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
- Amazing Grace--Judy Collins
- You Can Close Your Eyes--James Taylor
- A Thousand Years--Christian Perri
- Abide with Me-Audrey Assad
- You Raise Me Up-Josh Groban
- Hallelujah-Jeff Buckley
- I’ll be Seeing You-Billie Holiday
- Dance with My Father—Luther Vandross
- Temporary Home—Carrie Underwood
- If I Die Young—The Band Perry
- If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away—Justin Moore
- Live Like You Were Dying—Tim McGraw
- Everywhere—Michelle Branch
- Forever Young—Rod Stewart
- My Immortal—Evanescence
- The Old Rugged Cross—Alan Jackson
- Go One Without Me—Brett Eldredge
- Wish You Were Here—Pink Floyd
Popular Music for an Ash Scattering Ceremony
- How Great Thou Art—Carrie Underwood
- I Will Always Love You—Dolly Parton
- How Long Will I Love You—Ellie Goulding
- Supermarket Flowers—Ed Sheeran
- Time to Say Goodbye—Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli
- Go Rest High On That Mountain—Vince Gill
- One More Day—Diamond Rio
- Drops of Jupiter—Train
- I Hope You Dance—Lee Ann Womack
- Candle in the Wind—Elton John
- Somewhere Over the Rainbow—Israel Kamakawiwo’Ole
- I Wish Grandpas Never Die—Riley Green
- If Tomorrow Never Comes—Garth Brooks
- Ave Maria—Schubert
- See You Again—Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth
- Angels Among Us---Alabama
- Don’t Fear the Reaper—Blue Oyster Cult
- 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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