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Choosing Music for a Funeral

Published: July 10, 2020

Should we play music at the funeral? What music can we play at the funeral?

If given some thought, music can say everything about a loved one.

Too often the power of including music as a part of a funeral service is overlooked. There is a lot to think about when planning a funeral so it is easy to see how music can get lost. There are many ways music can be woven into the service. It can be played as people arrive or depart. Music can accompany the presentation of pictures and it can be played at the graveside. Music can have a little tiny part in the service or have a bigger role.

Almost everyone has “their song” or a band they grew up listening to. A surprising number of folks have musical talent, they played an instrument or sang in the choir.  The music that is played at a funeral can help tell the life story. If as a child, you were forced to endure Frank Sinatra on any road trip you took with your parents why not include a little Sinatra in their funeral service?

When selecting music for a funeral think more about the person who died and the music they listened to, and less about finding appropriate funeral music. The music you select does not need to be about loss, it just needs to remind folks of the person they loved. The music will mean more to those attending the funeral when the link to the person they loved is clear. If that musical talent trickled down to the next generation, ask a grandchild or child to sing or play at some point during the service.

Not sure about what music mom really liked? Check out her records, CD collection, or playlist. You will likely find what you need. Talk to your funeral director, funeral celebrant, or clergy person to help you determine when and where to use music.

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