At Phil Day’s Anglo-Catholic Requiem Eucharist four people spoke of him: one who had known him all his life, one who had known him from university, a colleague from Sydney High (Con Barris) and Subdeacon Graeme Bailey who spoke of Phil as a churchman. The first two had us laughing. Con’s speech was heartfelt and very moving. Graeme Bailey told me more of this side of Phil than I had known before, as Phil was someone who, as Subdeacon Bailey said, did not shout his faith from the mountain top though neither did he hide it under a bushel. I felt these were a right and proper part of a thanksgiving service.
Such a shame then to read Cardinal Pell today, not that he has anything directly to do with St James Church yet. See Bell tolls on saucy detail in eulogies.
Sydney Liturgy Office director, Father Timothy Deeter, blames increasing secularisation and unfamiliarity with church rituals for the creeping practice of turning the Catholic funeral Mass into an extended eulogy.
“We have to remind people funerals are to worship God and we are asking God’s blessing and help for those who have passed away,” Father Deeter said.
“There is a current trend to focus on the life of the deceased and celebrate the past, to look back, but in the Mass we have to look forward to the eternal life and put God back into the funeral like we keep God in Christmas.”
I doubt Jesus would be cheering that one.
Speaking of being unnecessarily po-faced, I (almost) feel sorry for the SMS-ing Liberal candidate in Wyong. See Sex text sinks the loveless Lib. Hardly comparable with Labor’s woes in certain Central Coast constituencies, is it?