Mudcat Café message #1835506 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #94716   Message #1835506
Posted By: Joe Offer
15-Sep-06 - 03:40 PM
Thread Name: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
There are four usual places for hymns in the Catholic Mass, and all four are times of procession - the entrance song, when people gather to worship; the offertory song, when people carry their sacrificial gifts to the altar; the communion song, when people process in unity to receive the Eucharist; and the recessional, when people leave together to "go in peace to love and serve the Lord." There are specific meanings attached to each of these processions - and "Danny Boy" and "Ave Maria" don't fit any of them. The other songs in the Mass are prescribed texts of the liturgy, so there is little room for choice in those texts (other than a choice of Psalm verses); but there is room for a "meditation song" after Communion. Since the main part of the Mass is over after Communion, there's a bit more freedom of choice for this song.

The "May the angels" text is more than just religious - it has been an official (but optional) part of the funeral liturgy for centuries, long before "Danny Boy" was written. I sang the text in the first message to "Londonderry Air" to my mother-in-law this morning, and it worked - but I have to admit she prefers the "Danny Boy" lyrics.

There are tunes for "May the angels" that I prefer, but it seems to me that the version in the first message is a workable compromise for those who want "Danny Boy" at a funeral. And as I said above, most parishes WILL allow a song like "Danny Boy" before or after the actual funeral Mass (and sometimes after communion).

-Joe Offer-