Choosing Music & Hymns for a Funeral

Music and Hymns

It is a good to choose a gathering song, which is accessible for the entire congregation to sing. Instrumental music is preferable at the Presentation of the Gifts, though a hymn reflecting the action of presenting the gifts of bread and wine may be sung.

A communion hymn should be familiar and easy for the congregation to sing without undue reference to words, e.g. a song with a repetitive chorus.

When the distribution of Communion is finished, as circumstances allow, a reflective hymn to assist silent prayer or a hymn of thanksgiving may be sung. The "Song of Farewell" may be sung during the sprinkling with holy water and incensing of the coffin. Otherwise this is done in silence.

The final hymn may be replaced with suitable instrumental music. If a hymn is chosen, it should speak of our faith in the resurrection and eternal life.

Other parts of the Mass such as the Gospel Acclamation, the Holy Holy, the Lamb of God and the Final Commendation should also be sung.

Choosing hymns or songs that were the deceased person’s favourites are often not appropriate for the occasion of mourning, or liturgical celebration and congregational participation. They may be more fitting to play and listen to at smaller, intimate gatherings to commemorate the person.


The King of Love My Shepherd Is 

We Will Rise Again


Responsorial     Psalms


Psalm 19: Lord, You Have the Words

Psalm 23: The Lord Is My Shepherd   

Psalm 23: Shepherd Me, O God

Psalm 25: To You, O Lord I Lift My Soul   

Psalm 27: The Lord Is My Light

Psalm 63: My Soul Is Thirsting   

Psalm 84: How Lovely Is Your Dwelling

Psalm 84: Happy Are They   

Psalm 103: The Lord Is Kind and Merciful

Psalm 116: I Will Walk in the Presence of God   

Psalm 130: With the Lord There Is Mercy


Gospel Acclamation and Eucharistic  



*Music chosen for the gospel acclamation and

the Eucharistic acclamations should be taken   

from the parish repertoire. The Pastor, Parish

Director or Pastoral Musician can assist with   

these selections.


Communion Songs/Processionals


Eat This Bread

Gift of Finest Wheat   

Here I Am, Lord

I Am the Bread of Life   

In the Breaking of the Bread

Keep In Mind   

Now We Remain

One Bread, One Body


The Vigil for the Deceased

*Any music that is appropriate for the funeral mass is also appropriate for the funeral vigil.       

Below are some that are particularly appropriate. The vigil would also be the time to incorporate a song that was significant to your loved one. Following are some suggestions for the various parts of the ceremony. But always talk over your suggestions with the  Priest, or the Funeral ministry team or the cantor/organist who will give you support.       


Amazing Grace

I Know That My Redeemer Lives      

Jesus Remember Me

Keep In Mind       

O God Our Help in Ages Past

We Walk By Faith       


The Funeral Mass (or Liturgy Outside Mass)


Gathering/Preparation/Concluding Songs


Alleluia! Sing To Jesus

Amazing Grace       

Be Not Afraid

Come To Me

Holy God, We Praise Thy Name       

How Great Thou Art       

I Know That My Redeemer Lives

Jerusalem, My Happy Home       

Jesus Christ Is Risen Today

Lift High the Cross       

On Eagle’s Wings       

Soon and Very Soon

You Are Mine

You Are Near 


Song of Farewell

*Music at this time should be taken from the text in the Funeral Rite, “The Song of Farewell.”

It may not be a psalm or other song that does not have the text from the “Song of Farewell.”


Saints of God Come to His/Her Aid, May the Angels Lead You Into Paradise


The Rite of Committal

Often, there is little or no music at the graveside or committal service. There may be a short, familiar refrain sung during the procession, or at the beginning or conclusion of the service.