Music at Catholic Funerals
All liturgy – whether a Liturgy of the Word or Mass – is praise and worship of God. The music used at any Funeral liturgy must reflect this reality.
The “Guide for Planning Catholic Funerals” published by the Archdiocese of Edmonton, states that “All music in the church must be liturgical in nature.”
It also says, “If the funeral is taking place within a specific liturgical season (Advent, Lent, Christmas, Easter) it will be most appropriate to have hymns that reflect this, in order to connect the death of the deceased with the rhythm of the Church’s liturgical year.”
How many songs are necessary?
Funeral Mass: 4 Songs and 1 Psalm
Song During the Preparation of the Gifts
Liturgy of the Word Funeral: 3 Songs and 1 Psalm
Meditation Song after the Homily
Prayers (Vigil): 1 Psalm & 3 Songs:
Meditation Song after the Homily/Reflection
A Psalm is sung after the First Reading. The Psalms are found in the Catholic Book of Worship from #15 to #227. It is best to discuss the choice of the Psalm with the musicians who are providing the music for the funeral and/or prayers.
Acclamations: Full, active, conscious participation of the Assembly at Funeral liturgies is the norm. Therefore, in addition to the Songs, hymns, and Psalm, the Gospel Acclamation (Alleluia) and the Eucharistic Acclamations (Holy, Memorial Acclamation, Great Amen, and Lamb of God) should also be sung.
Some Suggested Funeral Songs: (CBW=Catholic Book of Worship ~ BB=Breaking Bread)
Amazing Grace (CBW)
Be Not Afraid (CBW, BB)
Blest Are They (CBW, BB)
Healer of our Every Ill (CBW)
Here I Am Lord (CBW, BB)
Holy Darkness (BB)
How Great Thou Art (CBW)
Jesus, Remember Me (CBW)
Like a Shepherd (CBW, BB)
O Loving God (tune of Danny Boy) BB
On Eagles Wings (BB)
Shelter Me, O God (CBW)
The Lord’s My Shepherd (CBW)
You Are Near (CBW, BB)
Peace is Flowing Like a River (BB)
Prayer of St. Francis (Make me a Channel of Your Peace) (BB)
Sing with All the Saints in Glory (Tune: Ode to Joy) (CBW, BB)
You are Mine (BB)