What Are Common Roman Catholic Hymns for Funerals?

Some common hymns for Roman Catholic funerals are “Ave Maria,” “Amazing Grace,” “How Great Thou Art,” “Prayer of St. Francis” and “On Eagle’s Wings.” Hymns for a funeral mass are sung at the same points as in a Sunday mass: processional, offertory, communion and recessional. Communion meditations are sometimes included.

Hymns should be suitable for the part of the funeral mass where they are sung. Traditional processional hymns are “Holy, Holy, Holy,” and “Alleluia, Sing to Jesus.” “Come to the Lord” and “I am the Bread of Life” are often chosen as offertory and communion songs. Recessional hymns include “Let There Be Peace on Earth” and “Psalm 23.”

The purpose of a Catholic funeral is to present the deceased person to God and pray for forgiveness of sins. Music for a Catholic funeral must be appropriate for a mass. Hymns should celebrate eternal life and Jesus’ resurrection. Therefore, songs must have sacred words. Hymn suggestions are often provided by the parish.

On the evening before the funeral mass, a vigil, or prayer service, is sometimes held at the church. This typically includes the rosary, scripture readings, a homily and prayers for the deceased and family. Opening and closing hymns are often included during this service.