Christian Funeral Hymns

Christian funeral hymns provide comfort and hope to those who are gathering together to celebrate the life of a loved one. Hymns often have deep meaning and help friends and family feel connected to their loved one, their higher power and one another. 

Music is a meaningful way to create a personalized experience and capture the essence of the person you’re honoring. Some Christian funeral songs are solemn, reflective prayers for comfort and peace. Others can be uplifting and celebratory of a life well lived.

Planee un recuerdo hermoso y personal

Cada vida es como ninguna otra. Las pasiones particulares, los momentos decisivos y los legados creados se entrelazan para contar una historia que es completamente única. La guía informativa para la planificación de servicios funerarios y de cremación le guiará a través de ideas inspiradoras y pasos sencillos para planear un servicio conmemorativo inolvidable de la vida de un ser querido, o el suyo propio, cuando planifique con anticipación. Empiece hoy.

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Traditional funeral hymns

Traditional Christian funeral songs include some of the most loved and time-honored hymns. They're well-known across many denominations. Here are some of the more popular ones.

It Is Well With My Soul

Horatio Spafford wrote this influential hymn in 1873, after enduring the horrifying loss of his children. The familiar song offers hope in difficult times and starts like this ...

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to know
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

The Lord’s Prayer

“The Lord’s Prayer” is often sung at church services, funerals and other religious events. Country star Reba McEntire performed it at President George H.W. Bush’s funeral in 2018. The familiar prayer begins ...

Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.

Ava Maria

Published in 1873, Franz Schubert’s sacred hymn is heard at funerals and weddings alike. Its delicate melody is said to lighten the burden of mourners.

Ave, Maria, gratia plena,
Dominus tecum, benedicta tu in mulieribus,
Et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Jesus.
Sancta Maria, Mater Dei,
Ora pro nobis peccatoribus,
Nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

Nearer My God to Thee

Written in the 19th century by poet Sarah Fuller Flower, “Nearer My God to Thee” is an admired hymn about the comfort of God. It's best known for being the last hymn played before the Titanic sunk into the sea. The original had five verses; a sixth was added later. Written by Edward Henry Bickersteth Jr., it goes ...

There in my Father's home, safe and at rest,
There in my Saviour's love, perfectly blest;
Age after age to be, nearer my God to Thee,
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!

Abide With Me

“Abide with Me” is a hymn penned by Henry Francis Lyte in 1847. Based on Luke 24:29, the song is a prayer for God’s presence in life and death. The penultimate graph reads ...

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death's sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

Be Thou My Vision

A popular hymn translated from an old Irish poem, “Be Thou My Vision” was published in English in 1912. The song is a prayer for God’s mighty protection. The first verse is ...

Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart.
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Modern funeral hymns

Christian funeral songs aren’t limited to hymns. There are plenty of contemporary songs used for traditional funerals.

The Prayer

After being recorded by Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion, this lush hymn won a Golden Globe for Best Original Song in 1999. It was nominated for an Academy Award that same year and a Grammy the following year.

On Eagle’s Wings

A Catholic hymn penned in the late 1970s, “On Eagle's Wings” was inspired by Psalm 91, Exodus 19 and Matthew 13. It's often part of a Roman Catholic funeral Mass.

Shine Jesus Shine

Graham Kendrick wrote this modern Christian hymn in 1987. Praising Jesus for his light that shines in the darkness, “Shine Jesus Shine” offers hope and freedom and in God’s presence.

Make Me a Channel of Your Peace

A modern hymn by Sebastian Temple, “Make Me a Channel of Your Peace” is based on the French hymn “Prayer of St. Francis.” The hymn has been used throughout history to encourage peace during times of war.

Morning Has Broken

The words to “Morning Has Broken” were written by Eleanor Farjeon. A modern funeral song reminding us to be thankful for each day, it was made popular when Cat Stevens recorded it.

