Funerals are neither festive nor happy but that does not mean they go on without music. Integral to any Catholic mass are the songs sung by the congregation. As Saint Augustine once said singing is twice praying so it is important to still have music during funerals. However, you have to choose the right music so that you still maintain the right mood but also encourage healing within those grieving over their departed loved ones. This can be a little tricky but it can be done. Here is how to choose Catholic funeral music:
- Suggestions from the priest. You can always ask a priest for good funeral mass songs because he will know best what is appropriate for a setting such as this. There are many, many songs in the library of Catholic music and priests will know which ones are best for somber moods. They might know a song that they can later use to strengthen their homily. It does not hurt to ask the priest saying mass.
- Suggestions from the choir. Like the priest, the church choir has probably been to many services and funerals and is likely to know what songs are best performed and played at Catholic funerals. After all, they will be doing most of the singing. Ask for what is usually played at other funerals and see if you agree with their choices. You will also need to tell them if you have any special requests. They can also tell you if the songs you want to be played are appropriate for something like this. Good choirs can adapt easily to changes in the playlist or individual songs and will be open to specific requests from the family of the deceased.
- Suggestions from the family of the deceased. It is also wise to get suggestions from the family of the deceased. See if they have a preference for certain mass songs or what they think their dearly departed would have liked to hear if he were still around. Catholic funeral services can get really depressing and the right song can do wonders for the morale of the grieving.
- Music appropriate for the mood and the day. Of course, all music at a Catholic funeral must be appropriate for the day. Songs that sing about repentance, devotion and faithfulness to the Lord and the like are perfect for such times when believers are depressed and looking for guidance and direction. Upbeat songs might be too lively for such circumstances but that does not mean all songs must be slow and sad. Uplifting songs can raise a person’s spirit without being loud so it is very important that you find the right ones. You can also consider certain songs unique to the day because they were composed by the particular day’s Saint.
Choosing the right music for Catholic funerals is not hard at all because there are many songs to choose from. Seek suggestions from the people involved with the service so that you can put together the best list.