Music can be used to promote comforting and gentle thoughts, or to bring back happy memories with a favourite tune. The choice of contemporary or classical music is up to you. Singing a familiar hymn can offer an opportunity for mourners to take part in the ceremony, or you may wish to have the solemnity of a funeral marked with organ music.
There are usually three points where music may be played: The entrance. during a time of quiet reflection, and the recession (departure).
Listen to Albinoni’s Adagio in G Minor, which might be a suitable choice for quiet remembering time, or for the start of the funeral.
Click here for a chart of the most popular songs, hymns and pieces of classical music.
The Lord’s my Shepherd (23rd Psalm)
The Lord’s my shepherd, I’ll not want;
He makes me down to lie
In pastures green; he leadeth me
The quiet waters by.My soul he doth restore again,
And me to walk doth make
Within the paths of righteousness,
E’en for his own name’s sake.Yea, though I walk in death’s dark vale,
Yet will I fear no ill:
For thou art with me, and thy rod
And staff me comfort still.My table thou hast furnished
In presence of my foes;
My head thou dost with oil anoint
And my cup overflows.Goodness and mercy all my life
Shall surely follow me;
And in God’s house for evermore
My dwelling-place shall be.
Abide with Me
ABIDE with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.
Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.
I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.
I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.
Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.
Guide me, O thou great Redeemer
GUIDE me, O thou great Redeemer,
Pilgrim through this barren land;
I am weak, but thou art mighty,
Hold me with thy powerful hand:
Bread of heaven,
Feed me till I want no more.
Open now the crystal fountain,
Whence the healing stream doth flow;
Let the fire and cloudy pillar
Lead me all my journey through:
Be thou still my strength and shield.
When I tread the verge of Jordan,
Bid my anxious fears subside;
Death of death, and hell’s Destruction,
Land me safe on Canaan’s side:
Songs of praises
I will ever give to thee.
I vow to thee, my country, all earthly things above
I VOW to thee, my country, all earthly things above,
Entire and whole and perfect, the service of my love:
The love that asks no question, the love that stands the test,
That lays upon the altar the dearest and the best;
The love that never falters, the love that pays the price,
The love that makes undaunted the final sacrifice.
And there’s another country, I’ve heard of long ago,
Most dear to them that love her, most great to them that know;
We may not count her armies, we may not see her King;
Her fortress is a faithful heart, her pride is suffering;
And soul by soul and silently her shining bounds increase,
And her ways are ways of gentleness and all her paths are peace.
Morning has broken
MORNING has broken,
Like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken,
Like the first bird
Praise for the singing,
Praise for the morning
Praise for the springing
Fresh from the word.
Sweet the rain’s new fall,
Sunlit from heaven
Like the first dewfall,
On the first grass
Praise for the sweetness
Of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness
Where his feet pass.
Mine is the sunlight,
Mine is the morning
Born of the one light,
Eden saw play
Praise with elation,
Praise every morning
Of the new day.
Nearer, my God, to thee
NEARER, my God, to thee,
Nearer to thee!
E’en though it be a cross
That raiseth me:
Still all my song would be,
‘Nearer, my God, to thee,
Nearer to thee!’
Though, like the wanderer,
The sun gone down,
Darkness be over me,
My rest a stone;
Yet in my dreams I’d be
Nearer, my God, to thee,
Nearer to thee!
There let the way appear,
Steps unto heaven;
All that thou send’st to me
In mercy given.
Angels to beckon me
Nearer, my God, to thee,
Nearer to thee!
