Funerals are such an important way to mark the life of a loved one. And whilst they can be very sad days, the music we choose to remember a loved one can be the perfect way to reflect someone's personality and role in your life.
Whether it's a traditional song to sing during a service or whilst you say your final goodbyes, it's important to choose songs that mean something to them. It can be anything from a particular karaoke song, or a more traditional church hymn, we have some suggestions of songs and hymns which might suit.
The UK’s most popular funeral hymns
The Lord is My Shepherd – based on Psalm 23 this is a well-known, comforting song.
Abide With Me – a Victorian hymn about turning to God in times of trouble.
All Things Bright and Beautiful – a particularly uplifting, jolly song, that everyone knows. It’s great for encouraging everyone to sing along.
How Great Thou Art – a good hymn for putting things in perspective as, like All Things Bright, it’s about the beauty of nature.
Amazing Grace – a moving song, that’s often played on bagpipes.
Jerusalem – another popular choice for weddings and funerals, based on a William Blake poem.
Old Rugged Cross – a song about being dedicated to Christ.
Morning Has Broken – we all remember this hymn from our school days, and it’s been well-loved since it was written in 1931.
I Watch the Sunrise – another good song to help mourners cope, as it’s about the passage of time and watching the sun move through the sky.
Ave Maria – everyone knows this tune and you can’t help to be moved by it
Catholic funeral hymns
There’s often a cross-over between songs chosen for Catholic and Church of England services, as people tend to want the most beautiful music, whichever branch of the church they’re from.
Popular Catholic choices include many songs you might hear in general mass:
How Great Thou Art
I Am The Bread of Life
Church of England hymns
Popular choices include:
Make Me a Channel of Your Peace
Dear Lord and Father
Lord of All Hopefulness
Non-religious funeral songs
What about choosing a pop song instead? People often pick songs such as Frank Sinatra’s My Way, Angels by Robbie Williams, We’ll Meet Again by Vera Lynn, and You’ll Never Walk Alone by Gerry and the Pacemakers.
Choosing funeral songs
When you let go of someone you love, it’s part of the grieving process to think back over their lives. Consider what they enjoyed and what they meant to you, and then try to choose music based on those reflections. Speak to friends and family too, as they may have some good ideas. Consider printing the lyrics into the funeral programme in case people want to sing along. Here are some suggestions for specific important people you may have lost.
Funeral songs for your mum
Wind Beneath My Wings by Bette Midler
Angel by Sarah McLachlan
You Raise Me Up by Josh Groban
Funeral songs for your dad
Hero by Mariah Carey
Dance With My Father by Luther Vandross
Tears In Heaven by Eric Clapton
Songs for your partner’s funeral
Songs about angels for funerals
Angels by Robbie Williams
Jealous of the Angels by Bostic
Touched by an Angel by Stevie Nicks
Joyful funeral hymns
Always Look on the Bright Side of Life by Monty Python
What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong
Don't You Forget About Me by Simple Minds
Find out everything you need to know about funeral etiquette
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