Choir of Funeral Hymn

51 Best Funeral Hymns

Introduction

Music can inspire, comfort, and uplift family and friends while they celebrate a lost loved one. Here is an inspiring list of funeral hymns to help you choose the best music (hymns) for your funeral service.

Choosing Funeral Hymns

Choir of Funeral Hymn

Music is an important part of the funeral liturgy. It unites the mourners in heart and mind, and helps to express the thought and emotions felt by everyone. For direction, choose a funeral hymn would honor the life of the person who died.

The best starting point in looking for an appropriate funeral hymn is to check the wishes of the deceased. Musical choices may have been written in a funeral plan, or mentioned to family and friends.

If no plans were made consider the mood you want to convey and the best way to pay tribute to the deceased.

The following hymns are appropriate for church funerals since they include themes of the paschal mystery and the Lord’s suffering, death, and resurrection.

We also have a specific collection of Catholic funeral hymns and a list of the best funeral poems.

When you find a hymn you like, talk to the pianist, organist, professional cantor, or leader of the funeral music to make sure it can be performed and is appropriate for the service.

Funeral Hymns or Funeral Songs?

A hymn is a type of song, so all hymns are songs but not all songs are hymns. A song is considered a hymn if it uses meter and addresses a religious figure (often with adoration or prayer). They are simple, emotional, and spiritual.

Though not required, hymns can have an instrumental accompaniment. In Christianity, most often this is the piano. Hymns are sometimes referred to as praise songs or worship songs.

Traditional Funeral Hymns

Here are some of the most popular classic hymns with lyrics that traditionally describe God, His attributes, and activities. 

Abide With Me

Abide with me: fast falls the eventide;
the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away.
Change and decay in all around I see.
O thou who changest not, abide with me.

I need thy presence every passing hour.
What but thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who like thyself my guide and strength can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, O abide with me.

I fear no foe with thee at hand to bless,
ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if thou abide with me.

Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes.
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks and earth’s vain shadows flee;
in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me. 

Source: Hymnary

All My Hope on God Is Founded

All my hope on God is founded;
he doth still my trust renew.
Me through change and chance he guideth,
only good and only true.
God unknown,
he alone
calls my heart to be his own.

Human pride and earthly glory,
sword and crown betray his trust;
what with care and toil he buildeth,
tower and temple, fall to dust.
But God’s power,
hour by hour,
is my temple and my tower.

God’s great goodness aye endureth,
deep his wisdom, passing thought:
splendour, light, and life attend him,
beauty springeth out of naught.
Evermore
from his store
new-born worlds rise and adore.

Daily doth th’ Almighty giver
bounteous gifts on us bestow;
his desire our soul delighteth,
pleasure leads us where we go.
Love doth stand
at his hand;
joy doth wait on his command.

Still from earth to God eternal
sacrifice of praise be done,
high above all praises praising
for the gift of Christ his Son.
Christ doth call
one and all:
ye who follow shall not fall.

Source: Hymnary

Be Thou My Vision

Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
naught be all else to me, save that thou art–
thou my best thought by day or by night,
waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.

Be thou my wisdom, and thou my true word;
I ever with thee and thou with me, Lord;
thou my great Father, I thy true son;
thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one.

Be thou my battle shield, sword for my fight;
be thou my dignity, thou my delight,
thou my soul’s shelter, thou my high tow’r:
raise thou me heav’n-ward, O Pow’r of my pow’r.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
thou mine inheritance, now and always:
thou and thou only, first in my heart,
High King of heaven, my treasure thou art.

High King of heaven, my victory won,
may I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heav’n’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
still be my vision, O Ruler of all.

Source: Hymnary

Firmly I Believe and Truly

Firmly I believe and truly
God is Three and God is One;
and I next acknowledge duly
manhood taken by the Son.

And I trust and hope most fully
in that manhood crucified;
and each thought and deed unruly
do to death, as he has died.

Simply to his grace and wholly
light and life and strength belong,
and I love supremely, solely,
him the holy, him the strong.

And I hold in veneration,
for the love of him alone,
Holy Church as his creation,
and her teachings as his own.

Adoration ay be given,
with and through the angelic host,
to the God of earth and heaven,
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Source: Hymnary

For All the Saints

For all the saints who from their labors rest,
who thee by faith before the world confessed,
thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thou wast their rock, their fortress, and their might;
thou, Lord, their captain in the well-fought fight;
thou, in the darkness drear, their one true light.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

O may thy soldiers, faithful, true, and bold,
fight as the saints who nobly fought of old,
and win with them the victor’s crown of gold.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

O blest communion, fellowship divine,
we feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
yet all are one in thee, for all are thine.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

And when the fight is fierce, the warfare long,
steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
and hearts are brave again, and arms are strong.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

The golden evening brightens in the west;
soon, soon to faithful warrior cometh rest;
sweet is the calm of paradise the blest.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

But lo! there breaks a yet more glorious day;
the saints triumphant rise in bright array;
the King of glory passes on his way.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

From earth’s wide bounds, from ocean’s farthest coast,
through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
singing to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
Alleluia! Alleluia!

