Is it in bad taste, even insensitive, to speak of purgatory at a funeral?
Many seem to think so. In my experience, most homilists at funeral Masses report that our loved one is already in heaven, and we should hold onto that thought as we grieve our loss.
So I was startled this month when the homilist at a recent funeral Mass for an old friend asked the congregation to pray for him in purgatory. The priest added, as if anticipating the shock of some mourners: “It seems to me, any Christian who does not accept purgatory, diminishes God’s love for man, and at the same time devalues the beauty of the human person."
His intriguing words grabbed my attention.