The Telegraph today carries an article headed "Pop songs banned from Catholic funerals in the Channel Islands." It states that "Personal eulogies, non-biblical readings and pop songs have been banned from Roman Catholic funerals... in the Diocese of Portsmouth. Further on it says that "the ruling has been accepted by the Church in Jersey and Guernsey" A local funeral director who is interviewed believes that "people will find it difficult to adapt."
The Channel Islands are part of the Diocese of Portsmouth, where Bishop Philip Egan has the mandate from the Holy Father to protect, teach and promote the Catholic Faith. The report in the Newspaper is by "a Telegraph Reporter". No wonder whoever it is was too ashamed to put their name to this drivel passing as news. You can read Bishop Philip's pastoral Guidelines on the diocesan website. A cursory glance or indeed any passing acquaintance with the norms of the Church will allow you to see that what he suggests is nothing new at all. Each part is supported with extensive quotes from the Order of funerals, the "new" one has now been in use for 25 years since 1990.
Why is it that the most basic of Church teaching are so often misrepresented in the press?
In this case because in many instances across the country the norms about what is to happen at a Catholic Funeral are regularly ignored.
Because the re-issuing of some of the guidelines comes in this case from a bishop who is perceived to be "traditional" or "orthodox". Very nasty - imagine trying to uphold the teaching of the Church . How old-fashioned and out of date.
Because the liberal press can't be bothered to check out their stories when it comes to getting things right about the Church.
Sadly, many Catholic funerals have become little more than memorial services and celebrations of life, in line with secular thinking. The actual prayers of the rite speak very much of the forgiveness of sins and the need for God's mercy. These Truths, however, are no longer much in the consciousness of those attending, as they are not Truths that are much expounded in the day to day catechises and preaching of the Church. "Not pastoral", we're often told but surely, these are lost opportunities, as God's Truths are always "pastoral" - in proper sense of the word.