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A simple guide to popular funeral hymns

Last updated 16th May 2019

2 min read

Choosing funeral hymns for a service or memorial

Music stirs strong feelings in people. That’s what makes it such a poignant part of a funeral service. For Christians, funeral hymns are integral to the ceremony, uniting the congregation in grief and in hope.

So when it comes to arranging a religious service or memorial, choosing funeral hymns and music can be a daunting prospect, made even harder if you don’t happen to have strong religious feelings yourself.

This guide to hymns for funerals will help you find the right music to make the funeral arrangements more personal and still fit with the type of service. As well as popular and traditional choices, our funeral hymns list includes more modern and uplifting options too.

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Popular funeral hymns

Here are some of the UK’s most popular choices of hymns at funeral and memorial services:

Abide With Me — Kings College Choir Cambridge

  • Abide With Me
  • The Lord is My Shepherd
  • Amazing Grace
  • The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, Is Ended
  • Be Thou My Vision

Traditional hymns for a funeral

Traditional hymns are a safe choice because they will be familiar to most people. Knowing the words and music helps unite the congregation in song and gives a sense of shared hope.

Jerusalem

  • Jerusalem
  • Old Rugged Cross
  • Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer
  • Praise, My Soul, The King of Heaven
  • Dear Lord and Father of Mankind

Modern funeral hymns

If you don’t want to go down the popular or traditional route, there are many modern hymns that are just as poignant and moving. However, they may not be as well known, so be sure to include the lyrics on the Order of Service.

I Watch the Sunrise — sung by Kathryn Crosweller

  • I Watch the Sunrise
  • How Great Thou Art
  • Make Me a Channel of Your Peace
  • Shine Jesus Shine
  • O Jesus, I Have Promised

Uplifting hymns for funerals

A more upbeat funeral hymn might be a more fitting tribute particularly if the service is intended to be a celebration of life, rather than a more sombre occasion.

Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah

  • Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah
  • All Things Bright And Beautiful
  • Morning Has Broken
  • Lord Of The Dance
  • Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Funeral hymns for mum and dad

Unlike songs, hymns aren’t written with a person’s role in mind. All of the hymns here would be an appropriate choice for mum or dad and here are a few more touching and comforting hymns to honour a much-loved parent’s passing.

  • Love Divine
  • Thine Be the Glory
  • Blessed Assurance
  • I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say
  • Love Divine, All Loves Excelling