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There’s no doubt that the conversation around death and dying is changing. Terms like “good death” and “death doula” have entered the common dialogue, and people gather at death cafes to discuss how to best spend their remaining days. Living eulogies are gaining popularity as a chance to honor people while they’re still alive. Is a living eulogy appropriate for a Catholic?

In some ways, it could be said that a living eulogy is especially appropriate for Catholics. There are no eulogies during a Catholic funeral mass; they’re only allowed at the wake or reception. A living eulogy is an appealing alternative to these options, for many reasons:

  • Living eulogies give people the opportunity to say the things they want their loved ones to know. Sometimes, when we lose a loved one, we’re left feeling bereft of the opportunity to tell that person how much we love and respect him or her. During a living eulogy, you can feel free to share these feelings, sincerely and honestly expressing the love, admiration, appreciation, and gratitude you feel for the person who is being honored.
  • During a eulogy, people learn things about their loved ones, and if the loved one is still alive, they can use these as a springboard to learn more. It often happens at a funeral that, as memories are shared, relatives and friends, including the children of the person who has died, hear stories they’ve never heard before. Often, we want to learn more, and wish we had the opportunity to ask our loved ones about these long-ago happenings. With a living eulogy, memories are shared when the person is still alive, so there’s plenty of time to dig deeper into the story and get all the details you might want to know.
  • Connections typically forged at a funeral can be made while the person is still alive to see them. At a funeral, loved ones gather and bond over shared memories. When living eulogies are given at a gathering of those loved ones while the person is still alive, those shared connections can be enjoyed by the person you’re honoring.

The Catholic Cemeteries of the Diocese of San Jose is proud to be a part of the Catholic Community in San Jose, California. Committed to providing a sacred place where families can remember loved ones in a peaceful and hope-filled setting, we welcome you and your family to visit our properties and experience the peace of these prayerful places. If you have questions, we’re happy to answer them. We have three locations: Calvary Catholic Cemetery in San Jose, Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Los Altos, and St. John the Baptist Cemetery in Milpitas. If you’d like to know more about our properties, or you need to know where to send flowers, you can contact us through our website, or call Calvary at 833-428-0379, Gate of Heaven at 833-304-0763, or St. John the Baptist at 833-428-0379.


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