No one said that all Christians have to play "Amazing Grace" or "Abide With Me" at their loved one’s funerals. Even if your church requires that you choose religious funeral songs, you might be able to pick something more contemporary in nature.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Uplifting Contemporary Christian Funeral Songs
- Sorrowful Contemporary Christian Funeral Songs
- Contemporary Christian Funeral Songs for Parents or Grandparents
- Contemporary Christian Funeral Songs for Children
- Christian Songs for a Brother or Sister’s Funeral
- Christian Songs for a Spouse or Partner’s Funeral
- Christian Songs for a Friend’s Funeral
- Instrumental Christian Songs for Funerals
- Spanish Christian Songs for Funerals
Take a look at our contemporary Christian songs for funerals that you probably won’t find in your church’s hymnal. We include celebratory songs that celebrate that your loved one is in heaven and more serious-sounding songs as well.
Uplifting Contemporary Christian Funeral Songs
Songs for a funeral don't have to sound like a dirge. Take a look at our songs from more contemporary artists that speak about heaven’s glory and the release of pain that comes after death.
You may want to choose an uplifting song for the end of the funeral service or as background music for a funeral slideshow.
» MORE: Finding it hard to make your end-of-life decisions? Learn how we can help
1. “On Eagle’s Wings” by Michael Joncas
One of the most popular contemporary songs often played at funerals, “On Eagle’s Wings," was used at many of the funerals for those who died in the September 11 attacks.
The comforting lyrics include:
“And he will raise you up on eagles’ wings.
Bear you on the breath of dawn
Make you to shine like the sun.
And hold you in the palm of his hand.”
2. “Blessed Be Your Name” by Matt Redman and Beth Redman
This song of praise offers an excellent choice to conclude a funeral. It gives glory to God. It reminds everyone in attendance that even though you are sad that your loved one is no longer with you on earth, you still glorify God. One of the verses illustrates this point beautifully:
“You give and take away.
You give and take away.
My heart will choose to say
Lord blessed be Your name.”
3. “I Can Only Imagine” by Mercy Me
The lyricist of “I Can Only Imagine” dreams about what heaven will be like in this song. The song includes these lines:
“Surrounded by your glory
What will my heart feel
Will I dance for you, Jesus
Or in awe of you be still.”
4. “I’ll Fly Away” by Albert E. Brumley
Even though this song was written in 1929, some would consider this a contemporary Christian piece. It certainly describes death as a “some glad morning when this life.”
Sorrowful Contemporary Christian Funeral Songs
Even though you know that your loved one is in heaven, you may feel overwhelming sadness. It may not feel right to you to have an upbeat song playing at your loved one’s funeral. Read through some songs that still have a positive message but with a sorrowful tone.
You may not have seen these songs on lists of the best funeral songs of all time, but they involve contemporary alternatives to people who enjoy this type of music.
5. “Dancing With the Angels” by Monk and Neagle
The lyrics of this song aren’t exceedingly sorrowful, but the tune sounds somewhat melancholy. The speaker of the song sings about how even though sadness permeates everything, he or she feels comfort that a loved one is in heaven.
The words include:
“You’re dancing with the angels.
Walking in new life
You’re dancing with the angels.
Heaven fills your eyes.
Now that you’re dancing with the angels.”
6. “Welcome Home” by Michael W. Smith
As a Christian, you may dream about the time when you will have angels gathered around you, saying, “Welcome home!” This song describes a time when you won't experience tears or pain. The joyful topic has a slower beat and a more melancholy feel.
7. “Go Rest High on That Mountain” by Vince Gill
Are you planning the funeral for someone who had a troubled life? You may want to choose this song. It includes the lines:
“Go rest high on that mountain
Son, your work on earth is done
Go to heaven a-shoutin’
Love for the father and the son.”
8. “Save a Place For Me” by Matthew West
The songwriter wrote this piece after the passing of his grandmother. He says, “Save a place for me. I’ll be there soon.”
Contemporary Christian Funeral Songs for Parents or Grandparents
Are you looking for contemporary songs with a classic feel for the funeral of your parents or grandparents? You may believe these seem too old to go on our list of “modern” funeral songs. Regardless of when they were written or whether or not they appear in your church’s hymnal, they all represent Christ-centered songs appropriate for this type of service.
9. “Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone) by John Newton, Chris Tomlin, and Louie Giglio
Perhaps you wish to have a blend of traditional and contemporary music at your parent's or grandparent’s funeral. If so, this modern version of “Amazing Grace” hits the right note.
The song begins with the traditional lyrics and tune, but it includes additional lyrics:
“My chains are gone
I’ve been set free
My God, my savior has ransomed me.
And like a flood, his mercy reigns.
Unending love, amazing grace.”