Source: Hymnary

Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer

Guide me, O my great Redeemer,
pilgrim through this barren land;
I am weak, but you are mighty;
hold me with your powerful hand.
Bread of heaven, bread of heaven,
feed me now and evermore,
feed me now and evermore.

Open now the crystal fountain,
where the healing waters flow.
Let the fire and cloudy pillar
lead me all my journey through.
Strong Deliverer, strong Deliverer,
ever be my strength and shield,
ever be my strength and shield.

When I tread the verge of Jordan,
bid my anxious fears subside.
Death of death, and hell’s Destruction,
land me safe on Canaan’s side.
Songs of praises, songs of praises
I will ever sing to you,
I will ever sing to you. 

Source: Hymnary

I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“Come unto me and rest;
Lay down, O weary one, lay down
Your head upon my breast.”
I came to Jesus as I was,
So weary, worn, and sad;
I found in him a resting place,
And he has made me glad.

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“Behold, I freely give
The living water; thirsty one,
Stoop down, and drink, and live.”
I came to Jesus, and I drank
Of that life-giving stream;
My thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
And now I live in him.

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“I am this dark world’s light;
Look unto me, your morn shall rise,
And all your day be bright.”
I looked to Jesus, and I found
In him my star, my sun;
And in that light of life I’ll walk
Till trav’ling days are done.

Source: Hymnary

O Jesus, I Have Promised

O Jesus, I have promised 
to serve thee to the end; 
be thou forever near me, 
my Master and my Friend; 
I shall not fear the battle 
if thou art by my side, 
nor wander from the pathway 
if thou wilt be my guide. 

O Jesus, thou hast promised 
to all who follow thee, 
that where thou art in glory
there shall thy servant be; 
and, Jesus, I have promised 
to serve thee to the end;
O give me grace to follow,
my Master and my Friend. 

O let me feel thee near me!
The world is ever near; 
I see the sights that dazzle, 
the tempting sounds I hear; 
my foes are ever near me, 
around me and within; 
but Jesus, draw thou nearer, 
and shield my soul from sin. 

O let me hear thee speaking 
in accents clear and still, 
above the storms of passion, 
the murmurs of self will. 
O speak to reassure me, 
to hasten or control; 
O speak and make me listen,
thou guardian of my soul. 

Source: Hymnary

Lead, Kindly Light

Lead, kindly Light, amid th’encircling gloom;
Lead thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home;
Lead thou me on!
Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene—one step enough for me.

I was not ever thus, nor pray’d that thou
Shouldst lead me on.
I loved to choose and see my path; but now,
Lead thou me on!
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will. Remember not past years.

So long thy pow’r hath blest me, sure it still
Will lead me on
O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone.
And with the morn those angel faces smile,
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile!

Source: Church of Jesus Christ

Lord of All Hopefulness

Lord of all hopefulness,
Lord of all joy,
Whose trust, ever child-like,
No cares could destroy,
Be there at our waking,
And give us, we pray,
Your bliss in our hearts, Lord,
At the break of the day.

Lord of all eagerness, Lord of all faith,
Whose strong hands were skilled
At the plane and the lathe,
Be there at our labours,
And give us, we pray,
Your strength in our hearts, Lord,
At the noon of the day.

Lord of all kindliness, Lord of all grace,
Your hands swift to welcome,
Your arms to embrace,
Be there at our homing,
And give us, we pray,
Your love in our hearts, Lord,
At the eve of the day.

Lord of all gentleness, Lord of all calm,
Whose voice is contentment,
Whose presence is balm,
Be there at our sleeping,
And give us, we pray,
Your peace in our hearts, Lord,
At the end of the day.

Source: Worship Workshop

Now the Green Blade Riseth

Now the green blade riseth, from the buried grain,
Wheat that in dark earth many days has lain;
Love lives again, that with the dead has been:
Love is come again like wheat that springeth green.

In the grave they laid Him, Love who had been slain,
Thinking that He never would awake again,
Laid in the earth like grain that sleeps unseen: 
Love is come again like wheat that springeth green.

Forth He came at Easter, like the risen grain,
Jesus who for three days in the grave had lain;
Quick from the dead the risen One is seen:
Love is come again like wheat that springeth green.

