Funeral song at Sunday Mass

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: I have another pastoral question. 

Someone requested a funeral song at sunday mass as their (abroad) relative died. They gave no hymn suggestions and despite me trying to find something that would fit/suit this sunday, I was not prepared to put abide with me/song of farewell in (her initial request), so I politely declined and said that the pp will include/mention him during mass as she had asked for it to be dedicated to the deceased. 

Am I a dinosaur for saying no she cant have a funeral song on a parish liturgy on a sunday? Have i got this all wrong?

If I had to I would have had an alternative exit hymn but I cant think of anything that fits the readings, perhaps something Easter-y, about believing in the resurrection…? My head hurts! Also its just odd to have generic hymns and then end with a funeral hymn, as I imagine the sunday readings stay as they are. 

Thanks 🙂


A: Basically, you’re correct that the music for any Mass should be appropriate for that Mass, and that a specific prayer for someone who has died belongs in the universal prayer or by name in the Eucharistic Prayer.

That said, the readings are not the only source of inspiration for music. The antiphons from the missal are a handy reference, and they may also serve for the entrance and communion.

Depending on how you look at it, almost any hymn implies a faith in the resurrection, so some connections can be adduced.

I also think it’s a good idea, when appropriate, to put into the Sunday repertoire some music that Catholics may encounter at a funeral. That will help them sing better when they grieve over a loved one who has died.