Monday, January 25, 2010

Negative Consequences of Unofficial Canonizations at Funerals

I want to share with you a powerful All Souls Day homily by Father Ray Suriani. In it he discusses the three most common and serious errors in funeral homilies and suggests what we should do if we hear these errors. The errors are: canonizing the deceased, failure to mention Purgatory, and giving a eulogy instead of a homily. From Fr. Suriani:

"Now here’s the question I have for priests who ignore purgatory and canonize their deceased parishioners at funerals: “Why do you celebrate funeral Masses? We don’t celebrate Masses FOR people who are already in heaven; we celebrate Masses and offer prayers for those who are in purgatory or who might be in purgatory on their way to heaven!”

Father Suriani discusses the negative consequences of unofficial canonizations:

"In other words, we might inadvertently cause our loved one more suffering, since we will neglect to pray for them and have Masses offered for the repose of their soul—both of which would bring them through purgatory and into heaven much more quickly!"

Here is the link to Father Suriani's complete homily. At the top of his blog post, he has a link to an audio version of his homily, which is well worth hearing.

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