The Reception of the Body at the Church is a significant part of the funeral liturgy. It is generally attended by large numbers who gather to pray for the deceased and to express their sympathy. When music is used, as suggested in the Rite, people remark on the warmth that is added and the comfort that is expressed in the prayerful singing of hope-filled words. The importance of the musical element is clearly stated in the Order of Christian Funerals, 1991.
`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 to the unity of the assembly in faith and love.'
The Music Card and Resource Collection is the first stage of a project to encourage the participation of the congregation in this part of the funeral rites. Four choices of Entrance Psalms are given for the procession in addition to the other Psalm settings for the Liturgy of the Word. These, however, are interchangeable, enabling you to make the choices which suit your particular assembly. (All of these pieces may also be used for the funeral Mass.) Three Litany responses are also provided, in addition to two concluding pieces.
The presence of a cantor to encourage the assembly is vital and, assisted by an instrumentalist, together they can lead those gathered in the songs and responses. The use of instrumental music as the assembly offer their sympathies to the bereaved is another expression of kindness which is always appreciated.
This project is undertaken by the Advisory Committee on Church Music who wish you God's blessing in your ministry of service to the Christian community.
Beir Bua is Beannacht.