Friday, November 4, 2016


 Ordinary Form Requiem as it should be for the Ordinary Form and modeled by Pope Francis whose liturgical style is very stoic or sober, to say the least, almost lethargic.

I just found out today that our cathedral in Savannah has strict guidelines for chants during Requiem Masses there. The Propers are chanted and what version of the parts of the Mass will be used is determined by the music director.  The music director only allows certain hymns to be added to the propers and his decision is final (of course this is delegated to him by the rector whose decision is final.)

As in my parish, the proper "Chant of Farewell" at the Commendation is chanted and "May the Angels lead you into paradise" is the recessional in Latin or a vernacular version. No additional hymns at these prescribed points. 

I am wondering how many of you have parishes with strict guidelines for chants during Requiems. Or does anything go?


Rood Screen said...

Only rule here is that all songs must come from the hymnal. No Van Halen or Danny Boy.

Anonymous said...

Bee here:

At my parents' parish there were no guidelines for chants, but there are music guidelines. The pastor did meet with me to discuss the readings and hymns two days before the funeral. He had final approval. He did not know me (he was new to the parish after my dad died, and my mom had been house bound for 8 years, and so he did not know her either.) He seemed to come into the meeting with me "loaded for bear," (meaning, ready to fight me about the proper way funerals are to be held.) He was sorta hostile. It seems because he didn't know my mom personally, maybe he thought she and we were fallen away Catholics looking for a funeral for someone who didn't practice the faith.

In reality, my mother, though house-bound, remained very devout. She could not go to Mass due to a stroke that left her left-side paralyzed and wheel chair bound. The pastor never came when we requested a priest to come to the house to give her the Sacrament of the Sick. The associate priest came instead. But then he was reassigned. About three months before she died, I had gone to her parish and spoke to the pastor personally, introducing myself and telling him who she was and asked he come to give her the Sacrament of the Sick, and he blew me off (He told me to call the parish office to make arrangements. I did, but he never returned my call.) I ended up getting a priest from the parish I attend to come to the house. I am grateful he did so, because at that time she was still able to go to confession, and received Viaticum. It was really beautiful, and she was absolutely joyous when that priest left.

When I went to arrange her funeral, the pastor appeared to think I was a typical-of-my-generation-fallen-away-Catholic that would want some out-there favorite song to be played, or non-scriptural reading to be read, and wanted a Catholic funeral for a person in mortal sin. He was not very nice.

My mom had told me before she died what songs wanted for her funeral, and all were out of the hymnal. At that parish they were still doing the "musical sandwich: Entrance, Offertory, Communion, Recessional." Bad thing was that the music director completely disregarded the choices we submitted for my mom's funeral (or maybe didn't know what they were beforehand, even though I met with the pastor two days before the funeral to make arrangements.) So we got nice hymns, but not the one's my mom requested. It was not a big deal.

But all in all, I think I would have preferred chant. And I think my mom would have liked that better anyway.

God rest her soul.