funeral hymns

Hymns are a beautiful accompaniment to any funeral. They can be uplifting, tearjerking or somewhere in the middle, but they always move you emotionally in a way few things can. Below we've collated the most beautiful funeral hymns for Mum, Dad or anybody at all.

Which kinds of funerals incorporate hymns?

Though hymns are traditionally sung at religious funerals, especially Catholic funerals, hymns are no longer exclusively religious and can be sung at any type of funeral service - apart from a direct cremation which is a cremation without a funeral service.

It doesn't matter whether it's a small, attended cremation, a simple funeral service or a non-religious burial. If you have the scope to personalise a funeral however you'd like, you can incorporate a hymn into the funeral service.

If you'd like to know more about how to organise a personal funeral service, you can call our team on 01543 211997 or continue to read on for the funeral hymn examples.

How many hymns at a funeral?

At a Christian funeral service, there are usually at least two hymns sung. The funeral service usually opens with a hymn and closes with a hymn, and often there are hymns dotted throughout the service too.

At a non religious or non traditional funeral service, you can have as few or as many hymns as you like - the choice rests with you and your family. You will just have to consider the length of the service and the length of the hymn so you can schedule the funeral service appropriately.

Catholic funeral hymns

Of all the Christian denominations, Catholicism is the one most associated with hymns, as they are widely used for pilgrimages as well as a constant at mass.

How Great Thou Art, Abide With Me and Amazing Grace are common Catholic funeral hymns, but there are many more too.

  1. The Lord's My Shepherd
    Often sung in place of the reading of the psalm, The Lord's My Shepherd is common at notable royal occasions and at school, and is based on Psalm 23

    The Lord's my Shepherd, I’ll not want.
    He makes me down to lie
    in pastures green; He leadeth me
    the quiet waters by.
  2. Here I Am, Lord
    Voted Britain's fifth favourite hymn by BBC's Songs of Praise, Here I Am, Lord is traditionally sung as an entrance hymn at many Catholic funerals

    Here I am, Lord
    Is it I, Lord?
    I have heard You calling in the night
    I will go, Lord
    If You lead me
    I will hold Your people in my heart.
  3. As I Kneel Before You
    Often sung at the funeral entrance or at communion, As I Kneel Before You has been one of the most popular Catholic hymns since John Paul II's 1982 visit to Liverpool cathedral

    As I kneel before you,
    And I see your smiling face,
    Ev’ry thought, ev’ry word
    Is lost in your embrace.
  4. Be Not Afraid
    Traditionally saved for the end of the funeral, Bob Dufford's 1975 hymn Be Not Afraid is a favourite around the world and was sung at Bill Clinton's inauguration in 1993

    Be not afraid.
    I go before you always.
    Come, follow me, and I will give you rest.

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Modern hymns for funerals

Hymns are very traditional pieces of music, but new hymns are still coming out every year. Indeed, some of the biggest musical hits in recent times have been adapted from modern hymns.

You may recognise a few of them below.

  1. You Raise Me Up
    Popularised in 2005 by Westlife, You Raise Me Up was composed by the Norweigan Rolf Lovland and was performed for the first time at his mother's funeral

    You raise me up so I can stand on mountains
    You raise me up to walk on stormy seas
    I am strong when I am on your shoulders
    You raise me up to more than I can be
  2. Thank You Jesus For The Blood
    Charity Gale's hymn from 2021 has become one of the most popular modern hymns of the 21st century. Her performance of the song has 42m views on YouTube

    You took my place, laid inside my tomb of sin
    You were buried for three days but then You walked right out again
    Now death has no sting and life has no end
    For I have been transformed by the blood of the Lamb.
  3. Kings of Kings
    Kings of Kings was written by the Sydney worship collective in 1995 but really took off in popularity in the 21st century. It's now one of Australia's most popular hymns

    Praise the Father, praise the Son
    Praise the Spirit, three in one
    God of glory, Majesty
    Praise forever to the King of Kings
  4. Living Hope
    Released in 2018, Phil Wickham's modern hymn is a poetic affirmation for the selfless love of Christ and was the second most streamed hymn on PraiseCharts in 2020

    Who could imagine so great a mercy?
    What heart could fathom such boundless grace?
    The God of ages stepped down from glory
    To wear my sin and bear my shame

Funeral hymns for dad

There are many funeral hymns for dad that can provide a meaningful and heartfelt tribute. For football fans and cricket fans, Abide with me and Jerusalem may be good options to pick.

Or, maybe one of the two examples below.

  1. Silent Night
    Though it's a Christmas Carol, Silent Night still resonates with many all year round, and for dads who were into Elvis, the song will likely hold a special place in their heart

    Silent night, holy night!
    All is calm, all is bright.
    Round yon Virgin, Mother and Child.
    Holy infant so tender and mild,
    Sleep in heavenly peace,
    Sleep in heavenly peace.
  2. Lord Of The Dance
    Written in 1963, Lord Of The Dance is an upbeat hymn which will be popular with dads who are football fans with many iterations heard on the football terraces around the UK

    Dance, then, wherever you may be,
    I am the Lord of the Dance, said he,
    And I’ll lead you all, wherever you may be,
    And I’ll lead you all in the Dance, said he.

Funeral hymns for Dad

Funeral hymns for mum

For many of us, our mothers and grandmothers would have been the ones to get us into hymns. Whether it was sitting beside them in church or whether it was them listening to Songs of Praise on TV, it's hard not to associate a hymn or two with your mum.

Here's a couple of hymns that might be appropriate for your mum's funeral.

Funeral hymns for Mum

  1. All Things Bright and Beautiful
    Traditionally an Anglican hymn, but also sung at most Christian denominations, there can't be a better title or hymn to sum up the way we feel about our own mother

    All things bright and beautiful,
    All creatures great and small,
    All things wise and wonderful,
    The Lord God made them all.
  2. Shine Jesus Shine
    A very upbeat hymn, Shine Jesus Shine was voted Britain's 10th favourite hymn by Songs of Praise and is sure to jerk a tear of joy and sadness despite the positive rhythm

    Shine, Jesus, shine
    Fill this land with the Father's glory
    Blaze, Spirit, blaze
    Set our hearts on fire

Other helpful articles

Looking for more? Below are a few further articles that you may be interested in.

Funeral music

Family Funeral

Many of us know what music we want to have at our funerals. But if you or your loved ones are stuck for ideas, this article may help.

Funeral music ideas

Writing a eulogy

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A eulogy is written from the heart, therefore there is no template you need to follow and no length you need to adhere to. Let us explain more.

How to write a eulogy

Funeral poems

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Not everyone likes to have a poem at their funeral, but a poem can unlock the heart in a way few things can. Here are a few ideas.

Funeral poem ideas

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