Christian Funeral Song

01 July 2024

Music plays a central role at every funeral. From the moment people start gathering to the service and reception, music helps to set an appropriate tone and provide a memorable send-off. At a Christian funeral, religious hymns and other songs are often played or sung during the event. While the music selected depends on the faith background of the deceased and their family, Christian songs are the perfect choice in many situations.

What is Christian music?

Christian music is music created for churches and sacred settings. Hundreds of Christian songs have been created over the centuries, with most examples performed during religious events. From regular Sunday services to baptisms, marriages, and funerals, music is a key part of the Christian faith.

Christian music has a rich history that stretches through the ages. From early Christian communities to modern worship, it has evolved into several distinct forms and styles. Common types of Christian music include chants, carols, hymns, and contemporary Christian music. While carols are mostly limited to the festive season, all other music types can be played during a funeral.

Why is music so important at funerals?

Music has always been integral to religious ceremonies. Unlike classical and popular music, religious music is designed to transcend the profane world and connect with the sacred. Christian music expresses love of Jesus Christ and his teachings, praising the Son and showing devotion to the Most High. At a funeral, music helps people to remember the deceased and look beyond death toward the light of God.

What songs are the most popular at funerals?

When you're planning a funeral, it's important to choose appropriate music to complement the event. For example, while Christian chants are heard at many formal funerals, they are rare at small family gatherings. On the other side of the coin, contemporary Christian music is great at smaller funerals, but it's rare at large formal events. When organizing a funeral, it's important to get the balance right.

Christian hymns provide the best of both worlds, with these short songs ideal for any funeral. Hymns are specifically written for the purpose of prayer, which makes them ideal for a somber religious setting. The following hymns are among the most popular at funerals.

In the Garden

In this hymn, written by Charles Austin Miles, the garden represents heaven. This song is about arriving in paradise for the first time, meeting and conversing with God in the heavens above.

And He walks with me, and He talks with me, 
And He tells me I am His own.

On Eagle's Wings

This devotional hymn is composed by Michael Joncas, based on the words of Psalm 91, Book of Exodus 19, and Gospel of Matthew 13. This song has only been around since the 1970s, but it's become a funeral standard.

And He will raise you up on eagles' wings, 
Bear you on the breath of dawn.

How Great Thou Art

This hymn by Carl Boberg is based on a 19th-century Swedish song and poem. It's about the beauty of nature, and it provides perspective during a difficult time. This hymn should not be confused with the Carrie Underwood song of the same name.

I see the stars, I hear the roll­ing thun­der,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

The Lord’s My Shepherd

Based on Psalm 23, this comforting hymn is extremely popular at Christian funeral services. This hymn was written by Francis Rous in the 17th century, and it's been popular ever since.

He makes me down to lie, 
in pastures green, He leadeth me, 
the quiet waters by.

Amazing Grace

Written by John Newton, this moving hymn is probably the most popular of them all. The lyrics are about finding peace in death, which is ideal for a loved one’s funeral.

I once was lost, but now am found, 
Was blind, but now I see.

Music plays an important role at every Christian funeral. It helps bring people together during a difficult time and allows them to look beyond the pain of death toward the light of God. When you choose appropriate music that resonates with the personality and faith of the deceased, you're giving them the best sending-off possible.