Q: At the end of the funeral Mass, does the presider (bishop or priest) return to the altar to venerate it (as at any Mass) or does he, because he is already down by the casket, simply start the procession? Neither the Order of Christian Funerals nor the Ceremonial of Bishops mention him going back to the altar.
A: I’m going to say no, he does not return to the altar to kiss it. But I admit it’s hard to argue from silence. I think you could argue that he should bow to the altar from where he is because he is leaving the sanctuary (CB 72). But other reverences such as a kiss of the altar and a genuflection to the tabernacle have to do with the conclusion of mass, which has been suspended at this point of the funeral.