Choosing a song for your loved one’s funeral is an opportunity to pay tribute to what your loved one lived for and believed in.
While classical music for funerals and funeral hymns are the most customary choice, some people opt to play rock music for funerals in their loved one’s memory.
If their faith was important to your loved one, this collection of 10 contemporary Christian songs may be ideal for their funeral as an uplifting alternative to traditional hymns.
1. Messiah/You’re Beautiful - Phil Wickham
I see Your face in every sunrise
The colours of the morning are inside Your eyes
The world awakens in the light of the day
I look up to the sky and say
Californian artist Phil Wickham’s career as a contemporary Christian singer songwriter began when he first became a worship band frontman aged just 12 years old. He has since produced nine albums inspired by his faith. You’re Beautiful is a Christian funeral song that reflects on the beauty of creation and the anticipation of eternal life in Heaven.
2. I Can Only Imagine - Mercy Me
I can only imagine what it will be like
When I walk by Your side
I can only imagine what my eyes will see
When Your face is before me
I can only imagine
Inspired by the death of songwriter Bart Millard's father, this Christian funeral song considers what it’ll be like to be in Heaven, standing before God. This moving worship song is a real tearjerker.
3. Save A Place For Me - Matthew West
I wanna live my life just like You did
And make the most of my time just like You did
And I wanna make my home up in the sky
Just like You did, oh, but until I get there
Until I get there
Just save a place for me
Matthew West wrote this contemporary Christian funeral song following the death of his grandmother, who suffered a stroke.
After she died, West said: “Grandma was a mother of ten children who loved God with all her heart, and believed in the power of prayer. I will always remember cards and letters she would send me. They were filled with encouraging words and scriptures to live by. I will not soon forget her example of how to live a life that really says something.” It’s also a beautiful heartrending tune.
4. Heaven Song - Phil Wickham
I want to run on greener pastures
I want to dance on higher hills
I want to drink from sweeter waters
In the misty morning chill
And my soul is getting restless
For the place where I belong
I can’t wait to join the angels and sing my heaven song
In this song, Phil Wickham anticipates the joy that awaits the faithful in Heaven. It’s an uplifting worship song for a funeral with lyrics that offer reassurance and hope.
5. I Will Rise - Chris Tomlin
And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
I will rise
Having sold over seven million albums, Chris Tomlin is one of the biggest names in contemporary Christian music. In his song, I Will Rise, he expresses his faith in Christ’s resurrection, reflecting the strength and hope of eternal life Jesus brings.
6. Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace) - Hillsong Worship
You take our failure
You take our weakness
You set Your treasure
In jars of clay
So take this heart, Lord
I'll be Your vessel
The world to see
Your life in me
Originally known as Hillsong Live and starting out in Australia, Hillsong Worship has been making music since 1983, with a number of the group’s members moving on to establish successful solo Christian music careers. Their song, Broken Vessels, includes the lyrics of traditional funeral hymn, Amazing Grace. It is also available in several other languages including Spanish, Swedish and Russian.
7. Dancing With The Angels – Monk & Neagle
Memories surround me
But sadness has found me
I'd do anything for more time
Never before has someone meant more
And I can't get you out of my mind
There is so much that I don't understand
Dancing With The Angels is a contemporary Christian song for a funeral which expresses the deep pain of losing a loved one, but rejoices in the fact that they are now in Heaven.
8. Cornerstone - Hillsong
When darkness seems to hide His face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil
Cornerstone is a contemporary Christian song which describes how God remains with you, even through the toughest of times. It’s a song of hope and encouragement suitable for funerals as well as for Christians who are longing for their loved ones.
9. Lord, I Need You - Matt Maher
Lord, I come, I confess
Bowing here I find my rest
Without You I fall apart
You're the One that guides my heart
Matt Maher has produced seven contemporary Christian music albums since his debut as a worship leader in hometown Newfoundland, Canada. Lord, I Need You is a personal song which expresses how he cannot live without God.
10. Oceans - Hillsong United
And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine
An incredibly poignant and beautiful song, Oceans is about finding God in times of struggle and doubt. It’s an ideal Christian funeral song that bereaved families may find inspirational and encouraging.
- For more inspiration, here is a list of uplifting songs for funerals that celebrate love and life.