Selecting songs for a funeral can be a somber experience. When it comes to picking the perfect music to honor your loved one, it’s important to home in on songs that will respect the family’s values and feelings for the day. If you want Christian funeral songs, this list should help.
We have compiled a tasteful list of songs across many genres that match a variety of moods, so you can design a funeral playlist that every mourner will appreciate. You will find hymns, ballads, spiritual gospels, and top hits here.
1. Amazing Grace – Celtic Woman
This hymn is the gold standard of Christian funeral songs for a reason. The lyrics tell mourners exactly what they need to hear at this somber moment, and there are countless renditions available. Celtic Woman’s version manages to be heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time.
2. I Can Only Imagine – MercyMe
MercyMe’s singer and songwriter Bart Millard came up with the idea for this song when he read the titular line in a notebook. He pulled on thoughts about his own father’s death for inspiration, and the song has remained a hit since its release in 2001.
3. Rock of Ages – Aretha Franklin
Aretha Franklin’s performance of this mournful, inspiring song is the perfect way to share grief with others at the service. She sang this powerful piece at the church where her father used to preach decades back.
4. Hallelujah – Pentatonix
Leonard Cohen’s heartbreaking love song has also found a home at funerals. This song is about raising your heart in joy even after a loss. It hits a universal chord in everyone’s heart. Pentatonix has a particularly beautiful cover.
5. The Dance – Garth Brooks
These beautiful lyrics describe the unthinkable pain of losing a loved one. Once you hear the chorus, you’ll know why it’s been a favorite funeral song. This is the best song to express that it is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.
6. All That You Have Is Your Soul – Tracy Chapman
There’s nothing quite like the edge of Tracy Chapman’s voice to let tears flow. This one focuses on the importance of the soul when the world tries to keep us preoccupied with our earthly bodies.
7. Angel – Sarah McLachlan
Sarah McLachlan wrote “Angel” about the tragic death of a colleague in the music industry. Her lilting voice with the soft tones of the piano can help mourners release their sadness and say goodbye.
8. Messiah/You’re Beautiful – Phil Wickham
California singer Phil Wickham is a favorite of many Christian music fans. His song “Messiah/You’re Beautiful” hits all the right notes for somber positivity and would be a perfect tune to play at the end of a funeral.
9. I Will Remember You – Amy Grant
There’s no reason to feel stuck with only hymns or contemporary songs. If your loved one would have appreciated something that made it to the top charts in its day, Amy Grant’s hit slow song is a family-friendly song about remembering someone after they are gone.
10. See You Again – Carrie Underwood
This hit song by the American Idol winner was originally written for the film version of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader, but it appeared on her next album instead. Billboard called this song “truly a taste of heaven.” It expresses the singer’s faith that she will see those who have passed away again in Heaven.
11. There You’ll Be – Faith Hill
This power ballad, recorded for the film Pearl Harbor, attempts to take the listener on a journey of grief. It begins slowly and builds to the height of emotion deliberately to allow mourners to feel their emotions with the music.
12. We’ll Meet Again – Vera Lynn
Possibly Vera Lynn’s most famous song, “We’ll Meet Again” gets to the core of what Christians want to express at their funerals: they will all meet again. Consider allowing the congregation to sing along for added social comfort. Everyone knows the lyrics.
13. Goodbye for Now – Kathy Troccoli
This award-winning Christian singer delivers a theatrical ballad that describes the truth of daily grief. She doesn’t leave it at that, though. The lyrics offer hope for the future when souls will be reunited.
14. Lord, I Need You – Matt Maher
This Canadian Catholic performed “Lord, I Need You” to the Pope—and about four million fans—in Brazil. The lyrics help to solidify people in their faith when they are struggling the most.
15. Walking Her Home – Mark Schultz
Mark Schultz has said that he wrote this song about an elderly couple he knew. Long ago, the man had promised his future wife’s father he would walk her home. Even in the nursing room, the man was still walking his wife back to her room. This is the perfect song for a funeral celebrating a life well-lived and well-loved.
16. With Hope – Steven Curtis Chapman
Steven Curtis Chapman is no stranger to tragedy. His daughter died in an accident when she was only five years old. The event nearly brought his career to an end, but he eventually carried on and has performed many works in her memory.
17. On My Way Home – The Booth Brothers
This Southern gospel trio sings an uplifting song with gentle harmonies about the journey to Heaven. The lyrics and melody manage to be sad and comforting at once. Mourners will appreciate the message about death being only part of the journey.
18. Ave Maria – Céline Dion
“Ave Maria” has different versions, and your family may want to discuss which one is appropriate for the service you’re planning. Céline Dion does a slow, traditional rendition of this sacred mourner’s tune.
19. Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep – One Voice Children’s Choir
This is a musical version of a poem many families choose to include in their funeral services. The poem, written by Clare Harner in 1934, has provided comfort to many who have trouble saying goodbye.
20. Footprints in the Sand – Leona Lewis
This R&B hit takes its inspiration from the much beloved Christian poem “Footprints In The Sand.” It is a helpful reminder for those who are working through their grief at a service.
21. Yo te Extrañaré – Tercer Cielo
The title of this song means “I Will Miss You” in English. Its lyrics describe the pain of losing a loved one, making it a good choice for funeral services. The singers explained that it is a song of hope, faith, and strength.
