How to choose the right music for a memorial service?

When you are organising a funeral ceremony and memorial service, you need to take a few things into account. One of these things is the type of music used in the ceremony. If the person who has died didn’t have any last wishes, it is up to you to choose what kind of music should be part of the service. People usually choose music that evokes emotions and memories and songs with lyrics that can be related to the deceased person. Generally speaking, the music you select should represent their musical preferences and personality. There are no official rules or instructions and there are many memorial services where people have played rock music, classic music, hymns etc. so there isn’t much that is out of bounds.


The typical number of music pieces played on a memorial service is three. The best way to use music is at the start, at the end and if it is possible in the middle of the service. You should also think about the length of each piece of music.

If you are holding the memorial service outside a crematorium or church, then you can include few more songs if you want to. In cases like this, some people use live musicians and performers.

If you are holding a service at a church, it is usually more suitable to use religious songs or hymns. On the other hand, if the service is held at the crematorium, you will probably need a CD/DVD prepared before the memorial service. Avoid the use of too much modern technology because sometimes it can go wrong and songs that start skipping can ruin the moment, especially at a funeral. Most of the crematoriums have their own CDs with popular songs played during services, so you can pick these songs if you want to.

Don’t forget that it is up to you to make the decision. Don’t choose something that you find unsuitable just because it was recommended to you. It needs to befit the occasion and be appropriate for the individual concerned.

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