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 to choose the hymns that will be sung. Do not worry if you are not a churchgoer yourself because you will recognise many of the hymns anyway, they are very much part of the fabric of many Western cultures, so you will have heard many of them over the years.
Even if you have not the person who is conducting the service will help you. Alternatively, if you prefer, refer to a member of the family who is himself or herself a regular church or chapel attendee.
Popular Christian hymns for funerals
Another option is to go online and listen to excerpts from the most popular funeral hymns. That way you will definitely be familiar with them before you have to choose some.
Amongst the most popular hymns that are sung at funerals are:
Abide With Me
The Lord’s My Shepherd
All Things Bright and Beautiful
The Lords My Shepherd
Guide me O thou great redeemer
Love divine all loves excelling
The day thou gavest Lord is ended
The Old Rugged Cross
Morning Has Broken
Lord of all hopefulness
You can find most of these on lyrics sites too, which will help you to find something that is appropriate to your loved one. Ideally you want the words to reflect the type of person they where, and their religious beliefs.
If you know the congregation is going to mainly be made up of people who are not used to singing these hymns it is usually well worth taking up the option of paying for a small choir. The hymns will sound so much better if you take this approach than they would if you and your friends try to sing something they are not familiar with from a funeral song sheet.
Even if the congregation is familiar with the hymns, you may still want to hire a choir to help them along. Funerals are very upsetting, so it can sometimes be difficult to sing as you would normally. You just not cannot breath in the same you would if you were not trying to hold back the tears. That means that voices will not carry so well, and it will be harder for the congregation to do the hymns justice.
Links to the best hymns for funerals
Here are some links to the best hymns for funerals that we could find. As you would expect they mostly cover the Christian tradition. However, not all of them are religious in nature, so they can also work well for a secular funeral service. Some would also work well for a humanist funeral:
Your favourite hymns for funerals
If you have favourite, funeral hymns please tell us about them in the comments. We would especially like to hear from you if you can suggest hymns and songs that would work well for the funerals of those who do not necessarily follow a specific religion.
It would be nice to hear from people of all faiths about the songs that are used at the services they attend.
On this site, we like to cover all funeral traditions and customs. If you would like to write a short guest post explaining your family or faith funeral traditions please leave a comment below, so we can get in touch.