Losing a loved one is always hard, but that does not mean we should shirk away from the responsibilities of dealing with the subsequent ceremonies. Our traditions and rituals differ greatly depending on our faith and the funeral rites for Catholics involve the singing of hymns.
The catholic songs that are selected for funeral or memorial service should be chosen to uplift the spirits of those attending the ceremony while also remembering Christ’s triumph over death.
Since most churches have choirs, they are tasked with performing the music live rather than playing pre-recorded tracks as you would do with non-religious songs.
But even with catholic songs, there exists a wide variety to choose from, and it can be easy to get overwhelmed. Luckily for you, we’ve compiled a list of the best catholic funeral songs to play at your loved one’s service.
1) Ave Maria (Schubert)
One of the most popular catholic church songs, this timeless classical piece brings in a sense of tranquility and peace to the funeral service.
2) Pie Jesu (Lloyd Webber)
A sorrowful hymn that encapsulates that beauty can be found even in death. This hymn is often played at large church funerals
3) The Lord is my shepherd (Francis Rous)
Based on Psalm 23, this hymn is popular with non-Christians as well, leaving a message of hope in trying times.
4) All things bright and beautiful (John Rutter)
A song that praises God in all of their glory, this is a song that reminds us that all things have beauty in them, no matter how great or small.
5) Amazing Grace (John Newton)
One of the timeless Catholic hymns, Amazing Grace, written by an enslaver seeking repentance is about repenting for our sins by asking for forgiveness from God.
6) Here I Am, Lord (Dan Schutte)
Based on Isaiah 6:8 and 1 Samuel 3:4, this hymn is about how human beings should ultimately surrender to the will of God.
7) Song of Farewell [May the choirs of angels come to greet you] (Ernest E. Sands)
As the name of the hymn suggests, who better to receive your loved ones on the other side than angels from above?
8) Go, Silent Friend (John.L.Bell)
A song about coming to terms with the passing of our loved one, this song is encapsulated the Christian belief in life after death.
9) Dear Lord and Father Of Mankind
This hymn was written by taking the words out of a longer poem, “The Brewing of Soma” by American Quaker poet John Greenleaf Whittier. It is about attaining true contact with God through selflessness and compassion
10) O Loving God (Paulette M. McCoy)
Sung to the tune of “Danny Boy’. this song praises God’s compassion and willingness to love.
11) The Lord bless you and keep you (John Rutter)
Composed for the memorial service of Edward. T. Chapman, this hymn is based on Numbers 6:24-26, ‘The Lord bless you and keep you’ is one amongst many traditional catholic hymns used at a variety of Christian occasions.
12) Come, Holy Ghost” by Rabanus Maurus
By allowing the holy ghost to rest in our hearts, we are indirectly asking God to heal and restore our mind and body, thereby attaining peace.
Funerals can be somber affairs, and it should be noted that creating a playlist and playing it is done in accordance with the deceased’s wishes from when they were alive. Now that you’ve read about best catholic funeral songs, check out the Top 30 Funeral Songs of All Time for a more comprehensive guide on creating a general playlist.