Choosing the Best Music for Your Memorial Service

Person reading sheet music with a guitar

For many people, music is an important part of a funeral or memorial service. It can help people express their grief while also soothing and comforting them at the same time. Those are important roles for music to play, which means choosing the right songs can feel like a momentous task. 

But it doesn’t have to be. With a few guidelines to follow, you can select the best funeral music that soothes, calms, reminds people of happier times, or sends whatever message you’d like to share. 

Here are a few things to know when you’re choosing the proper funeral music. 

Use Music to Express Emotion

Much like a particular passage or Bible verse is an important part of a funeral, music can also be very important. It often sets the tone of the service. It serves as a personal expression of the departed person’s life and may bring special meaning for many who have gathered to mourn. 

Music is also a powerful medium that can trigger strong emotions during a funeral or memorial service. What you choose to play can have a direct impact on people’s memory of the service. 

Planning a funeral? Get emailed a funeral planning checklist now.

Select Music that Reflects Who You Are

Don’t let the importance of music scare you. Funeral music takes many forms these days, and the most important thing to know is that, as long as the music is meaningful to you in connection with the deceased, you will make a good choice. 

There’s no single type of music that’s appropriate, but the best funeral music is that which touches people on an emotional level. It’s becoming increasingly common for people to choose non-traditional music for their funerals. They may choose their favorite song or a song that reminds them of good times or special moments in their lives. Some people want to leave mourners with a message so they choose music that conveys that message for them. The lyrics of a song can serve as a eulogy of sorts. 

Select Music that Respects Your Beliefs

Person playing an organ

If you plan on having a religious funeral, it’s best to check with the religious leader in your community where the funeral will be held. He or she will be able to tell you about funeral traditions and how they dictate the music that should be played. 

Sometimes certain traditional songs are played, which can serve to comfort religious mourners within the framework of their beliefs. But that doesn’t mean your own selections won’t be allowed. Talk to your religious leader and present your selections to ensure they are appropriate. You may very well decide to play a traditional song like Ave Maria followed by the deceased’s favorite pop song.  


Attending a Funeral? Take This Time to Think About Your Own As Well.

Attending a funeral is a good opportunity to consider what you'd want for your own memorialization. You can even plan it now, decades in advance, so your loved ones don't have to worry about it later. Learn more about advance funeral planning.



Consider Choosing Live Music at a Funeral

Having someone play live music for a memorial service is a touching way to add a personal note to a funeral or memorial service. It’s common for people to ask family members, friends, or even professionals to play music or to sing. You can dictate the musical selection or let them choose what they’d like to perform. 

Make Your Plans in Advance

Music for a memorial service or funeral can take many forms, but whatever you end up choosing, it may be remembered for years to come. The music people hear as they are saying goodbye has the potential to bring back memories of the departed for a very long time after the funeral. Don’t leave the decision making to the last minute. 

The best possible funeral music can be communicated as part of the planning process, which includes you selecting and even purchasing all your funeral preferences in advance. That goes for all aspects of a funeral. In fact, pre-planning now lets you choose every detail. Making choices in advance means loved ones won’t have to make choices during the difficult time of grieving. Consider burial planning services today, so your loved ones won’t have to face tough choices later on. 

Want more funeral etiquette information? Visit the following pages.

Need help finding a cemetery?

Search by State or Zip Code

Learn More About Burial Planning or Get Started Now

Why Plan Your Burial?

Choose how your story gets remembered, and save you and your family money and grief.

Gain Instant Access to a Free Planning Guide

Download a no-obligation info guide now.