Funeral Foibles.

Declaring that “Uncle Joe is in hell” is judgmental. But saying “Uncle Joe is in heaven” is also judgmental.

Here is a great article on funerals:

Funeral Foibles. How many Catholic funerals lack balance and do not teach clearly on the Last Things.

by Msgr. Charles Pope

I was recently asked by the Archdiocese of Washington to lead a workshop for catechists that focused on the catechetical teachings implicit in the funeral rites of the Church. At first, I was somewhat surprised at the request. It didn’t strike me as the first sort of topic that one might speak about when speaking to catechists.

But quickly, I warmed to the topic. I have long held that the way in which we conduct ourselves at funerals, in the manner of preaching and other visible attitudes, not only teaches poorly, but is often a countersign of biblical and Church teaching on death, judgment, heaven, and hell.

The rites themselves are not flawed (though the huge number of readings can bewilder and are not of equal value or helpfulness). Rather, a whole host of problems both sociological, and related to liturgical execution, create an environment that not only obscure Catholic teaching on death, but often outright contradicts it.

You can read the whole article here.

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