Best Music for the Cremation Service and Ash Scattering

When a loved one passes, the remaining family and friends are faced with many decisions, like what music to play at the cremation service and how to best memorialize your departed loved one. We know that grief can make things that would have been simple before your loss, well, complicated. It can be hard to know what the right decision is when it comes to meaningful decisions like the music played to honor the one who passed. Thankfully, this decision may be easier than you thought. We’ll discuss how to choose music for a cremation service or an ash scattering, and we’ve made a list of popular songs you can choose from for both of these ceremonies. 

How to Choose Music for the Cremation Service or an Ash Scattering Ceremony

If the dearly departed didn’t leave instructions about the music they wanted for their cremation service or ash scattering, then it’s up to their family and friends to make this decision. There are no hard and fast rules for choosing music for a cremation service or an ash scattering ceremony, but there is a common practice. First, the best music for an ash scattering or a cremation service is the departed loved one’s favorite music. Classical? Rap? Heavy metal? Concert opera? All appropriate choices if that was your loved one’s favorite type of music. The whole purpose of one of these ceremonies is to remember the one who passed, and there isn’t a better way to do that than with their favorite tunes. Music reaches deep inside us and helps us remember, making it a meaningful part of saying goodbye. 

Out of respect for those attending, consider finding radio edits if any of the music contains explicit lyrics. Still, at the end of the day, it’s about what brings you and the rest of those grieving comfort and honors the memory of the one who passed. 

Another way to go about putting together the music for these special ceremonies is to ask people close to the departed what song, songs, or artists remind them of the deceased. This is a special way to honor all parties involved. While a cremation service and an ash scattering ceremony are about memorializing the departed, they are also, in many ways, about those left behind and helping them grieve and say goodbye. 

To make things easier on you, feel free to delegate the task of putting together a playlist to another family member or friend. For cremation services, the funeral home likely has a sound system that a phone or computer can be plugged into. For an outdoors ash scattering ceremony, someone will need to be in charge of bringing a Bluetooth speaker. Likely a simple portable speaker, fully charged, is all you’ll need for an outdoor ceremony. 

If your loved one wasn’t into music, there are plenty of appropriate and meaningful songs to choose from, which we’ll discuss further in the following sections. 

Popular Music for a Cremation Service

  1. Amazing Grace--Judy Collins
  2. You Can Close Your Eyes--James Taylor
  3. A Thousand Years--Christian Perri
  4. Abide with Me-Audrey Assad
  5. You Raise Me Up-Josh Groban
  6. Hallelujah-Jeff Buckley
  7. I’ll be Seeing You-Billie Holiday
  8. Dance with My Father—Luther Vandross
  9. Temporary Home—Carrie Underwood
  10. If I Die Young—The Band Perry
  11. If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away—Justin Moore
  12. Live Like You Were Dying—Tim McGraw
  13. Everywhere—Michelle Branch
  14. Forever Young—Rod Stewart
  15. My Immortal—Evanescence
  16. The Old Rugged Cross—Alan Jackson
  17. Go One Without Me—Brett Eldredge
  18. Wish You Were Here—Pink Floyd

Popular Music for an Ash Scattering Ceremony

  1. How Great Thou Art—Carrie Underwood
  2. I Will Always Love You—Dolly Parton
  3. How Long Will I Love You—Ellie Goulding
  4. Supermarket Flowers—Ed Sheeran
  5. Time to Say Goodbye—Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli
  6. Go Rest High On That Mountain—Vince Gill
  7. One More Day—Diamond Rio
  8. Drops of Jupiter—Train
  9. I Hope You Dance—Lee Ann Womack
  10. Candle in the Wind—Elton John
  11. Somewhere Over the Rainbow—Israel Kamakawiwo’Ole
  12. I Wish Grandpas Never Die—Riley Green
  13. If Tomorrow Never Comes—Garth Brooks
  14. Ave Maria—Schubert
  15. See You Again—Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth
  16. Angels Among Us---Alabama
  17. Don’t Fear the Reaper—Blue Oyster Cult
  18. How Do I Live—LeAnn Rimes

Just remember, this is a hard time, and it’s ok if choosing the music for these special ceremonies is challenging. Music taps into emotions that may be running under the surface, and we hope you know it’s ok if there are tears (or not) as you go through musical choices. Let the music you choose be part of your healing, and know that your loved one’s music will help you remember them always.

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