In a move to protect the sacred character of the liturgy, the cardinal has ruled that any speaker at a funeral must confine himself to at most a 5-minute talk. Only one talk is allowed, and the tone of the eulogy should be in keeping with the spirit of prayer for the deceased, avoiding jokes about his weaknesses, the guidelines add.
Cardinal Pell explained that the guidelines were necessary to prevent abuses in the funeral liturgy. In some cases, he said, a series of eulogists spoke at length, resulting in overly long services; in other cases a highly emotional speaker added to the grief of the families. In most extreme cases, laughing references to the drinking or sexual conduct of the deceased profaned the ceremony.
The cardinal noted that in some countries-- including the US-- Catholic funeral guidelines do not allow for any eulogy (as distinct from the priest’s homily at the funeral Mass). In the