Once you have selected the songs for a funeral or memorial service, think about how you would like to give the music. Will you use a playlist or would you like a band? Talk to your funeral director to get ideas and assistance in organizing the musical presentation.
The use of recorded music or public domain music may be the correct choice for instrumental songs during a visit, a wake or a post-service reception. If you want music to be performed live-some funeral chapels have pianos or organs, or you can hire a guitarist or a string quartet-let your funerary planner know. Most modern burial chapels and churches have the state-of-the-art audio equipment, but if the funeral is to be held elsewhere, your planner can make sure the right stuff is in place.
Some funerals include funeral hymns sung by the attendees. Others may include an interpretation of a particular song by a relative or close friend. For those who fear that emotion may affect their musical prowess, recording a musical tribute in advance and reproducing it during the service remains a profoundly personal contribution.
Although there are undoubtedly many popular options that have beautiful melodies and meanings, you can also incorporate favorite songs into a celebratory ceremony. A person’s favorite song or personalized playlist can give attendees a perspective of the person who has passed away and can even help them feel closer to that person. If possible, let people know why certain songs were chosen.
Maybe the funeral included a melody that someone sang at the top of his lungs while he washed the dishes. Perhaps the song was his favorite way to start a road trip during the summer-the convertible car with the roof down, the wind blowing his hair. The song that a couple danced at their wedding can also be used at your funeral. Your favorite romantic song can help tell the story of your relationship. A family or group of friends can choose a particular song as a private joke, providing lightness and healing humor. (If that is the plan, keep in mind that not everyone is going to catch the trick, and an explanation might be useful to make sure no one feels confused or offended).
The lasting effect of the funeral songs
No matter what combination of styles, songs, and the presentation you choose, music can have a powerful impact on the mood of a funeral. It can provide a cathartic release of emotions. It can unleash smiles and even laughter through tears. It can provide a permanent connection to a moment and a reason to reflect and remember later. It is something that must be considered carefully.