FUNERAL MUSIC PLANNING GUIDE

As the phoenix rises from ashes, death always brings new life.

Table of contents

Part 1: In sympathy
Part 2: Responsorial psalms listed by title
Part 3: Hymns for the other parts of the liturgy by title
Part 4: Inappropriate music for the funeral liturgy
Part 5: Links to responsorial psalms if you wish to listen to them
Part 6: Links to hymns for other parts of the liturgy if you wish
to listen to them
Part 7: Lyrics for psalms and hymns that have no links.
Part 8: Links to other sections of the Funeral Planning Guide.

Part 1: In sympathy

Your parish family at St. Mary of Mount Carmel / Blessed Sacrament expresses our sincere prayers for your comfort and healing at this time of grief. God brings us together to celebrate the interweaving of life and death as part of our Christian identity.
Honoring your deceased family member with a Catholic funeral mass shows your commitment to the faith of your family member. Though the funeral mass celebrates the life of the deceased, it is mainly meant to be the sign of a bridge between life on earth and eternal life with God. The funeral mass offers an opportunity for those assembled to grow stronger in their own faith and to be supported by the faith of others.
Some families are too grief-stricken to plan music for the funeral of a loved one. In that case, our parish musicians and pastor will plan funeral music that is personalized and prayerful.
If you decide to choose funeral music, choose one psalm and not more than four other pieces. The organist or music director will place what you have chosen at the best time during the funeral Mass.
Often, families who have chosen music for a previous death might be tempted to choose the same music again, especially for a spouse. We discourage this practice because each person has a different set of gifts and should be accorded individual honor and recognition. Though some pieces may be the same, family funerals should not be exact duplicates; those people we treasure deserve to be remembered individually.
Music for the funeral liturgy
  • Gathering Song.
  • Responsorial Psalm.
  • Preparation of the Gifts.
  • Communion Song.
  • Closing Song.
Other songs from this list can be used at prelude time while the assembly gathers. The funeral planner will help you place the songs at the best times.

Part 2: Responsorial psalms listed by title

Choose one of the following pieces as the selection between the first reading and second readings. Only a psalm from scripture may be done at this time. Psalms may also be chosen for any other time during the funeral liturgy.
If you wish to listen to any song, please scroll down and select the video.
  • Because the Lord Is My Shepherd
  • Happy Are They
  • In Ev’ry Age
  • The King of Love My Shepherd Is
  • The Lord Is My Shepherd
  • The Lord Is My Shepherd
  • My Shepherd Is the Lord
  • O Lord, The Guardian of My Heart
  • On Eagle’s Wings
  • Shelter Me O God
  • Shepherd Me, O God
  • Shepherd of My Heart
  • Show Us the Path of Life
  • This Alone
  • To You, O Lord, I Lift My Soul
  • Valleys of Green
  • You Are Near
  • You Will Show Me the Path of Life
  • Bless the Lord, My Soul

Part 3: Hymns for the other parts of the liturgy by title

If you wish to listen to any song, please scroll down and select the video.
  • Amazing Grace
  • Ave Maria
  • Be Not Afraid
  • Come to Me
  • Covenant Hymn
  • Eye Has Not Seen
  • Hail Mary, Gentle Woman
  • Hallelujah
  • The Hand of God Shall Hold You
  • Hosea
  • How Can I Keep From Singing?
  • How Great Thou Art
  • I Am the Bread of Life
  • I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say
  • I Know That My Redeemer Lives
  • I Will Never Forget You
  • It Is Well with My Soul
  • Jerusalem, My Destiny
  • Journeys Ended, Journeys Begun
  • Let There Be Peace on Earth
  • Lights of the City
  • Like A Shepherd
  • The Lord Is My Hope
  • The Love of the Lord
  • Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glor
  • Non Ti Scordar
  • Only This I Want
  • Prayer of St. Francis
  • Resta Con Noi
  • Safety Harbor
  • Shall We Gather at the River
  • Sing A New Song
  • Sing with All the Saints in Glory
  • Songs of the Angels
  • Song of Farewell
  • There Are Many Rooms
  • This Day in New Jerusalem
  • These Alone Are Enough
  • We Shall Rise Again
  • We Walk By Faith
  • When The Saints Come Marching In
  • With A Shepherd’s Care

Part 4: Inappropriate music for the funeral liturgy

  • “Here I Am, Lord” can be used instrumentally but should not be sung. Its lyrics are about the call to ministry and not about death, life or resurrection.
  • Seasonal songs for Christmas or Holy Week should be avoided since they celebrate special moments of the Church year and not death and new life.
The following music by David Haas is not allowed at church liturgies in our diocese for the time being. Please do not choose any of these pieces for the funeral Mass. The videos are included here so that you may use them for your private prayer.
  • Blest Are They
  • Do Not Let Your Hearts Be Troubled
  • The Guardian’s Farewell
  • I Know That My Redeemer Lives
  • I Thirst For You
  • In God Alone
  • In the Land of the Living
  • Take Me Home
  • When Grief Is Raw
  • We Will Rise Again
  • You Are Mine

