Music Choices For Your Loved One’s Funeral

Funeral music

Music can be so important in life and is always something to consider when organising a funeral. Music can uplift the soul even at the hardest of times. It also allows us to pause for reflection; some people prefer to choose a song to honour their loved one rather than write a personal tribute, the melody can add more meaning than simply words alone.

Some people leave their family with strict instructions on what to play during their funeral ceremony. This is always wonderful as these songs often hold special memories for family and friends and are sometimes tongue in cheek or what would have been seen in years gone by as ‘inappropriate’ for a funeral, causing eruptions of laughter amongst the tears.

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Live music also works brilliantly and there are many singers and bands that offer their professional services for the ceremony. Some people have bagpipes playing or, in the case of a military funeral, a Bugler to play the Last Post. If you don’t know of any yourself, it is likely that your Funeral Director, Celebrant or a musical friend will be able to advise you.

The difficulty comes when the person arranging the funeral is really struggling for music ideas and draws a blank. People feel an immense amount of pressure to ‘get it right’, not only for the memory of their loved one but also for the friends and family attending. This can cause a huge amount of worry, especially if the person who has died did not listen to very much music and didn’t have favourite bands, composers or singers.

If Google searches and recommendations from friends are not quite fitting properly then have a look at some of my recommendations below. You might find some pieces that you might not have heard of and are new to you, as well as some well-known music.

This is just a shap shot of examples by category to give you some ideas that perhaps are not all included on the online searches. I hope you find something to inspire you to make your perfect choice. Remember that longer pieces can be faded at a certain point to fit into the ceremony.

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Clair De Lune – Debussy

Serenade ‘Standchen’ – Schubert

Serenade No 10 In B Flat Major (K 361) III Adagio – Mozart

Nimrod from the Enigma Variations – Elgar

Pavane – Fauré

Air On A G String – Bach

Reverie – Debussy

‘Theme’ from Enigma Variations – Elgar


Lux Aterna (Nimrod for voices) – Elgar

Sleep – Eric Whitacrh

Lux Aurumque – Eric Whitacre

Cantique De John Racine – Fauré

The Lord Bless You And Keep You – Rutter

The Lord Is My Shepherd – Goodall

A Gaelic Blessing – Rutter


Ave Maria – Schubert

Now We Are Free – Zimmer/Gerrard

Only A Few Things – Above and Beyond

The Blessing –  Celtic Woman

The Prayer – Celtic Woman

Angel – Sarah McLachlah

How Long Will I Love You – Ellie Goulding

Only Time – Enya


You Raise Me Up – Josh Groban

Bring Him Home – Alfie Bow

Somewhere Over The Rainbow – Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwoʻole

Vincent (Starry Starry Night) – Don McLean

Ain’t No Sunshine – Bill Withers

When I Get Where I’m Going – Brad Paisley

Tears In Heaven – Eric Clapton

Annie’s Song (You Fill Up My Senses) – John Denver

Dance With My Father – Luther Vandross


The Prayer – Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion

These Are The Days Of Our Lives – Queen

Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon and Garfunkel

I’ll See You Again – Westlife

One Sweet Day – Boys II Men and Mariah Carey

In My Life – The Beatles


Circle of Life – Elton JohH

Can You Feel The Love Tonight – Elton John

Postcards From Heaven – The Lighthouse Family

What A Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong

Three Little Birds (Don’t Worry About A Thing)– Bob Marley

You Are The Sunshine Of My Life –  Stevie Wonder

Love Lift Us Up Where We Belong – Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes

Photographer Credit: Roshini McCartin

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