Funeral Hymns: 40+ Catholic Funeral Hymns For Celebration of Life

funeral hymns
Among the most popular funeral hymn for Catholics is “Amazing Grace,” but there many other favorites sung during a funeral mass. From the classic “Ave Maria”to the newer “On Eagles Wings,” Catholic funeral music must be sacred music rather than more secular songs which can be sung at the wake or other funeral events.

Planning a funeral liturgy for yourself or your loved one can be emotionally difficult. Choosing the funeral music might help you ease your pain somewhat. The beautiful hymns sung at a Catholic funeral often bring a real sense of peace to those who are mourning.

Unlike other Christian churches where music with secular roots is permitted, the Catholic Church requires mourning families to choose from a pre-approved list of songs that contain “sacred words.” The parish priest might be more lenient and allow a wider selection.

Organist playing Catholic funeral hymns

How Many Hymns Are Sung At A Catholic Funeral?

There are usually four to six songs at a Catholic funeral. Other songs can be included. For example, you could have more than one communion song or an extra recessional song. When choosing songs that you are very fond of, the church you are working with can often help you include the songs you are interested in using.

Where Are Songs Used In The Roman Catholic Funeral Service?

  • Entrance Processional: This is the song that is used as the priest and altar servers are entering the church.
  • Offertory Song: As people make their tithe and monetary gifts to the parish, the offertory song is sung.
  • Communion Song: A communion hymn is often sung or music played as parishioners are going up to receive communion.
  • Offertory Song: As people make their tithe and monetary gifts to the parish, the offertory song is sung.
  • Song of Thanksgiving:
  • Recessional: The recessional hymn is played while people leave the church.

There are also songs that are sung within the liturgy, or partly sung when led by a cantor.

  1. Kyrie: The Kyrie is a short, repeated invocation that is said in many Christian liturgies, including Catholic.
  2. Gloria: The Gloria, also called the Glory Be, can be recited or sung.
  3. Credo: The Credo, or the Apostles Creed, is another prayer that can be either recited or sung.
  4. Sanctus (Holy, Holy, Holy): This prayer goes “Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.” It can be sung or recited.
  5. Agnus Dei: Also known as the Lamb of God, the Agnus Dei is a liturgical chant used in the Catholic church.
  6. Responsorial Psalm: Usually done before the gospel, the responsorial psalm is another part of the mass that can be sung or recited.
  7. Alleluia: A word associated with joy in the Catholic church, the alleluia is often sung.What Is A Good Entrance Song For A Catholic Funeral Mass?

The entrance song is sung as the officiant is heading into the church. Music is a wonderful way for those assembled at a mass to praise our precious lord and also to ready themselves for the service.

  1. “Amazing Grace” by John Newton
  2. “Here I Am Lord” by Dan Schutte
  3. “I Have Loved You by Michael Joncas
  4. “Precious Lord, Take My Hand” by Thomas Dorsey
  5. “Come Holy Ghost” by Edward Caswall

What Is The Last Song Sung At A Catholic Funeral?

The final song that is sung at a Catholic funeral is the recessional. Some great songs to use for a recessional are:

  1. “Song of Farewell” by Michael Joncas
  2. “How Great Thou Art” by Carl Boberg
  3. “Be Not Afraid” by Father Dufford
  4. “Make Me a Channel of Your Peace” by Sebastian Temple
  5. “I Know that My Redeemer Lives” by Samuel Medley

What Are The Most Popular Catholic Funeral Hymns?

  1. Ave Maria” by Franz Schuber
  2. “Shepherd Me, O God” by Marty Haugen
  3. “Gift of Finest Wheat“ by Robert Kreutz
  4. On Eagle’s Wings“ by Michael Joncas
  5. “Bread of Life“ by Suzanne Toolan
  6. “The King of Love My Shepherd Is“ by Henry Williams Baker
  7. “The Lord is My Shepherd“ (unknown)
  8. “You Are“ by Dan Schutte
  9. “Eye Has Not Seen“ by Marty Haugen
  10. “Psalm 23“
  11. “The Lord is My Light“ by Frances Allitsen
  12. “Lord Of All Hopefulness“ by Jan Struther
  13. Panis Angelicus” (Bread of Angels) by Saint Thomas Aquinas
  14. “Let There Be Peace on Earth“ by Jill Jackson-Miller and Sy Miller
  15. “Morning Has Broken“ by Eleanor Farjeon
  16. “Be With Me, Lord“ by Tom Booth
  17. “Jesus Christ is Risen Today“ by Charles Wesley
  18. “Come to Me“ by Gregory Norbet
  19. “We Walk by Faith“ by Frances J. Crosby
  20. “We Will Rise Again“ by David Haas
  21. “We Shall Sleep, But Not Forever“ by Mary Kidder and S. George Shipley
  22. “Jesus Walked This Lonesome Valley“ American Spiritual
  23. “I’ll Fly Away“ by Albert E. Brumley
  24. “My Soul is Thirsting“ by Francesca LaRosa
  25. “O Lord I am Not Worthy“ by Chris Brunelle
  26. “One Bread, One Body“ by John Michael Talbot
  27. “Blest Are They“ by David Haas
  28. Precious Lord, Take My Hand” by Thomas Dorsey

What Is The Most Requested Funeral Song?

The “Ave Maria” is one of the most requested funeral songs, along with “Amazing Grace.” These are both very traditional hymns. Ironically, “Ave Maria” is also used for many weddings. An Irish favorite is “May the Road Rise to Meet You.”


Pam Berg is a former English teacher with a passion for writing. She has written for many years on a variety of topics and considers herself to be somewhat of a jack of all trades when it comes to writing. Although most of us tend to want to avoid the topic of death, whether it is us or a loved one, it is inevitable. Pam is dedicated to ensuring that as people are funeral planning they have access to a no-nonsense, straightforward laying out of the facts. However, she also recognizes that this is a topic that needs to be approached in a sensitive manner.

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