Pop Music For Funerals 0

pop music for funerals

Music is a great way to evoke feelings and memories attached to a particular time, place or person and is often used to personalise funerals, to ensure the service is relevant to the deceased and to represent something of their life. For those who have grown up with it, no genre of music is more evocative of good times than pop music. Here we take a look at nine of the best pieces of pop music for funerals and try to suggest a song for every type of individual or service. Below you’ll find three tearjerkers, three more uplifting pieces, and three alternative, funnier examples of pop music for funerals. Feel free to comment below with any songs that we’ve missed out.

 

Three tearjerkers

Over the Rainbow – Eva Cassidy

Eva Cassidy’s haunting vocals and beautifully minimal guitar playing make for an extremely emotional experience when it’s played at funerals. This magnificent cover has become an increasingly popular choice of funeral music in recent years and is sure to remain one for the foreseeable future.

 

Nothing Compares to You – Sinead O’Connor

If you really want to emphasise the unique role the deceased played in the lives of those mourners gathered at the service, there’s no better choice than O’Connor’s classic, Nothing Compares To You.

 

Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd

If the deceased’s interest in music veered away from traditional pop tracks towards prog or rock, Wish You Were Here might prove a good option for the funeral. This sad song, backed by wonderful instrumentalists, expresses exactly what many will be thinking and feeling as they gather together to mourn their loss.

 

Three uplifting tracks

My Way – Frank Sinatra

A fitting tribute to anyone who made the most of the short time we’re allotted on this planet, Sinatra’s My Way is an uplifting track that ensures the focus of the funeral service is on the deceased’s life and not their death.

 

You’ll Never Walk Alone – Gerry and the Pacemakers

Though it may be heavily associated with Liverpool FC and its supporters, this song sends out a positive message of companionship, reassurance and unity at a time when these qualities are desperately needed.

 

See You Again – Wiz Khalifa

This modern entry was written for the Fast and the Furious franchise as a tribute to its protagonist and star, Paul Walker, upon his death in 2015. Unlike a number of other contemporary tracks popular at funerals, it tries hard to ensure its message is an uplifting one.

 

Three for a laugh

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life – Eric Idle

Most people will know this as the song that closes the classic Monty Python film Life of Brian, but it’s also quickly becoming a firm favourite among those hoping to get a few chuckles out of those gathered at a memorial service. It also serves as a brilliant reminder to stay positive at a time when it can be difficult to do so.

 

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes – The Platters

If you’ve decided on cremation and want to bring a little humour to what would otherwise be a serious and sombre day, there’s possibly no better choice of music than The Platter’s Smoke Gets In Your Eyes. Though some may consider it to be overstepping the mark somewhat, it can also help to raise a smile among those present at the service.

 

Going Deeper Underground – Jamiroquai

A good choice for those that are going to be buried, Jamiroquai’s funky, disco-infused track will go down a storm among those who enjoy a little black humour.

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Missouri Storm Chaser’s Ashes to be Released into a Tornado 0

Tornado

What would you say if you could write your own obituary? For a creative option, you can’t beat Jim “Mad Dog” Sellars’ self-penned goodbye, in which the adventurous former ice cream dipper, butcher, weatherman, telephone lineman, reserve policeman and veteran storm chaser from Missouri announced that his ashes would be released into a twister.

“My friends the ‘Outlaw Chasers’ will launch my cremains into a tornado at a later date”, Sellars wrote. “That’ll be fun!!!!”

The scattering will be a fitting tribute to a man who chased well over 100 tornadoes in his lifetime. Speaking to the Kansas City Star, Sellars’ older brother John described Jim as a dedicated and generous person who approached all his hobbies whole-heartedly. “If he knew (a tornado) was going to set up somewhere, in Oklahoma, or Alabama, he would load up with a couple of people and go chase.”

“If he found something that interested him, he jumped into it all the way up to his neck.”

Even when Sellars was confined to his bed due to illness, he continued to track tornadoes for the National Weather Service’s SKYWARN program, also sending out radio reports to help his fellow storm chasers.

“It was a tough time for him, but he spent every waking hour helping people all over the radio”, said John. Condolences on Sellars’ memorial page describe him as both “fun loving”, “generous” and a “big hearted guy who was very devoted to helping others”.

