Funeral Guidelines for Families

(as of 8/16/2016)

To aid you in planning for your loved one’s funeral, St. Philip Parish provides these guidelines for music and scripture readings.  On the next page is a check list for your family; you are invited to participate fully in the process of readings and music selection and to customize this funeral to the character of your family and loved one.

Funerals are coordinated with your priest and our parish secretary, Kim Whelan, who will contact you as soon as possible. Normally, music is provided by approved, substitute organists and parish cantors who are prepared to perform these hymns and service music at St. Philip Parish.

  1. As soon as you contact St. Philip Church, the rectory office will coordinate with the funeral home on details for the funeral, vigil service (wake), and burial.  The Parish secretary, Kim Whelan, will also take care of seeking an approved parish organist and cantor. 
  2. Take time to read over the lists of readings and hymns, and complete as much of the Funeral Check List as you can.
  3. In considering who to ask to act in the important liturgical role of lector, potential persons should be Catholic and preferably trained as lectors at their own parish or who have demonstrated public speaking skills.  It’s suggested that immediate family not act as lector.      If desired, St. Philip Parish is also able to supply an experienced lector.  Likewise, those intending a eulogy at the church need to discuss this in advance with the celebrant.
  4. Special requests by the family, such as having a musician from outside the parish, will be handled on a case by case basis.  Because time is often a constraining factor in preparing for funerals, it is highly recommended that only parish musicians/cantors be used.
  5. All the hymns and service music in the index are known by the parish musicians.  There are both traditional and contemporary styles available.  All have been approved and carefully selected as appropriate for liturgical use at a funeral.  If other music is requested it must meet the following criteria:
    1. The piece must be appropriate, liturgical, and preferably in the parish hymnal.
    2. The piece must be known by both organist and cantor or be easy to learn.
  6. When you meet with the priest, he will assist you in finalizing the details of the funeral.  If you prefer, the priest can handle choosing all the music and readings for you.
  7. The organist selects appropriate instrumental music for prelude, postlude, and other.
  8. When requested, the parish secretary will provide an optional template for funeral worship aids (programs), and time-permitting, will make a reasonable effort to assist you with preparation details.  
  9. Payment to musicians normally is handled through the funeral home.

Contact information:
Rectory Office:       Kim Whelan, secretary ~703-573-3808
Email address:

Funeral Check List

[Family fills out as many choices as possible using the guidelines provided, in preparation to meet with the priest]

Contact name, phone & email:________________________________________________  

Name of deceased:                 ________________________________________________

Date of funeral:                      ________________________________________________

Celebrant’s Name:                  ________________________________________________

Scripture choices:

First Reading (See readings list) _____________________________________________

Responsorial Psalm                _______[Music setting is listed below.]________________

Second Reading (Epistle)            ________________________________________________

Gospel:[proclaimed by priest]            ________________________________________________

*Suggested names for lectors [readers]: ________________________________________

(Please see point #3 above)                    ________________________________________

Reader of Intercessions:           Parish lector ____ Family reader ____ Priest/Deacon ____

Suggested persons to bring up offertory gifts: ______________________________________________________

Hymns & Service Music


Entrance Hymn:                      ________________________________________________

Resp. Psalm setting:               ________________________________________________

Gospel Acclamation:              ________________________________________________

Preparation of Gifts:               ________________________________________________

Mass parts, Holy, Holy, Mystery of Faith, Great Amen, Lamb of God.

Circle one: ‘Creation,’ ‘Heritage,’ or ‘Resurrection’ Mass, or the “Traditional Latin Chant”.                                  

Communion hymn(s):             ________________________________________________

Ave Maria (Schubert) (Meditation Hymn)  Yes______   No______

Song of Farewell:                   (English or Latin)__________________________________

Recessional:                           ________________________________________________

Please list any special requests you have: ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Options for Funeral Readings at St. Philip Church


Reading 1 from Old Testament [Not used during Easter season – see below]

2 Maccabees 12:43-46 "...he made atonement for the dead..."  

Job 19: 1, 23-27  "...I know that my vindicator lives...."

Wisdom 3:1-9 "...The souls of the just are in the hand of God..." 

Wisdom 3:1-6,9 "...The souls of the just are in the hand of God..."

Wisdom 4:7-14 "The Righteous One, though he die early, shall be at rest..."

Isaiah 25:6a, 7-9 "...he will destroy death forever..." 

