Dear Parishioners and All parishes of Malacca Johore Diocese,
Re: Funeral Masses and Services
1. It was observed that many and differing practices have been observed all over the diocese. Many questions and concerns have risen among the faithful if some practices are permitted. People are confused. There appears to be accusations of double standards and favoritism.
2. After studying the GIRM and consultation with priests on liturgy, sacramentalogy and canon law, it is advised that the following guidelines become effective in t his diocese.
3. The Guidelines for the Malacca Johore Diocese on funerals, services and masses:
3.1. On Sundays, no funeral masses, nor funeral services with communion, will be provided . No combining of funeral in the Sunday mass is allowed.
Only funeral service (without communion) is permitted. Sunday is the Day of the Lord and the focus is the Resurrection of the Lord. (GIRM 380)
3.2. Reminded that no eulogy is allowed in the funeral service or mass (GIRM 382). The eulogy can be included at home during the wake.
The homily is a requirement. It is not unusual to have Catholics and non-Catholics; those who rarely or never participate in the Eucharist; and those who may have lost their faith, being present. The homily is for them, a teaching and a consolation.
3.3. Offering of masses for the dead (weekday or Sunday): Encourage the families to attend, to pray and to take communion. (GIRM 383)
3.4. Regards the “Final Commendation or Farewell” : Besides the mentioned, no additional final respects, nor opening of the coffins must take place. The Funeral Rite ends with the holy water and incensing. The extras maybe confined to the wake. (GIRM 384)
4. The above comes into effect 1st July 2017.
Together Building God’s Kingdom,
+Rt. Rev. Bernard Paul, DD
Bishop of Malacca Johore Diocese
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