Classical Songs for a Funeral Service

Classical MusicClassical songs for funerals are characterized by emotion, passion, and timelessness. Regardless of the mood you would like to set, there are appropriate classical pieces. That’s why the genre has been an important part of marking many life milestones. Weddings, anniversaries, and funerals are all events where classical music, with its diversity and range, can set the stage for any important commemoration. A funeral is one such occasion where classical songs can honor you or your loved one in just the right way.

Choosing the right classical songs for a funeral is a personal choice. Since there are pieces ranging from haunting to uplifting it’s entirely up to you. You can also decide how you would like the music to be presented—should it be prerecorded or live? If you choose live music, would you prefer it be orchestral, chamber, or some other style?

Remember, there are no hard and fast rules for what music you can choose when selecting classical songs for funerals. It is perfectly acceptable to use classical songs exclusively or to mix your classical selections with music from other genres. The important thing is that you select songs that respect the person you are honoring, reflect the mood and tone you would like to set and express the sentiments you are trying to convey.

Top 14 Most Popular Classical Songs for Funerals

Adagio In G Minor–Albinoni Ave Maria–Giuseppe Verdi Canon in D Major–Pachelbel Clair de Lune–Debussy Funeral March (from Piano Sonata No 2)–Chopin Greensleeves–Many Versions Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring–Bach
Largo (from Xerxes)–Handel Moonlight Sonata–Beethoven Nimrod from Enigma Variations–Elgar Pie Jesu–Gabriel Faure Rejoice In The Lord Always–Purcell Sheep May Safely Graze–Bach The Four Seasons–Vivaldi
More Popular Classical Songs for Funerals
Adagio for Strings
Barber
God Be In My Head
Rutter
Prelude No. 1 in C Major
Bach
Adagio from Toccata and Fugue in D minor
Bach
Going Home from (New World Symphony)
Dvorak
Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun
Debussy
Adagio from Piano Sonata No 8
Beethovan
Gymnopedie No 3
Satie
Promenade (from Pictures at an Exhibition)
Mussorgsky
Agnus Dei, Adagio For Strings
Barber
Hallelujah Chorus (from The Messiah)
Handel
Requiem
Mozart
Air (from Suite No. 3 in D)
Bach
He Shall Feed His Flock (from The Messiah)
Faure
Requiem Aeternam
Verdi
Air from Water Music
Handel
How Lovely Are Thy Dwellings Fair
Brahms
Requiem Aeternam (from Requiem)
Faure
Air on a G String
Bach
I Know That My Redeemer Liveth
Handel
Reverie
Debussy
Allegra (from Water Music)
Handel
I Waited For The Lord
Mendelssohn
Salut d’Amour
Elgar
Alleluia (from Exultate Jubilate)
Mozart
In Paradisum (from Requiem)
Faure
Sanctus (from Requiem)
Mozart
Angels’ Farewell (from the Dream of Gerontius)
Elgar
La cathédrale engloutie
Claude Debussy
Soave Sia Il Vento (from Cosi Fan Tutte)
Mozart
Ave Verum Corpus
Elgar
Lacrimosa (from Requiem)
Mozart
Song For Athene
Tavener
Ave Verum Corpus
Mozart
Lark Ascending
Vaughan Williams
Song Of The Reaper (from Album for the Young)
Schumann
Beati Quorum Via
Stanford
Last Post
Traditional Bugle Call
Songs Without Words Op 102 No 6 Faith
Mendelssohn
Benedictus (from The Armed Man)
Jenkins
Laudate Dominum
Mozart
Songs Without Words Op 85 No 2 The Adieu
Mendelssohn
Blessed Jesu, We Are Here
Bach
Libera, Glory To Thee
Tallis
Sortie in E Flat for Organ
Lefebure
Bogoroditse Devo
Rachmaninoff
Lord Is My Shepherd
Schubert
St John’s Passion – Ruht Wohl (Rest Well)
Bach
Cantata No. 208 Sheep May Safely Graze
Bach
Mass for Four voices – Agnus Dei
Byrd
String Quintet in C Major
Schubert
Chanson De Matin
Elgar
Music For The Funeral Of Queen Mary
Purcell
Symphony No 1, 3rd Movement
Mahler
Chanson Triste
Tchaikovsky
Nessun Dorma (from Turandot)
Puccini
Symphony No 3 Extract (for Organ Manuals)
Saint-Saens
Chorale Preludes, Fugues and Fantasias
Bach
Nulla In Mundo Pax Sincera
Vivaldi
Symphony No 5, 4th Movement
Mahler
Con te Partiro
Andrea Bocelli
O For The Wings Of A Dove (from Hear My Prayer)
Mendelssohn
Symphony No 7 in A, 2nd Movement
Beethoven
Dance of the Blessed Spirits
Gluck
O Magnum Mysterium
Morten Lauridsen
Symphony no. 9 – Largo
Dvorak
Dead March (from Saul)
Handel
O Mia Babbino Caro (from Gianni Schicchi)
Puccini
Tallis Fantasia
Vaughan Williams
Death and the Maiden
Schubert
Oh for the Wings of a Dove
Mendelssohn
Third Mode Melody
Tallis
Dido’s Lament (from Dido and Aeneas)
Purcell
Organ Sonata No 1 Op 42 Pastorale
Guilmant
Toccata from Symphony No 5
Widor
Enigma Variations
Elgar
Panis Angelicus
Rutter
Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C
Bach
Farewell to Stromness
Maxwell Davies
Pavane
Faure
Two Sunsets
Einaudi
Four Last Songs
Strauss
Pavane for a Dead Princess
Ravel
Un Bel Di Vedremo (from Madame Butterfly)
Puccini
Funeral Ikos
Tavener
Piano Concerto No 21, ‘Elvira Madigan’
Mozart
Vissi D’Arte (from Tosca)
Purcell
Funeral Sentences
Purcell
Piano in A Minor
Tchaikovsky
Vitava (Second of 6 Symphonic Poems)
Smetana
Fur Elise
Beethoven
Prelude No 15 ‘The Raindrop’
Chopin
Where E’er You Walk (from Semele)
Handel
Gnossienne No 1 for Piano
Satie
Prelude No 6 & 7
Chopin

As with any other music you select, you must follow copyright law when playing classical songs for funerals and the rules for music that is piped in may be different than for that used in a slide show or video. Most funeral homes have arrangements with the top music licensing agencies and can legally provide you with music from the above lists, but be sure to talk with your funeral director to ensure that you can legally use the songs before making your final choices.

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