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25+ Popular Funeral Songs to Play at an End-of-Life Celebration

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Music is an important part of the human experience. It has the power to bring us joy or move us to tears. Music also has the power to add a unique, personalized touch to a loved one’s funeral or memorial service, resurfacing memories and adding special meaning to their end-of-life celebration.

The music you choose for a loved one’s funeral service can truly embody their memory and offer a sense of comfort to those grieving. As with many end-of-life service personalization options, it can be tough to select music that can accomplish this.

Below, we offer advice for selecting music for your loved one’s service, as well as some ideas to choose from.

>>>Related Resource: 20+ Unique Funeral Personalization Ideas

Choosing the Right Funeral Music   

While funeral services do not require music, it’s likely you’ll hear hymns or other related songs throughout them.

There are thousands of songs and pieces of music to choose from and you will want to select ones that reflect your loved one’s life. Before making your decisions, consider the following questions:

  • Was there a specific song or piece of music your loved one always listened to? Were they known for playing that song or piece of music at family parties or with their friends?
  • Did your loved one celebrate their heritage and are there any culturally significant songs or pieces of music that represent it?
  • Are there any songs or pieces of music that remind you and your surviving family members of your loved one?
  • Did your loved one request any specific songs or pieces of music to be played at their funeral service?
  • Is there a certain song or piece of music that speaks to your or others’ grief experience? Playing it for others can help bring some peace to them during an incredibly hard time.

Contemplating these questions can help you decide which songs or pieces of music will best serve as a tribute to your loved one’s life.

If you’re having difficulty choosing funeral music, a Certified Celebrant can walk you through your options and can refer to the meaningful lyrics when telling the story of your loved one’s life. There ultimately is no right or wrong song to choose.

>>>Related Resource: How to Create a Personalized Tribute for a Loved One: Q&A With a Certified Celebrant

Top Funeral Songs and Pieces of Music

To help you decide, we’ve compiled a list of top funeral songs and pieces of music, from classical to contemporary to religious. Though we’ve listed the original artists, many of these songs and pieces of music have been covered by multiple artists over the years, offering an even wider selection.

Classical

  1. Adagietto from Symphony No. 5 – Gustav Mahler
  2. Adagio in G Minor – Albinoni
  3. Adagio for Strings – Samuel Barber
  4. Ave Maria – Franz Schubert
  5. Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten – Arvo Pärt
  6. Lacrimosa – Mozart
  7. Nimrod – Elgar
  8. Irish Tune from County Derry – Percy Grainger
  9. Pie Jesu – Gabriel Fauré
  10. Time to Say Goodbye – Andrea Bocelli

Contemporary

  1. Angel – Sarah McLachlan
  2. Angels – Robbie Williams
  3. Fix You – Coldplay
  4. Halo – Beyoncé
  5. My Heart Will Go On – Celine Dion
  6. Over You – Miranda Lambert
  7. See You Again – Carrie Underwood
  8. Tears in Heaven – Eric Clapton
  9. Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler
  10. You Raise Me Up – Josh Groban

Religious

  1. Amazing Grace – John Newton
  2. Be Not Afraid - Robert J. Dufford
  3. Go Rest High on that Mountain – Vince Gill
  4. Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen
  5. Here I Am, Lord – Dan Schutte
  6. I Am the Bread of Life – Suzanne Toolan
  7. I Can Only Imagine – MercyMe
  8. Lift High The Cross – Sydney Hugo Nicholson
  9. On Eagle's Wings – Michael Joncas
  10. One Bread, One Body – John Foley

Preparing Final Arrangements for a Loved One? Our Checklist Can Help.

We understand how stressful it can be to plan a loved one’s funeral, which is why we’ve created this funeral planning checklist to provide you with the necessary steps and answer the most common questions we hear as you embark on planning final arrangements. Download it now for information on addressing the needs of a loved one before they pass, a list of legal documents you’ll need when a loved one passes and more.

Download our funeral planning checklist

Amy Boyd-Kirksey
Amy Boyd-Kirksey
Interested in what makes each one of us unique and special. Amy says she is privileged to have the opportunity to help families and friends honor those qualities in their loved one. She has a passion for music and words, and enjoys using these tools to remember and celebrate a life.
 

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