How to handle the Naming of the Dead during the pandemic
  • For several years now during the final Mass of the year, Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, I have been chanting the names of the deceased for the year, and the congregation has been responding by singing, “Grant Them Eternal Rest, O Lord” by Owen Alstott. This year, our archdiocese has instructed that, while the pandemic is still going on, the congregation may not sing. Does anyone have any suggestions? I sang, “Saints and Beloved of God” by Bob Hurd and named our usual saints during the All Saints’ Mass this past weekend, as that called for no response from the people. I could use that and insert the names of the decedents, but I’m hoping for other suggestions to present to our pastor. Also, we have had quite a number of deaths, as usual, which might make it unusually long. I am well able to chant or sing whatever you throw my way, and since the congregation is not answering in song, I don’t have to consider the complexity. Thank you!
  • Could you use your usual piece, but book-end it instead- use it as an antiphon at the beginning and end? Could a cantor or the pastor to sing the book ends?
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,182
    I don't really have a suggestion about the music, except that singing it before the Mass begins might be a good idea. My thought is more about when this commemoration is to be done: that is, on which day.

    Maybe the pastor is choosing the day, and you might not have a choice in the matter. But the most fitting day for it is November 2, All Souls Day, when we pray for the repose of all the faithful departed. Many parishes do offer a special Mass on All Souls Day every year, and recalling the departed of the parish would be fitting for that occasion, before Mass or at the Prayer of the Faithful, or at the time of the Offertory.

    In contrast, to have an extended prayer for the departed on All Saints Day is a mismatch, since that day is about rejoicing for the faithful who are already fully in the presence of God.

    Thanked by 1CHGiffen