ROVIDING MUSIC for funerals is an essential part of a church musician’s life. And usually, we have to prepare the music with very short notices. The nice part about funerals is the extra money we get. They negative side is that funerals can mess up your daily schedule, especially if you have to prepare some rehearsals for the evening or the funeral falls on your day off.
I don’t know if you have this experience, but sometimes the music request of the family of the deceased drives me crazy! So, I created a list of hymns, hymns that can be found in common of the American Catholic hymnals, for Catholic funerals.
My friend, Bridget Scott, music director at Our Lady of the Mountains Roman Catholic Church (OLM) in Jasper, GA, also contributed to the list. I am very happy to announced that we will be collaborating again in October. A workshop called “Praying for Our Dead: Essential Music of the Catholic Funeral Mass” will be held at OLM on October 3. Fr. Charles Byrd will be giving a keynote on the theology of the Mass of the Dead and Funeral Music. Resources and guide on funeral planning will also be included in the music packet. More information is available on the website of the newly established St. Ambrose School of Chant.
Finally, I just want to share a beautiful hymn that is perfect for Catholic funeral. Abide With Me sung by the famous King’s College Choir:
And a concert version arranged by Dr. Paul Weber sung by the Schola Cantorum Franciscana (This video was taken when I was an undergrad, good luck finding me in the choir!). This setting is available on Choralife.