How to choose beautiful funeral hymns

How to choose beautiful funeral hymns

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

  1. The Lord is My Shepherd – based on Psalm 23 this is a well-known, comforting song.

  2. Abide With Me – a Victorian hymn about turning to God in times of trouble.

  3. All Things Bright and Beautiful – a particularly uplifting, jolly song, that everyone knows. It’s great for encouraging everyone to sing along.

  4. How Great Thou Art – a good hymn for putting things in perspective as, like All Things Bright, it’s about the beauty of nature.

  5. Amazing Grace – a moving song, that’s often played on bagpipes.

  6. Jerusalem – another popular choice for weddings and funerals, based on a William Blake poem.

  7. Old Rugged Cross – a song about being dedicated to Christ.

  8. Morning Has Broken – we all remember this hymn from our school days, and it’s been well-loved since it was written in 1931.

  9. 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.

  10. 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:

  • Ave Maria
  • How Great Thou Art
  • Amazing Grace
  • I Am The Bread of Life

Church of England hymns

Popular choices include:

  • Make Me a Channel of Your Peace
  • Jerusalem
  • 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

  • I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston
  • Time to Say Goodbye by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman
  • Unforgettable by Nat King Cole

Hymns or songs for a child’s funeral

  • There You’ll Be by Faith hill
  • Arms of the Angels by Sarah McLachlan
  • This Little Light of Mine

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