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Funeral Hymns

Funeral hymns are an important part of a Christian funeral service in the UK as they can help bring the congregation together and bring comfort to those in attendance. Hymns are traditional across many different denominations of Christianity and just like other types of music; they can be happy, sad or inspirational.

This guide covers:

Popular funeral hymns

Traditional hymns can provide a fitting tribute to your loved one, especially if they followed Christianity. If you don’t have strong religious views and are little unsure which hymns are suitable for a funeral, the following suggestions will help you find the right songs for your loved one’s funeral.

Here are seven of the most popular hymns for funerals:

  1. 1. Jerusalem

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England’s mountain green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England’s pleasant pastures seen?

Jerusalem is based on a poem by William Blake, written in 1804. Often chosen for weddings as well as funerals, it remains one of the most popular hymns for any Christian occasion.

  1. 2. The Lord’s My Shepherd (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.

Based on Psalm 23, The Lord’s My Shepherd is a well-known comforting hymn which is extremely popular at Christian funeral services.

  1. 3. Abide With Me

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

Abide With Me is a Victorian hymn, written by Henry Francis Lyte in 1847. The hymn is a prayer to God, asking him for comfort in dark times.

  1. 4. Amazing Grace

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.

Amazing Grace is a very moving hymn and can be accompanied by bagpipes at funeral services. The lyrics focus on finding peace in death which is why it is a popular choice for a loved one’s funeral.

  1. 5. How Great Thou Art

O Lord, my God, when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder
Thy power throughout the universe displayed

Based on a 19th century Swedish song and poem, How Great Thou Art is about the beauty of nature. Many people choose it for a funeral service as the lyrics help put things into perspective during such a difficult time.

  1. 6. The Old Rugged Cross

And I'll cherish the old rugged cross
Till my trophies at last I lay down
And I will cling to the old rugged cross
And exchange it some day for a crown

The Old Rugged Cross is a popular hymn written in 1912 by George Bennard. It is about being dedicated to Christ and serving God.

  1. 7. Lord of All Hopefulness

Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy,
Whose trust, ever childlike, no cares can destroy,
Be there at our waking, and give us, we pray,
Your bliss in our hearts, Lord, at the break of the day.

Commonly set to the melody of an Irish folksong, Lord of All Hopefulness is a popular hymn for both funerals and weddings.

Uplifting hymns for funerals

Many people believe a funeral should be a serious and sombre occasion, though in recent years, more and more people are beginning to break the mould by opting for a celebration of life. We have listed some uplifting hymns which will help bring comfort to those attending the funeral service.

Happy and uplifting hymns for a funeral include:

  • All Things Bright and Beautiful
  • Morning Has Broken
  • Lord of the Dance
  • Shine Jesus Shine
  • Great is Thy Faithfulness

How many hymns are sung at a funeral?

Traditionally, at least two hymns are sung at a Christian funeral service, though you may wish to choose more. There is typically an opening hymn and a closing hymn but it is best to speak to whomever is leading the ceremony before the day of the funeral and when you are creating a funeral order of service.

Downloadable guides

Our guides will help you when planning a funeral service for your loved one.

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