Help & Advice Arranging a Funeral

10 Uplifting Hymns for Funerals

If you’re planning a loved one’s funeral, including hymns within the funeral service can provide some much-needed comfort during a difficult time. Whether your loved one was religious or not, hymns are a nice way to bring people together whilst celebrating the life of a loved one.

We’ve put together a list of top 10 uplifting hymns for funerals that you may wish to choose from.

  1. How great thou art

Based on the 19th century poem by Swedish born Carl Boberg, this popular Christian funeral hymn celebrates the beauty of nature.

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee:

How great thou art, how great thou art!

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee:

How great thou art, how great thou art!

  1. Lord of All Hopefulness

Written by Jan Struther, this 20th century Christian hymn often follows the melody of an Irish folksong, making this a popular choice for funerals.

Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy,

Whose trust, ever childlike, no cares can destroy,

Be there at our waking, and give us, we pray,

Your bliss in our hearts, Lord, at the break of the day.

  1. Morning has broken

This is an uplifting funeral hymn with a cheerful melody and positive lyrics. It was written by Eleanor Farjeon, an English author, in 1931.

Morning has broken

Like the first morning,

Blackbird has spoken

Like the first bird.

  1. All things bright and beautiful

Another popular funeral hymn, this is arguably one of the most well-known Christian hymns. It’s very positive and celebrates all living things. 

All things bright and beautiful,

all creatures great and small,

all things wise and wonderful,

the Lord God made them all.

  1. Amazing grace

This is a Christian hymn written by John Newton, an English poet. The lyrics focus on finding peace in death, which makes it a popular funeral hymn.

Amazing grace (how sweet the sound)

that saved a wretch like me!

I once was lost, but now am found,

was blind, but now I see.

  1. Jerusalem

Based on a poem by William Blake, this hymn is often considered to be England’s unofficial anthem. Its inspiring lyrics and happy melody make this a popular hymn for a funeral.

And did those feet in ancient time

walk upon England’s mountains green?

And was the holy Lamb of God

on England’s pleasant pastures seen?

  1. Lord of the dance

A joyful and uplifting modern hymn, the lyrics for this Christian song were written by Sydney Carter.

Dance, then, wherever you may be;

I am the Lord of the Dance, said he.

I’ll lead you all, wherever you may be,

And I’ll lead you all in the Dance, said he.

  1. Shine Jesus shine

Written in 1987, this modern funeral hymn is seen as an uplifting song of praise, celebrating love and happy memories.

Shine, Jesus, shine

Fill this land with the Father’s glory

Blaze, Spirit, blaze

Set our hearts on fire

  1. The Lord’s My Shepherd

Based on Psalm 23, this famous hymn is often associated with funeral services – religious and non-religious. The lyrics are considered hopeful and comforting.

The Lord’s my Shepherd, I’ll not want;

He makes me down to lie

In pastures green; He leadeth me

The quiet waters by.

  1. The Old Rugged Cross

Written by George Bennard in 1912, this is a popular funeral hymn. It celebrates Jesus Christ and serving God.

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross

The emblem of suffering and shame

And I love that old cross where the dearest and best

For a world of lost sinners was slain

What are funeral hymns?

Funeral hymns are usually  seen as religious music which is played at the funeral of a loved one. There are lots of different genres and styles to choose from, depending on what tone you want to set with the funeral music.

What hymns are appropriate for a funeral?

When it comes to picking a funeral hymn, it’s good to consider what your loved one would have wanted. Perhaps they specified a particular hymn before they died? Or they had a favourite hymn? The service is to commemorate your loved one and the life they lived, so it’s best to find a funeral song that reflects this.

What is the difference between a hymn and a worship song?

A traditional hymn is sung to God by an entire congregation and follows a four-part harmony. Their structure is thought to have originated from classical music. In contrast, a worship song is sung in praise of God and takes its influence from current culture – they do not usually have a four-part harmony.

How many hymns are sung at a funeral?

Most Christian funerals include at least two hymns, an opening hymn and a closing hymn, though you can choose more if you wish. If you are unsure, we recommend speaking to the person creating the order of service or your funeral director.

What are the oldest hymns?

The Oxyrhynchus hymn is the earliest known manuscript of a Christian Greek hymn, it contains lyrics and musical notation. The manuscript was discovered in Egypt (1918) and published in 1922. Other old hymns include: Hail gladdening light, Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence and The Song of Miriam.

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