Mass outline and readings (English)
The Funeral Mass is the central liturgical celebration for the deceased. Relatives and friends are welcome to actively participate in the celebration of the Mass. Such active involvement in the Mass includes the reading of Scripture, reciting the prayers of the faithful and the presentation of the gifts. However, grieving relatives should not feel obliged to engage in public performance on such a sad occasion.
Family members are encouraged to choose appropriate Scripture readings for the Funeral Mass. There may be 1 or 2 readings followed by a Gospel reading. The Priests reads the Gospel reading. If there are two readings it is usual that there will be two readers. The responsorial psalm may be read or sung.
The Order of the Readings:
Usually chosen from the Old Testament readings.
The psalm may be sung. If not the First Reader reads it.
Usually taken from the New Testament readings.
Gospel Acclamation (Alleluia)
The ‘Alleluia’ may be sung. If not the Second Reader reads it.
Taken from the Gospel readings. The Priest reads the Gospel but the family are welcome to choose the reading.
The prayers examples at the end of the readings in English page can help you in preparing appropriate prayers of the faithful. You may use them as they are or adapt them to your own particular circumstances and preferences. You may have as many prayers of the faithful as you wish, usually there are 4, 5 or 6 prayers of the faithful at the Requiem Mass.
Two family members bring the bread & wine to the altar, to become the Body & Blood of Christ in the Eucharistic prayers.
A family/friend may choose to read an appropriate reflection that gives some light on the mystery of life and death in our Catholic tradition. It may be poetry, prose, an excerpt from a saint or other in keeping with our beliefs.
The best eulogies are written out and reread several times to ensure the essence of the person is best captured, while not leaving people too long in the church. 5 minutes is optimal for a eulogy. Its best to get the feedback of 2-3 other people experienced in communication.
Mass outline and readings (Irish)
The order of mass is, of course, the same in Irish as in English. Please refer to the order outlined above. The readings available are found by clicking on the tab below.
Music for Catholic Funerals, as an aid to elevating our minds and hearts to the God of Mercy
The death of a loved one has an inescapable finality to it. We will no longer relate to, talk with or encounter our deceased loved one in the ways we have been used to. As Christians, we believe that life is changed at death, not ended. Death does not have the final word due to the resurrection of Christ. With this in mind, we need a new way to relate to our loved ones who have passed from this life; we need a new way to relate to our family and friends too, who also may be grieving deeply. Our catholic prayers and sacraments help us greatly to do this.
Funeral liturgies are the collective name given to all the prayers over the days of a funeral, the highpoint being the of course the funeral mass. They are the result of Faith passed down to us from the time of the Apostles, in addition to sacred traditions that added to them by way of local Christian culture. Music is very important, especially for the Irish, and it rightly features large in our funeral masses. Bearing in mind the sacredness of the Holy mass for the deceased loved one, and for ourselves too, it is vital that all music and singing for a Catholic funeral (a Requiem) be at the service of its proper end; the offering of our deceased loved one to God the Father of Mercy and to elevating our minds and hearts to the same God of Mercy. We pray for eternal salvation for our deceased loved one, and for the future hope of our salvation too. In short, the music must be liturgically correct to assist to this end. Secular music has a large part to play in our lives and our local customs. However, it falls often far short of what the funeral liturgy offers. This being the case, secular instrumental, vocal, or recorded music is not appropriate for a sacred Catholic funeral. All music chosen for the funeral liturgy must convey the Christian meaning of death, the offering of prayers for the deceased, and the hope of resurrection and eternal life. Where possible the music should “tie in” with the readings chosen for the funeral liturgy.
A song or songs which may have had special meaning for the deceased or their family could be played / sung at the graveside, after the rosary and committal prayers have been offered. Alternatively, they may feature at the gathering for the deceased after the burial. As home wakes are increasing in popularity, these intimate settings provide excellent opportunities for these selections to be played.
As our society grows more and more secular, it seems that the prevailing culture wants to pervade all areas of our life. We believe that our catholic churches are truly Sacred Spaces, principally because of Christ who resides in our tabernacles day and night, waiting for his faithful friends to visit him and keep watch with him. Once someone enters the church doorways, they should be allowed to sense the timelessness of God’s peace. The introduction of secular traditions and music within these sacred walls robs people of our day of a palpable sense of the sacred.
With this in mind, some general hymns for funeral liturgies are offered by way of example. There are also some recognised links to other sacred music sources. Please note that all singers and musicians who offer their talents at a funeral
mass (requiem) must firmly adhere to and understand the policy of our parish and comply fully with it, when assisting in this sacred liturgy. Undue pressure from families of the deceased on musicians to play inappropriate funeral music is of course most unwelcome. Let us all be calm and recollected in our dealings with the sacred funeral mass, and everything else will fall into place.
Common Funeral Hymns
Abide With Me
Be Not Afraid
Be Still My Soul
Be Thou My Vision
Blest Are They
Close to You
Do Not Be Afraid
Do Not Let Your Hearts Be Troubled
Dona Nobis Pacem
God of Mercy and Compassion
Heal Us Lord
Healer of My Soul
Here I Am Lord
How Can I Repay
How Great Thou Art
I Am the Bread of Life
I Rejoiced when i Heard Them Say
I Will Be With You
In Manus Tuas Pater
Isaiah 49 (I will never forget you my people)
Jesus Remember Me
Lord of all Hopefullness
Love is his word
May the Road Rise to Meet You (Irish Blessing)
My God Accept My Heart This day
My Soul is Thirsting
Shepherd Me O God
Softly Tenderly Jesus is calling
Song of Farwell
Soul of My Saviour
Steal Away To Jesus
The Cloud’s Veil
The king Of Love my Shepherd Is
The Lord Will Heal The Broken Heart
The Lord’s My Shepherd
There is a Place (Lawton)
Voice of an Angel
We Will Rise again
Yahweh Is the God of my Salvation
You Are Mine
As I Kneel Before You
Hail Mary Gentle woman
Hail Queen of Heaven
Lady of Knock
O Mary of Graces
The Bells of the Angelus
Hymns “As Gaielge”
Ag Criost an Siol
A Mhuire Mhathair
A Mhuire na nGrast
A Iosa Glan Mo Chroise
Bi ‘Iosa Im Chroise
Se an Tiarna M’Aoire
Se Do Bheatha Mhuire
Mo Ghra Thu, a Thiarna
Ave Maria (Schubert)
Ave Maria (Gounod)
Ave Verum (Mozart)
Panis Angelicus (Cesar Frank)
The Holy City (Jerusalem)
The Day Thou Gave’st Lord is Ended
Lead Kindly Light
I Walked into the garden
I’ll Walk With God
The Old Rugged Cross
Remember that instrumental music, i.e. old Irish airs “An Chuilfhionn” (the Coolin) or “Taimse im Chodhladh” etc.. and some classical pieces lend themselves greatly to a requiem mass. They must be played at the proper place in the liturgy and with due respect and sensitivity for the sacred place you are in, and be fully mindful of the liturgy that is being conducted.
Pre recorded music from a cd / ipad / iPod / smart phone is not encouraged for a Catholic sacred funeral liturgy.