It is common practice in religious communities to sing hymns at funeral services. The various hymns bring about a different mood because they have different tones, lyrics and serve different purposes. Some hymns are a celebration of life while others speak of one’s relationship with God. We look at the popular funeral hymns and how to choose the perfect one.
Popular Funeral Hymns and How To Choose The Perfect One
Music plays a key role in our lives, even when we are in the face of death. Funeral hymns are sung to bring comfort to the bereaved, and also act as a prayer to God to bring peace and rest the soul of the departed one in peace. Read on to know the most popular funeral hymns and how to choose the perfect one.
Great is Thy Faithfulness
Written by Thomas Chisholm in 1923, it is adapted from a phrase in the Book of Lamentations 3:23. Thomas wrote it as a poem and then sent it to William Runyan, who added music to it and published it. This then became a popular hymn across the world among Christians, till today. This hymn serves as a reminder that in all times, God is still great and faithful, extending His mercy to us.
What a Friend We Have in Jesus
This is a soulful hymn that brings comfort to all than even in times of great loss, Jesus is close to us. Originally, it was a poem called “Pray Without Ceasing” and Joseph Scriven wrote it in 1855 after he learned that his mother had fallen ill. Joseph is a man who experienced the loss of his mother and later that of two of his fiancées. Later on, it was put to music by Charles Crozat Converse and renamed to “What a Friend We Have in Jesus “. This hymn gives comfort to all that in Jesus, they shall have a friend to the end.
The Lord is My Shepherd
If you are familiar with Psalm 23, you will be able to relate with the words of this hymn. It gives courage to all, since the bereaved are comforted that though they walk in the valley of the shadow of death, they shall not fear for God id with them, and the soul of the departed shall rest in peace. This hymn gives comfort that the Lord will guide all through life and the after-life. Comfort and courage are given to mourners, especially in the following lines:
‘Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.’
Both Christians and non-Christians have ever heard and loved this hymn. ‘ Amazing Grace ‘ is an18th Century hymn written by an Anglican clergyman, John Newton. The song was penned by John Newton in 1773 and is still a favorite among many to date. In the late 1700s to the mid-1800s, it gained massive popularity during the religious revival in the U.S., the Second Great Awakening. There are many published recordings of this popular hymn. It is a favorite choice as a funeral hymn for firefighters, the military and the police.
All Things Bright And Beautiful
Funerals do not necessarily have to be a sad and dull affair. They can be a celebration of a life well-lived and love shared and then carried on in memories and moments shared. The hymn ‘All Things Bright And Beautiful’ is an Anglican hymn but it is popular among many. It has been sung by many over the years, bringing joy to the ceremonies.
This Catholic hymn, composed in 1825, is popular among Catholics and non-Catholics. It was part of Franz Schubert’s Opus 52. It is a common prayer practice to pray to Holy Mary to intercede ‘Now, and at the hour of our death’.The context of Ave Maria is solemn and aptly suits a burial. There are several versions of this hymn but the Lain prayer version is more popular.
“Blessed Assurance” is a popular funeral hymn and most can sing it without looing at the hymn book. It gives peace and assurance to the grieving family and friends that in the end, in God they are blessed and in Him they shall rest. It was written in the 1800’s by Francis Jane Crosby and Phoebe Palmer Knapp . Francis Jane was a teacher at the New York Institute for the Blind who loved poetry and Phoebe Palmer Knapp, was her friend and the composer of the hymn.
Most people do understand that this world, indeed, is not our home. ‘ Going Home’ is a popular funeral hymn that is adapted from Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9. It has a sad but moving tone that gives peace that there is a life after death. The mourners will be comforted that their loved one has left them but is going home.
How to Choose the Perfect Funeral Hymn
There are many decisions to be made when planning a funeral. Choosing the perfect funeral hymn is one of them. To go about this choice, you will have to make it a personal one. The preferences of the family will also have to be factored in. You will also need to determine the tone that you would like to set for the event. Do you want a celebratory or solemn mood? Although the loss is the main reason that brings the mourning together, by signing a hymn they also come together, raising and lowering their voice to fit the tone, and singing in harmony. There are also contemporary hymns that are gaining popularity at funerals. However, you would have to consider the religious beliefs of the family that is mourning and choose a hymn that they will be comfortable with. As you choose the hymn, choose to celebrate the life of the departed one and select the hymns that bring a good mood.
Choose the Perfect Hymn
In tough times, you may be in search of perfect peace. By choosing te perfect hymn for the funeral, you may possibly achieve this. As you sing the hymn, the words will echo back and speak to you, comforting you and your family. We hope that the guide on popular funeral hymns and how to choose the perfect one will help you in making the choice.