Liturgical readings for funeral Mass

Alll of the arrangements for Dad’s funeral and burial have been made and are being paid for. We’re very practical people and doing all this aheaad of time so that when the actual time comes and we don’t have any of that to think about. I’ll just have to bring the florals I have here at the house.

What I still need is the list of readings, both OT and NT, for the Mass. They are in the Lectionary and I don’t have a copy of that. I lost the list I was given. Can someone please send me that list so Dad and I can ,ake the choices? Sure would appreciate it.

Call your parish and ask if they have a book of readings. We have one that we give to each family when planning a funeral. It is called Through Death to Life by Joseph Champlin. There are special readings that can be used for a funeral and they are all in that book along with samply intercessions and other information.

When I have planned funeral Masses for my relatives and relatives of friends (including my former pastor), the readings that I have used are the following:

1 Maccabees (don’t have the exact citation, but here is the meat of it):
This talks about the efficacy of praying for the souls of the dead. Judas Maccabees found out that the soldiers who were fighting on their side wore amulets. He and his men took up a collection and made an expiatory offering on behalf of the souls of these soldiers, trusting in God’s mercy.

For the Psalm: The Lord is my light and my salvation.

The Epistle comes from that of the Solemnity of the Annunciation

The Gospel Acclamation: I am the Way, the Truth and the Life (it’s in the lectionary)

The Gospel comes from St. John’s Account of the Last Supper Discourse (in my Father’s house there are many mansions).

In fact we have used these for the All Souls’ Day Mass as well.

I hope this helps.

Look here at this table:

Let me know if you want the psalm responses - I can look them up in the lectionery and type them out.

Thanks so much AJV, yes I would like the psalm responses. We will definitely be using the 23rd Psalm. I’m sure that the majority of funerals use that one.

That is precisely why I never use it when I am planning funerals. When my former pastor died, we used “You are a priest forever in the line of Melchisedek.” We did not know until the day of the funeral that the priest who wrote the setting for that psalm would be one of the concelebrants. He and the bishop were pleased.

I realize that Psalm 23 is the most commonly used one; however, there are a lot of psalms that convey the meaning behind the funeral liturgy quite beautifully. When my mother died, we used the Lord is my light and my salvation You could use a variation of Psalm 23 for the offertory or for Holy Communion.

In fact, for my own, I would rather use “With the Lord, there is mercy and fullness of redemption”, which comes from Psalm 51. This psalm implores God to have mercy on us and, from the looks of it, I will need all of the prayers for mercy that I can get.

For my grandfather’s funeral, we chose the following readings:

First Reading: Lamentations 3 (Discuses the mystery of suffering and maintaining our trust in the Lord’s mercy).

Psalm 103 (The Lord is kind and merciful)

Romans 6:3-9 (“Are you not aware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death.”

John 11 (The narrative leading up to Lazarus’ resuscitation and “I am the resurrection and the life”)

This link may be of assistance to you:

In your diocese do not the priests prepare their own funerals which are kept on file for when they pass. Ours do. The choose the readings, the hymns, who will preside and who will preach and other things with regard to the Mass. The diocese takes care of all the details. When our former pastor died the diocese basically took over the whole thing. They even brought their own musicians. They do this for all the priests.

This was a sticky situation. Technically, he belonged to the Diocese of Corpus Christi because we made the split back in 2000. However, he was a married man who became a priest after his wife died. The parish here was the last one had served. Since he was in the beginning stages of Alzheimers when he left the parish, it was decided by the bishop that he should be relieved of his duties. He was originally in an assisted living center but then moved in with one of his children. He was with his daughter when he died. It was his wish to be buried out of our parish, but, he was too far gone (mentally) to make the arrangements. He had been suffering in that state for the last six years of his life.

Therefore, it fell to me to plan it. The bishop of the Diocese of Corpus Christi came to celebrate the funeral Mass. The one interesting thing about the funeral was that he had wanted an old Baptist hymn played as the recessional (that was the one thing that jogged his memory). I cannot remember the name, but, it was a doozy trying to find it, at the time. His kids really did not have much of an input in anything, which is sad, but, they were open to whatever we had planned. They were happy with the results.

We had everything planned right up to the Salve Regina which all of the priests in attendance sang as they placed him inside the hearse. He was buried with his wife.

I guess that was a unique situation. My only experience with preparing liturgy after a priest’s death was with the Mass of Transferral which was left up to us in the parish. With that however we had a lot of input from the families of the priests. One had a niece who was very involved in the planning and the other had a brother who worked with us.

For my daughters funeral, we got to chose the reading besides the gospel reading. Our priest insisted that at funerals with children he reads out of the Gospel of Mark where it says “let the children come to Me.”

I wanted to use “whoever loves son our daughter is not worthy of Me.” But at least we still do eulogies at our parish so I used it then:)

If your priest is willing, most will let you pick out your own readings from any Scripture you feel is appropriate.

I suggest Wisdom 3:1-6;9 and Romans 14:7-12. These were the same readings that were read yesterday for my great-grandmother’s funeral. Wonderful readings

My mother very much wanted the beginning of the Gospel according to St. John at my her funeral: “In the beginning was the Word…”

She wanted it because so many of my family no longer practice - and have not brought up their children as Christian - let alone Catholic. To her, it was an opportunity to catechize. My mother was very devout and it greatly bothered her - the widespread apostasy. Of course, it was not allowed. A minor issue, but it would’ve been nice.

Knowing the parish, I always have suspected since the funeral that we would have been allowed to have a reading from Khalil Gibran, but not a reading that clearly proclaims the Godhead of Christ.

Oh well.

Thanks to one and all for your responses, esp. kage and AJV. I’ve got what I need now and Dad and I will make the selections today so that it’s done.

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