The Co-operative Funeralcare group have just published a study of funeral customs in the UK, and it echoes what we here at Singers for Funerals have found too, from our own experiences of singing at all types of funerals and cremation services.
In his introduction, the MD of Co-op Funeralcare David Hendry says,
"The 21st-century funeral is undergoing fundamental change – traditionally viewed as a time for mourning, the ceremony is now increasingly a celebration of a person’s life… What many people are celebrating is the uniqueness of the individual: their character, their passions and interests, the things that made them unique. Increasingly they are arranging funerals to capture these aspects of a person’s life."
We couldn't agree more
More and more we are asked to sing music personal to the loved one or with special memories for the family. For example, we've sung the World Cup theme "Nessum Dorma' for football fans, "Danny Boy" for Irish families, and even "Frülingsglaube" (Faith in Spring) by Schubert for a gardening-mad German lady!
Religious or scared music still is very popular; we sing either "Ave Maria" or "Abide with Me" at least once a fortnight! However, we are finding that people want to 'mix and match' more, so we might sing hymns or a "Pie Jesu" and "over the Rainbow" in the same service.
Whatever we sing, we find that people really do appreciate hearing live music and, moreover, it makes the service more memorable for them too.
Thank you so much for your fantastic performance. You made the service memorably beautiful, and your stunning voice was the talk of everyone at the wake. It was very hard not to applaud you, and most importantly, I know my Mum would have loved it.
SC-P, Thames Ditton, Surrey
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