Playing for a Funeral tomorrow


#1

It has been a long time since I have played for a funeral, since I work full time, but I play the organ and cantor at mass regularly. Our elderly musical director usually does all the funeral masses, but will be laid up for awhile, and I was asked to play the organ for a funeral tomorrow. The vocalist is a parish member who is very accomplished, and she has chosen the selections. :slight_smile:

I’m a little nervous because I have occasionally found that in some masses we dispense with specific music that is customarily used at weekly masses. Particularly I am wondering about the Gloria and the music during Preparation of Gifts. Also, I know there are additional rites, and I can’t remember where these fit into the mass.

Any other suggestions, or departures from the usual weekly mass that I should be aware of would be very much appreciated. I don’t want to go in there cold and green, because funerals are so important, and our organ is right up there in front of the church where I will be seen.


#2

[quote="mia2klm, post:1, topic:338368"]
It has been a long time since I have played for a funeral, since I work full time, but I play the organ and cantor at mass regularly. Our elderly musical director usually does all the funeral masses, but will be laid up for awhile, and I was asked to play the organ for a funeral tomorrow. The vocalist is a parish member who is very accomplished, and she has chosen the selections. :)

I'm a little nervous because I have occasionally found that in some masses we dispense with specific music that is customarily used at weekly masses. Particularly I am wondering about the Gloria and the music during Preparation of Gifts. Also, I know there are additional rites, and I can't remember where these fit into the mass.

Any other suggestions, or departures from the usual weekly mass that I should be aware of would be very much appreciated. I don't want to go in there cold and green, because funerals are so important, and our organ is right up there in front of the church where I will be seen.

[/quote]

There is usually no Gloria and no Creed at a funeral. The rest of the Ordinary would be the same, Kyrie, Sanctus, Mystery of Faith, Amen, Sanctus. The only thing I can think of that would be different would be the singing during the Final Commendation.


#3

Thank you, Phemie.


#4

You can call the church office and get the information from the secretary or priest of what the priest will be expecting for the funeral. That way, you are on the same page as the priest offering the Mass.


#5

That is also a good idea. I believe the vocalist will help, and we plan to be there fairly early to give ourselves time to check in with the two priests who are celebrating the mass. Just knowing that I am correct, that there are mass parts that are not used at funeral masses does help. I thank you. :slight_smile:


#6

Gloria and Penitential Rite are omitted.

Preparation of Gifts is short so be prepared.

Song of commendation is usually added, often not for cremains as the commendation is done at the cemetery - check with priest.

We don’t share the sign of peace at our parish during most funerals, your vocalist will know.


#7

Thank you, Mary Ellen. That gives me a good mental picture of what to expect, and I will be working with the vocalist, so I think it will go fine. I had a chance last night to play through the songs on my piano at home, especially the ones I had never played before, and I do feel better now. I will try to get there early to warm up; see if I can get a written list to follow; and put my music in mass order as I always do.

We have a new pastor, and also a new secretary whom I haven’t had a chance to meet. However, my husband was at a meeting last night for Eucharistic Ministers, and he talked with the secretary, who suggested that I come over and meet her after the funeral. We don’t even have a musician’s schedule yet for this weekend, because of our musical director being in the hospital. I just have a general sense of unease, which I hope will be resolved today.

Thank you again, everybody. It is wonderful to have this forum!


#8

My first several funeral masses were “nervous.” But the cantor had years and years of experience! Trust and play. :slight_smile:

Now, I occasionally play and sing for funeral masses alone. That can be a bit anxious, but still an honor to provide music for the mass.


#9

mcmitton, yes it is definitely an honor to provide music at any mass, especially for a funeral. Everything went very well, and I won't be so nervous next time. It sounds like I may be getting more requests, as they had thought of me as unavailable because I work full time. However, I am close to retirement age, and my work schedule can be flexible for important occasions such as this.

Mary Ellen, you were right on target. In this case, they did have a sign of peace. There were a couple of times I played some soft music (such as during incensing), and I picked up some extra music I had with me for that possibility. I've learned it's always a good idea to have something like that on hand. I played a couple of them for a short prelude as well.

Thank you again!


#10

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