What Is Popular Psalms for Catholic Funerals- If you are planning a Catholic funeral and are considering incorporating the Psalms into the service, this article is for you. Below, we will explore some of the most popular and meaningful Psalms for Catholic funerals, as well as provide guidance on how to incorporate these psalms into the service in a way that is respectful and appropriate.
Why Choose Psalms for a Catholic Funeral?
There are many reasons why the Psalms are a popular choice for Catholic funeral liturgies. For one, these sacred texts offer a sense of comfort and hope to those who are grieving. Many of the Psalms express themes of trust in God, confidence in His protection and guidance, and the belief that all things will ultimately be made right.
In addition to offering comfort and hope, the Psalms also provide a way for mourners to express their own feelings and emotions. Whether it is through words of lament, words of praise, or words of thanksgiving, the Psalms allow us to connect with our own deepest feelings and to find a sense of meaning in the midst of suffering and loss.
Finally, the Psalms are a rich source of imagery and metaphor, and they can provide a beautiful and meaningful way to honor and celebrate the life of the deceased. Whether through the use of nature imagery, symbols of God’s presence, or references to eternal life, the Psalms offer a way to express the deep love and appreciation that we have for our loved ones.
Popular Psalms for Catholic Funerals
There are many Psalms that are suitable for use in a Catholic funeral liturgy. Some of the most popular and meaningful options include:
Psalm 23: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff—they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.”
This beloved Psalm is often chosen for Catholic funeral liturgies because of its themes of trust in God and the promise of eternal life. The imagery of God as a loving shepherd, guiding and protecting His people, is particularly comforting to those who are grieving.
Psalm 27: “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall. Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war rise up against me, yet I will be confident. One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple. For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock. And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the Lord. Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud, be gracious to me and answer me! You have said, ‘Seek my face.’ My heart says to you, ‘Your face, Lord, do I seek.’ Hide not your face from me. Turn not your servant away in anger, O you who have been my help. Cast me not off; forsake me not, O God of my salvation! For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in. Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies. Give me not up to the will of my adversaries; for false witnesses have risen against me, and they breathe out violence. I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”
This Psalm is often chosen for Catholic funeral liturgies because of its themes of trust in God and the confidence that He will protect and guide us through even the darkest of times. The imagery of God as a safe and secure shelter, lifting us up and hiding us from our enemies, is particularly comforting to those who are grieving.
Psalm 46: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns. The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah Come, behold the works of the Lord, how he has brought desolations on the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire. ‘Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!’ The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”
This Psalm is often chosen for Catholic funeral liturgies because of its themes of trust in God and the confidence that He will protect and guide us through even the most difficult of circumstances. The imagery of God as a fortress, a place of safety and security, is particularly comforting to those who are grieving.
Psalm 90: “Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. You return man to dust and say, ‘Return, O children of man!’ For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night. You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream, like grass that is renewed in the morning: in the morning it flourishes and is renewed; in the evening it fades and withers. For we are brought to an end by your anger; by your wrath we are dismayed. You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence. For all our days pass away under your wrath; we bring our years to an end like a sigh. The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away. Who considers the power of your anger, and your wrath according to the fear of you? So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. Return, O Lord! How long? Have pity on your servants! Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, and for as many years as we have seen evil. Let your work be shown to your servants, and your glorious power to their children. Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!”
This Psalm is often chosen for Catholic funeral liturgies because of its themes of the brevity of life and the importance of seeking wisdom and guidance from God. The imagery of God as the one who has been with us throughout all generations, and who will continue to be with us even as we pass from this life, is particularly comforting to those who are grieving.
Incorporating the Psalms into the Funeral Liturgy
If you are planning a Catholic funeral and would like to include the Psalms in the service, there are a few ways to do so. One option is to have a member of the clergy or a family member read one of the Psalms aloud during the service. Alternatively, you could choose to have the Psalm set to music and sung by a choir or soloist.
It is also common to include a Psalm in the Prayers of the Faithful, where the congregation is invited to pray for the deceased and for those who are grieving. This is typically done by having a member of the clergy or a lay person read the chosen Psalm, and then asking the congregation to pray for the intentions stated in the Psalm.
Finally, you may also choose to include a Psalm in the funeral homily, or sermon, delivered by the clergy. This can be a way to draw out the themes and messages of the Psalm and to apply them to the life of the deceased and the experiences of those who are grieving.
The Psalms are a rich and timeless source of comfort and inspiration, and they can be a powerful and meaningful addition to a Catholic funeral liturgy. Whether you choose to have a Psalm read aloud, sung, or included in the Prayers of the Faithful, these sacred texts offer a way to honor and celebrate the life of the deceased and to find hope and comfort in the midst of grief.