St Francis Choir is available to sing at a variety of liturgical and other services, including baptisms, ordinations and funerals.
The Funeral Service – Where does the music fit in?
A typical Funeral Service might consist of the following:
- A Prelude before the service:
Provides a welcoming ambience for family, friends and guest as they arrive at the church or funeral chapel.
- An Entrance Song:
To accompany the entrance of the coffin and/or clergy or simply as a “gathering” song.
- A Psalm:
Psalms are biblical songs and the psalm after a reading provides a moment for reflection. Some beautiful funeral psalm texts include “The Lord is my shepherd”(Psalm 23) or “The Lord is my light and my salvation”.
- A Hymn:
Depending on the structure of the service, hymns may be included and can be an opportunity for everyone to sing. Alternatively, a solo reflection may be preferred.
- A Song of Farewell:
Many funeral services have a “final commendation”. Usually holy water and incense are used to honour the deceased’s body as a former temple of the Holy Spirit. A song or incidental piece to accompany this action adds to the symbolic gestures. Especially suitable for this part of the service are songs such as “May the angels lead you into paradise” (In Paradisum) .
- A Recessional:
An instrumental piece is best to accompany the departure of the coffin and those present. Depending on preference, this may be a dignified or subdued piece, or a more triumphant and uplifting choice.
Here are some of the more popular funeral music choices:
Abide with me
Ave Maria -ever-popular setting by Schubert
Ave Maria -setting by Gounod on Bach’s 1st Prelude
Ave verum corpus-W.A.Mozart
I know that my redeemer liveth from Handel’s Messiah
In Paradisum from Faure’s Requiem
Jesu joy of man’s desiring
Largo from “Xerxes”-Handel’s famous music popularly used for funeral music.
Nearer my God to thee (re-popularised by the Movie “Titanic”) ,
Panis Angelicus -ever-popular setting by Cesar Franck
Pie Jesu -from Faure’s Requiem
Pieta Signore -popularised by Andrea Bocelli
Song of Farewell (May the angels lead you into Paradise -Londonderry Air tune a.k.a “Danny Boy”
The Holy City -“Jerusalem”
The Lord’s my shepherd (Crimond)
The Lord’s Prayer (Malotte)-popularised by Charlotte Church
Other Christian funeral music repertoire choices often selected range from traditional favourites such as: “How great thou art”, “Hail, Queen of Heaven” (especially for catholic funeral music) to contemporary hymns and funeral songs such as “Eagles wings”, “As gentle as silence”, “Shepherd me O God”.
Arranging Music for Funerals
To engage an organist, to discuss planning arrangements and fees, the choice of music and other musicians, contact Noel Debien, Director of Music, on 0417 291 388, or via