In Christ Alone

“In Christ Alone” is an inspiring modern hymn written by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend. It serves as a reminder that Christ equals hope.

Glorious Day

Casting Crowns released this contemporary song in 2009. The lyrics encourage the listener to remember that Christ conquered sin and death because of his love and mercy.

Uplifting funeral hymns

Some Christian funerals are more upbeat, perfect for a celebration of life.

Amazing Grace

“Amazing Grace” is one of the more familiar and hopeful Christian hymns ever written. Once a slave trader, John Newton wrote the song as a tribute to God’s healing grace and forgiveness. Few among us haven't heard ...

Amazing grace how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now I'm found.
Was blind, but now I see.

Amazing Grace/My Chains Are Gone

Worship leader Chris Tomlin was asked to write a new verse for Newton's hymn for a movie about the life of British abolitionist William Wilberforce. Along with Passion Conferences founder Louie Giglio, Tomlin released his version in 2006.

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

With poem lyrics written by Thomas Chisholm, the hymn “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” is an uplifting song rooted in the Old Testament book of Lamentations. William Runyan set these words to music ...

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

How Great Thou Art

A profound song of praise, “How Great Thou Art” was written by Stuart Hine. This well-known hymn is reverent yet full of hope.

Be Not Afraid

Written in 1975 by Robert Dufford, “Be Not Afraid” is a Catholic hymn of encouragement sung by all denominations of the Christian faith. The song reminds Christians to find rest, comfort and strength in God.

I’ll Fly Away

“I’ll Fly Away” is a truly upbeat song of encouragement written by Albert E. Brumley in 1929. The hymn reveals the hope of life after death in heaven. It's hard not to clap and sway when you sing it.

Funeral hymns for Mom and Dad

After the passing of a faithful parent, you may know exactly what hymn will convey their love of the Lord. However, if you need suggestions, here is a selection of songs that may resonate.

Blessed Assurance

Providing confidence of eternal life, “Blessed Assurance” offers encouragement and peace to those who are grieving the loss of Mom or Dad. Francis Jane Crosby and Phoebe Palmer Knapp wrote the hymn in 1873. The second verse goes ...

Perfect submission, perfect delight
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight.
Angels descending bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

Thine Be the Glory

With music composed in the 1700s by George Frideric Handel, “Thine Be the Glory” is a hymn often sung at funerals to remind the listener they needn’t doubt Christ’s triumph over death. Edmond Budry's lyrics explain the glory of Christ’s resurrection ... 

Lo! Jesus meets us, risen from the tomb;
Lovingly he greets us, scatters fear and gloom;
Let the Church with gladness hymns of triumph sing,
For her Lord now liveth; death hath lost its sting.
Thine be the glory.

The King of Love My Shepherd Is

A reminder of unending love, “The King of Love My Shepherd Is” is a touching hymn written by H.W. Baker in 1868. You can acknowledge that your mom or dad was devoted to your care, as God always was and is. The fourth verse reads ...

In death's dark vale I fear no ill,
With thee, dear Lord, beside me;
Thy rod and staff my comfort still,
Thy cross before to guide me.

I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say

The comfort and rest that Jesus provides is conveyed in the hymn “I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say.” Horatius Bonar wrote the song in 1846. Each stanza, like this first, pairs an invitation from Jesus with the response of the narrator ...

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“Come unto me and rest; 
Lay down, O weary one, lay down your head upon my breast.”
I came to Jesus as I was, so weary, worn, and sad;
I found in him a resting place, and he has made me glad.

You Raise Me Up

The band Secret Garden originally wrote “You Raise Me Up.” Josh Groban made the song popular, and we think it's a good one to memorialize an adored parent.

Plan a Christian funeral

A funeral service should be as unique as the person it honors. We specialize in planning personalized funeral services and take the time to customize final arrangements to celebrate each life like no other. A Dignity Memorial® provider can help you plan a funeral that honors your family's faith and traditions. Let us show you how.