The Memorial Music Library. Songs for Grief and Loss   Is an excellent American web site that has over 700 songs that are suitable to use at a Civil Funeral Ceremony. You can listen to the whole song to make sure it is the one you want. I have found it to be a very good tool in researching specific music for a ceremony. From Classical to Country and Western it caters for all tastes.

Once you have the title of the piece the Funeral Director can then inform the Crematorium what you would like played or a CD can be purchased to be played at the graveside.

Most Crematoriums can download music from the Internet to a Wesley machine. All you will need is the title and artist.


There are 3 points in a Civil Funeral when music may be appropriate. At the entry, at the committal and at the exit.

A Woodland Burial ceremony presents different challenges to those who would like music during the ceremony.

A portable CD player is a good option.

An uplifting piece of music drifting through the trees at the start of the ceremony helps to set the mood of the occasion.

I have used many different pieces of music in my ceremonies.

Some of my favourites are listed below:


Annie Lennox. Into the West.

George Butterworth. The Banks of the Green Willow / A Shropshire Lad.

Richard Strauss. Four Last Songs. Beim Schlafengehen

Spiegel im Spiegel.

The Ashokan Farewell.

Sissel. In Paradisum

Led Zeppelin. Stairway to Heaven

Louis Armstrong. Wonderful World

Ralph Vaughan Williams. Air on a Theme by Thomas Tallis; another favourite of his is The Lark Ascending

Beethoven. Pastoral Symphony (Many pieces to choose from)

Debussy Clare de Lune

Pachelbel. Canon in D

Frank Sinatra My Way

The Beatles The Long and Winding Road

Kirsty MacColl Days


The list is endless.

Music can also capture the mood of an era.

Vera Lynn, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones and Glenn Miller are firm favourites in that respect.

Live music is another option, a solo performer singing a favourite piece is a very personal way to pay tribute to your loved one. There is nothing to stop you asking your local Church choir or Organist to assist with the music during the Funeral.  Ask the Funeral Director which options are available.