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10 popular funeral hymns

Funeral hymn books in a church

Funeral hymns are among the most popular choices of music for funerals, providing a fitting tribute to your loved one.

Hymns are a common part of the funeral service across many different denominations of Christianity. However, if a particular hymn held special meaning for you or your loved one, but you do not want a traditional religious ceremony, you can still include hymns in the funeral service. Talk to your chosen funeral director to discuss what funeral hymns you’d like in the service.

Browse our list of 10 popular funeral hymns for some inspiration for your loved one’s funeral. You can also browse a list of funeral hymns for more ideas.

1. Abide With Me

This funeral hymn is popular across different denominations and is traditionally sung on Anzac Day. Originally written by Scottish Anglican Henry Francis Lyte, it is often sung at military funerals around the world, as well as sporting events and state funerals. The lyrics draw on Bible passages from Luke and Corinthians.

2. Praise My Soul The King Of Heaven

A popular hymn for funerals, Praise My Soul The King Of Heaven is based on Psalm 103 and was written by Henry Francis Lyte, the same Anglican minister who wrote Abide With Me. As the name suggests, this is an uplifting hymn about the joy of trusting in God, which is often used for a variety of occasions, such as funerals, weddings and weekly worship.

3. Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer

This Christian song , sometimes called Bread of Heaven, is set to the Welsh tune of Cwm Rhondda. The lyrics were written by William Williams in the 1700s. This is a popular hymn for many different occasions and is sometimes sung as ‘Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah.’

4. Jesus Lover Of My Soul

Written in the 1700s by C. Michael Hawn, this funeral hymn has a message about faith in Jesus’ love and wisdom. Legend has it that Hawn was inspired to write this hymn when he and his brother were driven from the place where they were preaching by an angry mob and forced to hide from them. Another story says he was moved to write it when a frightened bird sought shelter in his coat during a storm at sea.

5. Make Me A Channel Of Your Peace

This song makes a beautiful hymn for a funeral, adapted from the Prayer of Saint Francis, also known as the Peace Prayer. Well-known around the world, Make Me A Channel Of Your Peace is the anthem of various military regiments and was sung at Princess Diana’s funeral as a tribute.

6. Meet Me There

A beautiful and uplifting funeral hymn about meeting loved ones in the afterlife and finding peace through God. The words were written by prolific hymn-writer Fanny Crosby, who despite being blinded at six-weeks-old, wrote more than 400 hymns in her lifetime. Meet Me There is just one of her beloved hymns still sung at funerals and weekly worship across the country.

7. I Heard The Voice Of Jesus Say

A traditional funeral hymn written in the 19th Century by Scottish pastor Horatius Bonar. I Heard The Voice Of Jesus Say is probably his most famous hymn, becoming popular in Scotland and across the world. It’s also a popular choice for funerals, because of the lyrics about finding comfort and love in Jesus in times of difficulty and despair.

8. Lead Us Heavenly Father Lead Us

This traditional Christian funeral hymn asks for guidance and protection from God through times of distress and despair, making it a popular hymn choice for funerals. The words were written in the 19th Century by James Edmeston, who wrote nearly 2,000 hymns throughout the course of his lifetime.

9. Amazing Grace

A famous 18th Century hymn written by Anglican clergyman John Newton, Amazing Grace is well-known by Christians and non-Christians alike. It has been sung, adapted and recorded by thousands of musicians, including Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin and Mumford & Sons.

10. The Lord’s My Shepherd

Based on Psalm 23, The Lord’s My Shepherd is famous with both devoted churchgoers and non-religious people, and is particularly associated with funeral services. There are several different versions of the tune, with lyrics that contain a hopeful message of guidance and comfort.

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