Thank you for these October 22 pages on a “funeral team”. I had many commitments in my parish (catechesis, choir, twenty years responsible for Catholic Relief, seven to eight years responsible for the distribution of the parish newspaper and preparation and animation of the funeral). It is this last commitment to which I am most deeply attached. What you have not mentioned enough is the opportunity to meet the family for the preparation of the ceremony and especially to go see her again, if she accepts it, after the funeral to find out how she lived this moment, any remarks and take the opportunity, if possible, to greet them from time to time. Yes, a funeral is a great opportunity to rekindle a Christian flame. I was very involved and above all very misunderstood by my parish priest and the other members of the team, quite simply for what I was doing, as a welcome word, which was not the one expected and immutable and applied indifferently. (…)
We all agree in recognizing that any religious celebration of the funeral can be a strong moment of evangelization, both with the family of the deceased depending on the quality of our welcome and our listening, and with the assembly. come from all walks of life to express their sympathy to the family of the deceased.
But after seventy-five years of priestly ministry, I dare say that in no way would this evangelization be the sole responsibility of ordained ministers: when a father whose 24-year-old son was killed in the mountains with his fiancée, when a widower mourns his wife who died after seventeen years of marriage, leaving her with three dependent children, and many others who have known the ordeal of the death of a loved one, announce their faith in Eternal Life and in it Resurrection, their word has a weight that we do not suspect. What someone who attended a funeral told me will not be told to them: “You spoke very well of Eternal Life, but you are paid for it!” “
Father Jacques Cuche