Including entertainment in some form is becoming more and more common as we move away from the traditional style of funerals.  Families are moving towards a memorial service or celebration of life, which tend to be more informal.  Today, many families decide to include music or songs in a funeral or memorial service, especially if music was an important part of the deceased’s life.  It may be a church choir, a friend or family member singing or playing an instrument, recorded music, or you may decide to hire musicians.

Choosing a Singer

Live music is soothing, healing, and is a beautiful way to honor the deceased.  If you want to hire a singer to sing at the funeral service, then the process can be as simple as making a few calls or looking online.  This is especially easy if you live in a large city or metropolitan area where you will be able to find many individuals who specialize in funerals, church soloists, wedding singers, and even vocal teachers who often sing at funerals. Funeral directors are an excellent source of information as well.

Sometimes hiring someone is easier than having a family member perform.  As family members are grieving, singing at a funeral can prove to be too emotionally charged for them to make it through the song without breaking down.  Professional funeral singers are familiar with the funeral process and can provide you with an appropriate selection of music to choose from.  The cost of hiring a singer for the funeral service varies, typically ranging from $100 to $200.  You may also need to pay for an accompanist, sound equipment, as well as other required items.

Should You Ask a Family Member or Friend to Sing

Having a family member or friend sing at the service is a heartwarming tribute to the deceased and often brings those in attendance to tears.  However, the process can also be quite risky.  While the individual may seem completely calm and in control, it is impossible to know just how or when grief will overcome an individual.  The decision to ask a family member or friend to sing at the funeral service is one that needs to be made based on the individual and how you feel they will handle the emotional pressure.  It is also important to consider whether family or friends will be hurt if you choose to hire someone rather than asking them to sing.  You need to balance both sides of the issue and perhaps seek advice from other family members.

Reasons to Have Music as Part of the Service

Here are 5 reasons to include music within the service:

  • Music often evokes memories. Choosing music that held special importance to the deceased helps personalize the service.
  • Music is actually good for us. As we listen to music, our brain releases dopamine, a chemical that is associated with feelings of pleasure.  Listening to music helps reduce tension, anxiety, and pain.
  • Music is associated with memories and emotions. Listening to music during a service can bring up meaningful memories of times spent with the deceased.  It gives us the opportunity to reflect and process our feelings regarding our loss.
  • Music helps us express our emotions and honor our loved ones. It is an expression of our feelings about the deceased and our grief and helps us process our emotions.
  • Music is experienced communally. Funerals bring family and friends together to honor the deceased and music helps create a bond among those attending the service.

Final Thought

Music can be a vital part of honoring our loved ones.  It also helps us process our own feelings, which can be very complex and confusing during this time of grief.  Music provides us with a structure and method for expressing our grief and emotions.