Playing and performing music that holds a special connection with your loved one can be a moving way to pay tribute to their life.
From recordings and musicians to choirs and lyrics, there are several things you can discuss with our funeral directors to give your loved one a perfect send-off.
Choosing lyrics for funeral services
Lyrics can help friends and family celebrate your loved one’s life together by singing in unison.
You can consider choosing songs that convey a memorable trait or event in your loved one’s life, be it humorous, inspiring or reflective.
However, some places of worship may limit the choice to religious hymns and psalms. We therefore advise you to speak with our funeral directors about the options before settling on an order of service.
We also recommend having lyrics printed on the order of service so everyone in the congregation is included and able to join in.
However, music doesn’t have to contain lyrics in order to bring friends and family together. Simply choosing a backing track, melody or tune can set the tone of the ceremony effectively.
Musicians and choirs at funerals
It’s common for congregations to sing two or three songs or hymns during a funeral and this can be strengthened with musicians and choirs, especially for small gatherings.
There are a number of professional vocalists and musicians that can be hired for religious and non-religious ceremonies. But many places of worship provide in-house choirs free or charge or for modest donations, as well as organists for a small fee.
It’s important to remember that in-house ensembles may only perform religious hymns. Your funeral director can liaise with the religious leader or conductor if you wish to include other types of music.
Pre-recorded music can also be arranged if your chosen venue has sufficient equipment, such as a PA system. Your funeral director can work closely with the venue to understand its capabilities beforehand.
Copyright protection for music at funerals
Whether music is pre-recorded or performed at a funeral service, it’s important that copyright laws are respected.
This responsibility falls to your chosen venue or place of worship, which may be subscribed to a licensing authority such as PPL or CCLI in order to host a variety of recordings and performances in public or private spaces.
Most hymns are also copyright-free under the Designs and Patents Act 1988, which stipulates that music enters the public domain 70 years after the creator’s death.
We’d advise you to wait until your funeral director has spoken with the venue and ascertained its copyright protections before selecting modern music for the order of service, which typically sees greater restrictions than hymns.
Our funeral directors work tirelessly with venues and places of worship to ensure your loved one can have a personalised send-off. Contact us for further support