Opinions on music? Playing Tuesday for grandfather's funeral


#1

Hello everyone,

My name is Lauren. I’m looking for some opinions on music for my grandfather’s funeral mass.

First, I’m a professional musician. I play violin and piano and I sing. I am not familiar with all the ins and outs of the Catholic funeral mass and want to honor my grandfather with some beautiful music as my grandmother has requested.

Grandma asked for piano during the reflection. I don’t know what the church might approve, but she suggested “Be Not Afraid.” Any others?

I also thought of Schubert’s “Ave Maria” but I am getting mixed feedback from online articles of if it is allowed and I don’t know where it would come in the mass if included.

I also thought of playing Amazing Grace on my violin, maybe at the graveside.

Any suggestions on what I could offer my grandmother as options for playing and singing and answers to my questions would be much appreciated!

Thanks,

Lauren


#2

actually ,if i'm not mistaken any selection would have to be approved by the pastor.


#3

Be not Afraid is perfect! My mother's funeral mass we had Here I am Lord (not a dry eye in the church) and to this day I cry when I hear that. On Eagles Wings. Be Not Afraid and The Celtic (something) can not remember the full name. Sorry for your loss.


#4

Regarding Ave Maria, just a thought if it seems appropriate...

My daughter is a singer, and we have a recital CD of her singing it. My dad loved it. Since there was visitation an hour before the funeral Mass, about 20 minutes before Mass we played the recorded version. (She wasn't able to be at the funeral...she was several states away at college.)


#5

"Be Not Afraid" is perfect for a funeral. I never particularly liked "Ave Maria" for a funeral. I think it fits better in the wedding Mass.


#6

I love Schubert's Ave Maria (and also Gounod's). It is the "Hail Mary" and I find that appropriate at any Mass. Since the congregation cannot join in singing it, it might be best to sing it just prior to Mass beginning. At some funeral Masses, after the Communion song sung by the whole congregation, there may be a solo sung by a family member or friend (or an instrumental solo). This would also be an appropriate time to sing the Ave Maria. (Or Panis Angelicus by Cesar Franck, if you have the voice.)

The Ave Maria shouldn't cause any problem with the priest. It's popular secular songs that are not to be included in the liturgy.


#7

We had "Be not Afraid" for both my mom's and my dad's funeral.

The only downside? I used to love the song. Now it makes me cry. :o


#8

[quote="Nita, post:6, topic:327005"]
At some funeral Masses, after the Communion song sung by the whole congregation, there may be a solo sung by a family member or friend (or an instrumental solo). This would also be an appropriate time to sing the Ave Maria. (Or Panis Angelicus by Cesar Franck, if you have the voice.)

[/quote]

It is actually liturgically inappropriate to sing a solo without the assembly as the second Communion chant. The GIRM is specific in saying that a "a Psalm or other canticle of praise or a hymn" if desired, must be sung by all the people together at this point. (GIRM #88)


#9

[quote="Elizium23, post:8, topic:327005"]
It is actually liturgically inappropriate to sing a solo without the assembly as the second Communion chant. The GIRM is specific in saying that a "a Psalm or other canticle of praise or a hymn" if desired, must be sung by all the people together at this point. (GIRM #88)

[/quote]

Thank you. I thought exceptions were allowed for funerals and weddings, but I've been unable to find any document permitting it.
For those interested, here's the text of #88 in the GIRM:88. When the distribution of Communion is over, if appropriate, the Priest and faithful pray quietly for some time. If desired, a Psalm or other canticle of praise or a hymn may also be sung by the whole congregation.
usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/the-mass/general-instruction-of-the-roman-missal/girm-chapter-2.cfm I do want to say that I think it is a good regulation. I have been at funerals where there have been solos. Some were absolutely beautiful, with appropriate songs. But there were just as many where the singer was not good and the song and/or style of singing was popular/secular and out of place at a Mass liturgy. On those occasions I remember thinking, "I wish the Church wouldn't allow this". :)


#10

One of the ones I remember from my father’s funeral was The Church’s One Foundation. I know there were others, there were a lot. Our “short list” of about 9 hymns had been about 40 (and that was when my sister just stopped writing suggestions). We joked that the list really could have been the whole hymn book except for a couple.


