Melbourne, Sept 10 (ANI): The Catholic Church has banned footy club songs and popular music from funerals under strict guidelines sent to priests and funeral directors.
The guidelines for Catholic funerals, sent by Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart, also declare that a funeral should not be a "celebration" of the deceased's life.
"Secular items are never to be sung or played at a Catholic funeral, such as romantic ballads, pop or rock music, political songs, football club songs," the Herald Sun quoted the guidelines as saying.
But outspoken Catholic priest Father Bob Maguire has described the guidelines as "insensitive".
Funeral service operator Adrian Nelson said footy was an important part of life and club songs were popular requests.
Bishop Les Tomlinson, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Melbourne, stood by the guidelines, saying the main focus of a funeral should be "commending the deceased person to God".
He said footy and other popular songs were more appropriate at a wake rather than a church service.
"Reminiscences of the events of the deceased person's life, hobbies or football interests are more appropriate for a wake or informal family gathering outside of the funeral," Bishop Tomlinson said.
Father Maguire said he preferred to think of funerals as "family affairs attended by clergy, not a clergymen's affair attended by family".
"I think (the rules) are a bit insensitive to local sensibilities, and a reversal of grassroots Catholic rituals," he said.
"Around 10 per cent of Catholics will feel more comfortable with these sanitised rituals, but the other 90 percent want these rituals to reflect their lives," he stated. (ANI)