My grandmother-in-law had requested a funeral the same as her twin sister, who died 24 years ago. This had included a personal tribute read by a family member.

We're being told by the priest for my grandmother-in-law's funeral that the personal tribute is not allowed at the funeral, and needs to be read at the wake. Only a homily read by the priest is permitted. This has upset many members of the family. Is he correct? Or was the previous interpretation correct?

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    If by "the funeral" you mean the funeral Mass, that is correct. A Eulogy can be read in any other context. It could even be read in the church after the conclusion of the Mass or before it begins, but it cannot be read during the Mass.
    – jaredad7
    Aug 11, 2023 at 16:07

1 Answer 1


Can a Catholic funeral include a personal tribute?

Nowadays, this is not permitted.

Eulogies are not to be done at a funeral mass. At one time they were permitted. Not anymore.

Not sure of the reasons, but I am guessing they take away from the solemness of the moment, plus the judgement of God may be different than ours. Traditionally eulogies are given at a mass on the or around the 30th day after the death of someone. By this time, the emotions have dissipated and we are more calm about the deceased in question. Normally only some religious communities follow this now.

At funeral Masses a homily is generally given, but even this is not mandatory.

Are Eulogies Allowed at Catholic Funerals?

Eulogies are one of the many ways that people choose to remember a loved one who has passed away. Speaking at a funeral and telling the story of the deceased — recounting their accomplishments in life, their favorite activities, noteworthy stories that illustrate the kind of person they were — is common and often cherished. Doing so in remembrance of a deceased loved one can help celebrate that life and provide comfort for the bereaved.

Yet there is a time and a place for the eulogy. In fact, in some situations, it may even be inappropriate to eulogize someone due to the circumstances surrounding their funeral. If the deceased was a member of the Roman Catholic church, for example, the practice of a eulogy during a Catholic funeral Mass is officially not allowed. But why is there no eulogy at a Catholic funeral? Are there alternate ways to celebrate the life of a loved one or even exceptions to this rule? Read on to understand.

No Eulogies at Catholic Funerals - Homilies Are More Appropriate

If you're asking if you can give a eulogy at a Catholic funeral, the answer is relatively straightforward: During a funeral Mass, eulogies are considered inappropriate. The reasoning behind this is that the Mass is a specific liturgical rite that needs to be followed closely according to Catholic guidelines, and there's no room for eulogies under those guidelines. Specifically, anything said during Mass must have the express purpose of being related to the teachings of the Catholic church, and a eulogy that focuses exclusively on the life and times of the deceased does not meet that requirement.

However, this does not mean that there can't be words of remembrance spoken of the deceased in context with their relationship with their faith and how it intersected with the teachings of the Catholic church. Rather than a traditional eulogy, Catholic funerals are generally known to only allow words that represent an interpretation of the deceased's life by reference to the suffering, death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ in the form of a homily. Additionally, a family member or close friend cannot speak these words - instead, they must come from the lips of a priest or a deacon. It should be noted this stringent guideline is not universally followed, as some churches are more relaxed about this requirement.

Also see:

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    In your first citation, it is written: If you're asking if you can give a eulogy at a Catholic funeral, the answer is relatively straightforward: During a funeral Mass, eulogies are considered inappropriate. "Inappropriate" does not imply forbidden. If eulogies are not allowed, where does the Catholic Church proscribe against them? That would suffice to conclude that they are not allowed. I hope you would agree that, logically speaking, something done that is forbidden is inappropriate ,but something done that is inappropriate is not necessarily forbidden.
    – DDS
    Aug 11, 2023 at 16:33

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