Approved Hymns for Funerals

It is the pastoral responsibility of parishes to provide liturgical music at all Funeral Masses. The same liturgical norms applied to music at any Mass apply to the Funeral Mass.

  1. An instrumentalist, a cantor, and even a choir where possible should assist the full participation of the assembly in the songs, responses, and acclamations of the funeral Rites (OCF #33).
  2. Certain musical texts are primary and should be sung or chanted at the Funeral Mass: the responsorial psalm, the gospel acclamation, the three acclamations of the Eucharistic Prayer, the “Lamb of God” litany, and the “Song of Farewell.” These should not be sung by cantor, choir, or soloist alone. Rather, they belong to the assembly.
  3. In the Order of Christian Funerals, as in all the reformed liturgical books, the cantor has an important task. The task of the cantor is to animate and direct the singing of the assembly. With the exception of the responsorial psalm, which is sung from the ambo, the cantor ordinarily leads the assembly from a cantor stand.
  4. Some form of hymnal or worship program may be used at funerals. The program might be a computer-generated document with the words and music for the liturgy. Copyright licenses and permissions are necessary, and many parishes have found annual licenses to be both convenient and inexpensive. Some liturgical publishers have offered participation cards and booklets for the liturgy that have proven very useful. A separate sheet might be prepared for the participation of the faithful in the committal at the cemetery.
  5. A choir has proven of great worth in many parishes. Members of a funeral choir are often recruited from parishioners who are retired, self-employed, or whose work gives them freedom of schedule.
  6. The selection of music for the funeral liturgy is often a sensitive issue for bereaved families, parish musicians, and pastoral staff. The choice of music for Christian funerals must be in accord with all the recommendations governing music in liturgy.
  7. The responsorial form of psalm singing, in which the psalmist or choir sings the verses and the assembly responds with a brief antiphon, is well suited to the funeral liturgy. The practice of substituting metrical hymns based on psalm texts for the responsorial psalm is not encouraged since this form affects and alters the ritual pattern of responsorial singing.
  8. The request for “favorite songs” of the deceased often result in inappropriate performances of music incapable of bearing the weight liturgy demands. Popular songs, sentimental ethnic music, or songs from Broadway hits are never to substitute for the music of the funeral liturgy.
  9. Music is preeminent among the signs expressed by the participants in any liturgy. Therefore, recorded music is not to be used within the liturgy to replace the congregation, the choir, the organist, cantor, or other musicians. (Liturgical Music Today, #60).

Here at St. Joan of Arc, we encourage full participation from our community. There are several opportunities to incorporate music into the funeral service. Please select a Processional Hymn, Preparation of the Gifts Hymn, Communion Hymn, and Recessional Hymn.

Entrance  (Choose 1)

Abide With Me
All You Who Seek a Comfort Sure
Amazing Grace
Be Not Afraid
Es el Senor mi Buen Pastor
How Great Thou Art
Jerusalem, My Happy Home
The King of Love
Merciful Savior
O God, Our Help in Ages Past
Prayer of St. Francis (Make Me a channel of your Peace)
Spirit Seeking Light and Beauty

Psalm  (Choose 1)

Ps 23  The Lord is my Shepherd
Ps 25   To You O Lord I Lift My Soul
Ps 27  The Lord if My Light and My Salvation
Ps 33  Lord Let Your Mercy Be On Us
Ps 103  The Lord is Kind and Merciful

Offertory & Communion  (Choose 2)

Ave Maria
Be Not Afraid
Blest Are They
Cerca de Ti, Senor
Come to Me All You who Labor
Dale el Descanso, Senor
Eye Has Not Seen
Here I am, Lord
How Great Thou Art
I Am the Bread of Life
I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say
I Know that My Redeemer Lives
Entre Tus Manos
The King of Love
La Muerte No es el Final
Lord of all Hopefulness
Lord, Thou Hast Searched Me
Lord, Who at Thy First Eucharist
My Shepherd Will Supply My Need
Nearer, My God, To Thee
O God, Our Help in Ages Past
O Jesus Gentle Shepherd
On Eagles Wings
Panis Angelicus
Precious Lord, Take My Hand
Se Me Levantare
What Wondrous Love is This
You Are Mine
You Are Near

Procession to the Place of Committal

As the priest and assisting ministers process out of the Church with the coffin, family, and mourners following, “In Paradisum” is sung in either Latin or English. This chant musically makes a connection between the Mass and the Rite of Committal so the two aspects of the Rite of Christian Funerals are united. If the committal will be happening at a later time, one of the Hymns listed above may be used instead.

Text: May the angels lead you into paradise;
may the martyrs come to welcome you
and take you to the holy city,
the new and eternal Jerusalem.

May choirs of angels welcome you
and lead you to the bosom of Abraham;
and where Lazarus is poor no longer
may you find eternal rest.

**Mass parts can be sung in Latin, English or Spanish.