10 Christian Funeral Songs
A funeral or homegoing service is an opportunity for family and friends to gather in remembrance of their loved ones. The selection of music is important because it should drive people closer to the reality of heaven.
#1) Going up Yonder (Walter Hawkins, 1975; Tramaine Hawkins, 2008)
“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21)
As a child, I remember vividly our choir’s vibrant entrance into the church with their flowing robes. Going Up Yonder reminds us of the reality of heaven and our destiny to be there one day. In times of grief, we must remember there is a place for those who put their trust in Jesus.
#2) Peace in the Valley (traditional)
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
In this world, we have much pain and every day our hearts break at the suffering that sin has unleashed upon the world. Many believers are hassled, tortured, and killed every day because of their faith. Yet at that very moment, they step into heaven— peace, joy, and wonderment will encompass the Lord’s faithful.
#3) I Can Only Imagine (Mercy Me, 1999)
“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”—the things God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
Our human minds can’t comprehend the beauty of heaven or being in the presence of our Lord and King. Yet we can imagine it in our spirits when we sense the excitement of what it will be like—seeing Jesus, being reunited with loved ones, and breathing in the glorious beauty that will surround us.
#4) Near the Cross (traditional)
“There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his” (Hebrews 4:9-10)
While the separation from loved ones will be difficult to go through, there’s a certain comfort knowing that they are no longer suffering in this world. The rest of our labor in Christ will be sweet and satisfying. No one in heaven wants to come back to earth.
#5) Golden Streets (Charles Billingsley, 1999)
“The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass” (Revelation 21:21).
Heaven isn’t a place of boredom or floating around clouds with nothing special to do. It’s a place of heavenly activity filled with glorious worship and exquisite beauty. Those who arrive in heaven would want their loved ones to be happy for them even as they mourn. There will be no words to explain their wonderful and fulfilling surroundings.
#6) Take me to the King (Tamela Mann, 2012)
“On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords” (Revelation 19:16).
When we are grieved beyond words—we need the King of Kings and Lord of Lords to give us the strength and ability to move forward. Through the Holy Spirit, we will come to a place of peace. There’s a comfort that can only come from knowing the Lord in times of tragedy.
#7) Lord, I Need You (Chris Tomlin, 2011)
“Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need” (Psalm 142:6).
After the funeral is over, the burial finished, and the well-wishers have returned home—the real grief begins. It’s difficult to carry on with day-to-day activities with such a gaping internal wound within those who mourn. There is hope in Christ to meet our desperate need because of the pain that consumes us. God is faithful and He won’t leave you comfortless.
#9) Jesus is Love (Commodores, 1980)
“God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus” (1 John 4:16-18).
It is the love of Jesus that opened the door for us to enter through heaven’s gates. There was nothing we could do to earn it through our good works and intentions—only through thee blood and sacrifice of Jesus. His love for every person compelled Him to the cross so that we could have eternal life.
#10) Amazing Grace (traditional)
“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 5:10-11).
One of the most beloved songs of the Christian faith is Amazing Grace. It’s the grace of God that will give us the strength to heal from the loss of our loved ones. It’s also the grace of God that gives us the confidence that we too one day will be in His presence.
Music to Comfort and Heal
Music performed at a visitation or funeral is never really about the person who died. It’s for those who are left behind without words to express the bittersweet moments of letting go. The Lord is close to those who mourn. Through His grace and power—inner strength will be revived to move forward in the hope of eternal life.
Article by Crystal McDowell
Crystal McDowell is a writer, speaker, and teacher with a passion to encourage believers to know and grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ through practical application of God’s word.
Crystal and her husband, Marshall, raise their five children in Bloomington, IL. As a freelance writer and editor for over 13 years, Crystal has published numerous Christian curriculums for Sunday School and VBS as well as many articles dealing with marriage, motherhood, and relationships. She’s a weekly staff writer for www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com as well as writing her own blog at http://crystalmcdowellspeaks.blogspot.com.