Morgan Crowley -
Morgan Crowley -
The Lord Bless You and Keep You
Morgan Crowley graduated with his Masters Degree from Trinity College Dublin and went on to enjoy a hugely successful international career, headlining West End & Broadway shows including Phantom of the Opera, Chicago, Hairspray, West Side Story & Riverdance ; leading roles in Opera at leading venues including Royal Opera Covent Garden, New York & Zurich ; acclaimed concert performances to audiences of millions including THREE popes, several Royals / Heads of State and countless celebrity admirers including Princess Diana, Meryl Streep, Tom Cruise and Celine Dion. Morgan returned to Dublin to provide care for family and enjoys his pastoral work in parishes and cathedrals across the country.
“In my extensive experience of providing music for bereaved families, I have been able to identify music which is liturgically appropriate and entirely effective in its ability to comfort families, offering musical healing at this stage of the grieving process. I hope that the following non-exhaustive list will be a helpful guide to those seeking music for the final farewell to their loved ones. Infinite alternatives can be discussed personally if desired.” Morgan Crowley
An Introduction to Music for the Requiem Mass
The following is a guide to help you understand the structure of the Mass for your departed (based on “Order for Christian Funerals”) and where, within that structure, music may play its role in supporting the liturgy and offering solace to those gathered to pay respects….
Reception of the Body at Church: The Priest/Celebrant greets those arriving for the Mass
The first piece of music may be played – the potential selection here is extensive. Families often favour “Nearer My God To Thee”, “Abide With Me”, “Here I Am Lord” or any number of other more personal selections. Additionally there is a hauntingly beautiful traditional plainchant setting of the text “Into Your Hands O Lord I commend my Spirit” and instrumental music can also be a gentle option.
Placing of Symbols: Christian symbols are placed on the coffin
First Reading: Celebrant can guide you through appropriate readings available
This can be read, if preferred, but musical settings of Psalms are available – for example, most famously, “The Lord is My Shepherd” (two settings - Egan and Crimond - prove most popular), “On Eagles Wings”, “Be Not Afraid”, and more recent settings of “Hiding Place” (or its Irish-language counterpart “Mo Ghrá Thú”) or indeed the Irish language setting “Eirím Suas le Dia” if your family has a link to the traditional….
Second Reading: Celebrant will guide you through appropriate readings from the Bible
Musicians can provide a suitable setting of the “Alleluia” to greet the Gospel, in agreement with the Celebrant
At this point it is worth noting that your Musicians can offer sung settings of the Liturgy/Mass in agreement with the Celebrant or according to your own preference of Mass settings ; e.g. Bodley, Sexton, O Riada, or the many Plainchant settings of the Sanctus, Memorial Acclamation, Agnus Dei – “when we sing, we pray twice”. These liturgical moments may include the “Sign of Peace”(after the Our Father), which can often be an opportunity to sing or play an appropriate setting of this sharing of goodwill…
Offertory of the Gifts
At this point in the ceremony, the Celebrant will invite members of the congregation (if available) to “bring up the gifts” of bread and wine to the Altar for their consecration and Music can be provided – some popular choices at this point include “Ave Maria” (various settings available), “Amazing Grace”, “Ag Críost An Síol”, “Deus Meus”, “Pie Jesu”(various settings) or the many Chritian hymns composed specially for this moment in the Mass – or indeed instrumental options.
When invited by the Celebrant to partake of the body and blood of Christ, Musicians may provide from a wide selection of pieces, including “Panis Angelicus”, “How Great Thou Art”, “Take & Eat”, “Nella Fantasia”, “The Last Supper”, “Listen”, “Bí A Íosa”, “Deep Peace”, “Benedictus”, “As Gentle As Silence”…
Depending on the size of the congregation, a second musical selection can often be accommodated here if desired.
The Celebrant brings the Mass proper to a close, before the Final Commendation of the deceased takes place – while the coffin is being blessed with water and incense, a suitable musical blessing may be provided, such as “Jesus Remember Me”, “Song of Farewell”, “Songs of the Angels”, “In Paradisum”(various settings)
Procession to the Place of Commital
Following the final Blessing at the Prayer of Commendation, the Celebrant invites the Congregation to carry the remains to their place of final rest – now the Congregation leaves the church following the coffin. Your final selection of music will be provided at this point – as your exit from the Church. Many options available include “Abide With Me”, “Nearer My God To Thee”, “The Lord Bless You & Keep You”, “May The Road Rise To Meet You”, “How Great Thou Art”, “In Paradisum”(various settings)