When our hearts are wintry, grieving, or in pain,
Jesus’ touch can call us back to life again,
Fields of our hearts that dead and bare have been: 
Love is come again like wheat that springeth green.

Source: Hymnary

O God, Our Help in Ages Past

Our God, our help in ages past, 
our hope for years to come, 
our shelter from the stormy blast, 
and our eternal home: 

Under the shadow of your throne 
your saints have dwelt secure; 
sufficient is your arm alone, 
and our defense is sure. 

Before the hills in order stood, 
or earth received her frame, 
from everlasting you are God, 
to endless years the same. 

A thousand ages in your sight 
are like an evening gone; 
short as the watch that ends the night 
before the rising sun. 

The busy tribes of flesh and blood,
with all their lives and cares,
are carried downward by your flood,
and lost in foll’wing years.

Time, like an ever-rolling stream, 
bears all its sons away; 
they fly forgotten, as a dream 
dies at the op’ning day. 

Our God, our help in ages past, 
our hope for years to come:
O be our guard while troubles last, 
and our eternal home.

Source: Hymnary

Praise to the Holiest in the Height

Praise to the Holiest in the height,
and in the depth be praise:
in all his words most wonderful,
most sure in all his ways.

O loving wisdom of our God!
When all was sin and shame,
a second Adam to the fight
and to the rescue came.

O wisest love! that flesh and blood,
which did in Adam fail,
should strive afresh against the foe,
should strive and should prevail;

And that a higher gift than grace
should flesh and blood refine,
God’s presence and his very self,
and essence all-divine.

O generous love! that he, who smote
in Man for man the foe,
the double agony in Man
for man should undergo;

And in the garden secretly,
and on the cross on high,
should teach his brethren, and inspire
to suffer and to die.

Praise to the Holiest in the height,
and in the depth be praise:
in all his words most wonderful,
most sure in all his ways.

Source: Hymnary

Praise We Our God With Joy

Praise we our God with joy
And gladness never ending;
Angels and Saints with us
Their grateful voices blending.
He is our Father dear,
O’erfilled with Father’s love;
Mercies unsought, unknown
He showers from above,

He is our Shepherd true,
With watchful care unsleeping;
On us, his erring sheep,
An eye of pity keeping.
He with a mighty arm
The bonds of sin doth break,
And to our burden’d hearths
In words of peace doth speak.

Bleeding, we lay, but He
With soothing bands hath bound us;
Dark was our path, but He
Hath poured His light around us;
Graces in copious streams
From that pure fountain come,
Down to our heart of hearts,
Where God hath set his home.

His Word our lantern is,
His Peace our consolation;
His sweetness all our rest,
Himself our great Salvation!
Then live we all to God,
Rely on Him in faith,
Be He our guide in life,
Our joy, our hope, in death.

Source: Bible Hub

Sing With All the Saints in Glory

Sing with all the saints in glory, 
Sing the resurrection song! 
Death and sorrow, earth’s dark story, 
To the former days belong. 
All around the clouds are breaking, 
Soon the storms of time shall cease; 
In God’s likeness we awaken, 
Knowing everlasting peace.

O what glory, far exceeding 
All that eye has yet perceived! 
Holiest hearts, for ages pleading, 
Never that full joy conceived. 
God has promised, Christ prepares it, 
There on high our welcome waits.
Ev’ry humble spirit shares it; 
Christ has passed the eternal gates.

Life eternal! heav’n rejoices: 
Jesus lives who once was dead. 
Shout with joy, O deathless voices! 
Child of God, lift up your head! 
Patriarchs from distant ages,
Saints all longing for their heav’n,
Prophets, psalmists, seers, and sages,
All await the glory giv’n.

Life eternal! O what wonders 
Crowd on faith; what joy unknown, 
When, amid earth’s closing thunders, 
Saints shall stand before the throne! 
Oh, to enter that bright portal, 
See that glowing firmament, 
Know, with you, O God immortal, 
Jesus Christ whom you have sent!

Source: Hymnary

Soul of my Saviour

Soul of my Saviour, sanctify my breast,
body of Christ, be thou my saving guest,
blood of my Saviour, bathe me in thy tide,
wash me with water flowing from thy side.

Strength and protection may thy Passion be,
O blessèd Jesu, hear and answer me;
deep in thy wounds, Lord, hide and shelter me,
so shall I never, never part from thee.

Guard and defend me from the foe malign,
in death’s dread moments make me only thine;
call me and bid me come to thee on high
where I may praise thee with thy saints for ay.