22. He’s Everything – Dolly Parton
This gospel celebration was written by Dolly Parton for the film Joyful Noise. It is an excellent choice for keeping hope and happiness alive during a sad time.
23. What a Day That Will Be – Jim Hill
This is a popular hymn for those who want a more traditional church service. The lyrics describe the blessings a soul will find in Heaven.
24. How Can I Keep From Singing – Enya
For a more ethereal musical aesthetic, Enya recorded this favorite hymn. Her voice evokes images of angels and spirits. It encourages everyone to sit still with their sadness for a moment and let gladness in as well.
25. You Raise Me Up – Josh Groban
Josh Groban’s singing is a favorite in nearly every musical situation. From times of happiness to the hard loneliness of grief, he has his fans covered. This particular song is the perfect Christian funeral song for celebrating both faith and love.
26. I Look to You – Whitney Houston
From the famed diva’s final album, “I Look To You” expresses the importance of looking to God during times of pain or difficult transitions. Whitney Houston said that the emotion she felt in this song is real because she could relate to the message personally.
27. Jesus Promised Me a Home Over There – Jennifer Hudson
This American Idol finalist came out with several gospel songs, including “Jesus Promised Me A Home Over There.” The piano and organ together with her powerful voice create a sense of strength through pain.
28. Just a Closer Walk with Thee – Patsy Cline
Famed country star Patsy Cline took this hymn and recorded the perfect funeral song for Christians. The comforting sound of Willie Nelson’s voice comes in halfway through to bring a smile to everyone’s face.
29. Pie Jesu – Andrew Lloyd Webber, Sarah Brightman, And Paul Miles-Kingston
Musical theater genius Andrew Lloyd Webber composed this funeral mass for his father, who passed away in 1982. Sung by the brilliant soprano Sarah Brightman, this invokes a spiritual somberness that is perfect for more formal funeral services.
30. Some Children See Him – James Taylor
Originally written as a holiday song, the lyrics of “Some Children See Him” describe the innocent beauty of faith. This has made it a popular song for funeral services. James Taylor’s cover is particularly touching, though there are other options that are just as lovely.
31. Swing Low (Sweet Chariot) – Etta James
Everyone knows this song, and everyone loves the power it has to get people on their feet and clapping. Etta James hits exactly the right beat with this spiritual hymn. If you’re looking for something to give your congregation a good dose of hope, this is it.
32. How Great Thou Art – Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley isn’t loved for his hips alone. During his time, he recorded some of the most beautiful Christian ballads, both for church and for the holidays. This song is a respectful and moving tribute to your faith and to the loved one you are missing. People will recognize the hymn and the velvety tones of a much-beloved singer.
33. There is a Reason – Alison Krauss
With its honest look at pain and doubt, this song will inevitably touch many mourners where they need it. Alison Krauss has a sweet, gentle voice that encourages emotional vulnerability, which is what many people need right at this moment.
34. If I Die Young – The Band Perry
For tragic times when someone has died much too early, The Band Perry has recorded a hopeful tune. The lyrics are straightforward, but they offer the promise of love and beauty even in times of pain. Bonus: everyone will remember to smile the next time they see a rainbow.
35. Jealous of the Angels – Donna Taggart
After Donna Taggart lost both her father and her second child, she said it was her faith that kept her going. This song acknowledges the importance of belief even when people may struggle with the overwhelming difficulty of grief. It’s a great choice to include at a funeral, where many people may feel alone in their doubts and fears.
36. No Me Digas Adiós – Samuel Hernández
In English, this song’s title means “Don’t Tell Me Goodbye.” The lyrics remind the listener that those who have left us are not truly gone. With emotional stringed instrumentation, the gentle melody will raise hearts and draw tears.
37. Heaven’s Now My Home – Libby L. Allen
Christian Floridian Libby L. Allen is a singer and songwriter. Her ballad for funerals tells the story of a soul reaching Heaven and finally going home. This is a slow song that has the feel of a hymn, but the lyrics will be new to most listeners.
38. What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
If you’d like to devote some service time to celebrate the beauty of the world, there is no better choice than Louis Armstrong singing about skies of blue. This is guaranteed to make people smile when they need it most. When they walk back outside to their cars, they’ll remember to appreciate the beauty of everything in life.
39. He Will Carry You – Gaither Vocal Band
A cappella, when done right, can be both emotionally powerful and spiritually moving. The Gaither Vocal Band knows how to soothe even the most aching soul. This spiritual song uses beautiful harmonies to tell the story of faith even at the hardest times.
40. The Lord is My Shepherd – Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Sometimes the best way to include a prayer is to do it through song. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir embraces mourners with amazing choral voices in this favorite hymn. Services may want to include this after a moment of quiet to conclude the spiritual reflection with something everyone knows and loves.
41. Hello After Goodbye – Legacy Five
Legacy Five, the popular Southern gospel quartet, released this Christian funeral song in 2008, and it has provided comfort to many since then. Like many other songs for funerals, it focuses on the philosophy that says we never lose our loved ones, even when they die.
As the Head Editor and Writer at Music Grotto, Liam helps write and edit content produced from professional music/media journalists and other contributing writers. He works closely with journalists and other staff to format and publish music content for the Music Grotto website. Liam is also the founding member of Music Grotto and is passionate in disseminating editorial content to its readers.
Liam’s lifelong love for music makes his role at Music Grotto such a rewarding one. He loves researching, writing and editing music content for Music Grotto.