Mass outline and readings (English)

Funeral Mass

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.

Welcome by priest (also symbols representing the deceased, if requested, are introduced here. This is optional and solely at the request of the family)

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:

First Reading
Usually chosen from the Old Testament readings. 

Responsorial Psalm
The psalm may be sung. If not the First Reader reads it.

Second Reading
Usually taken from the New Testament readings. 

Gospel Acclamation (Alleluia)
The ‘Alleluia’ may be sung. If not the Second Reader reads it.

The Gospel
Taken from the Gospel readings. The Priest reads the Gospel but the family are welcome to choose the reading.

Prayers of the Faithful

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.

The offertory

Two family members bring the bread & wine to the altar, to become the Body & Blood of Christ in the Eucharistic prayers.

After Communion reflection

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. 

Final prayers, followed, if requested, by a eulogy (optional)

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. 

Final prayers of Commendation, followed by removal of remains from church


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.

Funeral music

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

Amazing Grace

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

Eagles Wings

God of Mercy and Compassion

Going Home

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


Marian Hymns

As I Kneel Before You

Hail Mary Gentle woman

Hail Queen of Heaven

Lady of Knock

Lourdes Magnificat

O Mary of Graces

O Sanctissima

Salve Regina

The Bells of the Angelus


Hymns “As Gaielge”

Ag Criost an Siol

A Mhuire Mhathair

Criost Liom

A Iosa

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


Classical Pieces;

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

Pie Jesu

In Paradisum

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.