Source: Hymnary

Thine Be the Glory

Thine be the glory, risen, conqu’ring Son:
endless is the vict’ry thou o’er death hast won;
angels in bright raiment rolled the stone away,
kept the folded grave-clothes where thy body lay.

Refrain:
Thine be the glory, risen, conqu’ring Son;
endless is the vict’ry thou o’er death hast won.

Lo! Jesus meets us, risen from the tomb;
lovingly he greets us, scatters fear and gloom;
let the church with gladness, hymns of triumph sing,
for her Lord now liveth, death hath lost its sting. [Refrain]

No more we doubt thee, glorious Prince of life;
life is naught without thee: aid us in our strife;
make us more than conqu’rors, thro’ thy deathless love:
bring us safe thro’ Jordan to thy home above. [Refrain]

Source: Hymnary

Modern Funeral Hymns

In recent years a lot of popular liturgical music has been written that is appropriate for a funeral. Below are some contemporary church hymns that slightly differ from tradition hymns.

Traditional funeral hymns are often “about” God, while modern funeral hymns are often “addressed to” God. Most modern lyrics read if the worshipper is addressing God directly.

Be still and know I am with you

Be still, and know I am with you,
Be still, I am the Lord.
I will not leave you orphans.
I leave you with my world. Be one.


You fear the light may be fading,
You fear to lose your way.
Be still, and know I am near you.
I’ll lead you to the day and the sun.


Be glad the day you have sorrow.
Be glad, for then you live.
The stars shine only in darkness,
and in your need I give my peace.

Be not afraid

You shall cross the barren desert,
but you shall not die of thirst.
You shall wander far in safety
though you do not know the way.
You shall speak your words in foreign lands
and all will understand.
You shall see the face of God and live.

Be not afraid.
I go before you always.
Come, follow me, and I will give you rest.

If you pass through raging waters in the sea,
you shall not drown.
If you walk amid the burning flames,
you shall not be harmed.
If you stand before the pow’r of hell
and death is at your side,
know that I am with you through it all.

Be not afraid.
I go before you always.
Come, follow me, and I will give you rest.

Blessed are your poor,
for the kingdom shall be theirs.
Blest are you that weep and mourn,
for one day you shall laugh.
And if wicked tongues insult and hate you
all because of me,
blessed, blessed are you!

Be not afraid.
I go before you always.
Come, follow me, and I will give you rest.

Source: Catholic Hymn

Go, silent friend

Go, silent friend,
your life has found its ending;
To dust returns your weary mortal frame.
God, who before birth called you into being,
Now calls you hence, his ascent still the same.
Go, silent friend,
your life in Christ is buried;
For you he lived and died and rose again.
Close by his side your promised place is waiting
Where, fully known, you shall with God remain.

Go, silent friend,
forgive us if we grieved you;
Safe now in heaven, kindly say our name.
your life has touched us, that is why we mourn you;
Our lives without you cannot be the same.
Go, silent friend,
we do not grudge you glory;
Sing, sing with joy deep praises to your Lord.
You, who believed that Christ would come back for you,
Now celebrate that Jesus keeps his word.

Source: Worship Workshop

How great thou art

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Chorus:
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on a Cross, my burdens gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: “My God, how great Thou art!”

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

Source: Godtube

I am the bread of life

 life.
He who comes to me shall not hunger;
he who believes in me shall not thirst.
No one can come to me
unless the Father draw him.

And I will raise him up,
and I will raise him up,
and I will raise him up on the last day.

The bread that I will give
is my flesh for the life of the world,
and he who eats of this bread,
he shall live for ever,
he shall live for ever.

And I will raise him up,
and I will raise him up,
and I will raise him up on the last day.

Unless you eat
of the flesh of the Son of Man
and drink of his blood,
and drink of his blood,
you shall not have life within you.

And I will raise him up,
and I will raise him up,
and I will raise him up on the last day.

I am the resurrection,
I am the life.
He who believes in me
even if he die,
he shall live for ever.

And I will raise him up,
and I will raise him up,
and I will raise him up on the last day.

Yes, Lord, I believe
that you are the Christ,
the Son of God,
who has come
into the world.

And I will raise him up,
and I will raise him up,
and I will raise him up on the last day.

Source: Catholic Hymn

Like a child rests

Refrain:
Like a child rests in its mother’s arms,
so will I rest in you. (Rpt)

Verse 1:
My God, I am not proud.
I do not look for things too great.

[Refrain]

Verse 2:
My God, I trust in you.
You care for me, you give me peace.

[Refrain]

Verse 3:
O Israel, trust in God,
now and always trust in God.

[Refrain]

Source: Six Maddens

Jesus, son of Mary

Jesus, Son of Mary, 
fount of life alone,
here we hail thee present 
on thine altar-throne.

