Hymns & Music

More conventional personalising can be achieved by presenting a eulogy, readings or playing music. Most crematoria (as well as churches) have an organ, and they also increasingly have facilities for playing tapes and CDs.

Musicians can play during a service, at the graveside or at the gathering. Scottish pipers, New Orleans-style jazz bands and string quartets quite often perform at funerals.

The broad range of music performed at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, including Elton John's rewritten version of 'Candle in the Wind' cleverly reflected the wide range of tastes and ages of her many admirers around the world. It also showed that it is possible to vary from the traditional and still be dignified and uplifting.

Popular hymns and music at funerals.


Abide With Me
The Day Thou Gavest
The Lord's My Shepherd
All Things Bright And Beautiful
The Lords My Shepherd
Amazing Grace
Praise my soul, the king of heaven
Guide me O thou great redeemer
Love divine all loves excelling
I vow to thee my country
The day thou gavest Lord is ended
Dear Lord and Father of mankind
The Old Rugged Cross
The King of Love my shepherd is
Morning Has Broken
Lord of all hopefulness
How great thou art


Angels - Robbie Williams
Over The Rainbow - Eva Cassidy
My Way - Frank Sinatra (although we did have the Sid Vicious version once for a man of 87!)
Fields Of Gold - Eva Cassidy
Wind Beneath My Wings - Bette Midler
My Heart Will Go On - Celine Dion
I Will Always Love You - Whitney Houston
Simply The Best - Tina Turner
You'll Never Walk Alone - Gerry And The Pacemakers
Candle In The Wind - Elton John
Unchained Melody - Righteous Brothers
Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon And Garfunkel
Time To Say Goodbye - Sarah Brightman


The bereavement register's recient poll of the top 10 funeral songs were:

1. Goodbye My Lover - James Blunt
2. Angels - Robbie Williams
3. I've Had the Time of My Life - Jennifer Warnes and Bill Medley
4. Wind Beneath My Wings - Bette Midler
5. Pie Jesu - Requiem
6. Candle in the Wind - Elton John
7. With or Without You - U2
8. Tears in Heaven - Eric Clapton
9. Every Breath You Take - The Police
10. Unchained Melody - Righteous Brothers

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