Funeral for a non-Catholic

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: In the unusual circumstance when a Catholic parish hosts a funeral for a non-Catholic, may the priest mention the name of the non-Catholic in the Eucharistic Prayer? It seems not because of the Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism, 121:

“…. Public prayer for other Christians, living or dead, and for the needs and intentions of other Churches and ecclesial Communities and their spiritual heads may be offered during the litanies and other invocations of a liturgical service, but not during the Eucharistic Anaphora. Ancient Christian liturgical and ecclesiological tradition permits the specific mention in the Eucharistic Anaphora only of the names of persons who are in full communion with the Church celebrating the Eucharist.”


A: Interesting. I looked up the directory, and that is indeed how 121 reads.

Still, it’s hard to square this with what actually happens in all the eucharistic prayers except the first. Granted, when we offer those prayers, we do not mention by name the members of other communions and non-Christians, but we do pray for them in both categories, the living and the dead. This was a deliberate evolution from the “ancient Christian liturgical and ecclesiological tradition.”

In support of that tradition, at scrutinies we include the names of godparents in the eucharistic prayer, but not the names of the elect.

By contrast, a Catholic may receive permission to marry another Christian within Mass, and the eucharistic prayer would include a mention of both the bride and the groom by name.

The previous number, 120, permits “the funeral rites of the Catholic Church” to members of another church or ecclesial community under certain circumstances. That should include the mention of the name of the deceased in the prayer for the dead in prayers II and III.

121 seems concerned about mentioning the name. But golly we are still praying for them, even without their names. I just don’t see how it all fits together.