Humbly we adore thee, 
Lord of endless might,
in the mystic symbols 
veiled from earthly sight.

Think, O Lord, in mercy 
on the souls of those
who, in faith gone from us, 
now in death repose.

Here ‘mid stress and conflict 
toils can never cease;
there, the warfare ended, 
bid them rest in peace.

Often were they wounded 
in the deadly strife;
heal them, good Physician, 
with the balm of life.

Ev’ry taint of evil, 
frailty and decay,
good and gracious Saviour, 
cleanse and purge away.

Rest eternal grant unto them,
after weary fight;
shed on them the radiance 
of thy heav’nly light.

Source: Hymnary

O the love of my Lord

Oh, the love of my Lord is the essence
of all that I love here on earth.
All the beauty I see he has given to me
and his giving is gentle as silence.

Every day, every hour, every moment
have been blessed by the strength of his love.
At the turn of each tide he is there at my side,
and his touch is as gentle as silence.

There’ve been times when I’ve turned from his presence,
and I’ve walked other paths, other ways.
But I’ve called on his name in the dark of my shame,
and his mercy was gentle as silence.

On eagle’s wings

You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord,
who abide in his shadow for life,
say to the Lord: “My refuge, my rock in whom I trust!”

And he will raise you up on eagle’s wings,
bear you on the breath of dawn,
make you to shine like the sun,
and hold you in the palm of his hand.

The snare of the fowler will never capture you,
and famine will bring you no fear:
under his wings your refuge,
his faithfulness your shield.

And he will raise you up on eagle’s wings,
bear you on the breath of dawn,
make you to shine like the sun,
and hold you in the palm of his hand.

You need not fear the terror of the night,
nor the arrow that flies by day;
though thousands fall about you,
near you it shall not come.

And he will raise you up on eagle’s wings,
bear you on the breath of dawn,
make you to shine like the sun,
and hold you in the palm of his hand.

For to his angels he’s given a command
to guard you in all of your ways;
upon their hands they will bear you up,
lest you dash your foot against a stone.

And he will raise you up on eagle’s wings,
bear you on the breath of dawn,
make you to shine like the sun,
and hold you in the palm of his hand.

Source: Catholic Hymn

There is a longing in our hearts

Refrain: There is a longing in our hearts, O Lord,
for you to reveal yourself to us.
There is a longing in our hearts
for love we only find in you, our God.

For justice, for freedom,
for mercy, hear our prayer.
In sorrow, in grief,
be near, hear our prayer, O God.

Refrain: There is a longing in our hearts, O Lord,
for you to reveal yourself to us.
There is a longing in our hearts
for love we only find in you, our God.

For wisdom, for courage,
for comfort, hear our prayer.
In weakness, in fear,
be near, hear our prayer, O God.

Refrain: There is a longing in our hearts, O Lord,
for you to reveal yourself to us.
There is a longing in our hearts
for love we only find in you, our God.

  1. For healing, for wholeness,
    for new life, hear our prayer.
    In sickness, in death,
    be near, hear our prayer, O God.

Refrain: There is a longing in our hearts, O Lord,
for you to reveal yourself to us.
There is a longing in our hearts
for love we only find in you, our God.

Lord save us, take pity,
light in our darkness.
We call you, we wait,
be near, hear our prayer, O God.

Final Refrain: There is a longing in our hearts, O Lord,
for you to reveal yourself to us.
There is a longing in our hearts
for love we only find in you, our God.

Source: Lord Calls

Unless a grain of wheat

Refrain:
Unless a grain of wheat shall fall upon the ground and die,
it remains but a single grain with no life.

If we have died with him then we shall live with him;
if we hold firm, we shall reign with him. [Refrain]
If anyone serves me then they must follow me;
wherever I am my servants will be. [Refrain]

Make your home in me as I make mine in you;
those who remain in me bear much fruit. [Refrain]

If you remain in me and my word lives in you,
then you will be my disciples. [Refrain]

Those who love me are loved by my Father;
we shall be with them and dwell in them. [Refrain]

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you;
peace which the world cannot give is my gift. [Refrain]

Source: Hymnary

We walk by faith

We walk by faith, and not by sight:
No gracious words we hear
Of him who spoke as none e’er spoke,
But we believe him near.

We may not touch his hands and side,
Nor follow where he trod;
Yet in his promise we rejoice,
And cry “My Lord and God!”

Help then, O Lord, our unbelief,
And may our faith abound;
To call on you when you are near,
And seek where you are found:

That when our life of faith is done
In realms of clearer light
We may behold you as you are
In full and endless sight.

