For the longest time the words funeral and entertainment would never have existed together in the same sentence.  Even now, the ideas are incompatible for many individuals.

However, in today’s society, many individuals are moving away from the more traditional funeral services.  They want a more unique service that reflects the personality of the deceased.  A funeral provides the opportunity to remember and mourn the deceased.  It is an important component of the grieving process, providing a time for family and friends to gather and honor the deceased by remembering just what that individual brought into their lives.

If you are considering a less traditional service, then here are few ideas.

Role of the Entertainer

The purpose of an entertainer at a funeral would be to ease the tension and lighten the mood.  An entertainer can lighten the mood in the room, helping everyone relax and appreciate the life of the deceased.

How to Choose the Entertainment

Look at the deceased’s life.  What type of entertainment did they enjoy?  What type of entertainment would they feel was appropriate for their funeral service?  The entertainment may not be suitable for the funeral service itself, but could be included in the reception following the service.

Entertainment Choices

Some unique entertainment choices may be a magic trick, or a photo booth.  Other possibilities include:

  • DJs
  • Musicians
  • Comedians
  • Karaoke
  • Magicians
  • Face painters
  • Fire eaters
  • Jugglers
  • Fortune Tellers

The list is limited only by your imagination.


Music remains the most popular form of entertainment for a funeral.  Music evokes great emotions, and has the ability to soothe and provide comfort.  Some common types of musicians hired to work at funerals include:


Trumpeters are commonly requested when the deceased served their country while in the military.  Brass instruments are often used by the military and their sound is among the most mournful of all instruments, providing a perfect backdrop.  A trumpeter is an excellent choice for a loved one who was a member of the Army, Air Force, or Navy.


It seems that individuals either love or hate the sound of bagpipes.   If the deceased was Irish or Scottish then a bagpiper is especially appropriate.  However, many individuals consider hearing a bagpipe play Amazing Graceto be stirring and therefore can also be an excellent choice for a funeral, especially if your loved one had a strong religious affiliation.

Gospel Choir

While some may prefer the more traditional church choir, others look for a more lively sound and a gospel choir definitely fits the bill.


Harpists can provide background music as well as solo pieces.  Often considered the most elegant of all instruments, a harpist is well suited for the funeral of a classical music lover.  The light sounds of the harp create a relaxing atmosphere and help those individuals attending the ceremony to relax and let go of their grief.


Okay, poetry does not really fit into the music category.  However, having poetry read at a funeral is a long-standing tradition. It might be poem that was a favorite of the deceased or it might be a poem specially written for the funeral. A poem written by a close family member is often truly moving and poignant and is often considered a highlight of the service.

Closing Thoughts

Whether you choose a more traditional form of entertainment or step out of the box, make sure that your choices are befitting of the personality of your loved one. It is their memory that you are gathering to honor.  However, a note of caution regarding older, more traditional family members and friends. They too, are mourning the loss of a loved one and the last thing you want to do is make them feel uncomfortable during the service or feeling like the memory of their loved one is being tarnished.  Please keep these individuals in mind when you choose the entertainment for the funeral service.