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45 Best Christian Funeral Songs & Hymns (Most Beautiful)

December 11, 2023
christian funeral songs

I’ve carefully selected the best Christian funeral songs and hymns, offering comfort and solace through their soothing melodies and hopeful messages.

This article is a guide to finding peace and spiritual solace in music during times of mourning and remembrance.

Table of Contents

Top Christian funeral songs & hymns

  • “It Is Well With My Soul” by Audrey Assad
  • “You Raise Me Up” by Josh Groban
  • “In Christ Alone” by Stuart Townend
  • “Scars in Heaven” by Casting Crowns
  • “Dancing in the Sky” by Dani and Lizzy Nelson
  • “Rock of Ages” by Aretha Franklin
  • “If You Could See Me Now” by Bishop Paul S. Morton, Sr.
  • “Heaven Song” by Phil Wickham
  • “What a Day That Will Be” by Jim Hill
  • “I Can Only Imagine” by MercyMe

1. “It Is Well With My Soul” by Audrey Assad

Spafford’s deeply religious song was created amidst a great tragedy.

He had sent his family on a ship to England and later received a telegram from his wife conveying that the ship had sunk in the Atlantic Ocean and their four daughters had died.

In the aftermath of this devastating event, Spafford penned one of the most memorable hymns ever.

Despite the tragedy, the song is devoid of any bitterness.

Instead, it serves as a testament to Spafford’s unwavering faith in even the darkest times.

2. “You Raise Me Up” by Josh Groban

This modern piece features inspiring lyrics that emphasize the role of faith in providing resilience during trying times.

Though the song does not explicitly reference God or religion, it is imbued with strong religious undertones and has been likened to a hymn.

3. “In Christ Alone” by Stuart Townend

Stuart Townend and Keith Getty collaborated to create a piece that would highlight God’s attributes and the gospel’s transformative power, which was made possible through Christ’s atoning work. 

“In Christ Alone” has gained widespread popularity, and a particularly moving rendition is sung by Christina Grimmie, a young woman who was tragically shot and killed by a fan shortly after recording the video.

Her soulful performance adds a layer of emotion to the already powerful lyrics.

4. “Scars in Heaven” by Casting Crowns

The song serves as a reminder to cherish our loved ones and express our love to them frequently because time is precious.

Although we may long for another day with our beloved, it brings comfort to know that we will eventually reunite with them in a place without anguish, agony, or mortality.

For those who had a challenging life marked by wounds and misfortune, this remarkable song captures the essence of their enduring legacy. 

5. “Dancing in the Sky” by Dani and Lizzy Nelson

“Dancing in the Sky”, composed and sung by Canadian twins Dani and Lizzy Nelson, went viral on YouTube upon its release.

The duo composed this track in honor of a dear friend who had passed away.

The lyrics express the sentiment that, despite the ache of losing their loved one, they hold on to the hope that their friend is now joyfully “dancing in the sky” in heaven.

6. “Rock of Ages” by Aretha Franklin

The Christian hymn “Rock of Ages” was written by Rev. Augustus Toplady in 1763, according to the story behind it.

As he traveled through a dangerous gorge in England and sought refuge in a gap in the rocks during a storm, Toplady was inspired to compose the hymn.

The lyrics convey that when feeling lonely, God is akin to a rock and will not abandon you.

It also reminds us that there’s a place where we can always seek refuge in times of trouble.

7. “If You Could See Me Now” by Bishop Paul S. Morton, Sr.

“If You Could See Me Now” is a touching song that speaks about the hope and joy of heaven.

The song has a soulful melody and inspiring lyrics that express the yearning for a reunion with loved ones who have passed away and the comfort of knowing that they are in the presence of God.

Its chorus triumphantly proclaims that those who have passed on are now rejoicing in heaven and experiencing eternal peace. 

“If You Could See Me Now” has become a cherished hymn of faith and comfort, motivating listeners worldwide to rely on God’s promise of eternal life.

8. “Heaven Song” by Phil Wickham

“Heaven Song” by Phil Wickham is a mesmerizing and stunning track that narrates the journey from one’s earthly existence to becoming a part of the celestial beings in heaven.

It is an excellent choice to offer comfort and reassurance to mourners who assemble to bid farewell to a beloved individual at a funeral.

9. “What a Day That Will Be” by Jim Hill

Jim Hill, a shoe salesman, had a strong passion for music. 

One of his most beloved hymns, “What a Day That Will Be,” was inspired by his mother-in-law, who had suffered from a debilitating stroke at a young age.

While driving home from work one day, he contemplated Revelation 21:4 and imagined the wonderful day when all suffering would cease.

When he arrived home, he quickly jotted down the lyrics to the hymn on a piece of cardboard.

Jim was fortunate enough to perform the song for his mother-in-law before she passed away.

10. “I Can Only Imagine” by MercyMe

“I Can Only Imagine” delves into the emotions one may experience upon encountering God in heaven.