We walk by faith, and not by sight:
No gracious words we hear
Of him who spoke as none e’er spoke,
But we believe him near.

Source: Catholic Hymn

Yahweh, I know you are near

Yahweh, I know you are near,
standing always at my side.
You guard me from the foe,
and you lead me in ways everlasting.

Lord, you have searched my heart,
and you know when I sit and when I stand.
Your hand is upon me protecting me from death,
keeping me from harm.

Where can I run from Your love?
If I climb to the heavens You are there;
If I fly to the sunrise or sail beyond the sea,
still I’d find You there.

You know my heart and its ways,
you who formed me before I was born
in the secret of darkness before I saw the sun
in my mother’s womb.

Marvelous to me are Your works;
how profound are Your thoughts, my Lord.
Even if I could count them, they number as the stars,
You would still be there.

Source: Gospel Lyrics

Seasonal Hymns

When selecting a funeral hymn, one consideration is the liturgical season that is being celebrated.

The Easter Season is an appropriate time to make a connection between the death and resurrection of Christ and our own dying and transition to eternal life.

Next, the selected music for the Advent Season address anticipation and longing for a Savior, the coming of the kingdom.

Lastly, hymns during Lent focus on God’s mercy and forgiveness. Below are a few of the popular hymns for different liturgical seasons.

Conducting Choir of Hymn
All creatures of our God and King (Easter)

All creatures of our God and King, 
lift up your voice and with us sing 
alleluia, alleluia! 
Thou burning sun with golden beam, 
thou silver moon with softer gleam, 
O praise him, O praise him, 
alleluia, alleluia, alleluia! 

Thou rushing wind that art so strong, 
ye clouds that sail in heav’n along, 
O praise him, alleluia! 
Thou rising morn, in praise rejoice, 
ye lights of evening, find a voice, 
O praise him, O praise him, 
alleluia, alleluia, alleluia! 

Thou flowing water, pure and clear, 
make music for thy Lord to hear, 
alleluia, alleluia!
Thou fire so masterful and bright, 
that givest man both warmth and light, 
O praise him, O praise him, 
alleluia, alleluia, alleluia! 

And all ye men of tender heart,
forgiving others, take your part, 
O sing ye, alleluia! 
Ye who long pain and sorrow bear,
praise God and on him cast your care,
O praise him, O praise him, 
alleluia, alleluia, alleluia! 

Let all things their Creator bless,
and worship him in humbleness,
O praise him, alleluia!
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son,
and praise the Spirit, three in one, 
O praise him, O praise him, 
alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Source: Hymnary

Comfort, comfort, O my people (Advent)

Comfort, comfort ye my people,
speak ye peace, thus saith our God;
comfort those who sit in darkness,
mourning ‘neath their sorrow’s load.
Speak ye to Jerusalem
of the peace that waits for them;
tell her that her sins I cover,
and her warfare now is over.

Yea, her sins our God will pardon,
blotting out each dark misdeed;
all that well deserved his anger
he no more will see or heed.
She hath suffered many a day,
now her griefs have passed away;
God will change her pining sadness
into ever-springing gladness.

For the herald’s voice is crying
in the desert far and near,
bidding all men to repentance,
since the kingdom now is here.
O that warning cry obey!
Now prepare for God a way;
let the valleys rise to meet him,
and the hills bow down to greet him.

Make ye straight what long was crooked,
make the rougher places plain;
let your hearts be true and humble,
as befits his holy reign.
For the glory of the Lord
now o’er earth is shed abroad;
and all flesh shall see the token
that his word is never broken.

Source: Hymnary

Jesus walked this Lonesome Valley (Lent)

Jesus walked this lonesome valley;
He had to walk it by himself.
Oh, nobody else could walk it for him;
He had to walk it by himself.

We must walk this lonesome valley;
We have to walk it by ourselves.
Oh, nobody else can walk it for us;
We have to walk it by ourselves.

You must go and stand your trial;
You have to stand it by yourself.
Oh, nobody else can stand it for you;
You have to stand it by yourself.

Source: Hymnary

Jesus Remember Me (Lent)

Jesus, remember me
when you come into your kingdom.
Jesus, remember me
when you come in to your kingdom.

Source: Hymnary

O Sun of Justice (Lent)

O Sun of Justice, Jesus Christ,
May darkness of our mind give way
To strength’ning light of grace divine,
As you restore on earth the day.

You give us time to make amends,
Arouse true sorrow in our hearts;
May your great kindness win us back
Whose faults your pity disregards.

Let all the vast world worship pay
To you, O Trinity most kind;
And let us sing new hymns of praise,
Renewed by grace in heart and mind.

