Looking through our records of music sung at funerals brought to light some interesting insights into the most popular Catholic funeral songs and hymns.
Top Catholic songs for funerals
We all had our ideas for the most popular songs for Catholic funerals. Schubert’s “Ave Maria” was always going to come out on top. However the Irish Blessing “May the road rise to meet you” is proving popular too! And a new comer to the list is John Rutter with 3 items in the top 15 most popular catholic funeral songs. (I do love his music.)
The surprise was, that despite my dealings with many Catholic priests and what music they will (or won’t) allow in church, “Time to say Goodbye” comes in at number 6!
Check with your priest
I always tell families to check with their priest about music choices, as the parish priest has final say on the music choices that he feels are appropriate for his church. Very often most priests do not permit any music other than that which is religious to be sung in church.
However, the inclusion of “Time to say Goodbye” shows there are priests out there who are more lenient than other when it comes to family choices of music for funerals.
Admittedly, “Time to say Goodbye” is almost always sung as a recessional item. By this point, in effect, the Mass is finished and hence non-religious funeral music is permitted. It’s got a great tune and does make a good number to leave the church to, with its final, positive high note.
Top 10 Catholic funeral solos (or perhaps Top 15) from Singers for Funerals