For years before researchers confirmed it, people have recognized the impact of music through the grieving process. During Christian funerals, solos, choir presentations and corporate singing bring comfort and hope to mourners, along with a reminder of the promises of their faith. Choosing selections can comfort the family while they make burial arrangements, as well as during the actual service. For congregational singing, choose songs that are familiar and easy to sing. Balance them between those that express the sorrow of losing a loved one and the hope of being reunited one day.
The lyrics of traditional hymns capture the essence of Christian faith that helps ease the pain of loss at a funeral. Words like "He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone," from "In the Garden" remind believers of Biblical promises. In addition to the comfort of their words, songs like "Amazing Grace" and "It is Well With My Soul" reassure mourners that, like the songwriters, they can survive this loss. Other traditional songs often heard at funerals include "Rock of Ages," "Just a Closer Walk With Thee," "God be With You Till We Meet Again" and "Shall We Gather at the River?" along with "Blessed Assurance," "Abide With Me," "Nearer, My God, to Thee" and "There is a Fountain."
Although the loss of family or friends is painful, Christians also celebrate the life of the deceased and their belief in an eternal life of joy to come. Songs that reflect rejoicing include "Victory in Jesus," "The Old Rugged Cross" and "I'll Fly Away." Bill Gaither's lyrics for the song, "Because He Lives," promise Christians "Because He lives, I can face tomorrow…and life is worth the living, just because He lives."
Hope of Heaven
"There is coming a day, when no heartache shall come, no more sickness, no pain, no more parting over there," promised Jim Hill's song, "What a Day That Will Be." Other selections that remind mourners at a Christian funeral of the hope of an everlasting life in heaven include "If We Never Meet Again This Side of Heaven," "Will the Circle be Unbroken?" and "When the Roll is Called up Yonder, I'll be There." Songs like Mercy Me's "I Can Only Imagine" and "I've Got a Mansion" call comforting pictures to the minds of believers.
Solo, Ensemble or Choir Presentations
Often, songs that provide comfort and consolation are difficult for the average person to sing, but they are excellent choices for soloists, small groups or choirs. "His Eye is on the Sparrow," "How Great Thou Art," "The Lord's Prayer" and "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" are appropriate choices.
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