Music at Funeral Celebrations [July 1999]

VERY OFTEN, families who are grieving over the loss of their loved ones entertain, in their own hearts, a multitude of feelings good and sad, calling to mind not only the immediate pain of loss but also a 'nostaligic' remembrance of good times shared. In our daily lives many of us are brought to remembrance by MUSIC: a favorite song, perhaps; a music style that reminds us of home and family; religious songs that help lift our hearts and minds to spiritual acceptance in a faith-filled celebration.. MUSIC so very often is the fabric that keeps our most cherished memories alive and warm.

IN OUR LIFE IN HAWAI'I, music plays a most significant role in all aspects of celebrating life; baby lu'aus, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries and funerals. Music IS a celebration of all the things in life. Often, families who arrange for funeral services with 'live' music, that is, music performed by a musician in person. Indeed, this is often preferred to pre-recorded music.

IN THE CATHOLIC RITE FOR FUNERALS, it is best to leave specific choices of the liturgy to the musician, relying on his/her expertise and experience. Most will model the Funeral Mass according to the traditions and sensibilities of the parish community. It is good, however, to give your music minister insights as to who is celebrating with you. Participation by all is the primary aim of any liturgy. You are still free to offer suggestions or make requests, but keep in mind that the music for liturgy focuses on God's solidarity and love for all his people in life and in death, celebrated in context of the church year. Most music ministers are well versed in making good and meaningful choices for you. We are here to serve you.

DURING THE VIEWING & FAMILY VISITATION before Mass, the music can and ought to be festive and "local", including music that is well-known at parties, lua'u, and family gatherings; Hawaiian, Oldies, Standards, Local favorites. This practice truly sets the Hawai'i funeral apart from those commonly found in the continental U.S.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE ME TO SERVE YOU at a funeral, please contact me: Robert Mondoy 1555 Pohaku Street B104 Honolulu, Hawai'i 96817. Telephone: (808) 845-8405 or e-mail me mondoymusic AT gmail DOT com (you need to retype this - done so to curtail address-harvesting by unsavory parties :-)

MY PERFORMANCE RATES are competitive; No less than $100 and no more than $125. I can be hired as your "single" musician, and I usually also serve as songleader/psalmist from the keyboard. I can also play for funeral viewings [before the Funeral Mass]; the rate is also $100 per hour. If you want them, additional songleaders' and other instrumentalists' rates vary from $50 to $150.

Mahalo, and peace to you and your family.

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