July 6th, 2011 by Boot Hill Hearse under Boot Hill News

A celebration of life, a tribute in death…it can all be reflected in your choice of the music of your life.

Music for funerals doesn’t have to be sad. The selection of music should be a reflection of the individual’s life and moments.

It has been traditional to have 15-20 minutes of an organ prelude before a funeral begins. The music often consists of classical quiet pieces. Prior to the actual funeral, instrumental music is played while the casket enters the church and the there is usually a processional hymn.

Today, many people are prearranging their funerals as well as the music that will accompany their final goodbye and the traditional methods are not always embraced.  There are numerous websites available that have itemized music for funerals. Really, it is a matter of individual taste but you can search themes by the loss of an individual’s place within the family or more generic music tributes in collections of songs with angels or heaven as the focus of the lyrics.

Choosing the right song that conveys the right message can be difficult. You need to first decide if you want live music or recorded known pieces. Do you supply your own or do you rely on the funeral home? The goal is to evoke memory and emotion and there are no right and wrong answers for placement within the ceremony. Music accompanying images on a slideshow tribute can be one of the most memorable experiences for friends and family.

Keep in mind that music is the language of the heart. Use songs that will comfort and inspire friends and family, music that reflects the life of the individual and celebrates their time. Use the resources at hand, your clergy member may offer suggestions or restrictions for the ceremony within the church but the funeral home will likely be open to your suggestions if you have them.

When planning your music, select with respect. If the musical choice contains questionable content, regardless of the love of the music, the guests should be considered. Offering a back story to the use of selected music is a good way of remembering someone and of encouraging people to remember the individual.

Music is a celebration just you are celebrating someone’s life. People respond to music and music brings back memories. There is no greater way to honour someone than to have their memory live on.

Copyright laws may protect some music so it is important to deal with individuals that can offer you services that do not infringe on those laws and will ensure use of the music is legal. “Fair use” allows a limited use of copyrighted materials within certain guidelines so be sure to inquire.

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