Part 5: Responsorial psalms videos 

Because the Lord Is My Shepherd

Happy Are They

In Ev’ry Age

The King of Love My Shepherd Is

The Lord Is My Shepherd

The Lord Is My Shepherd

My Shepherd Is the Lord

O Lord, The Guardian of My Heart

On Eagle’s Wings

Shelter Me O God

Shepherd Me, O God

Shepherd of My Heart 

Show Us The Path of Life

This Alone

To You, O Lord, I Lift My Soul

Valleys of Green 

You Are Near

You Will Show Me the Path of Life

Part 6: Videos to hymns for other parts of the liturgy

Amazing Grace

Ave Maria

Be Not Afraid

Be Not Afraid

Come to Me

Come To Me

Come To Me, O Weary Traveler

Covenant Hymn

Eye Has Not Seen

Hail Mary, Gentle Woman

Hallelujah

The Hand of God Shall Hold You

Hosea

How Can I Keep From Singing?

How Great Thou Art

I Am the Bread of Life

I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say 

I Know That My Redeemer Lives

I Will Never Forget You

It Is Well With My Soul

Jerusalem, My Destiny

Journeys Ended, Journeys Begun

Let There Be Peace on Earth

Lights of the City

Like A Shepherd

The Lord Is My Hope

The Love of the Lord

Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory

Non Ti Scordar 

Only This I Want

Prayer of St. Francis 

Prayer of St. Francis 

Resta Con Noi

Safety Harbor

Shall We Gather at the River

Sing A New Song 

Sing with All the Saints in Glory

Songs of the Angels

Song of Farewell

There Are Many Rooms

This Day in New Jerusalem

These Alone Are Enough

We Shall Rise Again

We Walk By Faith

When The Saints Come Marching In

With A Shepherd’s Care

Blest Are They

Do Not Let Your Hearts Be Troubled

The Guardian’s Farewell

I Know That My Redeemer Lives

I Thirst For You

In God Alone

In the Land of the Living

Take Me Home

When Grief Is Raw

We Will Rise Again

You Are Mine

Part 7: Lyrics for psalms and hymns

The People of God (O’Brien)
Come to me all who are burdened, come and rest in my love
Rejoice and be glad, your hope lies in heaven,
your home with the people of God.
Blessed, blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed be the Lord’s own children
theirs is the kingdom of God.
Blessed, blessed are they who walk in sorrow,       
blessed be the Lord’s own children, they are embraced by God.
Blessed, blessed the ones who are lowly,
blessed be the Lord’s own children, they shall inherit the land.
Blessed, blessed the ones who thirst for righteousness,
blessed be the Lord’s own children, for all of their dreams will come true.
Blessed, blessed are they who show mercy,
blessed be the Lord’s own children, mercy from God shall be theirs.
Blessed, blessed the ones with a pure heart,
blessed be the Lord’s own children- they shall see God.
Blessed, blessed the ones who make peace.
Blessed are they who know pain for the sake of righteousness.
Blessed, blessed are you who know suffering,
blessed are you who know insult because of your God.
Bless the Lord, My Soul
O bless the Lord who fills my soul, O bless God’s holy name
Remember all the many blessings,
God forgives and heals our wounds, crowning all with mercy.
Who satisfies us all with goodness, as long as we will live;
Renews our youth just like an eagle
Giving justice to the poor, granting peace forever.
The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, loving always.
God never haunts us when we falter,
Always healing, always near – giving us new freedom.
As far as east is from the west, so our God removes our failings,
Compassion shown to all the broken
For this gift of love and grace is ours, God’s children.
The steadfast love that is of God is here now and forever.     
This covenant will be the promise,
If we serve and do God’s will. Bless the Lord, my soul.
I Long For You (Dameans)
I long for you O Lord; with all my soul, I thirst for you!    
God, my God, it is you I seek; for you my soul is thirsting
Like a dry and weary land, my spirit longs for you.
I have sought your presence Lord, to see your power and glory.
Lord, your love means more than life; I will sing your praise.
Thus will I bless you while I live, and I will call your name, Lord
As with the riches of a feast, my soul is filled by you.
Through the night I remember you, for you have been my savior.
In the shadow of your wings, I will shout for joy.
Just Like A Deer (Joncas)
When will I come to the end of my pilgrimage
and enter the presence of God?
Just like a deer longs for the stream, so do I long for you my God.
My heart and soul are thirsting for you- longing for you, my God.

Part 8: Links to other sections of the funeral guide