What are the best funeral songs and hymns for a funeral for your mum? We’ve sung at 100s of funerals for much-loved mothers, so here’s our list of the top funeral music for mums.

Top funeral songs for mum (religious)

It’s hardly surprising that the top funeral songs we sing as solos are also the most popular at other funerals too. Top of the list is the Ave Maria, an appeal for comfort from the Virgin Mary, Mother of God.

  • Ave Maria (Schubert)

  • Ave Maria (Caccini)

  • Pie Jesu (Lloyd Webber)

  • Amazing Grace

  • The Lord is my shepherd (Howard Goodall, yes, ‘The Vicar of Dibley’ theme tune!)

Best funeral hymns for mum

Many families find consolation and comfort by singing favourite hymns, including:

  • The Lord’s my Shepherd (the traditional Crimond setting)
  • All things bright and beautiful (many of this sang it at school, and so holds many memories of mothers)
  • Abide with me
  • Make me a channel of your peace
  • Jerusalem (the WI anthem)

Catholic hymns for mother

The most popular Catholic funeral hymns for mum all have lovely tunes. “On eagle’s wings” is also very popular as a solo at Communion during a requiem mass.

  • Make me a channel of your peace
  • I the Lord of sea and sky (Here I am Lord)
  • On eagle’s wings
  • I watch the sunrise, lighting the sky
  • This is my body

It’s all in a name

One family’s mother was called Mary and so they wanted all the music during the requiem mass to be around Mary. I sang the following

Almost all of these items have the words Ave Maria in them (some more than others)

  • O purest of creatures (hymn)
  • Ave Maria (Schubert)
  • As I kneel before you (hymn)
  • O Sanctissima
  • Hail queen of heaven
  • Ave Maria (Caccini)

If they had really wanted, I had another version of Ave Maria (by Bach/Gounod)

Popular funeral songs for mum (non-religious)

As ever, each funeral is so different and individual, that the choices songs and hymns are very personal to the family. Here are a few ideas that families chose for their mother’s funeral service.

Songs written especially for mothers:

  • Pal of my cradle days 

This truly is a song for a mother, singing of how sometimes children help turn mother’s hair grey! A country-style song full of love and gratitude.

  • Mamma

One Italian family wanted nothing more that the wonderful song “Mamma” written by Bixio and made very popular in Italy by both Pavarotti and Bocelli.  So, when I said singing in Italian was no problem they were over the moon – I do love this joyous account of a child’s love for their mother.

For the opera loving mothers:

  • Lascia ch’io pianga – from “Rinaldo”, by Handel

This is a beautiful melody sums up people’s feelings in a way only music, and in particular song can express. The deep sadness and melancholy of the aria have proved timeless in its beauty. (See our blog on this wonderful funeral song)

  • You are my heart’s delight – from “Land of Smiles”, by Lehár

Such a wonderful sweeping tune and probably one of the best known songs from operetta.

  • Ebben Lontana – from “La Wally’, by Catalani

This Opera is not often performed, but the aria made a comeback when it was used in a 1981 film Diva – and this mother loved the film.

  • Si, mi chiamano Mimi – from “La Bohème”, by Puccini 

The world’s No 1 weepy opera! No one does a tune quite like Puccini. The family chose this as mum loved the story of “La Bohéme”. When performing the whole opera I usually sing the other more feisty role of Musetta, so it was nice to revisit the more gentle and reserved Mimi.

Unusual song choices

Sometimes family ask for songs for mother that are new to us, or are songs that we know but haven’t sung at a funeral before. Here are a few for inspiration.

  • You are my sunshine 

This was the song that the mother sang to her daughter as a young child and it held very special memories for her.

  • Bring me sunshine – (Morecambe and Wise version)

The Morecambe and Wise Show was one of the family’s favourite and their mother loved nothing better than for all the family to be together and watch Eric and Ernie.

  • One day at a time sweet Jesus

A popular country and western song written in 1974 and has proved the test of time for country and western devotees.  I did enjoy learning this and it now has become a popular choice for many families.

  • When I leave the world behind

This request from the daughter was a an Irving Berlin song written in 1915 that her elderly mother had sung to her throughout her childhood and so this song brought back many memories to the daughter left behind.

  • Ye banks and braes

A lovely Scottish song, gentle and evocative of their mother’s homeland.

  • Unforgettable 

The family said that Nat King Cole was “mother’s favourite singer” and the words of “Unforgettable” conveyed exactly how they felt about their mother.

  • The Fields of Athenry
  • May the road rise to meet you

One Irish family wanted mum’s tribute to be full of Irish music and ‘Athenry’ was one of her favourites. The family were so pleased when I was able to sing the Irish blessing “May the road rise to meet you” for them as well.

  • The Carnival is over

This family’s mother loved The Seekers so this classic song was just right for her send-off.

  • Mr Sandman

When this mother was a young women, she often dreamed of her ‘man of her dreams’. So “Mr Sandman” was a very appropriate song to remember mum by. Everyone left the service humming the tune and with a spring in their steps.

Want something special for your mum’s funeral?

If your family is looking for something special for mother’s funeral, a live singer can add that special touch to a service, and help celebrate a life with the music you and they loved most. Call us with your requirements  you’d be surprised what songs we know!