10. “Cornerstone” by Hillsong
Did your parent or grandparent have a long relationship with Christ? This song may fit the bill with its words:
“My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.”
This song is a popular choice at churches that feature contemporary music.
11. “Because He Lives” by Gloria and William J. Gaither
This classic but contemporary song has an uplifting message. Even though it is not necessarily a “funeral song,” it includes the stanza:
“And then one day I’ll cross the river
I’ll fight life’s final war with pain
And then, as death gives way to vict’ry
I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know he reigns.”
12. “What a Day That Will Be” by Jim Hill
You might want to use an a cappella recording of this song, sung with perfect harmony. The words were written from the perspective of someone who is looking forward to the absence of pain or sorrow. The song was written in the 1950s.
Contemporary Christian Funeral Songs for Children
Choosing the music for a child’s funeral can seem extremely difficult. Some songs, written from the perspective of someone looking forward to heaven after a long life, includes upbeat contemporary music. Consider this, but carefully read the lyrics to see if they fit the situation.
13. “Till We Meet Again” by Kirk Franklin
This loss of a child may seem especially hard to bear. This song asks God for strength and peace “till we meet again.”
14. “I Will Rise” by Chris Tomlin
This speaker in this song looks forward to the time when his work on earth is done. At that point, he sings,
“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
And rise, I will rise.”
15. “Lord, I Need You” by Matt Maher
You may feel shaken to your core over the loss of a child. This song will remind all of the Christians attending the funeral to turn to their faith. The lyrics for the chorus states,
“Lord, I need you, oh I need you.
Every hour, I need you
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need you.”
16. “Somewhere, Somehow” by Amy Grant
This song could have been written about the death of a child. It includes the lines,
“Somewhere far beyond today
I will find a way to find you
And somehow through the lonely nights
I will leave a light in the dark.”
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Christian Songs for a Brother or Sister’s Funeral
Are you looking for a song for a sibling’s funeral? If you have access to their Spotify playlist, you can begin your search there.
Here are some other popular Christian songs that might be appropriate for your sibling’s funeral.
17. “Messiah/You’re Beautiful” by Phil Wickham
According to Phil Wickham’s Wikipedia page, the artist has released nine albums. This song can be on the album “Cannons.”
18. “Heaven Song” by Phil Wickham
This song is from the perspective of a Christian looking forward to Heaven. It includes these lines:
“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.”
19. “Oceans” (Where Feet May Fail) by Hillsong
You may be familiar with this song if your church uses contemporary music during worship. Here’s the chorus of this popular, beautiful song:
“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.”
20. “Broken Vessels” by Hillsong Worship
You may want to use a contemporary song for your siblings, but you also appreciate the lyrics of old standards. This song includes portions of the lyrics of Amazing Grace — but set to a different tune.
21. “In Christ Alone” by Keith and Kristyn Getty
Adrienne Camp wrote the words to “In Christ Alone.” As the name implies, the song is Christ-focused and includes these lines:
“No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
Till He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.”
Christian Songs for a Spouse or Partner’s Funeral
If you didn’t have the opportunity to discuss funeral music with your spouse or partner, it might be up to you to choose the selections. Here are some Christian songs for your husband or wife’s funeral.
22. “See You Again” by Carrie Underwood
This song is relatively upbeat, which matches its message. The lyrics to the chorus are as follows:
“I will see you again, oh
This is not where it ends
I will carry you with me, oh
‘Till I see you again.”
23. “Homesick” by Mercy Me
You may know in your heart that your loved one is waiting for you in Heaven. However, this doesn’t mean you aren’t sad on Earth while you wait. If this describes your situation, you might want to include “Homesick” on your loved one’s funeral playlist.
One reason this song is a standout on our list is because it asks those hard questions:
“Help me Lord cause I don’t understand your ways
The reason why I wonder if I’ll ever know
But, even if you showed me
The hurt would be the same
Cause I’m still here so far away from home.”
24. “There You’ll Be” by Faith Hill
The lyrics to this song are beautiful:
“In my dreams, I’ll always see you soar above the sky.
In my heart, there’ll always be a place for you for all my life
I’ll keep a part of you with me
And everywhere I am, there you’ll be.”
25. “So Will I” by Hillsong United
This song glorifies God. It’s subtitled “100 Billion X” and includes the lines:
“And as You speak
A hundred billion galaxies are born
In the vapor of Your breath the planets form
If the stars were made to worship, so will I.”
Christian Songs for a Friend’s Funeral
Some people choose funeral songs based on the theme. For example, you might select a song that glorifies God or one that speaks of the promises of Heaven. Here are some songs with different themes for your friend’s funeral.
26. “Another In The Fire” by Hillsong United
This song refers to the Biblical account of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who were thrown into a fiery furnace because of their faithfulness to God. They were unharmed, and a fourth man was seen in the fire.
