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CanticaNOVA Publications

Music Suggestions
The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed [All Souls' Day]

Liturgical Music

These are suggestions from among the many musical options given in the chant books.

Official texts

Other liturgical music


  • All Creatures of Our God and King (WIII #520, HPSC #103, CBW #620, PMB #120, HH #186, AH #600, CH #555, CHB #198, SMH #198, VII #206)
  • Christ Is the World's Light (CBW #543, HPSC #130, WIII #543, CD #897, EH #258)
  • Come, My Way, My Truth, My Life (WIII #569, CD #899, CH #532, SMH #270)
  • Come unto Me, Ye Weary (HPSC #142)
  • For All the Saints (WIII #705, ICEL #189, HPSC #157, AH #590, HH #287, CBW #617, PMB #187, CH #336, CHB #166, SMH #297, EH #126, VII #263)
  • Holy God, Forget Thine Anger from Hymns for the Liturgical Year (Kathleen Pluth)
  • How Firm A Foundation (CH #452, ICEL #193, WIII #585, HH #290, SMH #349, EH #564)
  • I Know That My Redeemer Lives (WIII #445, ICEL #160, PMB #744, CBW #56, CH #293, SMH #356, VII #)
  • Jerusalem, My Happy Home (WIII #690, ICEL #161, CBW #601, CH #469, SMH #373, EH #585)
  • Jesus, Name of Wondrous Love (HPSC #204, EH #323)
  • Lead, Kindly Light (ICEL #212, AH #578, CH #455, CHB #234, SMH #392, EH #430, VII #298)
  • Lord of All Hopefulness (WIII #568, CH #524, HH #226, CHB #239, SMH #406, EH #363)
  • Merciful Saviour, Hear Our Humble Prayer (CHB #182, SMH #416)
  • My Shepherd Will Supply My Need (WIII #606, ICEL #163, CH #458, SMH #420)
  • O Christ, the World's Salvation (Dennis DiPaolo)
  • O God, Our Help in Ages Past (HPSC #241, WIII #579, ICEL #237, CBW #640, CH #457, PMB #128, HH #169, AH #624, CHB #249, SMH #446, EH #289, VII #203)
  • O Jesus, Lord, Increase Our Faith (HH #314)
  • O Lord, You Died That All Might Live (HH #315B)
  • Praise the Lord, Ye Heavens, Adore Him (WIII #529, ICEL #243, HPSC #282, PMB #662, CBW #656, CH #573, CHB #259)
  • Song of Farewell (tune- Old Hundredth)
  • The King of Love My Shepherd Is (WIII #609, ICEL #165, HPSC #324, AH #580, CH #460, CHB #265, SMH #563/4, EH #345, VII #269)
  • The Living God My Shepherd Is (WIII #612, CD #831, CBW #690)
  • The Strife Is O'er (WIII #451, ICEL #77, PMB #68, HH #131, CBW #503, AH #413, CH #276, CHB #83, SMH #570, EH #91)
  • We Offer Prayer in Sorrow, Lord (HH #316)
  • What Wondrous Love Is This? (CD #822, WIII #600, HH #95, PMB #157, ICEL #164, CH #530, HH #95, SMH #607)
  • Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones (HPSC #359, WIII #707, AH #416, HH #275, PMB #71, CH #578, CHB #275, SMH #617, EH #599)
AH = The Adoremus Hymnal, Ignatius Press
CBW = Catholic Book of Worship II / Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
CD = Cantate Domino / Hymnal Supplement, GIA Publications, Inc.
CH = The Collegeville Hymnal, The Liturgical Press
CHB = The Catholic Hymn Book [London Oratory], Gracewing Publishers
EH = The Hymnal 1940 (Episcopal), used by many Anglican Use Roman Catholic parishes
HH = Hymnal of the Hours, GIA Publications, Inc.
HPSC = Hymns, Psalms & Spiritual Canticles, out of print but excellent
ICEL = ICEL Resource Collection, GIA Publications, Inc.
PMB = People's Mass Book, World Library Publications, Inc.
SMH = The Saint Michael Hymnal – 3rd Edition 2003, Saint Boniface Church, Lafayette IN
VII = Vatican II Hymnal, Corpus Christi Watershed
WIII = Worship, 3rd Edition, GIA Publications, Inc.