#11

The Day Thou Gavest, Lord Is Ended is a vespers hymn, but often used in funerals. nice descant at the end.

its well known to our Anglican friends, its also approved for use in the Liturgy of the Hours in England.


#12

If you have the time, audition the song by Janet Sullivan Whitaker (OCP), "In Every Age."
The great standard of FINLANDIA setting of "Be Still My Soul."
At the end of the commital prayer, chant "In paradisum."


#13

Actually if you read the entire section from GIRM on singing during communion:

  1. It is most desirable that the faithful, just as the Priest himself is bound to do, receive the Lord’s Body from hosts consecrated at the same Mass and that, in the cases where this is foreseen, they partake of the chalice (cf. no. 283), so that even by means of the signs Communion may stand out more clearly as a participation in the sacrifice actually being celebrated.[72]

  2. While the Priest is receiving the Sacrament, the Communion Chant is begun, its purpose being to express the spiritual union of the communicants by means of the unity of their voices, to show gladness of heart, and to bring out more clearly the “communitarian” character of the procession to receive the Eucharist. The singing is prolonged for as long as the Sacrament is being administered to the faithful.[73] However, if there is to be a hymn after Communion, the Communion Chant should be ended in a timely manner.

Care should be taken that singers, too, can receive Communion with ease.

  1. In the Dioceses of the United States of America, there are four options for singing at Communion: (1) the antiphon from the Missal or the antiphon with its Psalm from the Graduale Romanum, as set to music there or in another musical setting; (2) the antiphon with Psalm from the Graduale Simplex of the liturgical time; (3) a chant from another collection of Psalms and antiphons, approved by the Conference of Bishops or the Diocesan Bishop, including Psalms arranged in responsorial or metrical forms; (4) some other suitable liturgical chant (cf. no. 86) approved by the Conference of Bishops or the Diocesan Bishop. This is sung either by the choir alone or by the choir or a cantor with the people.

However, if there is no singing, the antiphon given in the Missal may be recited either by the faithful, or by some of them, or by a reader; otherwise, it is recited by the Priest himself after he has received Communion and before he distributes Communion to the faithful.

  1. When the distribution of Communion is over, if appropriate, the Priest and faithful pray quietly for some time. If desired, a Psalm or other canticle of praise or a hymn may also be sung by the whole congregation

A communion chant/hymn is sung by the congregation during the distribution of communion #86. Number 88 just says an additional hymn may be sung by the congregation. It is not required nor does it prevent a solo or choral piece from being done. Therefore an appropriate solo may be done while the vessels are being purified Only singing during the distribution is required..


#14

[quote="cspb56, post:13, topic:327005"]
Actually if you read the entire section from GIRM on singing during communion:

A communion chant/hymn is sung by the congregation during the distribution of communion #86. Number 88 just says an additional hymn may be sung by the congregation. It is not required nor does it prevent a solo or choral piece from being done. Therefore an appropriate solo may be done while the vessels are being purified Only singing during the distribution is required..

[/quote]

But it does say "sung by the congregation".


#15

Correct, but it says "may". It does not indicate that a choral piece or solo cannot be sung.


#16

If you look at the whole of the GIRM, you will find many, many instances where it describes exactly who may sing what. There are parts it says "sung by the cantor or the choir" or similar wordings. My question is, if the intent was not to proscribe solos or choir-only chants, then why this wording? Why did they not describe this as "may be sung by the cantor or choir alone, or by all the people together"?


#17

Unfortunately it can get confusing and sometimes things are vague. Talk with the priest celebrating mass he will be able to tell you what is the norm at his parish. The parishes I've worked at have had no problem with it. At large celebration with a lot of people going to communion you will see a mixture of congregational and choral back and forth. Funerals are a difficult time for families and we always try and accommodate them as long as the music is appropriate. Don't sweat this.


#18

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