Eulogy for a Funeral
How a Funeral Helps With Grief
Planning Luncheons After Funerals
Environmentally Friendly Funerals
How Afterlife Beliefs Affect Funerals
Funerals for Famous People
Funerals Around The World
Funeral Director Licenses
Ideas for Choosing The Perfect Song For Your Memorial Service
There are so many famous funeral songs, how will you go about choosing one for your loved one’s funeral?
Perhaps a good rule of thumb for every aspect of the service is that things be consistent. You want to remind people in every way you can of who your loved one was, and what he or she stood for. The plus side of there being so many funeral songs to choose from then is that when it comes to defining the positive attributes in your loved one’s life, so that everyone walks away with a greater knowledge of who he or she was, you should be in for a fairly easy task.
Which funeral songs you choose should depend on what your loved one believed about life? Was your loved one a devout Christian, who trusted in God, if so, you cannot go wrong with the old standard bearers of “Amazing Grace,” “Faith of Our Fathers,” and “Lead On oh King Eternal.”
If serving America in the military played an important role in your loved one’s life, you might consider playing the “National Anthem”, “Taps”, and the official hymm or song of whichever branch he or she was in as your funeral songs. You can also combine this with military officers who will come and fold the flag in his or her honor.
Was your loved one less religious, but did he or she still have an optimistic vision for humanity? Perhaps more contemporary funeral songs are in order, such as “Imagine,” by John Lennon, “What’s Going On,” by Marvin Gaye, and “What a Wonderful World,” by Louis Armstrong. Each of these show hope for a better future, which was no doubt moved along by your loved one. If the dearly departed was a great friend to all, or one that could always be counted on, perhaps a song that highlights that attribute, such as Bob Dylan's "He was a Friend of Mine", would be ideal. Just a caution though, because these songs are less traditional, you may want to explain why you made your selection at some point during the service.
Did you lose your husband or wife, or do you want to fully express one parent’s love for another. Perhaps you might consider a few more romantic funeral songs, such as something by Claude Debussy, or Rachmaninov. If you picked out a beautiful piano piece as one of your funeral songs, plus a mention in your eulogy how fond a romance you and your spouse had, or your departed parent for his or hers, people are sure to understand that more clearly.
Is the dearly departed a child? While there are many specially-themed cremation urns, and even childrens burial caskets, available to help create a touching farewel, the right song can greatly help heal the grieving heart. Moreover, a heartfelt selection can make for beautiful and unforgettable part of the service. You might consider choosing a few children’s songs as your funeral songs, such as “Jesus Loves the Little Children,” or something more contemporary, such as “Forever Young,” by Youth Group, or “Lullaby (Goodnight My Angel),” by Billy Joel. Any of these capture the deep love that you had for your child. You might even consider writing your own funeral songs, or co-write some with a friend who is musically inclined. Your own funeral songs will no doubt serve to create a personal touch that cannot be replicated by the work of someone else. If you do this right, you will move your audience to tears with the gentleness and sincerity you had for your loved one.
Whatever your loved one’s beliefs about life, and no matter what endearing character traits her or she had, there are sure to be funeral songs that fit with his or her personality. Funeral songs should, like every other part of the service, remind people of who your loved one was, so that they will walk away with a clearer picture of that in their minds.
A few notes on funeral songs however. First, it is probably not a good idea to fill every moment with them. You should endeavor to strike a healthy balance, also knowing that a few moments of silence during the service are not a bad thing either. In fact, they are quite appropriate.
Also, should you still have any difficulty choosing which songs to play, or wonder from a professional standpoint how they would sound, remember that your funeral director, the minister, or the organist at the church probably have years of experience in discerning these things, and their opinions can all be quite valid.
You should also consult other family members and friends. Perhaps there was a specific song that was near and dear to your loved one’s heart. Surely then it should be among the funeral songs.