Cath News report: Footy club songs and popular music have been banned in a set of Catholic funeral guidelines sent by Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart to priests and funeral directors.
"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 guidelines say.
Bishop Les Tomlinson, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Melbourne, said 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.
But outspoken Catholic priest Father Bob Maguire described the guidelines as "bit insensitive to local sensibilities, and a reversal of grassroots Catholic rituals".
"Around 10 per cent of Catholics will feel more comfortable with these sanitised rituals, but the other 90 per cent want these rituals to reflect their lives."
Funeral service operator Adrian Nelson said footy was an important part of life and club songs were popular requests. "All our MP3 players are loaded up with every club's theme song," he said.
Mr Nelson, of Nelson Bros Funeral Services, said with four funeral homes in the western suburbs, the Western Bulldogs theme song was one of the most popular requests.