the elder spoke about the deceased in rude and discourteous manner. So much for comfort......

What is the real purpose of a funeral? The person is dead, and has gone on to whatever reward he or she has earned. We cannot call them back. They cannot speak from the grave.

Aren't we trying to comfort those left behind? Aren't we trying to tell them that they need to go on, and can go on with God (and the congregaton's) help?

If so, there must be a blend. The survivors must be comforted (Matthew 5). God must be glorified. Something nice must be said about the deceased ("they sho knew how to dress....").

Just my thought.......

Rev. John Harper

By the way, this is the e-mail address I will use for "regular" posts. For some reason, my moderator comments get jumped to the top of the forum, ruining the flow.

-- Anonymous, April 15, 2003

The Catholic Church does not realize we are not all saints on earth. We need to hear words about the deceased at a funeral. The priest somtimes does not know the deceased and leaves the family feeling empty after the service. I have heard the prist even use a wrong name . Is it yet another power struggle? Do priests object to a lay person standing at the pulpit. I fear that our chuch is closing a door and locking out the less then perfect catholic. I love my church and wish for it to continue.How can it when it refuses to understand human needs.

-- Anonymous, April 27, 2003

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