The Top Funeral Songs for 2022

A Celebration of Life is a time to remember, reflect and share the reasons a loved one was special. Though losing someone is often a sad time, there are opportunities for laughter and joy, as friends and family remember happy moments.

Music has the power to move us, and choosing the right songs sets the mood and helps guarantee a memorable memorial. When words feel inadequate, but you seek a deep connection to those mourning and celebrating your loved one, choose from our list of top celebration of life songs in 2022.

Here are some suggestions for building a perfect playlist.

A group of musicians playing and singing A song book with music notesA musician plays guitar with a reception table in the background

Funeral songs

The most requested song for a traditional funeral service is “Amazing Grace,” a Christian folk hymn written by English poet John Newton. Many find the message of forgiveness and redemption a beautiful tribute to the mercy of God.

 

    1. Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone), by Chris Tomlin

 

A few other hymns and songs that will bring peace to you and your guests:

    1. Ave Maria, by Franz Schubert or Josh Groban
    2. Bless the Broken Road, by Rascal Flatts
    3. Blessed Assurance, by Alan Jackson
    4. Can the Circle Be Unbroken, by The Carter Family
    5. Go Rest High on That Mountain, by Vince Gill
    6. Heaven Just Got Sweeter for You, by Darin and Brooke Aldridge
    7. Holes in the Floor of Heaven, by Steve Wariner
    8. Home, by Chris Tomlin
    9. How Great Thou Art, by Carrie Underwood
    10. I Believe, by Brooks & Dunn

Memorial service songs

For a more secular service, or funerals with a mix of traditional and contemporary elements, you can choose from a wide range of musical eras and genres. When choosing songs to remember your loved one, listen to each song’s lyrics—what evokes a sense of gratitude and love? You can also play songs you know comforted your loved one in hard times. It will probably do the same for you.

A popular option to start with:

 

    1. A Whiter Shade of Pale,” by Procol Harum
    1. Angel, by Jon Secada
    2. Angels, by Robbie Williams
    3. Candle in the Wind, by Elton John
    4. Clouds, by Zach Sobiech
    5. Dancing in the Sky, Dani and Lizzy
    6. Dreaming My Dreams With You, by Waylon Jennings
    7. Every Light in the House Is On, by Trace Adkins
    8. Free Bird, by Lynyrd Skynyrd
    9. Go Light Your World, by Chris Rice

Inspirational celebration of life songs

Lift guests’ spirits with songs about a life well-lived. For American military veterans, “God Bless the U.S.A.,” by Lee Greenwood or “Born in the U.S.A.,” by Bruce Springsteen are patriotic options. Give guests small flags to wave as the songs are played. Or look to powerhouse ballads from Celine Dion and Mariah Carey to remind guests how a lady really knew how to take on the world.

 

A few uplifting ideas:

 

    1. Closer to Fine, by Indigo Girls
    1. Drops of Jupiter, by Train
    2. Firework, by Katy Perry
    3. Greatest of These, by Hillsong United
    4. Have a Little Faith in Me, by John Hiatt
    5. I Hope You Dance, by Lee Ann Womack
    6. Heaven Was Needing a Hero, by Jo Dee Messina
    7. In My Life, by The Beatles
    8. Landslide, by Fleetwood Mac
    9. Lean on Me, by Bill Withers

Light-hearted celebration of life songs

A moment of levity allows friends and family to relax, share a laugh and feel your loved one’s personality throughout the room. A break in the seriousness of the day may be just what Dad wanted.

 

Get a bit irreverent with these choices:

 

    1. A Thousand Miles, by Vanessa Carlton
    1. American Pie, by Don McLean
    2. Another One Bites the Dust, by Queen
    3. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, by Monty Python
    4. Don’t You (Forget About Me), by Simple Minds
    5. Don’t Worry Be Happy, by Bobby McFerrin
    6. Every Rose Has Its Thorn, by Poison
    7. Highway to Hell, by AC/DC
    8. I Will Survive, by Gloria Gaynor
    9. I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead, by Bon Jovi

Celebration of life songs for dads

Do you look back fondly on your wedding day dance with dad? Or do your father’s small-town roots make you smile? Think about the concerts he attended, his record collection, whether he had a favorite band and use those to build playlist.

 

Popular selections for dads:

 

    1. Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain, by Willie Nelson
    1. Comin’ Home, by Lynyrd Skynyrd
    2. Take Me Home, Country Roads, by John Denver
    3. Dance With My Father, by Luther Vandross
    4. Father and Son, by Yusuf and Cat Stevens
    5. Fathers and Daughters, by Michael Bolton
    6. Fire and Rain, by James Taylor
    7. Forever Young, by Rod Stewart
    8. Georgia on My Mind, by Ray Charles
    9. Hallelujah, by Jeff Buckley

Celebration of life songs for mums

Strength, perseverance, tenderness—all qualities that describe her. But we all know she loved to have fun, too. You may still be able to hear her laugh ring throughout the room when you play her favourite hit.

 

Popular selections for moms:

    1. A Song for Mama, by Boyz II Men 
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    1. Ain’t No Sunshine, by Bill Withers
    2. Baby, I Love Your Way, by Peter Frampton
    3. Because You Loved Me, by Celine Dion
    4. Cowboy Take Me Away, by Dixie Chicks
    5. Don’t Take the Girl, by Tim McGraw
    6. Emotions, by Brenda Lee
    7. Every Mother’s Son, by Lynyrd Skynyrd
    8. Grandma’s Hands, by Bill Withers
    9. Have I Told You Lately, by Van Morrison

Plan an unforgettable tribute

Whether you’re planning a funeral for a loved one or pre-planning for yourself, start with a story, passion or pastime to provide inspiration. We’ll help you weave those very special memories into a beautiful service with personal touches and lasting impressions.

 

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Each person is a complex, multifaceted individual, and each funeral or celebration of life should honour the details that made him or her unique in the world. Themed events are great, but events rich in nuance are second to none. It’s no small effort to create a one-of-a-kind celebration that friends and family will remember as deeply reflecting a special life, but by asking good questions and carefully listening to your stories, we create memories that last forever. To Gardenia Funerals professionals, the details aren’t the little things. They’re everything.