No pop music at our funerals – Oz Catholics

2010-09-10 10:28

Catholic churches in Melbourne, Australia, have banned mourners from requesting popular songs such as Frank Sinatra’s My Way and Monty Python’s Always Look on the Bright Side of Life for funerals.

Archbishop Denis Hart also told priests to reject anything other than funeral music and not to play along with the modern notion that a funeral was a celebration of life, the Sun Herald newspaper reported today.

“Secular items such as romantic ballads, pop or rock music, political songs and football songs are never to be sung or played at a Catholic funeral,” Hart wrote in a circular to his 250 parishes.

He added that the “celebrant should moderate any tendency to turn the funeral into a secular celebration of the life of the deceased”, which should also stay out of obituaries and funeral notices.

The ruling has caused consternation, with some priests and funeral directors arguing that cutting out favourite songs would disappoint many mourners.

Father Bob Maguire described the new rules as “a bit insensitive to local sensibilities and a reversal of grassroots Catholic rituals”.

He predicted that one in 10 Catholics would welcome the sanitisation of funeral music and that 90% would reject it.

Funeral directors and priests said they had no choice but to go along with Hart’s ruling.

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