Deciding on the hymns is just the first step; now you need to decide on how many verses to sing. There are a few things to consider here.
- How many hymns have you chosen?
- How long is the service?
- Are you all singers in the family?
- Will the other mourners sing? (or want to sing?)
- Will the mourners know the hymns?
However, time many not be on your side if you have a service at a crematorium. It is short, the music needs to be too.
Here's where you can make it work for everyone; don't sing all the verses for each hymn. The majority seems to have at least 5 verses and there are some that have 8! Just because there are 5 or more verses doesn't mean you have to sing them all. Often there are standard omissions to bring the hymn down to 3 verses, which still retain the emotion and meaning. What's more, timings for the hymn will come in around 2.5 minutes.
So, If you have just 3 hymns, 1 solo and an interesting eulogy then you've already covered nearly 20 minutes of the service time before any other words.
There are many websites listing all the verses for each hymn, so you can make your choice of which verses to use. Singers like us are also here to help you decide, so you can have a wonderful service for your loved one, and celebrate a life in song.
Having a professional soloist, like a singer from Singers for Funerals, helps with leading the hymns and you can have a solo or 2 from the singer giving the congregation a rest from singing and a memorable song for all to listen to.