Essential Funerals

Humanist Funerals Scotland

Funeral music

Music is emotionally evocative and can add considerably to the sense of occasion at a funeral.

Types of music

Music at funerals can take the form of:

  • CDs (be careful about downloaded music and home-burned CDs – they don’t always play properly, not to mention the legality problems! Some crematoria may refuse to play them anyway.)
  • The organist (there will usually be one available at both the Crematorium and the Funeral Parlour, but they need to be booked in advance).
  • Live music – sung or instrumental.
  • Communal singing (accompanied by organist, other musicians or a CD) if a family wants to do this, you should advise that the words need to be printed out or included in a order of ceremony.  Familiar tunes work best and good accompaniment and someone to lead the signing are also advisable.

At Essential Funerals we can:

  • Giving advice and guidance on choices and/or the practicalities.
  • Choosing the music, if you wish

When is music played?

Music can be played at various points during the ceremony:

At the beginning

  • To set the atmosphere as people arrive.
  • To add to the dignity and sense of ceremony.
  • As the coffin is brought in to announce it’s arrival.

During the ceremony

To reflect the life of the deceased.
To provide a short period of reflection/remembrance.
To accompany communal singing.

At the end

To help people to leave feeling peaceful, uplifted or even happy and amused.

Some thoughts about the music, to assist you in your choices:

  • For the Entry music, try to avoid anything too depressing
  • Middle – for the reflective element, choose something gentle, make it short and possibly instrumental (if there are vocals, make sure that they are appropriate and be aware that people sometimes focus on the woods rather than their own thoughts).
  • At the End – if possible make it light, uplifting, rousing or even funny.