I want to be careful here, because emotions are raw. I did not watch the entire funeral Mass at St. Patrick’s of the fallen police officer. I understand the emotions and outpouring of grief and outrage concerning the lawlessness and disrespect shown to law enforcement today and that this is a political football and I agree with conservative politics on this as my brother was in law enforcement for most of his life and his son, my nephew, is currently in law enforcement and now with the ATF.
But politicized grief doesn’t belong in a Catholic Church or funeral Mass—the politicization of a funeral.
How much better if the Chants in the vernacular from the 1974 Graduale Romanum would have been used—do the Funeral Liturgy the Church has give us in the Ordinary form. How much better not to have any eulogies after the Prayer after Holy Communion which become therapeutic from an emotional and political point of view and completely overwhelm the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass just celebrated.
How much better to have a homily that focuses exclusively on the Paschal Mystery and how the deceased tried to embrace the gifts of Catholicism and salvation offered to him in his short life including seeking to repent and be reconciled to God and the Church.
My critique of the Saint Patrick’s funeral is that is veered off the road from the Funeral Liturgy the Church has given us in the ordinary Form. We need to accompany those who provide these kinds of funeral liturgies back to the one the Church has given us in the Ordinary Form.
Eulogies are best offered at the wake and independent of the Vigil Liturgy for the Deceased, given either before or after that liturgical prayer at the funeral home as a part of visitation.