Of the Father’s love begotten (Christmas)

Of the Father’s love begotten
ere the worlds began to be,
he is Alpha and Omega,
he the Source, the Ending he,
of the things that are, that have been,
and that future years shall see,
evermore and evermore!

O that birth forever blessed,
when the Virgin, full of grace,
by the Holy Ghost conceiving,
bore the Savior of our race;
and the babe, the world’s Redeemer,
first revealed his sacred face,
evermore and evermore!

This is he whom heav’n-taught singers
sang of old with one accord,
whom the Scriptures of the prophets
promised in their faithful word;
now he shines, the long expected;
let creation praise its Lord, 
evermore and evermore!

O ye heights of heav’n, adore him;
angel hosts, his praises sing:
all dominions, bow before him
and extol our God and King;
let no tongue on earth be silent,
ev’ry voice in concert ring, 
evermore and evermore!

Christ, to thee, with God the Father,
and, O Holy Ghost, to thee,
hymn and chant and high thanksgiving
and unwearied praises be,
honor, glory, and dominion
and eternal victory,
evermore and evermore!

Source: Hymnary

Remember Your Love (Lent)

Refrain: Remember your love and your faithfulness, O Lord. Remember your people and have mercy on us, Lord

  1. The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear?
    The Lord is my life and my refuge; when I call He hears.
  2. If you dwelt, O Lord, upon our sinfulness, then who could stand?
    But with You there is mercy and forgiveness and a guiding hand.
  3. O Lord, hear the sound of my call and answer me.
    My heart cries out for Your presence; it is You I seek.
  4. As sentinels wait upon the daylight, wait for the Lord.
    I trust in your kindness and redemption; and your faithful word.
  5. Before all the mountains were begotten and earth took shape,
    Even then, O Lord, You were our refuge throughout ev’ry age.

Source: Six Maddens

The strife is o’er (Easter)

The strife is o’er, the battle done;
the victory of life is won;
the song of triumph has begun.
Alleluia!

The powers of death have done their worst,
but Christ their legions has dispersed.
Let shouts of holy joy outburst.
Alleluia!

The three sad days are quickly sped;
he rises glorious from the dead.
All glory to our risen Head.
Alleluia!

He closed the yawning gates of hell;
the bars from heaven’s high portals fell.
Let hymns of praise his triumph tell.
Alleluia!

Lord, by the stripes which wounded thee,
from death’s dread sting thy servants free,
that we may live and sing to thee.
Alleluia!

Final Ending:
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia! 

Source: Hymnary

Wait for the Lord (Advent)

Wait for the Lord, his day is near
Wait for the Lord, be strong take heart
Prepare the way for the Lord
Make a straight path for Him
The Glory of the Lord shall be revealed
All the Earth will see the Lord
Rejoice in the Lord always
He is at Hand
Joy and gladness for all who seek the Lord

Source: Hymnary

When the King shall come again (Advent)

When the King shall come again
all his power revealing,
splendor shall announce his reign,
life and joy and healing:
earth no longer in decay,
hope no more frustrated;
this is God’s redemption day
longingly awaited.

In the desert trees take root
fresh from his creation;
plants and flowers and sweetest fruit
join the celebration.
Rivers spring up from the earth,
barren lands adorning;
valleys, this is your new birth,
mountains, greet the morning!

Strengthen feeble hands and knees,
fainting hearts, be cheerful!
God who comes for such as these
seeks and saves the fearful.
Deaf ears hear the silent tongues
sing away their weeping;
blind eyes see the lifeless ones
walking, running, leaping.

There God’s highway shall be seen
where no roaring lion,
nothing evil or unclean
walks the road to Zion:
ransomed people homeward bound
all your praises voicing,
see your Lord with glory crowned,
share in his rejoicing!

Source: Jubilate

Choral Hymns

The sound of a full choir an be moving and inspirational. Here are selections of hymns for funerals that are meant to be sung by a choir.

Agnus Dei

Jesus, Lamb of God, 
Bearer of our sins,
have mercy on us,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, Lamb of God,
Savior of the world,
have mercy on us,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, Lamb of God,
Bread come down form heav’n,
have mercy on us,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, Lamb of God,
Shepherd of our souls,
have mercy on us,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, Lamb of God,
gentle Prince of Peace,
grant us peace, grant us peace.
Grant us peace, grant us peace.

Source: Hymnary

Ave Maria

Ave Maria, gratia plena,
Dominus tecum, benedicta tu in mulieribus,
et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Jesus.
Sancta Maria, Mater Dei,
ora pro nobis peccatoribus,
nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

Source: Hymnary

Ave Verum Corpus

Ave, verum Corpus natum de María Virgine:
Vere passum immolátum in cruce pro hómine:
Cujus latus perforátum fluxit aqua et sánguine:,
Esto nobis praegustátum mortis in exámine.
O Jesu dulcis!
O Jesu pie!
O Jesu fili Maríae.

