Because of its integral role in the liturgy, music is a very important aspect of the funeral. St. Joseph's Church requires the use of its own musicians, that is an organist and a cantor, to act as music ministers for the funeral. We welcome your input for selecting hymns for the Funeral Mass.
When and What songs are the songs during the Funeral Mass?
Music in the form of hymns, chants, and responses is present throughout the Mass. Hymns are typically sung at 3-4 places in the service during the Processional (if there is no viewing prior to Mass), the Offertory, Communion, and the Recessional. We have created a list from which you may choose hymns appropriate for these liturgical actions. We usually can accommodate your selections, but note that substitutions may occasionally be made at the musicians' discretion.
Secular music, even popular Christian, patriotic, or personal favorites of the deceased, is better suited for the viewing, wake, or repast but not appropriate for the ecclesiastical funeral rites.
May a family member or friend sing at the Mass?
Occasionally, family members or friends will ask to sing a solo. We do our best to accommodate these requests at only two distinct times of the Funeral: as a prelude before the start of the Mass or at the recessional as the celebrant and people are leaving. Soloists are not permitted during the Mass for a number of reasons. All soloists and their music selections must be approved prior to the funeral by our music director and must make contact with her prior to the start of the Mass. We regret that musicians arriving after the funeral has started cannot be accommodated.
The following suggestions have been compiled for your convenience. If there is a hymn you would like to select that is not listed here, it may still be possible to use it. Please consult with the Director of Music.
The hymns listed below are often requested for funeral masses. We ask you to pick 4-5 songs from the list below. You may click on the title to hear the hymn. (The link takes you to a page with a Catholic music publisher. To listen to an excerpt of the hymn, click on the white triangle inside of the black box on the landing page.) Not all of the hymns listed have an audio link.
Abide With Me
If you wish to include a liturgical hymn during the funeral mass that is not listed here, please don’t hesitate to speak with our music director to see if she can accommodate you.
Please note that the Responsorial Psalm, the prayer in between the First and Second Reading, is sung rather than recited at our funeral masses. You may click here if you would like to choose which Responsorial Psalm the cantor will sing.