Music at the funeral – choose the funeral music

25 May 2022,Articles

When planning a funeral, you are faced with several different important choices. Choosing music is one of those choices. For a personal farewell, music is of great importance. In this article, we go through how to think when choosing funeral music and give some suggestions on popular songs to play during the ceremony.

How to choose music at a funeral?

An important part of a funeral is the music. It is an element that can make the ceremony extra personal and very memorable. Funeral music is a large and important part of both religious and non-religious ceremonies.

If the deceased has told or written down what music is desired at the funeral, the choice will of course be easier. Should there be no wishes, one can start from the type of music that the deceased often listened to. We recommend that you dare to be personal and creative. It does not have to be gloomy music but can just as well be songs from the deceased’s favorite artist for example.

Music at a church funeral

If you are planning a church funeral, the ceremony must take place according to the Church of Sweden’s rules. For a church funeral, two or three hymns are a requirement in the act. In addition to these hymns, you can usually choose some pieces of music to be played. All extra music is the relatives who plan and decide, but it is important that the priest is informed. It is always a good idea to talk to the congregation where the funeral is to take place. Different congregations may have different rules and guidelines that should be followed regarding funeral music.

Organ at funeral

Music at a civil funeral

A civil funeral means full freedom to design the ceremony and there are no guidelines that must be followed. When it comes to music at a civil funeral, there is no right or wrong, but the choice is completely free. The ceremony can therefore be very personal.

At a civil funeral, you can also have as many funeral songs as you like, there are no restrictions as you design the entire ceremony yourself.

Music at the funeral – regular songs

To help you choose funeral music, we have put together a selection of common songs at a funeral.

For the sake of love – Ted Gärdestad

A moment on earth – Laleh

Tears in heaven – Clapton

Fields of gold – Cassidy

I had to borrow an angel – Clamp

Time to say goodbye – Andrea Bocelli

Without your breath – Kent

Me and my father – Magnus Uggla

Bridge over troubled water – Simon and Garfunkel

Hold my heart – Björn Skifs

So shimmering was never the sea – Taube

My way – Sinatra

Goodbye my lover – Blunt

Fix you – Coldplay

Hallelujah – Cohen

Plan the funeral music

When planning music for a funeral, you should do it with the funeral counselor or the priest, to decide where in the order the music should go. Often the organist is also involved in planning music for the funeral. An organ, piano or a musician is often used for input and output music.

In addition to music at the funeral ceremony itself, it can also be good to plan any music to be played at the memorial service. There, the music is completely free and only the deceased’s wishes to be taken into account. It is also a good idea to play a song at the deceased’s tombstone (in headphones or with silent volume), for a personal and memorable farewell.

Possible restrictions for funeral music

At funerals that take place in accordance with the Church of Sweden’s order, it is not permitted to use the music service Spotify. This is because Spotify is not allowed in public environments, and a funeral is classified as a worship service, which in turn means a public environment. A good alternative for music is therefore iTunes or an honest CD.

However, it is important to know that if it is a CD, it must be in the original. The church is only allowed to use sound sources that have the consent of the authors. If you bought the music from iTunes and saved it, you can use it.

At a civil funeral, on the other hand, you can use Spotify, because they are classified as a closed party. You can also use Spotify at the memorial service you have after the funeral. It is then possible to create your own playlist where you add suitable songs.