Funeral Music

"Music is integral to the funeral rites. It allows the community to express convictions and feelings that words alone may fail to convey. It has power to console and uplift the mourners and to strengthen the unity of the assembly in faith and love. The texts of songs chosen for a particular celebration should express the paschal mystery of the Lord’s suffering, death, and triumph over death and should be related to the readings from Scripture.

Since music can evoke strong feelings, the music for the celebration rites should be chosen with great care. The music at funerals should support, console, and uplift the participants and should help to create in them a spirit of hope in Christ’s victory over death and in the Christian’s share in the victory.

Music should be provided for the vigil and the funeral liturgy and, whenever possible, for the funeral processions and the rite of committal. The specific notes that precede each of these rites suggest places in the rites where music is appropriate. Many musical settings used by the parish community during the liturgical year may be suitable for use at funerals. Efforts should be made to develop and expand the parish’s repertoire for use at funerals.

An organist or other instrumentalist, a cantor, and whenever possible, even a choir should assist the assembly’s full participation in singing the songs, responses, and acclamations of these rites" (O
rder of Christian Funerals: General Introduction, 30-33).

Music at the Funeral Mass for  St. Thomas Aquinas

The sacred rites of the Church are the safeguards of our faith and a great consolation at the loss of a loved one. Even at times of emotional distress, it is essential to choose music appropriate to the holiness of the Mass. The best sources for these are the lovely hymns, chants, and sacred music of our Church’s tradition. As such, we no longer use sacred songs of a “contemporary/folk” nature at the funeral Mass at St. Thomas Aquinas. These, secular songs, and other family favorites are best used at the wake service. 

Although the list below does not exhaust the sacred music of our Church’s tradition, it is a start. We would kindly ask you to consider these. Hymn and music suggestions not listed may be discussed with the church staff musician.  Also discuss your request for any Latin hymns not listed, or your request for Latin Mass parts (Ordinary).

Music Choices:  All music is provided by parish musicians. Hymns suggestions are listed.
PLEASE NOTE: We do not use recorded music at Holy Mass.

Hymn Suggestions

*Alleluia, Sing to Jesus (mp3)
I Rejoiced When I Heard Them Say
Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven
O God Our Help in Ages Past

The King of Love My Shepherd Is
Harken, Shepherd of the Sheep

At That First Eucharist
I Received the Living God
Let All Mortal Flesh
O Lord, I Am Not Worthy
O Sacrament Most Holy

Holy God, We Praise Thy Name
In Paradisum
For All the Saints
All Creatures of Our God and King
Love Divine, All Loves Excelling

*May not be used during the season of Lent.

Fees and Offerings

We appreciate you allowing us to provide this funeral mass for your loved one.  Fees and offerings for the funeral staff are as follows:

Musician’s fees:

Cantor -- $100 to sing funeral Mass
$ 75 to sing Communion Service

Organist-- $150 to play
$200 to play and sing (cantor)

Choral Music

At times of loss, the great choral music and Gregorian chant of the Church is an immense source of beauty and consolation. This can be provided by the addition of a small choir, often with as few as four singers. 

The cost is most reasonable.  Please consult the Director of Sacred Music if you would be interested in this possibility.

Guest Musicians

Competent musicians, family members or friends of the family, are most welcome to minister at the funeral Mass.

If you desire to use musicians other than the Director of Sacred Music, please note the following:
[1] Please have them read these music guidelines and abide by them.
[2] All music selections need to be approved by the Director of Sacred Music
[3] Whether he plays or not, the Director of Music receives his normal organist fee of $150.

Optional Offerings

A frequently asked question pertains to honorariums, otherwise known as offerings.  The local custom is an amount similar to that which is given to the organist.


Music Contact:  Thomas Savoy, 704-549-1607, Ext. 205 Email: