Funeral music can be an excellent way to truly capture the essence and spirit of your loved one. Though usually played softly, the music at a funeral can also shape the ceremony by reminding mourners of the type of person they have lost. Music can evoke powerful memories, emotions, and thoughts of good times.
Choosing Funeral Music
Because of this, it is important that funeral music is not chosen haphazardly. Organizers should try to pick songs that are appropriate. Many families ask a minister or music director for advice in this area. Although it is not uncommon to step away from more common or traditional songs, it is critical that you know why you are choosing a nontraditional song. You may even need to explain the song selection to the mourners, especially if it appears to the average person to be a complete deviation from the norm.
Traditional songs chosen for funerals are usually classical, religious, or soft and somber. Often these are songs with few or no words. The traditional religious songs are typically hymns or songs that haven been passed down through various generations. These songs typically have a message of hope or life-eternal, which speaks to both the deceased and the mourners at the service.
If you are seeking a more personalized song selection over a more traditional set then you need to talk to those closest to the deceased. Although you may want to ask a parent or a spouse, it may even be a good idea to start with a brother, sister, or good friend who can provide a wider selection of songs, ones that the deceased may have appreciated at a much younger age.
The Funeral March
Another important aspect of funeral music is the songs played during the funeral march. A funeral march can refer to the precession of family members as they enter the church, when they walk past the casket, as they walk out of the church, or as the casket is being removed from the church. There are commonly chosen songs for the march. These musical pieces usually convey the somberness and sorrow of the moment.
Some families also choose to play music at the gravesite. The music at the gravesite is usually played as people arrive and leave the ceremony. Some families also have a family member or friend sing or play a song here as a final farewell tribute. Here it would be a good idea to get song selection ideas from the minister providing over the gravesite ceremony, the funeral director, or the music director for your church. Most often, non-traditional songs are played at the gravesite service if they are going to be played. However, again, the reasoning behind it should be explained.
Although there are numerous songs for funerals that you can choose, the two broad categories for funeral music are traditional and personal. Many times those organizing the funeral choose funeral music by taking the mourners into consideration only. However funeral music is meant to really shine a light on the life that was lost, their essence, their personality, and all the reasons why so many people loved them.