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Five tips for planning your funeral music

We've put together some insider's tips about things to do and avoid when planning funeral music.

1. Check your music with your venue and celebrant.

Some venues have strict rules about what music is and isn't allowed. For example some churches won't allow secular music to be played - at one funeral our singer had to stand at the threshold of the church to sing! Crematoria also have to know the details of your music well in advance of the service as part of their policy. Always check the music with your celebrant so that everyone's singing from the same hymn sheet - so to speak.

2. Don't miss the singing!

Many of our clients like to have the choir sing as the coffin exits the church when the service has finished. As the family traditionally follow the coffin out, this means unfortunately that the person who booked the choir (usually a family member) might miss the second half of the exit song! We recommend having your main performances during the body of the service and just light organ music for the exit, or alternatively you can arrange with your pallbearers for the coffin to be carried out once the song gets towards the end.

3. Book a singer or accompanist if you'll be singing hymns.

Lots of churchgoers can sing the hymns from memory while standing on their heads, but people who aren't so familiar with hymn singing will need some guidance on the tunes. If your service is not in a place where there is an organ or piano, it's a good idea to book at least one professional singer or an instrumentalist of some kind to give your congregation a helping hand.

4. Four's the charm.

Most hymns and indeed many other kinds of song are written in at least four harmonising parts. These are Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass, or SATB for short. If you want to get the most out of your music, we recommend booking singers in multiples of four so you get to hear all of these different parts interacting with each other in harmony.

5. Pick songs that mean something to you.

Many of our clients tear their hair out either trying to figure out what their loved one would have wanted, or picking songs that the traditionalists in the congregation would approve of for a funeral. We believe there are no rules when it comes to choosing songs for a funeral, and that the music is as much for the family as it is for the deceased. Pick something that will help you with your grief, something uplifting or something that reminds you of your loved one, and try not to feel pressured to choose the 'right' thing. There's no right or wrong, only what helps, and we're happy to help you with your choices if you need some guidance.

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"The London Funeral Singers were fantastic. They made such a difference."

Don, Golders Green

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Call us now to discuss your requirements

0203 488 3080