Music for Funerals

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Whether you are planning a memorial service for a concert pianist, an opera buff or someone who loves rock-and-roll, music is an essential element of a personal, meaningful service. Like fingerprints, musical preferences are unique to each individual. Different types of music mark each phase of our lives. Listening to specific songs has the power to trigger a flood of memories.

Obviously, music is more important to some people than others, and the significance of music at services varies accordingly. But regardless of whether a service includes one song or ten, every musical piece should have relevance to the honoree.

You can share favorite music and/or lyrics in your honoree's Heart2Soul Community .

Below are some tips for choosing meaningful music:

  • Choose songs that best represent the honoree
  • If you would like people to sing along, have experienced singers lead the group and make sure everyone has the music and words
  • Make sure your organist or other musical accompanist has rehearsed the music for every song
  • Don't feel you have to sing songs in their entirety, two or three verses might be sufficient
  • Make sure you read all of the verses of the song and choose only the appropriate ones
  • Playing prerecorded music as celebrants arrive or exit is perfectly acceptable
  • For someone who has expressed no musical preferences, you may still be able to find songs that speak to the person's character, personality or name

Adapted with permission from Celebrating a Life by Faith Moore, published in 2009 by Stewart, Tabori & Chang
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Celebrating a Life: Planning Memorial Services and Other Creative Remembrances
By Faith Moore
Faith Moore