I noted, a few posts ago, the passing of Bernadin Cardinal Gantin. On Thursday, I must celebrate the funeral of an old friend, perhaps the last person I shall know with memories of pre-revolutionary Russia (there can't be many left), and the parish priest of her parish (very correctly) reminded me of the Church's forbidding of eulogies at a funeral.
This is often a difficult one: my reading of the law is that a eulogy must not replace the homily of the Mass (on the Christian understanding of death &c), but this need not preclude some account of the deceased person being given outside the Mass, which is to say, before the commendation, in addition to a homily after the Gospel. One remembers that at a Requiem in the Extraordinary Form, the address (traditionally a panegyric) is given at the end of Mass.
I was very interested to see on the Whispers in the Loggia site that the Holy Father had given a very explicit eulogy/panegyric at the funeral of Cardinal Gantin, and at the end of the Mass. What I don't know was whether there had been a homily also.
The forbidding of a panegyric by the priest is a good idea, for all sorts of reasons, but at the same time one cannot help feel that it helps the mourners to have their loved one's life directly addressed in some way, and very often this does come best from somebody who knew him or her in life. I'm relieved that the Holy Father thinks so too.