Putting together a funeral service is never easy. For you it is a difficult time. You have just lost your loved one, so it is only natural that you find it hard to focus and put together a service that does justice to the person you are saying goodbye to.
Traditional funeral poems for a modern service
Fortunately, most of us do not have to attend that many funerals in our lifetime, which of course is a very good thing. However, it does leave us with the problem that we have relatively little experience of funeral services, which makes it hard to come up with ideas. Often, even when you do have ideas, about what should be included in your loved one´s funeral service, you have the problem that you cannot be sure it will work well.
A good way to get around this issue is to tap into what other people have used in the past. To help you with this we have put together a list of traditional funeral poems. Usually, a simple online search will enable you to read each poem in full.
Which ones are appropriate is very much a matter of personal taste. If you read one of these traditional funeral poems and it feels right make a note of it. Often, when it comes to arranging a funeral service it is best to go with your feelings. Do not be afraid to only use a part of a traditional funeral poem, if you feel it is more appropriate to do so.
Our initial list
A Song of Living
Crossing the bar
I Did Not Die
Miss Me but Let Me Go
Farewell my Friends
All Is Well
I Thought Of You Today
Poems Read At Princess Diana’s funeral
Do Not Stand At My Grave and Weep
Death Be Not Proud
God Saw You Getting Tired
He Has Achieved Success
If Tomorrow Starts Without Me
There Is No Death (Death is Nothing at All)
To An Athlete Dying Young
I Fall Asleep
Life Is But A Stopping Place
If I Should Go Tomorrow
A Psalm of Life by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
No Night Without
Beyond the Sunset (Should You Go First)
Footprints in the Sand
Other sources of funeral poem inspiration
If none of the above appeal to you turn to the person who will be conducting the funeral for inspiration. Over the years, they will have attended literally hundreds of funerals, so they will have their own list of favourite funeral poems. You can also consider lifting a few lines from a song that expresses how you feel, or says something about the personality of the person you are commemorating.
Please help us to help others
Naturally, this is not a comprehensive list. If you have other favourite funeral poems that we have not included above please let us know about them in the comments section. We will then take a look and add those we like to the list. Thank you in anticipation of your help with this project.
For many years, Maya Angelou funeral poems have been very popular. If you are planning a funeral and are looking for beautiful, and poignant words to be read you really should consider this poet’s work.
This poet speaks simply, but eloquently of the human condition. She uses her experience of living as an African-American being bought up in a segregated country where she, along with many others, had to fight to be treated equally.
During the course of here 86 years she wrote seven autobiographies, books of essays, dozens of poems, as well as plays, movies, and television shows. Naturally much of what she wrote was especially to African Americans who shared her experience of living in a country which for decades treated them as second class citizens.
However, over the decades, everyone, from all walks of life have come to appreciate, and love, her work. Today, she is one of the most popular poets in America and has a growing worldwide following.
The nicest Maya Angelou funeral poems
Her body of work is a large one, and there is something for everyone. Here we have put together details of the ones we like. There are other poems that she has wrote that could be suitable for a funeral, but these are the best of them:
When Great Trees Fall
This poem speaks to the mark that we all leave on the world. It reminds of the fact that even when we die the life of those who are left behind are still affected by our influence on them when we were alive. It is a poem that is often used when great leaders die, but it is just as poignant when a parent or grandparent is lost to us.
When I Think of Death
This poem is about the coming of death and that way it haunts our living days. It speaks f the loss and disbelief we feel when someone who is dear to us is lost to us forever.
It is not as popular as some of her other poems, but it does give the mourners permission to grieve. Therefore, many say that it had a healing affect on them, allowing them to start the grieving process.
Few people realise that the poem read by Queen Latifah at Micheal Jackson’s funeral was written by Maya Angelou. It was very clearly about Jackson, but like so much of her poetry it speaks of, and to, many people. Currently, it is not a popular poem, but we can see it gradually becoming so.
His Day is Done
Passages of the poem that Maya Angelou wrote to honour Nelson Mandela are also slowly being picked out and used by people for their family funerals.
Links to Maya Angelou funeral poems
If you want to use these beautiful poems for the funeral of a friend or family member, click here to find out more about her body of work.
You can find links to her individual poems on this page.
You can find out more about the poems of Maya Angelou, and here life here.
We all want a secure future for our family and key to this is financial planning. Most of us have a weekly or monthly budget in place, and know that if we stick to the budget there will be enough money in the bank to cover the bills. Holidays, Christmas, car repairs and things like […]
For most Christians hymns for funerals are important. They are a part of the service that allows everyone to raise their voices together in praise of god and remembrance of the person whose funeral it is. If you are organising a funeral the chances are you are going to be the one who is asked […]
In many countries when someone dies, some sort of wake is held. The form of the wake depends on the religion of the family involved and the customs of the country in which they live. In most cases, the wake involves friends and family who knew the deceased staying with the family and the body […]
Dealing with a death in the family is always difficult. Even more so if you are on your own without a spouse or children to help you to deal with your grief and make the funeral arrangements. Often someone in this situation will turn to his or her friends for help. If you should find […]
A casket or coffin is a final resting place for a loved one, but it can be much more than that. It can be an expression of pride in remembrance one of love. They can even celebrate a loved one’s interests and passions during their life. Caskets come in a range of colours and styles […]