Share This Funeral Sermon With Your Parish Priest

I had not been familiar with Msgr. Charles Pope (of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.) until recently, when some of his trenchant blog posts began popping up on the New Advent blog aggregator page. The one I saw there this morning is well worth bringing to your attention. It’s the Monsignor’s reflection on why priests must preach about the four last things — death, judgment, heaven, and hell — rather than merely deliver a comfortably bland message about how God loves us all.

Would that every Catholic priest was preaching funeral sermons that included, in addition to words of comfort and consolation for the grieving family, a clear and compelling call to conversion to each one who attends the funeral Mass.

“Because too many people are not [ready to meet God]. They’re just goofing off, laughing their way through life, like everything’s a big joke. They don’t pray, they don’t trust God, they’re not in Church on Sunday, they’re in serious mortal sin, and they think they’re going to be ready to meet God, and it does not work that way.”

Take a listen . . .


  1. Brian P. Craig

    Let the Church say, "Amen!"

  2. Susan L

    I'm a church organist. I played for 63 funerals last year and am very likely to have at least that many again this year. I get called to other churches to play for them during the week so I hear different priests/ministers.I have never heard a homily so beautiful. Would that everyone of them spoke like this. We would see such conversions. Granted, we'd also see a lot of anger but sometimes that anger comes before a conversion.Thank you, Patrick. You have blessed us.Sue from Buffalo

  3. Kindred Spirit

    The "Dies Irae" says it well also. A Catholic funeral is not a beatification ceremony, after all: at least, it's not supposed to be…

  4. Patrick C


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