OCF 135: Entrance Song

Let’s have a brief chat about music during the Reception Rites, shall we?

135. To draw the community together in prayer at the beginning of the funeral liturgy, the procession should be accompanied, wherever possible, by the singing of the entrance song. This song ought to be a profound expression of belief in eternal life and the resurrection of the dead as well as a prayer of intercession for the deceased (see, for example, OCF 403).


The model given in OCF 403 is of alternate songs of farewell. Six are in the responsorial format, and one is a hymn, “I Know That My Redeemer Lives.” I’d say the framers of the funeral rites are less concerned with the propers+psalm format than the purpose of the entrance itself. That would be an expression of faith in eternal life and resurrection, as well as intercession for the dead.

I know I’m jumping the gun on OCF 403, but one stands out for me:

You shattered the gates of bronze and preached to the spirits in prison.

R. Deliver me, Lord, from the streets of darkness.

A light and a revelation to those confined in darkness.

R. Deliver me, Lord, from the streets of darkness.

“Redeemer, you have come,” they cried, the prisoners of silence.

R. Deliver me, Lord, from the streets of darkness.

Eternal rest, O Lord, and your perpetual light.

R. Deliver me, Lord, from the streets of darkness.

Thoughts on any of this? If you were to program a psalm or canticle from the Hebrew Scriptures for entrance, which would you choose? Or would you take a more literal lean and suggest the explicit Christian values of resurrection should be expressed in the entrance song?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, 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.

3 Responses to OCF 135: Entrance Song

  1. Liam says:

    How about Psalm 30?

  2. Randolph Nichols says:

    Or Psalm 63. Keep in mind the custom – at least here in the east – of a significant part of the congregation processing in during the entrance song. Not having hymnals in hand eliminates any participation in a strophic hymn like “I Know That My Redeemer Lives.” The solution of the past thirty years or so has been to sing popular liturgical songs with easily remembered refrains. Unfortunately,they have long outworn their welcome. A sung psalm is certainly a dignified alternative. I know you are not a fan of the propers, but the introit “Requiem aeternam” well sung never fails to stir the soul. I’m hearing it done more frequently these days and often with the translation given in a printed program.

  3. Todd says:

    Psalm 63 is fitting for the Rite of Acceptance, but I don’t see the resurrection/eternal life connection that one would find in Psalm 30 or 118. Psalm 30 covers the intercession for the deceased better than 118.

    I think the proper is one solution, but given the text of the OCF here, I’d say the Church is less a “fan” in this instance than I. All the same, my psalm question was pointed at those who would use a proper. The introit devoid of a psalm makes less sense to me.

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