27. “My God Is Still the Same” by Sanctus Real
This song of praise is about God’s faithfulness. Sanctus Real is a Christian rock band that was formed in Ohio.
28. “Scars in Heaven” by Casting Crowns
You may have regrets over some aspects of your relationship with the deceased. This song speaks to those regrets.
The song begins:
“If I had only known the last time would be the last time
I would’ve put off all the things I had to do
I would’ve stayed a little longer, held on a little tighter
Now what I’d give for one more day with you
’Cause there’s a wound here in my heart where something’s missing
And they tell me that it’s gonna heal with time
But I know you’re in a place where all your wounds have been erased
And knowing yours are healed is healing mine.”
29. “Anchor” by Skillet
Perhaps you feel overwhelmed by grief following the death of your friend. This song will remind you and others in attendance that God can act as your anchor — and help you survive the turmoil.
30. “When I Get Where I’m Going” by Brad Paisley and Dolly Parton
While many of the songs on our list are by Christian artists, this song is by singers who happen to be Christian.
The lyrics of the chorus are as follows:
“Yeah, when I get where I’m going
There’ll be only happy tears
I will shed the sins and struggles
I have carried all these years
And I’ll leave my heart wide open
I will love and have no fear
Yeah, when I get where I’m going
Don’t cry for me down here.”
Instrumental Christian Songs for Funerals
Some families choose to have instrumental Christian songs playing in the background when people arrive at the service. You can select a playlist from your streaming service that would be appropriate for the situation. However, you can also create your own.
If you are searching for instrumental songs, consider a song attendees will recognize. Here are some pieces to consider.
31. “Amazing Grace”
It should be easy to find an instrumental version of this classic Christian hymn. To make the event even more special, you might ask someone to perform this song on the piano or guitar.
» MORE: Not sure how to make the right choices when it comes to end-of-life planning? Learn how we can help
32. “It Is Well With My Soul”
While this isn’t a “contemporary” song, it certainly is well known.
33. “Abide With Me”
The lyrics to this popular hymn are poetic and give comfort. Plus, the tune is familiar and beautiful:
“I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness
Where is death’s sting?
Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.”
34. “Beautiful Savior”
This song often appears on lists of favorites for funerals.
35. “How Great Thou Art”
This song of praise is popular for funerals.
36. “The Old Rugged Cross”
“The Old Rugged Cross” was written in 1912 by George Bennard.
37. “Morning Has Broken”
You might be familiar with this song because of Cat Stevens’ famous recording of it from the 1970s. However, the song’s lyrics were written in 1931 and were set to a traditional Scottish tune.
38. “Ave Maria”
This recording is beautiful and long. This would be the perfect piece to use during a time of silent prayer.
39. “Jesus Loves Me”
This song would be highly recognizable for those who grew up in the church — even though there are two different tunes associated with this song.
Spanish Christian Songs for Funerals
Are you looking for Spanish Christian songs for a loved one’s funeral? Here are some we found on Spotify.
40. “Yo Te Extrañare”
The title of this song translates to “I will miss you.” However, the speaker in this song is enjoying the beautiful afterlife.
41. “No Me Digas Adiós” by Samuel Hernandez
The speaker in this song is the deceased. It begins:
“Do not say goodbye, but see you later
God determined that I am better in Heaven.
Do not say goodbye, but see you later
I have to go to a place where I will not suffer.”
42. “Un Viaje Largo” by Marcela Gandara
Read the lyrics of this song to see if it is appropriate for your loved one’s funeral.
43. “Al Final” by Lilly Goodman
Did your loved one die after an extended illness? If so, perhaps this would be the appropriate choice for a funeral song.
44. “Creere” by Tercer Cielo
The title of this song translates to “I Will Believe.” It’s a song of praise to God.
45. “Solo Me Imagino” by Vino Nuevo
This is the Spanish version of “I Can Only Imagine.”
46. “Papa, Quiero Decirte” by Lali Torres
Are you looking for a funeral song for your Dad? Consider this song by Lali Torres. It sings the praises of a good father.
47. “Levanto Mis Manos” by Samuel Hernandez
The lyrics to this song begin:
“I lift up my hands to you
Even when my strength is failing.
I lift up my hands to you
Even when my life is troubled.”
48. Dios de lo Imposible by Marco Barrientos
The title of this song of praise translates to “God of the Impossible.”
“God of the impossible
we worship you!
All of the glory is Yours
All of the honor is Yours!”
Choose the Songs for Your Funeral
When people say that they will prearrange their funeral, they may visit a funeral home, choose a casket, and purchase a cemetery plot. If you have opinions about what type of funeral you would like to have, why not let your loved ones know?
Write your own obituary, choose the clothes that you want to wear in the casket, and pick the songs that you want at your funeral. Use CAKE’s resources to make and share your plan with your loved ones.