Monday, November 17, 2008

Music for Funeral Mass

~From today's Funeral Mass. Father wore black vestments and part of the family schola sang and played. The Mass was in the Ordinary Form and as usual, there was the "On Eagle's Wings" request. It's not an easy thing to tell people, "No" to that piece, especially since they're grieving. Many times, the person requesting it has a strong emotional attachment to it that overrides any memory of other hymns.

Prelude: Litany for All Souls, Schubert
Processional Hymn: The King of Love My Shepherd is (St. Columba)
Psalm Responsory: Chabanel Psalm, Psalm 103, St. John of the Cross Melody
Alleluia Verse and Gospel Acclamation: Chabanel Alleluia Melody #2
Offertory Music: Ave Maria, Bach-Gounod played by one of my sons on the 'cello
Communion Hymns: Ave Verum Corpus, chant and Shepherd of Souls (St. Agnes)
Final Commendation: In Paradisum, chant
Recessional Hymn: O God Our Help in Ages Past (St. Anne)

Ordinary setting: Proulx "A Community Mass"

We're working toward having the Dies Iræ as part of the Mass. The funeral before this one had it which was also in the Ordinary Form of the Mass. I keenly miss the Libera me, Domine from the Extraordinary Form. The words: in die illa tremenda: quando cœli movendi sunt et terra: Dum veneris judicare sæculum per ignem.... have a potency that is missing in the Ordinary Form. Call it a proper fear and awe, a memento mori for those of us still living.

Father doesn't allow any kind of eulogizing after the Mass for which I am grateful. He also instructs people that only those who are Catholics in the state of grace may receive Mass, though he allows for people to come up to receive a blessing. For our parish, Father has been working hard in teaching us about the corporal works of mercy and that burying the dead is one of them. The ladies of the bereavement committee once again gave a luncheon following the graveside rites. We don't have a large parish and so the ladies do a heroic job in tending to the needs of the family.

I just received word that there will be another Funeral Mass on Thursday. Sigh! Planning them doesn't get easier. I always pray for the grace to say the right thing when the families contact me about planning the music. Imagine my dread whenever I hear the words: On.Eagle's.Wings.

1 comment:

Dan Hunter said...

Argent,
Excellent music selection.
My mom, who is a schola/choir director has had to battle the funeral song requests for "Eagles Wings", "Danny Boy", Sinatras,"My Way", along with a host of other tunes, "not fit for a crap game".
God bless Father for vesting in the most apropriate color for funerals, and God bless him for not allowing the mourners to "canonize", the departed.
May he rest in peace.