These three sections give options to OCF 170-175. For the invitation to prayer (originally OCF 171, 2 options) there are five options on OCF 402, and these may be rendered “in similar words.” If a presider chooses similarity, so to speak, a good study of all these texts will be important. This is an adaptation that is less for the leader’s benefit, and more for the pastoral situation of the mourners and/or the deceased.Remember also that these are not prayers to God, but introductions that offer a limited explanation of what’s going on. It is more to direct the thoughts and prayers of the assembly to the important rituals that follow.
OCF 403 gives seven alternate texts for the Song of Farewell. With such a variety of good texts, I see no reason for a composer to strike out on his or her own with personally-composed texts. These given in OCF 403 have been neglected by composers of all sorts. I particularly like the imagery of number seven, which my friend Jerry Galipeau set wonderfully many years ago:
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.
“Redeemer, you have come,” they cried, the prisoners of silence. R.
Eternal rest, O Lord, and your perpetual light. R.
Sometime in the future, I hope to have time to set some or all of these texts. Perhaps some composers out there have already done so. If so, I’ll be pleased to link your manuscript or recording and offer some comments on the text. If not, I’ll eventually offer my own compositions and will welcome your comments.
OCF 404 offers three alternatives to the Prayer of Commendation (see OCF 175): one for a baptized person, and two for baptized children.