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Joe Pratt wrote:

Hi, Mike —

I am responding to your web page. I would like to make a suggestion that you create a page related to Religious Music. I am a Catholic and followed the funeral of the Late Pope John Paul II on British television, although it was fairly brief. I was much taken with the beautiful Gregorian Chant being played as John Paul was carried to the Basilica. I have a collection of Gregorian Chant which I listen to frequently, but I do not have what was played at the funeral.

  • Is there any chance of you telling me what it is, and indeed, if there is a CD of Pope John Paul's funeral?

There are others in my church who would be interested.

  • Would a Vatican shop have this?

Hope to hear from you.


Joe Pratt

  { What Gregorian chant was played at the Pope's funeral and is there a CD of the funeral? }

Mike replied:

Hi Joe,

Thanks for the question.

There is a Music and Art web page under the "Family Life" content category.

The "Music and Art" web page has a link to the web site; a site that sells Gregorian Chant. Tell them sent you! If you know of other links to Catholic Music or Art sites, please e-mail the web site address to me.

You can find a CD of the funeral of Pope John Paul II (EWTN) and the Inaugural Mass of Pope Benedict XVI (EWTN) at CanticaNOVA Publications (CNP) here. When ordering. tell them
Mike Humphrey from sent you!

I sent your question to the L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican Newspaper and they responded as follows:

Dear Mr. Mike Humphrey,

Referring to your request, we suggest you should apply to Center Vatican Television.

We look forward to hearing from you for any other service we might supply.

Best Regards,
L'Osservatore Romano

Marketing, Diffusion and Subscription Office
00120 Vatican City
Tel. +39 06.69899480 – Fax 06 69882818

If someone knows the selection of Gregorian chant that was sung as John Paul was being carried to the Basilica, please e-mail me that information as well.

For others interested in what Gregorian chant is, I've appended the following from the Catholic Encyclopedia:

Gregorian Chant

A plain chant with more individuality and characteristic expression than other early chants (e.g., Ambrosian). These chants appear to have been compiled and arranged by Pope St. Gregory the Great (540-604), thus the name Gregorian. After Vatican Council II and the introduction of the vernacular into the liturgy, Gregorian chant was put aside by most Church musicians. In 1974, however, a publication, “Letter to Bishops on the Minimum Repertoire of Plain Chant,” was sent to all bishops and heads of religious congregations throughout the world. This letter spoke of the booklet Jubilate Deo which contains basic chants that should be taught to all the faithful, a copy of which was also sent to the bishops and religious leaders.

Reverend Peter M.J. Stravinskas, Ph.D., S.T.L. Our Sunday Visitor's Catholic Encyclopedia. Copyright © 1994, Our Sunday Visitor.

Thanks for writing.

Hope this helps,


Laura S. commented:

Hi there,

My name is Laura; I'm in Dallas.

I saw a question on the regarding the music at the Papal funeral. I know during the procession of his body to the Basilica, they sang:

Psalm 23. The Lord is My Shepherd. It's in Latin of course, and you hear the refrain/antiphon:

In loco pascuae ibi me conlocavit

Psalm 51. Miserere Have Mercy on Me Oh Lord ... etc.

The Latin refrain/antiphon:

Exaltabunt Domino Ossa humiliata (Its my favorite psalm.)

They also sang the Litany of the Saints

The EWTN DVD is OK if you want the events, but the commentary interrupts the music. The best place to get a DVD would be CTV at the Vatican, but I have not done that yet. I sent them an e-mail, but it came back undeliverable; their mailbox was understandably full.

Also, during Pope Benedict's first Mass (with the Cardinals), that intro chant was Jubilate Deo. :-)
Here is the Vatican archive link for the events surrounding Pope John Paul's passing, Interegnum, and Pope Benedict's election.

I downloaded the music into my MP3 player from the Vatican web site archives.

The quality's not the best, I'm on dial up; but it is so beautiful, it works for me!! I would rather hear that, than noisy people during my holy hours! :-)

If you want Latin psalms, go here.

I had taken Latin in school, so I listened to the chants and "googled" part of the verse; that's how
I found out what psalms they were. :-)

I like the English translation of the psalms in the Liturgy of the Hours (aka Divine Office or Breviary), so I just use the above link for the Latin.

Go to the Liturgy of the Hours Apostolate at, if you don't have that in book form.


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