Bach : Air (from Suite No. 3 in D) (click here)
Bach : 8 Short Preludes & Fugues (click here)
Bach : Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (click here)
Bach : Prelude No. 1 in C Major (click here)
Bach : Chorale Preludes, Fugues and Fantasias (click here)
Bach : Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C (click here)
Beethoven : Adiagio from Piano Sonata No 8 (click here)
Barber : Agnus Dei, Adagio For Strings (click here)
Beethoven : Moonlight Sonata, 1st Movement (click here)
Beethoven : Symphony No 7 in A, 2nd Movement (click here)
Bach/ Gounod : Ave Maria (click here)
Caccini: Ave Maria (click here)
Chopin : Prelude No 15 ‘The Raindrop’ (click here)
Chopin : Prelude No 6 (click here)
Chopin : Prelude No 7 (click here)
Debussy : Clair de Lune (click here)
Elgar : Nimrod (from Enigma Variations) (click here)
Elgar : Angels’ Farewell (from the Dream of Gerontius) (click here)
Elgar : Salut d’Amour (click here)
Elgar : Ave Verum Corpus (click here)
Elgar : Chanson De Matin (click here)
Einaudi : The Waves (click here)
Einaudi : Two Sunsets (click here)
Faure : In Paradisum (from Requiem) (click here)
Faure : Pie Jesu (from Requiem) (click here)
Franck : Panis Angelicus (click here)
Faure : He Shall Feed His Flock (from The Messiah) (click here)
Faure : Pavane (click here)
Faure : Requiem Aeternam (from Requiem) (click here)
Handel : Air (from Water Music) (click here)
Handel : Hallelujah Chorus (from The Messiah) (click here)
Handel : I Know That My Redeemer Liveth (from The Messiah) (click here)
Handel : The Dead March (from Saul) (click here)
Handel : Selections from the Firework Music (click here)
Handel : Where E’er You Walk (from Semele) (click here)
Handel : Largo (from Xerxes) (click here)
Handel : Allegra (from Water Music) (click here)
Jenkins : Benedictus (from The Armed Man) (click here)
Lefebure-Wely : Sortie in E Flat for Organ (click here)
Lloyd Webber : Pie Jesu (from Requiem) (click here)
Mahler : Symphony No 5, 4th Movement (click here)
Mendelssohn : O For The Wings Of A Dove (from Hear My Prayer) (click here)
Mendelssohn : Songs Without Words Op 85 No 2 The Adieu (click here)
Mendelssohn : Songs Without Words Op 102 No 6 Faith (click here)
Mozart : Ave Verum Corpus (Eucharistic Hymn) (click here)
Mozart : Alleluia (from Exultate Jubilate) (click here)
Mozart : Lacrimosa (from Requiem) (click here)
Mozart : Laudate Dominum (click here)
Mozart : Piano Concerto No 21, ‘Elvira Madigan’ (click here)
Mozart : Sanctus (from Requiem) (click here)
Mozart : Soave Sia Il Vento (from Cosi Fan Tutte) (click here)
Mussorgsky : Promenade (from Pictures at an Exhibition) (click here)
Pachelbel : Canon in D Major (click here)
Puccini : O Mia Babbino Caro (from Gianni Schicchi) (click here)
Puccini : Un Bel Di Vedremo (from Madame Butterfly) (click here)
Purcell : Funeral Sentences (click here)
Purcell : Music For The Funeral Of Queen Mary (click here)
Purcell : Dido’s Lament (from Dido and Aeneas) (click here)
Purcell : Rejoice In The Lord Always (click here)
Purcell : Rondeau (arranged for 4 Recorders) (click here)
Puccini : Vissi D’Arte (from Tosca) (click here)
Rutter : God Be In My Head (click here)
Rutter : Panis Angelicus (click here)
Rutter : Pie Jesu (from Requiem) (click here)
Saint-Saens : Symphony No 3 Extract (for Organ Manuals) (click here)
Saint-Saens : The Swan (from The Carnival Of The Animals) (click here)
Satie : Gnossienne No 1 for Piano (click here)
Schubert : Ave Maria (from The Lady Of The Lake) (click here)
Schubert : The Lord Is My Shepherd (click here)
Schubert : String Quintet in C Major (click here)
Schumann : Song Of The Reaper (from Album for the Young) (click here)
Smetana : Vitava (Second of 6 Symphonic Poems) (click here)
Stanford : Beati Quorum Via (click here)
Richard Strauss : The Four Last Songs (click here)
Tallis : Libera, Glory To Thee (Tallis’ Canon) (click here)
Tallis : Third Mode Melody (click here)
Tavener : Funeral Ikos (click here)
Tavener : Song For Athene (click here)
Tchaikovsky : Chanson Triste (click here)
Tchaikovsky : Waltz Of The Flowers (from The Nutcracker) (click here)
Traditional Bugle Call : The Last Post (click here)
Vaughan Williams : The Lark Ascending (click here)
Vaughan Williams : Tallis Fantasia (click here)
Verdi : Ave Maria (from Otello) (click here)
Verdi : Requiem Aeternam (click here)
Vivaldi : Summer (from Four Seasons) (click here)
Vivaldi : Nulla In Mundo Pax Sincera (click here)
Walford Davies : God Be In My Head (click here)