Hymns and Music

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Choosing the correct music is essential. It can bring back memories of happier times. It could encapsulate the true personality of your loved one within the words of the song. Yet, there could be boundaries regarding the type of Music allowed, especially if the Service is held in a Place of Worship. Please seek advice before making a decision.


The following are experiences I have had regarding Music.


Hymns are common in Churches. ‘Ave Maria’,’ Make me a Channel of Your Peace’, ‘Do Not Be Afraid’, ‘Old Rugged Cross’, ‘Day thou Gavest Lord is Ended’ and ‘Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah (Redeemer)’ are just a few. Some Hymns are specific to each faith, so speak with the Minister before deciding on what you would like.


Choirs are not so common, but my most memorable choir was made up of children at Corpus Christi Catholic Church, Chadderton. They sounded Angelic.


Classical Music can be non-intrusive. Puccini’s O Mio Babbino Caro or Debussy’s Clair De Lune are particular favourites of mine.


Old standards  by Matt Monro, Bing Crosby or Frank Sinatra are regularly used as they can recall memories of happier times. They can be uplifting, like Peer Gynt’s ‘Morning’ or solemn, like ‘Part’ Spiegel Im Spiegel.


Modern pop music has its part in the funeral service today. Sadly it tends to be for someone whose life has been cut short.  Robbie William’s ‘Angels’ and Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’ are just a few examples. I also have had ‘Barbie Girl’ by Aqua, played by accident but fitting at the time as this song was sung by a grandchild to her grandfather in the latter stages of his life.


Soloist. I have had, on several occasions, Relatives singing at the Service. This is a truly moving and emotional time. Support is strongly recommended. I have also been present whilst a Professional  Soloist has sung several songs, some in Church and one at the Graveside, at the Funeral.


Bands. I have had the privilege of arranging and conducting funerals that have had a New Orleans style Jazz Band, Brass Band, Celtic Piper, Gaelic Piper and Solo Bugler. One Catholic Church in Oldham is known for the use of String and Wood instruments during a Requiem Mass.


Unusual Requests. I have had the following played at Funeral Services. The Chant ‘Meat Pie, Sausage Roll’ recorded at Oldham Athletic Football Ground, Boundary Park. I’ve also arrange for the song ‘How Much is that Doggy in the Window’ to be played. A daughter recorded her Mother singing and had it played at the Funeral Service. I have also had a specific request of ‘Silence’. This was requested by the family of a deaf person. They said ‘He wanted people to appreciate what he heard……………nothing’.Those are just a few examples. Music, when used in connection with the funeral, can also act as a remembrance or reminder of the event. So please choose carefully.