What's the first thing you think of when you imagine a funeral? For many people, it's the choice of funeral music; increasingly, as funerals become more of a celebration of life rather than just a sad mourning event, the music, in whole or in part, is very different to the sombre or overtly religious traditional music of old.
The role of funeral music
As well as reflecting the deceased's interests and personality, music, be it as traditional as 'Nimrod' or as contemporary as the Robbie Williams song 'Angels', plays a key role during the funeral service or a Celebration of a life.
At different stages of the ceremony, music can do one or more of the following things:
From its simplest use to the most elaborate arrangement, and across religions and cultures, music undoubtedly has a place in almost every funeral. Not just sad funeral songs either, but the full range of music to capture every facet of someone's life.
How to choose the music for a funeral
Nowadays, funeral music is about much more than just traditional organ music. With more and more venues having the means to play specific music, tailoring music to your exact wishes has never been easier. Whether it's for the funeral march, at the graveside, or even at a post-funeral wake, there's a place for many different kinds of music.
Choosing music for funerals usually involves combining one or more of the following:
Sources of funeral music are diverse and include the following:
Increasingly, modern funerals and celebrations of a life successfully combine religious funeral songs and secular favourites. Depending on the regional background of the deceased, do not forget Irish funeral music ('The Londonderry Air'), Scottish funeral music with a piper, or maybe one of the classic Welsh funeral hymns such as 'Crug y bar'.
Examples of popular funeral music and burial songs
Examples of popular funeral hymns
Classical music suitable for funerals
Modern funeral songs
Whatever the choices, good funeral songs are always chosen to suit the special personality or preference of the deceased, and the way the mourners feel about them and their parting.
What'll be playing at your funeral?
Perhaps you're looking for songs to play at a funeral? Or maybe, having realised the benefits of documenting your personal funeral preferences, you are starting to plan your own funeral.
It's never too early to capture your wishes for the funeral hymn, music or favourite song that you'd like included at your send-off. Perhaps it's important to have a song by a particular artist, a poignant hymn, or a much-loved classical piece. Or maybe you're set on having one of the 'alternative' or 'funny funeral songs' such as 'Always Look on The Bright Side of Life'?