Putting a Life to Music: Tips to Help You Choose the Perfect Funeral Songs

woman listening to music and fond memories

Choosing the music for a loved one’s funeral service can be an emotional task.

You may have many questions, too. How many songs should you choose? Is a particular tune appropriate? Every individual is unique and so is every funeral service, so there is no one right answer. Here is some helpful guidance to assist you and your family members in creating the perfect musical accompaniment for your loved one’s funeral service or celebration of life. 


Consider your loved one’s musical tastes.

Families often base their funeral music selections on the preferences of the departed. Was your grandmother a huge jazz fan? Did your dad enjoy rock and roll? From favorite songs to beloved artists to melodies that serve as reminders of special moments, today’s funeral music encompasses many tastes and preferences. Hymns are no longer the only option. As long as the music is meaningful to you and your loved ones in connection with the departed, there is no ‘wrong’ choice.


Make selections that suit their personality, too.

If your loved one was known for being reserved and proper, lively tunes probably won’t be appropriate. And if they were the life of the party type, somber pieces won’t feel right either. In addition to the musical tastes of the departed, give some thought to their overall nature and character.


Welcome suggestions from other mourners.

People love to help so why not invite recommendations for music selections? There may be a particular song or hymn that’s perfect for the occasion that you may not be aware of. And by reaching out for suggestions, brings everyone together during a difficult time.


Set the right tone.

Music is a very powerful tool that can stir up a variety of emotions. Do you want attendees to feel comforted? Reflective? Uplifted? As you consider the various elements of the funeral service, be sure to think about the overall mood of the event, as well.


Plan ahead for the number of musical selections you will need.

There is no set rule for the number of songs played at a funeral, but there are some standards to keep in mind. For example, musical accompaniments or instrumentals are often played for about 15 minutes before and after the service, so you should have some melodies available for this period of time. Two or three songs or hymns are usually sung by the congregation and/or by a soloist during the service. If you’re planning a slideshow to view during the funeral or at the repast, you will also want to select a musical accompaniment piece or two.


Music is an important part of celebrating the life of the departed. It has the ability to touch the soul with an unexplainable depth. 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.


Do you have some particular funeral songs in mind that you would like to discuss in more detail? Our caring funeral directors are happy to assist you. Please contact us anytime.


About Evan W. Smith Funeral Services: Since 2009, residents of Wilmington, Dover, and the surrounding Delaware community have relied on the caring staff at Evan W. Smith Funeral Services to help them through their darkest hours. Family-owned and operated, the company offers an array of elite funeral care services, including traditional funerals, cremations, memorials, pre-planning, and more. With decades of experience in caring for families from all cultural backgrounds and diverse walks of life, Evan W. Smith Funeral Services is committed to creating memorable, uplifting experiences that always exceed expectations. For more information, please visit www.ewsmithfs.com.

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