OCF 30: “Music is Integral”

Let’s switch the funeral rites theme to that of music, and we have four relatively brief sections (30-33) in the general introduction. Important ideas, nevertheless:

30. Music is integral to the funeral rites. It allows the community to express convictions and feelings that words alone may fail to convey. It has the power to console and uplift the mourners and to strengthen the unity of the assembly in faith and love.

No argument here, right?

The texts of the songs chosen for a particular celebration should express the paschal mystery of the Lord’s suffering, death, and triumph over death and should be related to the readings from Scripture.

Repertoire is key, and the post-conciliar shift/correction of music to a focus on the paschal mystery is the main reason why a good portion of the modern funeral repertoire speaks of resurrection.

My own sense is that the funeral repertoire leans strongly (in some parishes too much so) toward music based on biblical passages of comfort. That said, I’ve never quite discerned why the sequence Dies Irae is deemed fitting for the funeral rites. Late Ordinary Time and early Advent: yes. The first person perspective of this hymn has long struck me as a sort of anti-eulogy. So if you feel urged to discuss on this thread, let’s hear your own musings on music choices, including the Dies Irae or other problems in the Catholic repertoire. Don’t forget to post on what music you think fits what the OCF calls for in the rite.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Order of Christian Funerals, post-conciliar liturgy documents, Rites. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to OCF 30: “Music is Integral”

  1. Mollie says:

    Eamon Duffy has a chapter in his book “Faith of Our Fathers” about the postconciliar funeral rite, which he also finds limited in its emotional palate. (He misses the “Dies Irae.”)

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