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Thoughts on Choosing Music for a Funeral

February 15, 2023

One of the most personal features of a funeral is the music. Music sets the tone and expresses emotions that cannot be spoken in words, and music has the power to help people remember, grieve, and feel gratefulness for a life well lived.

First, let us consider the specific parts of the funeral for which music may provide a special element.

  • Visitation, wake or receiving of friends
  • Beginning song
  • Tribute video music
  • Solo or another musical group
  • Participant singing
  • Closing song
  • Gathering/Reception afterwards

At the very least it is recommended to have music playing while people enter and leave the funeral. However, many families choose to have at least two songs sung or played during the service. We will provide some ideas to help you choose music for a funeral or memorial service.


If you are choosing music for your funeral, what types of music do you love? What music represents you? If you are choosing music for a loved one’s funeral, what types of music did they love? Whether they preferred Beethoven or The Beatles, music they enjoyed can be incorporated in the memorial event. And, if they enjoyed a wide variety of musical genres, there can be a variety throughout the time of remembrance. For example, Beethoven, who presents a reflective, thoughtful tone, could enhance the funeral entrance playlist. Whereas The Beatles might be saved for the more casual time during the luncheon. Music used for the memorial video is usually very personal and poignant.


Music is a powerful element because it communicates a certain mood which can be somber, hopeful, reflective, full of lament … as well as formal, casual, mournful, or celebratory. And, some music can even embody a wide range of moods in one song. Hymns are famous for being both somber and hopeful.

What mood or message would your loved one want to be communicated at their service? Most people want their family and friends to feel hopeful in their mourning. And, if your loved one would be most honored with a light-hearted celebration, almost any type of music they loved would be appropriate throughout the service from beginning to end.


As you contemplate a fitting, personal music list, you will need to consider how the music will be presented. Has a family member or friend offered to sing? Or, perhaps the music will be digitally played over the speaker system. Will the church choir or congregation lift up their voices in song? If you aren’t booking a band or stringed quartet, who would charge a set price, still plan to send a monetary gift as a thank you to the musicians who graced the funeral.

Popular Music Choices

When searching for music that it fitting for your loved one’s service, YouTube is a terrific resource. We will share a few songs we found on YouTube just for you. You may choose one of these songs, or these might lead you to just the perfect song to remember your loved one. You can click below on the titles of songs to listen.


Amazing Grace – bagpipe
Amazing Grace – Aretha Franklin
What a Day That Will Be
It is Well with My Soul
I Shall Know Him
I Can Only Imagine
It is Not Death to Die
In Christ Alone
Glorious Unfolding
I Saw Jesus In You

No More Night
I Will Rise
Welcome Home
Heaven’s Now My Home
When Tomorrow Starts Without Me
Children of the Heavenly Father
Because He Lives I Can Face Tomorrow
Is He Worthy?
Hymn of Heaven


Wind Beneath My Wings
You Raise Me Up
Remember Me This Way
If Heaven was Needing a Hero
Let It Be
Because You Loved Me
Fly Me to the Moon
Time to Say Goodbye
Only Time
May It Be
Supermarket Flowers
One Sweet Day
Don’t Cry for Me
My Heart Will Go On
When I’m Gone
Gone Too Soon
When I Get Where I’m Going
What a Wonderful World
From a Distance

There may be tears of sorrow and joy as your music echoes through the crowd of loved ones gathered. The right music will make your loved one’s funeral memorable and comfort hearts as you honor your loved one. Please let us know if you have any questions. You can check out our website [] anytime or call us at 617-773-3551.


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