Funeral Music

  • jf_funeral-300x300Funeral music can highlight the solemnity of the occasion and provide a lasting statement for the dearly departed. As the organ is a very versatile instrument, it is an appropriate choice to provide music that is heartfelt. James recommends choosing solo music for funerals where the congregation is not accustomed to singing hymns. Funerals can bring a diverse congregation, so it is best to have solo music as you might have hymns where no one will be singing. Soloists or choir works can also be arranged.

    The music below is only a small selection of popular and appropriate choices used to assist you in planning the music at a funeral. James is happy to consider any special requests provided the music is suitable, possible and agreed upon within the (to be expected) short timeframes.

    If you are after organ music for something other than a funeral, such as weddings, baptisms, confirmations, feast days, anniversaries or simply require an organist, James would be happy to hear from you.

    Note: The video links provided below are for example only and may not necessarily reflect the musical arrangements on the day.

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  • Prelude music

    For 5-10 minutes before the mourners arrive, James will play a selection of organ works from his own repertoire. It is uncommon to have any special requests here but please advise him if you do have any.

     

    Processional

    The use of a hymn or solo work is appropriate at this point. Keep in mind that hymns are not essential at a funeral and you may like to select a solo work in lieu of a hymn.

    Some popular hymn choices:

    • All People that on Earth do Dwell
    • Holy God, We Praise Thy Name
    • Praise to the Lord, The Almighty
    • Praise, My Soul, The King Of Heaven

     

    Some popular solo works:

     

    Parts of the Mass: Kyrie

    The Kyrie ("Lord, have mercy") is part of the Mass setting. It is most common to use the ICEL Chant Mass. Information on other Mass settings as well as the ICEL Chant Mass are available here. The Kyrie can also be spoken. James will accompany Mass settings if required but recommends the use of a cantor/choir if the congregation is small.

     

    Responsorial Psalm

    Most psalms tend to be spoken. If desired, it is possible to accompany psalms on the organ in order to increase congregational participation at the response. The use of a cantor is essential. Contact James for further information.

     

    Gospel Acclamation

    The gospel acclamation is most often spoken. If desired, it is possible to accompany the acclamation (e.g. "Alleulia") on the organ and have the verse spoken (or sung by cantor). Contact James for further information.

     

    Offertory / Post-Homily

    The use of a hymn and/or solo work from James' repertoire is recommended at this point.

    Some popular hymn choices:

    • The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want (Crimond)
    • Immaculate Mary
    • Nearer, My God, to Thee
    • Firmly I Believe and Truly
    • Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow
    • The Church's One Foundation

     

    Parts of the Mass: Sanctus, Memorial Acclamation, Our Father, Agnus Dei

    As with the Kyrie, it is most common to use the ICEL Chant Mass. If the other Mass parts are spoken, usually the Our Father (Lord's Prayer) is sung to the chant setting. Information on other Mass settings as well as the ICEL Chant Mass are available here. James will accompany Mass settings if required but recommends the use of a cantor/choir if the congregation is small.

     

    Communion

    The use of a hymn or solo work is appropriate at this point. Keep in mind that hymns are not essential at a funeral and you may like to select a solo work in lieu of a hymn.

    Some popular hymn choices:

    • Soul of My Saviour
    • Jesus, My Lord, My God, My All
    • Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence
    • Godhead Here in Hiding (Adoro Te Devote)
    • O Bread of Heaven

     

    Some popular solo works:

     

    Recessional

    The use of a hymn or solo work from James' repertoire is recommended at this point. 

    Some popular hymn choices:

    • Holy God, We Praise Thy Name
    • Hail Queen of Heaven, the Ocean Star
    • Nearer, My God, to Thee
    • Amazing Grace
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