The church prepared for a Requiem Mass in my own parish.
I was somewhat surprised this morning to receive a phone call from The Tablet journalist, Christopher Lamb asking me if I would like to comment on - according to his information - the fact that my Archdiocese of Liverpool is to commission 22 lay people to preside at funeral services.
I don't know if this is so or not. We did have a leaflet through to all the parishes recently entitled "Planning a Christian Funeral" that mentions that a funeral may be led by a "Lay Funeral Minister" (you can read it here at the Archdiocesan website - scroll down to the 5th heading.) I have heard that such things do already happen in the Archdiocese where, apparently, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion lead the Service! I presume this is because of the shortage of sacred ministers in the diocese - 146 active and 74 retired (excluding Religious) and 106 Permanent Deacons.
However, you will not be reading my interview in The Tablet, as I felt I had to tell him that, regrettably, I had "No Comment" to make.