Funeral Guidelines for Families

[Last updated November 3, 2021]

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 Funeral Checklist 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.  If you prefer, the priest can handle choosing all the music and readings for you.

Funerals are coordinated with your priest and our parish secretary, one of whom will contact you as soon as possible. Normally, music is provided by parish organists and 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 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 Checklist 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 is 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. 
  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. If payment to musicians is not handled through the funeral home, please contact parish secretary to handle payment.

Parish Secretary Contact information:

Parish Secretary:     Kim Whelan
Rectory Phone:        703-573-3808
Rectory Email:

Funeral Checklist

[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                _______________________________________________

Second Reading (Epistle)            _______________________________________________

Gospel: [proclaimed by priest or deacon] ________________________________________

Suggested names for lectors [readers]: _______________________________________


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

Suggested persons to bring up offertory gifts: __________________________________   


Hymns & Service Music

Entrance Hymn:                      ________________________________________________

Offertory Hymn:                    ________________________________________________

Communion Hymn(s):            ________________________________________________

Post Communion Hymn         _________________________________________________

Song of Farewell (circle one):                In Paradisum                      Come To Their Aid O Saints Of God

Recessional:                           ________________________________________________

Mass parts: Holy, Holy; Mystery of Faith; Great Amen; Lamb of God

(Either the “Simple Latin Chant” or “The Mass of St. Philip Neri”)

Special requests: __________________________________________________________________



Organist for this Liturgy [filled out by priest or liturgical assistant]

___ Diane C.     ___ Alberto G.     ___     Carter G. ___     Other __________________________ 

Funeral Readings


First Reading (Outside Easter Season)

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..."                        

First Reading (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 Psalm

Psalm 23 - Response: The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want.

Psalm 25 - Response: To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.

Psalm 27 - Response: The Lord is my light and my salvation.

Psalm 63 - Response: My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.

Psalm 103 - Response: The Lord is kind and merciful.

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

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

Second Reading

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?"


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." 

Music Selections

The following is a list of all the Hymns available for the Funeral Liturgies, and in parentheses, an indication as to the place in the Mass where each hymn would be appropriate.

Hymns Sung by Cantor and Congregation 

(All are found in the Pew Missal)

“Abide with Me” (Offertory, Communion)

“All You Who Seek A Comfort Sure” (Entrance, Offertory)

“Be Not Afraid” (Entrance, Offertory, Communion)                                

“Be Thou My Vision” (Communion)

“Eat This Bread” (Communion)

“Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty” (Entrance, Offertory)   

“How Great Thou Art” (Recessional)        

“I am the Bread of Life” (Communion)     

“I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say” (Entrance, Offertory, Recessional)       

“I Know That My Redeemer Lives” (Offertory)

“Immaculate Mary” (Recessional)

“Jesus, Remember Me” (Offertory, Communion)

“Laudate Omnes Gentes” (Taizé) (Entrance, Offertory, Communion)

“Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence” (Entrance, Offertory, Communion)

“Lord of All Hopefulness” (Entrance, Offertory)

“Lord, Who at Thy First Eucharist” (Communion)

“My Song is Love Unknown” (Offertory, Communion)

“O Breathe on me, O Breath of God” (Entrance, Offertory)

“O Lord, I am not worthy” (Communion)

“O God Our Help In Ages Past” (Offertory, Communion, Recessional)

“On Eagles’ Wings” (Entrance, Offertory, Recessional)   

“Panis Angelicus” (Communion)

“Prayer of St. Francis” (Offertory, Communion)

“Soul of my Savior” (Communion)

“Ubi Caritas (Traditional)” (Communion, Recessional)    

“Ubi Caritas (Taizé)” (Communion, Recessional)

“The King of Love My Shepherd Is” (Offertory, Communion)

“There is a Balm in Gilead” (Entrance, Offertory, Communion)

“What Wonderous Love” (Offertory, Communion)                                  

“Where Charity and Love Prevail” (Offertory)     

Solo Pieces

(Sung only by the Cantor)

“Ave Maria” (by Schubert) (Entrance, Offertory, Communion, Recessional)

“Dios, Te Salve Maria” (Entrance, Offertory, Communion, Recessional)

“Hail Mary, Gentle Woman” (Offertory, Communion, Recessional)

“Let my prayer enter into your presence, O Lord” (Entrance)

“Requiem Aeternam” (Entrance)

“Eternal Rest Grant Unto Them, O Lord” (Entrance)

“Domine Jesu Christe” (Offertory)

“Lord Jesus Christ, deliver the souls of all the departed faithful” (Offertory)

“Lux Aeterna” (Communion)

“May Eternal light shine upon them, O Lord” (Communion)           


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