When choosing music for a funeral or memorial service, try to select songs from a genre that the person you are remembering would have enjoyed. Although it is also important to play music that will be comforting to those attending the service, honoring the deceased should always be the focus when planning a funeral or memorial.Because it may be difficult to choose funeral songs that you find moving but are also consistent with the tastes and preferences of the person being memorialized, it may take a bit of searching to find music that is appropriate. This page features a wide selection of best funeral songs to consider and also provides examples of what others have chosen when planning a funeral.
Popular Funeral Songs
The following is a list of songs that are often played at funerals and memorial services:To Where You Are, available on Josh Groban's self-titled CD, is a powerful and uplifting song. It speaks to the feeling the deceased is still present in your life and that the love shared continues to live on.What a Day Yesterday Was by Alan Jackson, is a very special song that will fill you with emotion. It is available on his High Mileage CD.When I Get Where I'm Going was made popular by country music artists Brad Paisley and Dolly Parton. This song can be very comforting because it talks about the happiness the departed loved one will find in the hereafter. This popular funeral song is available on Brad Paisley's CD Time Well Wasted.A song with a theme of faith often played at funerals is Dancing With The Angels. Made popular by contemporary Christian music duo Monk and Neagle, Dancing With The Angels contrasts the feeling of not being ready to let someone go while at the same time recognizing that person is starting a new life in heaven.The Wings That Fly Us Home by John Denver.Go Rest High On That Mountain by country music artist Vince Gill.Angel by Sarah McLachlan.Photograph by Ringo Starr and George Harrison.Because You Loved Me made popular by Celine Dion.Goodbye My Friend by Linda Ronstadt is an appropriate song for remembering a friend or companion that has died.Holes in the Floor of Heaven by Steve Wariner provides solace by suggesting loved ones we have lost are watching from heaven.
Classic Music for Funerals and Memorials
If you are planning a memorial service or funeral, music can be a comfort and inspiration to those who attend. Classic songs like Amazing Grace are appropriate for a funeral or memorial service. If you want to keep the tone of the funeral music very reserved or conservative, choose instrumental versions of songs rather than those with lyrics.
Funerals for Grandfathers
Grandpa by The Judds. In this song, the singer asks her grandfather to tell her about the past and simpler times.
Hymns and Religious Inspiration for Funerals
If you want to play Christian music before and after the service, the following songs are appropriate for funerals and memorials: When Tomorrow Starts Without Me performed by Eric Horner.Here I Am, LordOn Eagle's Wings by Michael Joncas is a hymn often played at Catholic as well as Protestant services.The Old Rugged Cross is a highly revered hymn with a solemn tone. It is an excellent funeral song for remembering a decedent that was very dedicated to his or her Christian faith. You can choose from performances of this hymn by artists in many different genres, including gospel, country, and pop or play the instrumental version.In the Garden performed by Alan Jackson.Homesick made popular by Mercy Me.At most funerals, you will need a long segment of background music to play while family and friends greet one another and take time to remember the deceased. It is a good idea to get a CD with many funeral songs that can be played in succession.
Funeral Services for Loss of a Child
The following songs are often chosen for funerals and memorials for children:With Hope by Steven Curtis ChapmanGone Too Soon by Michael Jackson.
Funerals for Soldiers and Military
The Funeral from the film American Sniper
performed by L'orchestra Cinematique is likely to become a popular choice at funerals and memorials honoring American veterans in the next few years.Heaven Was Needing A Hero by Jo Dee Messina discusses the feeling of trying to make sense of losing a loved one too soon. It highlights the bravery of the deceased who was known for standing up for what is right.If You're Reading This by country music artist Tim McGraw.
Funerals for a Spouse or Partner
The following songs may be a good choice for the funeral of a husband, wife or partner:Fire and Rain by James Taylor.I'm Already There by Lonestar is a country music song that talks about someone being with his or her family in spirit even when they are not there. This song is also fitting for a funeral for a veteran or first responder.The Long and Winding Road by the Beatles tells the story of someone who is left all alone, desperately missing the one they love. Although this may be appropriate to play at a memorial, consider it carefully. This is a very sad, melancholy song.
Funerals for Mothers and Grandmothers
If you are honoring a mother or grandmother that was very supportive, encouraging or understanding, the Wind Beneath My Wings made popular by Bette Midler is the perfect song.
Funeral Services for Daughters
I Will Take You Home by the Grateful Dead is a song sung by a father to his daughter.
Planning a Funeral
This website, Pennyborn.com, features several free guides on planning a funeral, including a guide to planning your own funeral. For tips on making the perfect final arrangements, review our funeral planning guide.