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May a eulogy be given at a Catholic funeral?


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Yes. The Church’s rites do allow a member or a friend of the family to speak in remembrance of the deceased prior to the final commendation. This is not a full eulogy, but a brief reflection proportionate to the other parts of the funeral rites.

Catholic funeral rites do not allow space for a eulogy. The focus of a Christian funeral is the paschal mystery: the suffering, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. The funeral rites are not so much a celebration of the life of the deceased, but a prayer that the life and death of the deceased may be joined to Christ in heaven. Because the focus of a Catholic funeral is first on God, eulogies do not have a place within the funeral liturgy.

This does not mean we cannot reflect on and celebrate the life of the deceased. It does mean that such a celebration of the life of the deceased would be more appropriate to a non-liturgical gathering (for example, a post-funeral luncheon).

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