A funeral poem is a common part of most funeral services, especially the older generations of Australians. With many having served in the military and living through a dynamic history of Australian playwrights, musicians and poets, there has been a long held cultural personalisation of our memorial services.
Choosing a personalised funeral poem for your loved one:
There are a few funeral poems that we hear more frequently than others - popular words that resonate because of their power and their sentiment. If you are looking for someone’s words to compliment and personalise your loved one’s funeral service, here are some of the most popular funeral poems from prior services we have hosted:
- When I think of Death - Maya Angelou
- Because I could not stop for death - Emily Dickinson
- Do not stand at my grave and weep - Mary Elizabeth Frye
- The soldier - Rupert Brooke
- Do not go gentle into that good night - Dylan Thomas
- In Flanders Fields - Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae
- Sonnet 60 - William Shakespeare
- We’ll go no more a roving - Lord Byron
- O Captain! My Captain! - Walt Whitman
You can find the words to these poems here.
Inspiration for less traditional funeral poems
If you’re looking for something a bit more unique, and your loved one was musical, a large character, or particularly defined by literature - there are options all around for personalised funeral poems that will suit their service perfectly. A few places to look for wonderful moments you can incorporate into the service are:
Movies they loved
Not many people in the world aren’t a fan of movies - and most movies have a wonderful range of lines that perfectly express a sentiment you feel for your loved one. The early 20th century was full of beautiful and honest moments from a time period that changed the world. There are many movies with beautiful lines and lovely songs across the ages to choose from.
Music they loved
Music is a universal language, that transcends time, culture, language and differing opinions. A wonderful way to include a less traditional poem is through the lyrics of a song. Let the artists speak on your behalf, either by playing the song, speaking their lyrics or including these in the service program. Some classic examples include lyrics from:
- In My Life or Here Comes the Sun from The Beatles
- Hallelujah from Leonard Cohen
- Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel
- Yellow by Coldplay
- Rocket Man by Elton John
- The Prayer - Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion
- Wind Beneath My Wings - Bette Midler
You can also build a funeral playlist for your loved one.
Comedy they loved
Why not include a classic joke in memory of your loved one? Or a line from their favourite comedy movie that always had them in tears. If they were a real belly laugher, or a trickster always looking for a joke to play, why not include that big part of their personality in the service? There is always more room for personalising a funeral to really provide the attendees with a memorable send off.
Plays or musicals they loved
With stories like The Sound of Music, West Side Story, Oliver, The Music Man, My Fair Lady, The Wizard of Oz and Carousel just to name a few, musicals are a big part of our human history. It seems in our experience that those who have loved musicals have had a hard time choosing a favourite, so why not incorporate some of the most memorable songs from the stories your loved one identified with so strongly?
If you are concerned about the chipper tone of some musical numbers, you are always able to let your funeral celebrant know and they will announce the song so as to let the attendees know it is coming. Times when musical numbers have been played have often turned some of the saddest attendees into people who are laughing and celebrating the life of the person being farewelled. As a Funeral Director, this is a really great time in the service.
Write a funeral poem for your loved one.
Can’t find one that’s perfect for your loved one? What about writing something yourself, or having the family wordsmith take an attempt. It’s a heartwarming way to farewell a loved one with a funeral poem that was written just for them.
If you aren’t confident to speak it allowed at the service, you are always able to include it in the program, a touching way to include your memories and thoughts of the deceased.
Organising a funeral or memorial is always a challenging time for a family. We often find the more a person can allow the service to be personalised and created uniquely for their loved one, the more the attendees appreciate and take comfort in the service. If you would like a guide to organising a personalised funeral, you are welcome to take a complimentary copy by clicking on the button below. We're happy to help you with any arrangements you would like to make.