Preparing a funeral or a memorial service for your loved one is not a simple task. With so many things to do, selecting the songs for a funeral is often overlooked. However, the music is an important part of the funeral. It can represent your loved one’s personality, help friends and family reflect and grieve and can help uplift people during a somber occasion.
A funeral director, friend and family can all provide much needed support during the funeral planning process. However, decisions often need to be made quickly. That is why we have put together a list of our favorite songs for a funeral, which should help choosing the perfect songs far easier. In addition to our favorite songs, we have also provided a few helpful tips for choosing the correct music.
Songs For A Funeral
1. My Way – Frank Sinatra
2. Amazing Grace – Various Artists
3. Time To Say Goodbye – Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman
4. What A Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
5. He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother – The Hollies
6. Unforgettable – Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole
7. Because You Loved Me – Celine Dion
8. I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston
9. We’ll Meet Again – Vera Lyn
10. Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler
11. Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd
12. Moonlight Sonata – Beethoven
13. Imagine – John Lennon
14. My Way – Frank Sinatra
15. Stairway to Heaven – Led Zeppelin
16. On the Road Again – Willie Nelson
17. True Blue – John Williamson
18. Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd
19. Unforgettable – Nat King Cole
20. You’ll Never Walk Alone – Gerry and the Pacemakers
21. You Raise Me Up – Josh Groban
22. My Heart Will Go On – Celine Dion
23. Candle In The Wind – Elton John
24. The Lord’s My Shepherd – Various Artists
25. Goodbye’s The Saddest Word – Celine Dion
The following are a few tips to help you in making your decision when choosing songs for a funeral. The first thing you want to do is to decide on the number of songs you would like to play and the total estimated duration of the songs. By doing this first, it will help you plan the general outline of the entire ceremony. This will also allow the funeral director to plan and delegate the other parts of the ceremony to his assistants. Most of the time, people will usually want to choose somewhere between three to five songs for a funeral.
Next is the process of selecting the right songs for a funeral. In general, there are three categories of funeral music – classical, religious/hymns and popular music. By selecting a mix of the three, you will be able to create the right atmosphere for a soothing and memorable farewell for your loved one. If you are religious, you will want to select hymns or other spiritual music for the ceremony. A few of our favorite hymns are: How Great Thou Art, Amazing Grace, You Are Near.
You will also want to have a few classical music pieces to play in the background during silence and periods of intermission. Classical music can also be played before and after the funeral as guests arrive and leave. Our favorite classical songs are: Adagio for Strings by Albinoni, Agnus Dei by Samuel Barber and The Lark Ascending by Vaughn Williams.
Finally, in remembrance of your loved one, you will want to choose his or her favorite songs to play. Or, choose songs that are meaningful to you and your family. Generally speaking, there are no limitations on the type of music that you can play at a funeral. So, if you feel it will be more appropriate to play something in the genre of rock or jazz, please do so.
Above all other reasons, your selection of songs for a funeral is important to commemorate the passing of a loved one. Before the deceased is sent for burial or for cremation, sending him or her off with their favorite song will definitely evoke feelings and memories from the past.
Updated: December 6, 2012