OCF 144: More on the Liturgy of the Eucharist

As a church musician, the OCF’s prescriptions on sung repertoire are always of interest to me. This section contains some of the most helpful recommendations, and they won’t be a complete surprise to those who advocate the propers.

144. The liturgy of the eucharist takes place in the usual manner at the funeral Mass. Members of the family or friends of the deceased should bring the gifts to the altar. Instrumental music or a song (for example, Psalm 18:1-6, Psalm 63, Psalm 66:13-20, or Psalm 138) may accompany the procession with the gifts. Before the priest washes his hands, he may incense the gifts and the altar. Afterward the deacon or other minister may incense the priest and the congregation.

Eucharistic Prayer II and Eucharistic Prayer III are especially appropriate for use at the funeral Mass, because they provide special texts of intercession for the dead. Since music gives greater solemnity to a ritual action, the singing of the people’s parts of the eucharistic prayer should be encouraged, that is, the responses of the preface dialogue, the Sanctus, the memorial acclamation, and the Great Amen.

To reinforce and to express more fully the unity of the congregation during the communion rite, the people may sing the Lord’s Prayer, the doxology, the Lamb of God, and a song for the communion procession (for example, Psalm 23, Psalm 27, Psalm 34, Psalm 63, or Psalm 121).


I’ve linked all the psalms listed if you want to check their texts. Good choices, all. I assume the intent is to sing an antiphon with those psalm verses, or sing a metrical setting, or some other form. Or some other song.

Note the recommendations for the Eucharistic Prayer.

Note that “greater solemnity” is guided by congregational singing. Also the expression of unity of the worshipers during the Communion rite.

Church musicians, how often are your choices guided by these suggestions? Did you know they were contained in the rite?

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.

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