Personalizing a Funeral With Music

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            There are a variety of ways to incorporate music into a funeral: you can have music playing while guests are entering prior to the service; you can set personal music to a DVD of still pictures of the deceased; you can even take breaks throughout the service to play different pieces of funeral music.  Regardless of how you choose to incorporate it into the funeral or memorial service, music – like all particulars of the funeral – should reflect the individual personality of the deceased.

 

            Finding the right songs for a funeral or memorial service is often a difficult task, because most families are in shock or are overwhelmed by the need to make other final arrangements.  However, there are some basic concepts you can follow to make the process of selecting funeral music go more smoothly. 

 

                First of all, in order to provide funeral music that will reveal the taste and personality of the person you wish to honor, look to that person’s music collection. You will undoubtedly find clues as to the type of music the deceased most enjoyed, and even particular albums, tapes, or CDs by specific artists.  In some instances, the deceased has left instructions, either verbal or written, to play a song that was important to them in their lives.  In that case, a close family member or friend will likely understand and be able to share the relevance of that song with others gathering to mourn the loss of the deceased. 

 

               If no such instructions were left, then you should think about your ultimate goal in choosing a piece of music for the funeral.  Are you trying to soothe or inspire those present?  Are you trying to conjure up specific memories of the deceased?  Do you simply want to provide a general representation of the deceased’s personality?   Asking these questions should help you in the process of selecting the perfect music for the funeral or memorial service.

 

            Funeral music can provide mourners with a powerful and important opportunity to reflect, share their grief, and create a new and final memory that can be drawn upon in the potentially difficult and sad times ahead.  So, although it may seem difficult at first, selecting the right funeral music will be well worth the time and effort, as it will inevitably benefit all who attend the service.

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