Making Big Choices Regarding Funerals

5 Steps To Choosing The Right Music For A Funeral

by Andrea Rhodes

The music at a funeral is a key ingredient. It touches emotions and honors the deceased. But how can you choose the right music? Whether you're planning your own final arrangements or making them for a loved one, here are five steps to take.  

1. Talk With the Funeral Home

Start by discussing any restrictions that the funeral home may have. While they generally will be open to a personal choice by clients, they may not be able to play some music due to things like copyright laws. Know what to rule out first. They can also help you with some suggestions used by other families, based on their experience. 

2. Decide on a Tone 

Because music is such a big part of the service, it must match—and even set—the tone you want to achieve. A celebration of life will feature uplifting and even trendy music, but a traditional religious ceremony may have much more somber hymns or ballads. If you choose something outside this range, explain it to guests and justify its inclusion in the overall plan. 

3. Start With Religious Music

Many funerals are steeped in religious traditions held either by the family or the departed. If the person (or yourself, if pre-planning) wants a very strict religious ceremony, it will likely come with a preset or limited choice of music. These are important to many, so abide by this limitation if the person wanted it so.

4. Talk to Insiders

If you have free rein to choose music and/or vocals, talk to those who knew the person well. They can usually give you a good idea of what sort of music they liked. This could narrow things down to broad categories, such as country music, or even individual artists they particularly liked. Either way, you have a place to start. 

5. Check Their Collection

Still need ideas for music that they would have wanted? Try to access their own personal music collection—whether it be through actual CDs or records, a Spotify playlist, or downloads on their phone. Listen to the music if you're unfamiliar with it and look for several songs that fit the tone and touch you with their meanings. 

Where to Start

Want help deciding which music to include in whatever funeral or memorial services you plan? Start by meeting with an experienced funeral home in your area today. With their guidance, you'll soon find the right sounds to accompany any sendoff. 

Contact a local funeral home to learn more.