Sometimes in preparing a liturgy, we can become overwhelmed by the many choices we have. At other times, we might be frustrated by the sense that we can’t have a song or reading that we really want. The burden of grief can make such decisions seemingly impossible.
My hope is that as you prepare the liturgy you will keep in mind:
Liturgy is prayer and there is no wrong way to pray when we come to God with open hearts. Trust that the Holy Spirit is with you, helping to guide your choices and that Christ will perfect our prayer. Going over the options can be a meaningful time of prayer as you reflect on what is important to you and your family. The Church has provided a range of possibilities for you so that anything you choose will be appropriate. Details that seem exceedingly important now will fade from memory leaving the imprint of God’s love for you, your deceased loved one, and all who mourn their passing.
You are not alone in preparing. Deacon Allen and myself are available to guide you or help you to make choices. May the love of Christ strengthen you during this difficult time.
Kay Moen, Director of Liturgy and Music (262-966-2191) or firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTE: These are suggestions only. In planning the music, you are encouraged to select the songs that resonate with you and that will help you and your family and friends to pray. The choices offered here are liturgically, pastorally, and aesthetically appropriate for funerals. It is possible to use other music as long as it meets these guidelines, as well. I am available to discuss options and to provide more information about selecting music. Most of the suggestions are found the Breaking Bread Hymnal (unless marked otherwise.)
I will provide soft sacred or classical music prior to the Mass or service. Special musical requests are possible if there are pieces of music (or styles of music) you would prefer. I will also provide a postlude of either sacred or classical music while the assembly departs. Again, it is possible to request music that you prefer.
The entrance hymn is the first opportunity for the assembly to join in prayer with a united voice as the Body of Christ.
- Amazing Grace
- Be Not Afraid
- Blest Are They
- Here I Am, Lord
- How Great Thou Art
- The Lord Is My Light
- Lord of All Hopefulness
- On Eagle’s Wings
- Precious Lord, Take My Hand
- Sing a New Song
- You Are Mine
There are many psalms to choose from in planning a funeral liturgy, but not all of them have melodies that are familiar to people. If you would like a particular psalm that is not found in our hymnal, we can easily find an appropriate musical setting. The following are some of the well-known psalm settings in our parish:
- Psalm 23 – “Shepherd Me, O God” -Marty Haugen
- Psalm 27 – “The Lord Is My Light and My Salvation” -David Haas
- Psalm 103 – “The Lord Is Kind and Merciful” – Marty Haugen
- found in the Gather hymnal #100
Presentation of the Gifts
Since the preparation of the gifts is very brief, we often just have instrumental music to accompany the action. It is possible for the assembly to sing a brief hymn or to have a vocal solo (or other special music) during this time.
The Mass setting that has become most well known in most American parishes is the “Mass of Creation” by Marty Haugen. It is often selected for funerals since it is likely that people are familiar with it. Other Mass settings are available if you would prefer another option.
This hymn accompanies the communion procession as people come forward to receive the Blessed Sacrament. Songs that reference the Eucharist are usually selected. Other choices are possible.
- Eat This Bread
- Eye Has Not Seen
- I Am the Bread of Life
- Like A Shepherd
- We Remember
- You Are Near
Song of Farewell
This song accompanies the incensing of the coffin prior to the final commendation. “Jesus, Remember Me,” is the most common choice for this song in our parish, but other choices are possible.
- Jesus, Remember Me
- In Paradisum (May the Angels Lead You Into Paradise) -chant
- Song of Farewell -Ernest Sands
- May the Angels (Song of Farewell) – Michael Joncas
- titled “The Lord Is Near” in the Gather hymnal #618
Any of the entrance hymn selections would also be appropriate here, as well as the following:
- Eye Has Not Seen
- Soon and Very Soon
- We Have Been Told
- We Will Rise Again
If you use Spotify, you can listen to these songs in a customized playlist online.