How to choose music for your funeral or memorial service
Music is powerful and important to many people, and choosing to including music in your funeral or memorial service can help make the service particularly meaningful and personal. There are certain pieces of music that are commonly played at funerals or memorial services, such as "Amazing Grace" or Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World." However, if you have a favorite song or hymn you might consider including that music in your service.
More and more, people are choosing to include less traditional music in funeral and memorial services. You can use music in your funeral to remind people of a certain time in your life, call out a particularly meaningful relationship you have, or leave people with a certain message.
If you are going to have a religious funeral or memorial service, your religious traditions may dictate the types of music or specific songs that should be included in or excluded from the service. Many congregations also have community traditions around certain songs or hymns. If there is certain music that you'd like at your service, speak to your religious leader to make sure that your selections are appropriate.
Choosing people to perform music at your funeral or memorial service
Asking someone to perform a song at your funeral or memorial service can be a very meaningful way for a person to participate. If you have any musically talented friends or family members, you might ask them to sing a song or play some music. You should feel free to ask people to perform certain pieces of music, or you may leave the choice up to them. If you would like a certain person to perform at your funeral or memorial service, it's a good idea to talk to the person about it ahead of time, and let him or her know that you'd like them to participate in your service. Some people may be emotionally overwhelmed at the service, and may not feel they will be able to perform. By talking with people about this in advance, it may help them emotionally prepare for when the time comes.
If you are a part of a community that has a choir, you can also ask the choir to perform at your funeral or memorial service. Many choirs have repertoires of songs that they perform, and if you meet with the choir director in advance you can choose the songs that you'd like the choir to perform.
If you would like live music to be a part of the funeral or memorial service you can also hire a band, musicians, or soloists to perform at the service. For help finding a musician in your area, use our resource Guide: Hiring a Musician, Soloist, or Band.
Communicating with your family
Whether or not you ask anyone to perform or hire anyone to perform at your funeral or memorial service, you might want to share any musical preferences or wishes you have with your family. By letting your family know the songs or pieces of music that you'd like at your service, they can help give you the service you want.
Coordinating with the venue
Most venues, including religious places or worship, will be able to play music either from a CD or from an iPod or mp3 player. If you’re going to need any special audio equipment, make sure that the service venue can accommodate your needs.