The choice of hymns for a funeral service are very personal to each family. There are long discussions about who likes which hymns and what ones were particular favourites of their loved one. However after much discussion it gets sorted, phew! Job done. Actually, not quite.
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.
If you've chosen lots of music, this will affect how long the service lasts. In a religious funeral service you need to allow sufficient time for prayers, tributes, readings and importantly the eulogy which are the main parts of the service. The eulogy alone can often last over 10 minutes. Many people have led such interesting lives, that there's lots to say about them, so in the eulogy, and the congregation want to hear about the deceased's life and achievements.
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.
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