funeral homes in Owego, NY

Popular Selections for Funeral Music

Choosing music is part of the planning for funeral services in funeral homes in Owego, NY. In reality, music is a very personal choice and any song or songs can be played as part of the funeral service. Sometimes people choose songs that have special memories connected with the deceased person. Other times people choose songs that were the deceased’s favorites. And still other times, people find themselves at a loss for what kind of music to play during the funeral service.   

Music for funeral services can be secular, religious, or classical. This list includes some of the most popular secular, religious, and classical music people choose to include in funeral services, with a brief explanation of why they are appropriate choices.  

In secular music, one song often played is Vince Gill’s “Go Rest High on That Mountain.” Gill began writing the song after the untimely death of country artist Keith Whitley, but completed the song after his older brother died unexpectedly of a heart attack. The song soars with grief, emotion, and celebration.  

Another secular selection that has become a popular choice at funeral services for younger people who’ve died is Deathcab for Cutie’s “I’ll Follow You into the Dark.” The song is about the circle of life and the reality that we all are going to die at some point and people will mourn our passing.  

A constant secular selection is “Dust in the Wind,” by Kansas. It captures the fragility of life and how fleeting it is. The title is an oblique reference to both Ecclesiastes 12:7 and Genesis 3:19 in the Bible.  

A final secular song that is commonly included in music for funeral services is Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” performed by Jeff Buckley. The song laments love and loss, while providing counsel and comfort to the brokenhearted.  

Among religious and classical music that is popular for funeral services, one of the most often played selections is Franz Schubert’s “Ave Maria.” It is a prayer set to music, and it’s soaring melody and words can offer consolation.  

Another popular religious hymn played at funeral services is John Newton’s, “Amazing Grace.” It speaks to forgiveness, redemption, and salvation, which are all themes associated with both life and death.  

“My Shepherd Will Supply My Need,” written by Isaac Watts is an adaptation of Psalm 23 in the Bible. It is a comforting piece of music that reminds people of the constant presence of a power greater than us who is taking care of all of our needs from cradle to grave. This selection was sung in the Washington, DC 9/11 memorial service at the National Cathedral.  

A fourth classical song that is a popular choice for funeral services is Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings.” This is quiet piece of music at the beginning and then it blossoms in notes of both sorrow and hope as the song progresses. It was featured in Platoon, a well-known Vietnam War movie.  

The final popular selection in this category is “When the Saints Go Marching In,” written by Katharine Purvis and James Milton Black. This song is uplifting and speaks of the glory after death, not the sorrow of it. It is a standard in second line funerals in New Orleans.  

In planning music for funeral services at funeral homes in Owego, NY, our empathetic and compassionate staff at Roberts Funeral Home can give you guidance. You can visit our funeral home at 279 Main St., Wellsburg, NY 14894, or you can call us today at (607) 734-7811.