The funeral liturgy in the Catholic Church is a time for the family and friends of the deceased to gather with the larger church community for prayer and support. While there are many elements that lend focus and meaning to the Christian funeral, two are of particular importance: the Scripture readings proclaimed in church and the hymns, psalms and acclamation sung by the assembly. Through the Scriptures, the Word of God, the church hears anew the promise of new life. Family or friends of the deceased are encouraged to proclaim the first two readings while the priest or deacon reads the gospel. Generally, it is good to select a person who has some public speaking experience.
Similarly, the hymns, psalms and acclamations sung by the community during the funeral liturgy fill us with hope and consolation. Music has a unique ability to touch our heart, to heal our pain, to express our sorrow and to lift up our soul.
The Old Testament reading is the first reading following the opening prayer. After the first reading, the Priest or the Cantor will sing the Responsorial Psalm. The New Testament reading will be next, followed by the Gospel which will be read by the Priest or the Deacon.
Liturgical Planning Sheet
This Planning Sheet is meant to help you and your family members choose Scripture readings and music that will be meaningful for you and your family at the time of the funeral. Below, you will find Old and New Testament Readings and a selection of music suggestions for funeral masses.
When completing the Planning Sheet, the readings with the number and title of the Reading should be listed as:
#1 Acts of the Apostles 10:34-43 (example)
Should you wish to substitute any other readings from the Old or New Testament, please contact your Pastor for permission to make the changes.
Please select one of the general intersessions “A” or “B” and indicate on the planning sheet whether someone will read them or if the Priest should read them.
Readers should bring the printed sheets with their selected readings to Mass so they will be prepared to read.
Feel free to contact your Funeral Director should you have any other questions.
Please give your completed Liturgy Planning Sheet to your Funeral Director at the beginning of Visitation.
OLD TESTAMENT – FIRST READING (Please Choose One)
6. Isaiah 25:6, 7-9
NEW TESTAMENT – SECOND READING (Please Choose One)
15. 2 Timothy 2:8-13
16. 1 John 3:1-2
17. 1 John 3:14-16
NEW TESTAMENT – SECOND READING during Easter Time (Please Choose One)
20. Revelation 14:13
Funeral Mass General Intercessions (Optional)
Funeral Music Recommendations