Jim’s self-written obituary tells the story of a busy life well lived, with memories of family, friends, and a range of careers:

“I remember the 1960 Winter Olympics we had in our snowy backyard, sitting with Dad watching the satellite Echo 1 flash through the night sky.

“I was honored as a Policeman to have met and protected … Presidents Reagan and Ford, Bob Hope, Red Skelton, George Carlin, Dolly Parton, Mac Davis, Kenny Rogers, Tom Jones, Elvis and many more.”

It also paints a portrait of a self-deprecating man with a strong sense of humour. “I had a few tryouts with the Reds, Phillies and Cardinals. … I was either too drunk or too hung over to do much good … But I had fun.”

Yet, as you might expect from a long time storm chaser, the weather seems to have been Sellar’s enduring passion. “I saw my first tornado in Sept 1975 and my last 30 years later … I liked all kinds of weather, rain, snow, sleet, hot, cold … I really didn’t care as long as I was here to see it.”

Despite the unusual nature of his brother’s last request, John has promised to launch the ashes into a tornado as soon as the opportunity presents itself. Jim Sellars is survived by his two children, a son and a daughter, and four grandchildren.

“I loved all my family, friends, caregivers, and the people that made my world turn.” Sellars said. “So, as we move forward on our path around the sun at 66,660 mph, let’s all pray, hope, or wish for peace and love for our world.

“Bye for now. … See ya on the other side.”


Do you have any unusual wishes for your own ashes? Make sure your family know what to do when the time comes by sharing your funeral wishes in your will with Beyond. It’s free, easy and takes just ten minutes. Start writing your free will here today.

Baptist Funeral Customs 0

Baptist Funeral Customs

The Baptist churches have their origins in the reformation movement in Europe. Baptism spread from Amsterdam to England and then across the Atlantic Ocean to the United States, where the largest Baptist congregations are now based.

The fundamental principle on which Baptism differentiates itself from other Christian churches is ‘believer’s baptism’. Whereas other parts of the Christian faith baptise infants at a very young age, Baptists believe that you need to be able to personally affirm your faith if the process is to hold any spiritual significance. Here, we take a look at the beliefs, customs and traditions surrounding Baptist funerals.

 

Baptist beliefs

There is great variety in tradition, custom and belief among Baptists and this fact is reflected in Baptist funerals. While all Baptists are joined in the belief that only those who profess their faith in Jesus Christ should be baptised, other theological differences aren’t as divisive as in other sects of the Christian faith. This means funeral services can be personalised to a greater extent to reflect the life and opinions of the deceased. It also means there are diverse opinions on what death means. However, most Baptists believe that those people with faith in Jesus Christ will find salvation in him and go on to live forever by his side in heaven.

 

Baptist funeral customs

Diversity of belief between Baptist congregations means that some funerals will be joyous celebrations, while others will be more sombre affairs. The first step in organising a Baptist funeral is contacting the local deacon or pastor. They will assist in organising the funeral and ensure everything is as it should be.

Baptist Funeral CustomsA viewing service is common amongst Baptist congregations. This gives friends and family the opportunity to pay their respects and usually takes place a day or two before the funeral. The funeral itself is led by the local deacon or pastor. Often the casket is closed at the beginning of the service. In many cases, the service and readings will focus on the power of God and His role within everyone’s lives. It’s not unusual for there to be little said about the deceased’s life. Music and the reading of scripture both play an important part in Baptist funerals and both religious and popular music may be heard.

Once the service is complete, it is traditional for prayers to be said and scripture read by the grave site. Once the coffin has been lowered into the ground, the mourners often disperse and reconvene at a reception at the family home, the church or a public space. Food is sometimes provided and it’s usual for mourners to contribute to the meal.

 

Baptist Funeral etiquette and other customs

Traditionally, mourners are expected to dress respectfully in black and clothes that reveal too much skin are not considered appropriate. However, some families may ask mourners to dress in brightly coloured clothes in honour of the deceased. Sending flowers to the family of the deceased is also common, although individuals may be asked to donate to charity instead.