Source: Hymnary

Give Rest O Christ

Give rest, O Christ,
to thy servant with thy saints,
where sorrow and pain are no more;
neither sighing, but life everlasting.

Thou only art immortal,
the Creator and Maker of man;
and we are mortal, formed of the earth,
and unto earth shall we return;
for so thou didst ordain
when thou createdst me, saying:
‘Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.’
All we go down to the dust,
and, weeping o’er the grave we make our song:
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

Give rest, O Christ,
to thy servant with thy saints,
where sorrow and pain are no more;
neither sighing, but life everlasting.

Source: Hymnary

God Be in My Head

God be in my head,
and in my understanding;

God be in mine eyes,
and in my looking;

God be in my mouth,
and in my speaking;

God be in my heart,
and in my thinking;

God be at mine end,
and at my departing.

Source: Hymnary

God So Loved the World

God so loved the world.
God so loved the world, 
that He gave His only begotten Son, 
that whoso believeth, believeth in Him 
should not perish, should not perish 
but have everlasting life. 

For God sent not His Son into the world
to condemn the world. 
God sent not His Son into the world 
to condemn the world; 
But that the world through Him might be saved. 

God so loved the world. 
God so loved the world, 
that He gave His only begotten Son, 
that whoso believeth, believeth in Him 
should not perish, should not perish 
but have everlasting life, everlasting life,
everlasting, everlasting life.
God so loved the world. 
God so loved the world.
God so loved the world.

Source: Hymnary

How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place

How lovely is your dwelling-place,
O Lord of hosts, to me;
my thirsting soul longs eagerly
within your courts to be.

Beside your altars, Lord of all,
the swallows find a nest;
happy are those who dwell with you
and praise you without rest;

And happy those whose hearts are set
upon the pilgrim ways:
you are the water when they thirst,
their guide towards your face.

How blest are they that in your house
for ever give you praise:
one day with you is better spent
than thousands in dark ways.

The Lord will hold back no good thing
from those who justly live;
to all who trust, the Lord of hosts
will all his blessings give.

Source: Hymnary

In Paradisum

In Paradísum dedúcant te ángeli:
in tuo advéntu suscípiant te mártyres,
et perdúcant te in civitátem sanctam Jerúsalem.
Chórus angelórum te suscípiat,
et cun Lázaro quondam páupere aetérnam
hábeas réquiem.

Source: Hymnary

My Shepherd will Supply my Need

My Shepherd, you supply my need,
most holy is your name;
in pastures fresh you make me feed,
beside the living stream.
You bring my wand’ring spirit back.
when I forsake your ways;
you lead me, for your mercy’s sake,
in paths of truth and grace.

When through the shades of death I walk,
your presence is my stay;
one word of your supporting breath
drives all my fears away.
Your hand in sight of all my foes,
does still my table spread;
my cup with Blessings overflows,
your oil anoints my head.

Source: Hymnary

The Lord Is My Shepherd

The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures; 
he leads me beside the waters;
he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me; your rod and your staff – they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me 
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.
Glory to the Father and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be forever. Amen.

Source: Hymnary

Thou Knowest, Lord, the Secrets

Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts;
Shut not thy merciful ears unto our pray’rs;
But spare us, Lord most holy, O God most mighty.
O holy and most merciful Saviour,
Thou most worthy Judge eternal,
Suffer us not at our last hour,
For any pains of death to fall away from Thee.

Source: Emmanuel Music

FAQ

How do I choose a funeral hymn?

First, consider the wishes of the deceased. They may have been included in a funeral plan or mentioned to friends and family. They may also have a favorite hymn, which would be meaningful if it is played during the service. If no choice was made you can then start with the list provided or ask for assistance from family, friends, and even Church ministers.

Can I choose any hymn that I want?

No. Although, you are given some freedom to select a funeral hymn that you think would best fit the funeral service of your loved one, there are still certain parameters that the Church has set for an appropriate funeral hymn. Many churches have to approve the chosen funeral hymns first. In this case, it is best to ask for guidance from the minister, director of music, organist, professional cantor, or any other person leading the music of the funeral liturgy.

What is the difference between traditional hymns and modern hymns?

Traditional funeral hymns often have lyrics that are “about” God, while modern funeral hymns are often addressed “to” God as if the worshipper is speaking to God directly.

Conclusion

Thanks for reading! We hope you find this helpful. If you have suggestions, or feedback, send us an email at info@in-valhalla.com.

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