How to Choose the Perfect Funeral Music

By: VGFS
Sunday, January 24, 2021

They say that ‘music is the soundtrack of our lives’. When it comes to funeral planning, music plays a larger role than you might imagine.

It’s an important part of celebrating the life of the departed. Music has the ability to touch the soul with an unexplainable depth. Healing music is often a source of comfort for the bereaved as they go through the grieving process. Choosing the right melodies for a funeral can personalize the service and pay tribute to the life of the departed in a unique and special way. From classic funeral hymns to modern-day pop songs, there is no shortage of options. Here is some helpful guidance to assist you in selecting the right music for your loved one’s final farewell. 

Start by considering the musical tastes of the departed.

Was your dad passionate about jazz? Did your spouse enjoy classical music? Because the choices are virtually limitless, many families base their musical selections on the preferences of the one who passed away.  When arranging a funeral, you have full control over what songs will be played, so don’t feel that you must stick to somber tunes or a particular genre. If your loved one was an avid Louis Armstrong fan, for instance, playing “What a Wonderful World” or “When the Saints Go Marching In” can add a dose of personalization to the ceremony.

Think about your loved one’s personality.

As funerals become more tailored to reflect the life of the departed, the musical accompaniments have undergone a transformation, too. If your loved one was always the life of the party, gloomy pieces that evoke sadness won’t feel appropriate. And if your aunt was known for being buttoned-up and proper, playing lively Top 40 tunes won’t be suitable either. In addition to his or her musical tastes, give some thought to the overall nature and demeanor of your loved one.

There’s no need to shy away from uplifting music.

Many people have traditionally believed that a funeral should be a serious and sober occasion. Now, more and more families are breaking the mold by opting to host an encouraging celebration of life rather than a sorrowful funeral service. For these ceremonies, inspiring funeral music is especially well-suited and can be a source of comfort for family and friends. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” are two examples of the many popular uplifting songs that are often played at more contemporary funerals, memorial services, and celebrations of life.

When will the music be played at the funeral?

This will largely be determined by the type and tone of the funeral service. Many religious services include the playing of music during incoming and outgoing processions, as well as at other various points during the liturgy. For non-religious services, you might choose to play instrumental music or favorite songs during the procession times. Many families choose to play funeral songs in the background during the period of reflection of prayer. If you’re planning a slideshow to air during the funeral itself or at the repast, you will probably also want to select a musical accompaniment piece or two.

Keep in mind that music helps to set the tone of the service.

Just as a particular Bible verse may be an important part of your loved one’s funeral, music also has a role to fulfill. Even more importantly, it serves as a personal expression of the departed’s life and can bring immense comfort to those who are grieving.

The compassionate, supportive funeral directors at Vaughn C. Greene Funeral Services are here to assist you throughout the arrangement process. Whether it’s sourcing funeral music or assembling a virtual choir, we will guide you every step of the way. Please contact us anytime to discuss your wishes or preferences.

About Vaughn Greene Funeral Services: For more than 20 years, Vaughn Greene Funeral Services has been providing a ministry of care to Baltimore’s African American community. As a leading local, minority- and family-owned provider, we promise to provide our highest level of service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved ones. For more information, please call us at 410.655.0015 or visit us online at https://vaughncgreene.com/.

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