Choral Music

  • As the Hart Longs (Felix Mendelssohn)
  • Audivi media nocte (Thomas Tallis)
  • Bless the Lord, O My Soul (M. Ippolitoff-Ivanoff)
  • Blessed Are the Dead (Heinrich Sch¨tz) [Abingdon]
  • Blest Are They Whose Spirits Long (Handel / Hopson)
  • Bone Pastor, Panis Vere (Jonathan Kregor)
  • But the Lord Is Mindful of His Own from Saint Paul (Felix Mendelssohn)
  • Christ Being Raised from the Dead (John Blow, C. Hylton Stewart, Healey Willan)
  • Come, Thou Faithful Servant (Claudio Monteverdi)
  • Credo quod redemptor meus vivit (Robert Parsons)
  • De profundis (Johann Georg Albrechtsberger, Nicolaus Bruhns, Giovanni Croce, Michel-Richard de Lalande, W.A. Mozart, Josquin des Prez, Christoph Willibald Gluck, Jeffrey Quick, Ludwig Senfl)
  • Ecce fidelis servus (Fauré/Proulx) [GIA Publications]
  • Ego sum panis vivus (William Byrd, G.P. Palestrina)
  • Exaudi Deus (Giovanni Croce)
  • God Is My Shepherd (Antonin Dvorak)
  • God So Loved the World (John Stainer)
  • Hope Thou in God (Felix Mendelssohn)
  • How Lovely Are Thy Dwellings Fair (Colin Brumby)
  • I Heard A Voice from Heaven (William Billings, John Goss, Thomas Tomkins)
  • I Know That My Redeemer Liveth (J.M. Bach, G.F. Handel, Thomas Morley, Flor Peeters)
  • If God Be for Us (Melchior Franck, Heinrich Schütz)
  • If We Believe That Jesus Died (John Goss) [Oxford]
  • In paradisum (Gregorian chant) [Worship III Hymnal #178, Adoremus Hymnal #572, Collegeville Hymnal #411, Catholic Book of Worship II #599, Liber usualis p.1768]
  • In paradisum (Michael Cox)
  • Iustorum animæ (Colin Brumby, William Byrd, Orlando di Lasso, Charles Villiers Stanford)
  • Know Ye Not (Edward Baristow) [Novello]
  • Like As A Father (Luigi Cherubini)
  • My Shepherd Will Supply My Need (arr. Virgil Thomson)
  • Nunc dimittis (Gregorian chant) [Liber usualis p.1735]
  • O God, Thou Art My God (Henry Purcell)
  • Out of the Deep (Adrian Batten, G.F. Handel, Virgil Thomson, Thomas Tomkins)
  • Psalm 122 (J.P. Sweelinck)
  • Psalm 130 (Paul Manz)
  • Requiem æternam (Martini / Penkala)
  • Salvator mundi (Tallis / Kenney)
  • Scio enim quod Redemptor (Orlando di Lasso)
  • See What Love the Father from Saint Paul (Felix Mendelssohn)
  • Sicut cervus (Palestrina / Angelini)
  • Tantum ergo Sacramentum (Christopher Bord)
  • The Gate of Heaven (Randall Thompson)
  • The Lord Is My Light and My Salvation (Eugene Englert) [GIA Publications]
  • The Lord Is My Shepherd (Stephen DeCesare)
  • The Lord's My Shepherd (Colin Brumby)
  • The Sorrows of My Heart (William Boyce)
  • The Souls of the Righteous (H. Walford Davies, Stanley Marchant, James Nares, T. Tertius Noble, Desmond Ratcliffe, Ralph Vaughan Williams)
  • The Sufferings of the Present (Melchior Franck)
  • The Twenty-third Psalm (Franz Schubert, Ralph Vaughan Williams)

Organ Music

Regrading music at Funerals, we find the following: The Ceremonial of Bishops, the most recent complete liturgical document from the Holy See, instructs that the organ remain silent during Funeral Masses, except to accompany singing.

There should be no flowers on the altar, and the music of the organ or other instruments is permitted only to assist the singing. [#824]

One could look at organ music on All Souls Day in two ways: akin to the restrictions at other Masses for the Dead we might refrain from all solo organ music; or, allowing that the documents speak specifically of Funeral Masses, we might take the opportunity of November 2 falling on Sunday to play from the wide spectrum of repertoire based on death and the afterlife. Here are some possiblities:

  • Abide, O Dearest Jesus (Sigfrid Karg-Elert)
  • Air from D Major Suite (J.S. Bach)
  • Alle Menschen müssen sterben (J.S. Bach)
  • Andante religioso (Felix Mendelssohn)
  • Canon in D Major (Johann Pachelbel)
  • Chaconne (Wilbur Held)
  • Easter Sequence from Six Easter Hymn Preludes (Wilbur Held)
  • Eventide (C. Hubert H. Parry)
  • Fantasy on For All the Saints (Edward G. Mead)
  • God's Time Is Best (J.S. Bach)
  • Ich hab mein Sach Gott heimgestellt from the Neumeister Collection (J.S. Bach)
  • In paradisum (Alfred Fedak) [Selah Publishers]
  • O God, Our Help in Ages Past (Heinrich Fleischer)
  • O Welt, ich muss dich lassen from Eleven Chorale Preludes (Johannes Brahms)
  • O wie selig seid ihr doch, ihr Frommen from Eleven Chorale Preludes (Johannes Brahms)
  • Out of the Depths I Cry to Thee (F.W. Marpurg)
  • Partita on O God, Our Help in Ages Past (Paul Manz)
  • The King of Love My Shepherd Is (Healey Willan)
  • Prelude on Victimæ paschali laudes (John Reese)

Liturgical Hints & Ideas

On this day, the Church exhibits some of the most profound and yet humble aspects of the liturgical year. All Souls Day is officially titled, "The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed." On the low end of the liturgical scale, a "commemoration" is the rank a memorial gets when celebrated during the end of Advent or during Lent, and retains little of its full texts. Almost anything outranks a commemoration (even a Lenten weekday). But the Church highlights the dignity of all the Christians who have died, having attained or awaiting their blessed reward in heaven. This lowly commemoration is the only such day which outranks a Sunday celebration, a privilege associated solely with solemnities of any kind or feasts of the Lord, (like the Exaltation of [His] Holy Cross on September 14, or the Dedication of the Basilica of the Most Holy Savior [November 9]). Enjoy the opportunity to sing some of the parish's funeral repertoire, and to learn some of the great music produced by masters inspired by thoughts on death and final things.

CanticaNOVA Publications / PO Box 1388 / Charles Town WV 25414-7388
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