Have you ever been to a funeral and thought “this song describes my loved one perfectly?” Or perhaps you heard the music and thought it was highly inappropriate, or something you would never choose. In the words of Hans Christian Andersen, ‘where words fail, music speaks.’ Music has the power to move people, and it is no different at a funeral. Choosing the music for a service is where many people put most thought and effort.
Traditionally, there are four songs that required:
The entrance song is played when the coffin is escorted to the front of the church/chapel/hall by the pallbearers. When choosing an entrance song, we suggest you choose something gentle, a song that matches the solemnity of the occasion.
The second song plays alongside the photos if you are having a photo presentation. Every family has a different opinion as to the mood they want to set. For some, they want to celebrate the life their loved one has lived, and will therefore choose something happy and jovial, or even comical. For others, it may be the favourite song of their loved one, and for others still it will be something that speaks of the sadness they are feeling. There is no right or wrong, and is completely the family’s judgement call.
The third song is for the time of reflection. The reflection is a somber part of the service, and once again, the music usually reflects this by being gentle and quiet.
The last song is the exit song, played as the family and guests depart the building. This is often a livelier piece of music that brings back happy memories and puts a smile on your face. While death is often sad and unwanted, it is fitting to leave the service remembering the joy your loved one brought you.
Ultimately, the music is completely the choice of the family. Whilst we recommend bearing these things in mind, there is no right and no wrong; however, it is good to keep in mind that the music you select will rest in people’s minds forever.