You’re in a tough seat. You’ve been nominated to organise the memorial ceremony on behalf of a family member, friend or relative, while simultaneously managing your own personal grief. The person who has passed on is a really special person, and you are under pressure to get it right for the best memorial possible — right down to the music that is played on the day. So what do you need to consider before you choose music for a memorial?
It’s a deeply personal time to celebrate and farewell a loved ones life, and each and every ceremony is unique. Choosing the right music for the ceremony will involve thinking through the best fit for person who has passed, the etiquette of the cremation services and the tone of the ceremony you are organising. We’ve given you some more information below on how to make the best choice you can for the music that accompanies a service.
Setting the tone of the cremation ceremony
Setting the mood
Music at memorial or cremation services can change the mood of the ceremony entirely. Consider those who are attending and what they might need from the environment on the day. Will the service be serious and reflective, or will it be more open, light hearted or even humorous? All these factors will contribute to the right style of music to choose.
Music has been scientifically proven to assist in the grieving process to incite a feeling of love, warmth, remembrance, calmness or serenity in the listener. It can help people in mourning to explain their feelings and is particularly useful to children. Hearing it played at a memorial service can help along the heart healing process and encourage the process of grieving, so remember to choose songs that accompany good memories for people when they hear them down the track.
The most important factor when you choose music for a memorial service is the personality of the deceased. The tone and style of the music should be carefully chosen to embody the essence of the departed, and reflective of people’s emotions towards that person.
Even though the person who passed may have had a great sense of humour, there are some songs which are considered poor taste to the people in mourning. Ensure you have a good understanding of the attendees on the day before any risky choices are made.
With the technology that’s now available, you are able to build your own custom playlists on tools such as Spotify, Rdio, Pandora and iTunes. If you aren’t tech savvy and want to include it on the day, but have no specific songs in mind, there are a series of pre-built playlists for memorial services available on these tools too.
Tip: Ensure the music is stored separately to other playlists on a USB or in a special folder or CD. This will prevent any accidental slip ups to songs that might not be memorial appropriate.
The location of the cremation services
The location of the service itself will indicate the tone applied to not just the music, but any speakers that are present on the day. Your funeral home can help you prepare for both indoor and outdoor services and direct you as to how best to incorporate music into the cremation service venue.
The time of the service might also have an impact on the musical influence. A morning service will differ to an afternoon and evening service as the natural demeanour of attendees will change Choosing the right music to suit the elements of the day, ceremony tone and personality of your loved one will help support those in attendance.
To take some pressure away and help you through the difficult process of planning a cremation service for your loved one, the ladies at Lady Anne Funerals can help guide you on how to choose music for a memorial service. We've created the easy to download checklist below to help you plan your loved ones farewell service. For help using the checklist, choosing music for the service, or any other questions you may have, Contact our ladies for any help.