Despite the changes that I have seen in the world of funeral services, there does remain one consistent component and that is the importance of music. I don’t think that I have ever been involved in a single funeral service where there hasn’t been any music played. The music that we like is a true reflection of ourselves and sometimes of the era that we were raised in.
Music is something that you will probably remember about someone’s funeral. I still remember the music that we played at my Mom’s funeral…the grandchildren chose “Tears In Heaven”, my brother Marvin recorded some music that he played on his guitar and as we left the church we played “It Is Well With My Soul”. For the weeks to follow when I was feeling sad I would go for a drive, put the cassette tape in the van and listen to those songs over and over again. Listening to those songs gave me some comfort…maybe even something to hang on to until I was ready to let go.
I will always remember that one family years ago, before I owned my own funeral home…their Dad loved the songs “Hello Dolly” and “When The Saints Go Marching In” and those were the songs that they wanted to have played. And they were played, but in comparison to being played loud and proud like they would be today, the organist just kind of slipped them in quietly because they weren’t traditional funeral songs.
Thank goodness people have challenged the way we do funerals over the years. Whether it is during a funeral service or on a slideshow of pictures, I encourage people to choose music that is a reflection of the life lived. Along with the almost 100 CD’s that we have here, there are 2,653 songs downloaded on my computer. From “Amazing Grace” to “Gabriel’s Oboe” to “Stairway to Heaven”, we’ve got you covered.
Don’t hesitate to add personal touches to a funeral service. You won’t regret the things that you did, only the things that you wanted to do but were afraid to ask.