Funeral Liturgy Planning
Planning for a funeral is not something most of us look forward to with joy and anticipation. However, we Christians know that death awaits us, not as a tragic ending, but as a passage into a new and indescribably marvelous life with God. As St. Paul says: "What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love him" (1 Cor 2:9-10). This page is designed to help you and your family plan the funeral liturgy with ease.
Click below to begin planning the funeral liturgy with a planning worksheet.
"Christians celebrate the funeral rites to offer worship, praise, and thanksgiving to God for the gift of a life which has now been returned to God, the author of life and the hope of the just. The Mass, the memorial of Christ’s death and resurrection, is the principal celebration of the Christian funeral."
¨General Introduction to the Order of Christian Funerals, §5
Funeral Mass Scripture Options
All readings chosen for the liturgy must come from the Bible, specifically the New American translation. Below are scripture options taken from the funeral lectionary. If you would like a hard copy of these readings, please visit our church office to obtain a copy or feel free to print the documents below. Click each link below to view the Scripture options:
- First Reading Options (.doc) (PDF)
- Responsorial Psalm Options (.doc) (PDF)
- Second Reading Options (.doc) (PDF)
- Gospel Reading Options (.doc) (PDF)
If you have a specific Scripture reading request that is not listed above, please indicate your request on the planning worksheet with full reference of book, chapter, and verse. Please make this special request known to the Director of Music and Liturgy, Rex Rund, as soon as possible.
"The readings proclaim to the assembly the Paschal Mystery, teach remembrance of the dead, convey the hope of being gathered together again in God's kingdom, and encourage the witness of Christian life. Above all, the readings tell of God's designs for a world in which suffering and death will relinquish their hold on all whom God has called his own."
Order of Christian Funerals, 22
Funeral Mass Music Options
This music suggestions below are appropriate for the Funeral Mass. Click each song title below to hear an audio example. Other songs from our hymnals are certainly also appropriate. If there is a sacred song that has special meaning for the family members of the deceased, and is not listed below, please contact the Director of Music, Rex Rund, to determine whether or not we may be able to accommodate these special requests. All selected music must be sacred in nature. Recorded music is not permitted in the Roman Catholic liturgy. During the season of Lent, we may not sing music that contains the word, “alleluia.”
"The music at funerals should support, console, and uplift the participants and should help to create in them a spirit of hope in Christ’s victory over death and in the Christian’s share in that victory."
¨General Introduction to the Order of Christian Funerals, §31
Click each song title to hear an audio sample.
|Entrance Antiphon: "Eternal rest grant unto them..."||Bartlett, Adam|
|All Creatures of Our God and King||LASST UNS ERFREUEN Tune||Verses 1, 6, 7|
|Alleluia, Sing to Jesus||HYFRYDOL Tune; Text: Prichard|
|The Strife is O'er||VICTORY Tune; Text: Latin tr. by Pott|
|Sing with all the Saints in Glory||HYMN TO JOY Tune; Text 1 Cor. 15, Irons|
|I Know that My Redeemer Lives||Soper, Scott|
|I Know that My Redeemer Lives||DUKE STREET Tune; Medley|
The psalms are a particularly rich source of beautiful, profound texts appropriate for the funeral. All of the psalms below may certainly be used at other times in the liturgy, e.g. communion, preparation of gifts, entrance procession.
|Psalm 23: "The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want."||Guimont, Michel|
|Psalm 23: "The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want."||Crandal, Scott|
|Psalm 23: "I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life."||Keil, Kevin|
|Psalm 23: Though I walk through the valley of darkness, I fear no evil for you are with me."||Guimont, Michel|
|Psalm 25: "To you, O Lord, I lift my soul."||Guimont, Michael|
|Psalm 25: "To you, O Lord, I lift my soul."||Soper, Scott|
|Psalm 25: "No one who waits for you, O Lord, will ever be put to shame."||Guimont, Michel|
|Psalm 27:"The Lord is my light and my salvation."||Guimont, Michael|
|Psalm 27:"The Lord is my light and my salvation."||Haas, David|
|Psalm 27: "I believe I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living."||Guimont, Michael|
|Psalm 63: "My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God."||Guimont, Michel|
|Psalm 103: "The Lord is kind and merciful."||Haugen, Marty|
|Psalm 103: "The Lord is kind and merciful."||Guimont, Michel|
|Psalm 103:"The salvation of the just comes from the Lord."||Rund, Rex|
|Psalm 116: "I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living."||Guimont, Michel|
|Psalm 122: "Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord."||Guimont, Michel|
|Psalm 130: "Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord"||Soper, Scott|
Preparation of Gifts:
All of the songs listed under "Entrance Procession" would be appropriate during this time as well as the following song options:
|Amazing Grace||Tune: NEW BRITAIN|
|Be Not Afraid||Dufford, Bob|
|Be Thou My Vision||Tune: SLANE|
|I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say||Tune: KINGSFOLD|
|Lord of All Hopefulness||Tune: SLANE|
|On Eagles Wings||Joncas, Michael|
|Only in God (Psalm 62)||Talbot, John Michael|
|Prayer of St. Francis||Temple, Sebastian|
|These Alone Are Enough||Schutte, Dan|
All of the songs listed under "Entrance Procession," "Preparation of Gifts," and "Responsorial Psalms," would be appropriate during this time, as well as the following song options:
|Communion Antiphon: "May eternal light shine upon them..."||Bartlett, Adam|
|Give Me Jesus||Spiritual|
|Here I Am, Lord||Schutte, Dan|
|I Received the Living God||Tune: LIVING GOD|
|My Soul is Thirsting (Psalm 63)||Angrisano, Steve|
|Shelter Me, O God||Hurd, Bob|
|The King of Love My Shepherd Is||Tune: ST. COLUMBA|
|Unless a Grain of Wheat||Farrell, Bernadette|
|We Will Rise Again||Haas, David|
Final Commendation and Song of Farewell:
This rite, unique to the funeral liturgy, includes the Church's song of farewell, which is sung during the incensing of the coffin. It can be sung by the cantor or in alternation with the Assembly, depending on the choice of music. The text is one (or both) of the following:
I know that my Redeemer Lives, on the last day I shall rise again.
And in my flesh I shall see God.
I shall see him myself, face to face; And my own eyes shall behold my Savior.
|I Know That My Redeemer Lives||Soper, Scott|
|I Know That My Redeemer Lives||Tune: DUKE STREET|
Saints of God, come to his/her aid! Hasten to meet him/her angels of the Lord!
Response: Receive his/her soul and present him/her to God the Most High.
May Christ, who called you, take you to himself.
|In Paradisum||Gregorian Chant|
|Song of Farewell||Tune: OLD HUNDRETH|
|Song of Farewell||Sands, Ernest|
|Celtic Song of Farewell||Schaubel, Steven|
Procession to the Place of Committal:
The suggestions for the Entrance Procession are appropriate here, as well as the Option B examples above.