I too loved the music at Reagan's funeral. As a chorister myself,
I've had the pleasure of singing many of those pieces, and they get me
I think the reason it's taken so long to answer your question is that
technically there was no music played during the procession of the
family into the National Cathedral (I know, I thought there was too,
but when I went back to listen to the service from NPR -
http://www.npr.org/features/feature.php?wfId=1955337 - I discovered my
memory was faulty!).
There was a lot of music played and sung before the service, but I
believe the piece you are thinking of was the singing of the Schubert
Ave Maria by the famous tenor Ronan Tynan (he's the one who sings at
NY Yankees games). This piece is a popular one at weddings and
funerals equally, and is truly beautiful and haunting. An online
recording of it is at
This is sung by Luciano Pavarotti - the page is in Italian, but if you
click the link under the speaker icon you'll get the music.
If you're remembering a choral piece, then I think it is "And I Saw
and New Heaven" by Edgar Bainton. I LOVE this piece - it is
wonderful. It was sung right before the Ave Maria. You can hear
snippets of this piece if you go to www.amazon.com, go into the music
store, and search for CDs with the piece on them. I can't tell you
how much I love this piece - it is ethereal.
The National Cathedral has the order of music for the service online
in PDF format at http://www.cathedral.org/cathedral/pdfs/servicemusic040611.pdf.
If you're interested, there's a CD for sale of the funeral. I can't
tell if it has all of the prelude music or not, but it does have the
Ave Maria if none others: http://farewelltoreagan.com/
I found this information by doing a serach for "reagan funeral music",
and by going to the websites of the National Cathedral, NPR, and
Please let me know if I can help further!