Lamentations 3:17-26 "...My portion is the Lord, says my soul..."

Daniel 12:1-3 "...the wise shall shine brightly..." 


Reading 1 from New Testament [Replaces Old Testament ONLY during EASTER season]

Acts 10:34-43 or 10:34-36, 42-43 “…He is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead…”

Rev 14:13 “…Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.”

Rev 20:11—21:1 “The dead were judged according to their deeds.”

Rev 21:1-5a, 6b-7 “There shall be no more death.”

[RESPONSORIAL PSALMS are located at the end of this list.]

New Testament

Romans 5:1,5-11  "...We were reconciled to God through the death of his Son..."

Romans 5:17-21 "...through one righteous act acquittal and life came to all..." 

Romans 6:3-9  "...if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall live with him..." 

Romans 8:14-23 "Those who are led by the Spirit of God are Children of God"

Romans 8:31-35,37-39 "If God is for us, who can be against us?"

Romans 14:7-9,10-12 "This is why Christ died and came to life"

1 Corinthians 15:12-20  "If there is no resurrection of the dead..."

1 Corinthians 15:20-28 "In Adam all die, so too if Christ shall all be brought to life."

1 Corinthians 15:51-57 "Death where is your victory?"

2 Corinthians 4:14-5:1  "The one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us..."

2 Corinthians 5:1,6-10 "We would rather leave the body and go home..." 

Philippians 3:20-21  "He will change our lowly body..."

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18  "If we believe that Jesus died and rose..."

2 Timothy 2:8-13 "Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead..." 

1 John 3:1-2 "Beloved, we are God's children now..."

1 John 3:14-16  "We know that we have passed from death to life..."

Gospel [The priest would be happy to select the Gospel, if you wish.]


Matthew 5:1-12a  [The Eight Beatitudes] “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.”

Matthew 11:25-30  "come to me . . . and I will give you rest."

Matthew 25:1-13  "Look. The bridegroom comes. Go out to meet him"

Matthew 25:31-46  "Come, you whom my Father has blessed" 

Mark 15:33-39  "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" 

Mark 15:33 ---16:6  "Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last" 

Luke 7:11-17  "Young man, I say to you, arise." 

Luke 12:35-40  "Be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect,..." 

Luke 23:33-43  "Today you will be with me in paradise."

Luke 23:44-24:6a  "Father, I put my life in your hands."

Luke 23:44-49 "Father into your hands I commend my spirit"

Luke 24:13-35 "Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer..."

Luke 24:13-16,28-35 "Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer..."

John 5:24-29  "Whoever hears my word and believes has passed from..."

John 6:37-40 "All who believe in the Son will have eternal life..." 

John 6:51-58  "All who eat this bread will live for ever...." 

John 11:21-27 "I am the resurrection and the life."

John 11:32-45 "Lazarus, come out."

John 12:23-28  "If a grain of wheat falls on the ground and dies..."

John 12:23-26 "If a grain of wheat falls on the ground and dies..." 

John 14:1-6  "There are many rooms in my Father's house." 

John 17:24-26 "Father, I want those you have given me to be with me..." 

John 19:17-30 "Jesus bowed his head and gave up his spirit."  

RESPONSORIAL PSALMS  – these are musical settings currently available at St. Philip.


Psalm 23 - Response: The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want.
The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Fresh and green are the pastures where he gives me repose.
Near restful waters he leads me to revive my drooping spirit.
He guides me along the right path; He is true to his name.
If I should walk in the valley of darkness no evil would I fear.
You are there with your crook and your staff; with these you give me comfort.
You have prepared a banquet for me in the sight of my foes.                                  
My head you have anointed with oil; my cup is overflowing.
Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me all the days of my life
In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell for ever and ever.

Psalm 25 - Response: To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.
Remember that your compassion, O Lord, And your kindness are from of old.
In your kindness remember me, Because of your goodness, O Lord.

Relieve the troubles of my heart; and bring me out of my distress.
Put an end to my affliction and my suffering: And take away all my sins.

Preserve my life and rescue me; Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, because I wait for you, O Lord.

Psalm 27 - Response: The Lord is my light and my salvation.
The Lord is my light and my help; whom shall I fear?
the Lord is the stronghold of my life; before whom shall I shrink?

There is one thing I ask of the Lord, for this I long,
to live in the house of the Lord, all the days of my life,
to savor the sweetness of the Lord, to behold his temple.

