SUNDAY funerals will no longer be allowed in the Diocese of Kerry, it has been decided.
Bishop Ray Browne has informed his priests that the new rule, which will apply from mid-afternoon on Saturdays until Monday mornings, will come into force on September 1 and it applies to Mass, liturgy and burials.
Removals to the church will be allowed on Saturday or Sunday evenings, however.
Bishop Browne said that he realises many people will have reservations about the decision but he stressed it was taken after extensive consultations with the laity and clergy throughout the diocese.
He said the change is necessary for many reasons, including factors in individual parishes and the availability of priests.
“Parishes are reminded that there be no exceptions to this diocesan regulation,” Bishop Browne stressed.
The new rule will also apply to St Patrick’s Day and, of course, Christmas Day.
“On the other holy days of obligation, for flexibility reasons, the decision is left to the local parish while discouraging such funerals for liturgical reasons,” the bishop added.
Bishop Ray Brown of Kerry who is planning to ordain Deacon Sean "King Puck" Jones soon has banned Sunday funerals in Kerry. Sunday funerals have been part and parcel of country life in Ireland since Adam was a boy. He has taken this step without consulting the lay people of the diocese - the thousands of people who will be affected by his autocratic decision.
People are genuinely upset by this decision "from on high". There is absolutely no reason why a funeral cannot take place at the Sunday Mass with burial afterwards in the nearby cemetery. Neither do I see a problem with a priest putting on an extra Sunday Mass to facilitate the people who have been paying into their parishes and the diocese for centuries. I Hope that the Kerry laity will not take this lying down. AND: IF ANY PERSON IN KERRY WANTS A SUNDAY FUNERAL AND THEIR LOCAL PRIEST REFUSES - JUST GET IN TOUCH WITH ME. I WOULD BE QUITE HAPPY TO TRAVEL TO KERRY TO CELEBRATE A SUNDAY FUNERAL OR TO SEND ANOTHER PRIEST TO DO SO.