Funeral Celebrant Cornwall

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Funeral Music for Ceremonies

Funeral Music - Notes - Funeral Celebrant Cornwall

I am often asked about whether families would be ‘allowed’ to have certain music tracks as part of a funeral ceremony. The answer is – legality and decency issues aside – you can have anything you want! I have led hundreds of funeral ceremonies throughout Cornwall and Devon, and each is different, and specifically tailored to the deceased and the wishes of their family.

There is a large, digital music library that all the crematoriums subscribe to, operated by a media company that will also arrange visual tributes if required, which are photo slideshows that can be set to a specific piece of music. This is a wonderful way for the family to throw open their photo albums and enjoy the story of a life in pictures. The general guide is, if a piece of music has been commercially released, then it can be sourced. On the rare occasion that a track is not available, it can be supplied by the family either as a digital file or CD and uploaded onto the chapel’s media system.

Live music in ceremonies also works very well, and can be particularly moving. I was fortunate to lead a ceremony recently where a talented singer-songwriter, and close personal friend of the family, performed a haunting piece that she had written specifically for the occasion. It was beautiful and there was a hush after she finished.

Popular Music Selections – The Choice Is Yours

Funeral Music - Microphone - Funeral Celebrant Cornwall

There are some popular choices which are requested frequently, but that shouldn’t put you off asking, if it is right for you. ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’ by Monty Python is a favourite to end with and always sends mourners out feeling upbeat, whilst the classic ‘Time to Say Goodbye’ by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman is a popular reflection piece, played to give families an opportunity to enjoy their own memories of the deceased.

It is important that the music reflects the person who has died, and not to worry about what is considered ‘appropriate.’ I have played heavy rock, jazz, dance, pop, instrumental, classical, opera and everything in between. If I must opt for a favourite, it is Morecombe and Wise singing ‘Bring Me Sunshine’ as an exit tune. I offer extra points for anyone brave enough to dance out as the comedy duo used to!

Although Covid put paid to singing hymns, this is now permitted again within chapels for families who like a traditional sound – some families opt for a real organist too – available in many crematorium chapels. For families opting for hymns, ‘Abide With Me’ and ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’ are amongst the most popular choices. I always recommend these are sung to a backing track of a congregation singing, which boosts the volume and makes up for any shy, retiring singers. You might note I take a step back from the microphone to join in – I wouldn’t want to subject everyone else to my singing!

So, when it comes to funeral music for your loved one – be bold, opt for what they would have loved and enjoy it. And if in doubt, ask your celebrant. We are always happy to make suggestions.