We conclude our examination of the office for the dead with this brief section of hymnody. OCF 396 advises that “(t)he following or other suitable hymns may be used …”
Choice A is a slightly altered, eight-verse text of Samuel Medley’s interpretation of Job 19:23, “I Know That My Redeemer Lives.”
B is the six-verse “O God, Our Help In Ages Past” by Isaac Watts inspired by Psalm 90. Another Isaac Watts text follows.
Choice D is Francis Pott’s translation of Finita iam sunt praelia, better known as “The Strife Is O’er.”
Last, we see an unattributed adaptation of In Paradisum:
May saints and angels lead you on,
Escorting you where Christ has gone.
Now he has called you, come to him
Who sits above the seraphim.
Come to the peace of Abraham
And to the supper of the Lamb:
Come to the glory of the blessed,
And to perpetual light and rest.
Well-known tunes are suggested with each of these.
This section is probably adequate. Music directors experienced with the Hours will know where to find other resources, and communities that aren’t have five sound selections, one of which they will know.
Any suggestions on hymns for the office? Remember, these hymns introduce the hour–they aren’t necessarily for the funeral Mass itself, and there is no closing hymn at vespers or lauds.