O Lord, hear my voice when I call; have mercy and answer.
It is your face, O Lord that I seek; hide not your face.

I am sure I shall see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living.
Hope in him, hold firm and take heart. Hope in the Lord!

Psalm 63 - Response: My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
O God, you are my God whom I seek; For you my flesh pines and my soul thirsts
Like the earth, parched, lifeless and without water.

Thus have I gazed toward you in the sanctuary To see your power and your glory
For your kindness is a greater good than life; My lips shall glorify you.

Thus will I bless you while live; Lifting up my hands, I will call upon your name.
As with the riches of a banquet shall my soul be satisfied, with exultant lips my mouth shall praise you.

You are my help, And in the shadow of your wings I shout for joy,
My soul clings fast to you; Your right hand upholds me.

Psalm 103 - Response: The Lord is kind and merciful.
The Lord is compassion and love, slow to anger and rich in mercy.
He does not treat us according to our sins nor repay us according to our faults.

As a father has compassion on his sons, The Lord has pity on those who fear him;
For he knows of what we are made, He remembers that we are dust.

As for man, his days are like grass; He flowers like the flower of the field;
The wind blows and he is gone And his place never sees him again.

But the kindness of the Lord is from eternity To eternity toward those who fear him.
And his justice toward children’s children among those who keep his covenant

Psalm 116 – Response:  I will walk in the presence of the Lord, in the land of the living.

Gracious is the LORD and just; yes, our God is merciful. 
The LORD keeps the little ones; I was brought low, and he saved me. 
I believed, even when I said, "I am greatly afflicted";
I said in my alarm, "No man is dependable." 
Precious in the eyes of the LORD is the death of his faithful ones.
O LORD, I am your servant, you have loosed my bonds. 

Psalm 130 - Response: With the Lord, there is mercy and fullness of redemption.

Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD; LORD, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive to my voice in supplication.

If you, O LORD, mark iniquities, Lord, who can stand?
But with you is forgiveness, that you may be revered.

I trust in the LORD; my soul trusts in his word.
My soul waits for the LORD more than sentinels wait for the dawn.

Index of Hymn titles for Funerals at St. Philip Church [December, 2015]


Amazing Grace

Amen, El Cuerpo de Cristo (bilingual)

Be Not Afraid 


Blest are They

Dios te Salve, Maria (Sosa)

Eat This Bread

Eternal Father Strong to Save (esp. for Military)

Holy Holy Holy Lord God Almighty

How Great Thou Art

I am the Bread of Life (English) / Yo Soy el Pan de Vida (Spanish)

I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say

I Know That My Redeemer Lives - Soper

In Christ Alone

Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence 

Lord of All Hopefulness

O God Our Help In Ages Past

On Eagles’ Wings

Panis Angelicus  - Lambillote

Pescador de Hombres (Spanish) / Lord, You Have Come to the Seashore (English)

Prayer of St. Francis (also Spanish - Oración de San Francisco)

Psalm 42 – As the Deer Longs

Shepherd Me, O God - Based on Ps 23

Sing With All the Saints in Glory

Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling

The King of Love My Shepherd Is -  based on Ps 23

Where Charity and Love Prevail 

You are Mine

You are Near

Psalms & Gospel Acclamation
[Gospel acclamations from Respond & Acclaim are usually used.  Celtic Alleluia may be used, alternatively.]

Psalm 23           [The Lord is My Shepherd, there is nothing I shall want.]           

Psalm 25           [To You O Lord, I Lift My Soul.]

Psalm 27           [The Lord is my Light and my Salvation]

Psalm 63           [My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord, my God.]

Psalm 103         [The Lord is kind and merciful.]

Psalm 130         [With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.]

Service Music & Mass Parts

Song of Farewell (Come to his/her aid, O Saints of God)  OR  In Paradisum – sung in Latin;

For Mass parts:  Holy, Holy, Holy; When We Eat this Bread; Amen, Lamb of God

During Advent & Lent – Traditional Chant - Sanctus, We Proclaim Your Death O Lord or Save Us O Savior, Danish Amen, & Agnus Dei; 

Other times of year - English Mass settings include - Creation, Heritage, and Resurrection


Ave Maria – Schubert, Hail Mary, Gentle Woman, Dios te salve, Maria, Bienaventurados



Contact information:
Rectory Office: Kim Whelan, secretary, 703-573-3808