The Choice of Music

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Music at a funeral can touch places where words cannot reach. Choosing music for the funeral can help you to remember the person who has died and can be a really important part of the service. There is much more flexibility in music and how it is played at a funeral service especially in crematoriums and chapels of rest and sometimes people are encouraged to choose very unlikely music. Although this can make the service personal, we do think that it is important to remember the solemnity of marking someone's passing. Doing something 'for a laugh' can break the deep mood of the service but it can also deny the chance to grieve and make light of the deep feelings that are around. So choose well, and choose music that is personal but also allows those attending the funeral to feel deeply and enter into the opportunity of remembering the person that has passed. Funerals are to celebrate the deceased person but they also need to mark with seriousness the fact that the person has departed. Music can really help this. Below are some suggestions from our friend Andrew who is an organist:-

There are so many pieces that could be chosen but below I give you a list of pieces that at some time or another I have played in these circumstances and like very much personally. I have listed them in an order which starts from solemn mediative pieces and possibly more 'religious' to those pieces which uplift the emotions and give a joyful experience. All of them can be plucked out from YouTube and are played on the organ. In some cases very fine organs that are not available to us locally!

So I am hopeful this goes in some way to your request:

Purcell Dido’s Lament

Johann Sebastian Bach Erbarm’ Dich Mein, O Herre Gott

Karl Jenkins Benedictus

Johann Sebastian Bach O Mensch, bewein’ dein’ Sunde gross BWV 622

George Thalben Ball Elegy

Gabriel Fauré Pie Jesu

Percy Whitlock Folk Tune

Remo Giazotto Adagio in G minor on a figured bass by Albinoni

John Ireland Elegy (arr. Alec Rowley)

Max Reger Benedictus

Gerald FInzi Prelude

Herbert Howells Psalm Prelude Set one No.1

Edward Elgar Nimrod

Walford Davies Solemn Melody Johann Sebastian Bach Piece d’Orgue BWV 572

We hope to put a selection of music that people have found helpful on the website. If you have any suggestions for this music please put them into the forum by pressing the 'join discussion' link above.