The band wrote this song in memory of the father of one of their members.

If you prefer a different variation, you could try listening to the cover versions by either pop singer Susan Boyle or gospel vocalist Tamela Mann.

11. “I Need You Now” by Smokie Norful

“I Need You Now” by Smokie Norful is a deeply emotional and impactful gospel song that highlights life’s difficulties and the significance of depending on God’s strength and love.

With Norful’s soulful vocals and poignant lyrics, the song describes the feeling of being overburdened and isolated yet discovering solace and optimism in the presence of God.

This is a touching and sincere reminder of the potency of faith and the expectation we can find in God’s love, no matter what obstacles we encounter.

12. “All My Tears” by Burns and Kristy

Burns and Kristy’s rendition of “All My Tears” is a beautiful fusion of country, folk, and spiritual genres, making it a fitting choice for a Christian funeral.

This song, which has been recorded by several artists, including Emmylou Harris and Julie Miller, has a mournful melody but conveys a message of optimism.

Its lyrics suggest that the departed individual is now liberated and in the presence of God, urging the audience not to grieve but to celebrate their newfound freedom.

13. “Til We Meet Again” by Kirk Franklin & The Family

Kirk Franklin’s 2020 release, “Til We Meet Again,” is an inspiring and poignant gospel song that provides solace and optimism to individuals mourning the loss of a loved one.

The song’s tender melody, heartfelt lyrics, and Franklin’s expressive vocals all remind listeners that they will eventually reunite with their loved ones in heaven.

“Till We Meet Again” pays tribute to the unwavering strength of faith and the promise of everlasting life.

14. “I Want to See Jesus” by The Angelic Gospel Singers

The Angelic Gospel Singers’ “I Want to See Jesus” is a gospel song first recorded in 1961.

The song expresses a profound yearning to witness the glory of Jesus’ presence and to behold His face.

With its soulful delivery, powerful harmonies, and soaring vocals, “I Want to See Jesus” is a stirring and inspirational tribute to the strength of faith and the life-changing love of Christ.

The song has become a timeless classic in the gospel genre and continues to motivate and inspire listeners with its message of hope, devotion, and faith.

15. “Step Aside” by Yolanda Adams

Yolanda Adams’ Grammy-winning gospel song, “Step Aside,” is a moving and uplifting track that combines soulful vocals with inspiring lyrics.

The song encourages listeners to have faith in God’s plan and to take a step back from their worries and fears.

Adams expresses feelings of being overwhelmed by life’s challenges but ultimately finding peace and comfort in God’s love.

“Step Aside” serves as a beautiful reminder of the importance of having faith and surrendering to God, as well as the hope that can be found in His love.

16. “I’m Going Away” by Walter Hawkins

“I’m Going Away” is a touching gospel song that highlights the beauty and optimism of the Christian pilgrimage.

The lyrics and soulful melody of the song convey the yearning for eternal life with God and the comfort and joy that comes from having a relationship with Him.

Its chorus gives us solace by assuring us that we will be with the Lord for eternity after departing from this world.

Due to its heartfelt message and beautiful harmonies, “I’m Going Away” has become a revered hymn of faith and hope.

It encourages people worldwide to rely on God’s promise of everlasting life, making it a classic in the gospel music genre.

17. “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” by Maranatha! Music

The passing of a loved one brings about significant changes, prompting people to search for something to hold onto.

The lyrics of a 20th-century hymn serve as a reminder of the constants in life.

Those who have faith will find solace in singing, “Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not, / As Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be.”

Although nothing can entirely alleviate the sorrow of loss, this hymn serves as a reminder that certain things remain unchanging, providing comfort to those mourning.

Hold on to our faith in Christ for the strength to get through each day.

18. “Blessings” by Laura Story

Laura Story’s song may not be initially recognized as a funeral song based on its title.

However, the song’s lyrics present a significant opportunity to encourage people to seek deeper understanding during grief and distress as they grapple with their emotions and try to make sense of their pain.

This song could give your guests permission to pause and confront their anger or confusion, allowing them to ask questions and seek answers about why God has allowed the loss to occur.

The song’s message can also serve as a powerful reminder that the most profound mercies can come to us during the darkest moments of our lives.

19. “Comforter” by CeCe Winans

CeCe Winans, a widely recognized gospel vocalist, has gained a substantial fan base with her modern gospel music.

Her popular track “Comforter” has not only won her a Grammy award but has also provided comfort to numerous listeners during their difficult times.

When played at a funeral, the song reminds the bereaved that divine power is their ultimate source of comfort and assistance, even during grief and sorrow.

20. “There Will Be a Day” by Jeremy Camp

Tears and grief often mark Christian funerals, but they are also imbued with a distinct hope that emanates from faith.

This hope is rooted in the belief that God, who is loving and compassionate, will comfort us and alleviate our fears.

This assurance serves as a reminder that a time will come when we will reunite with our departed loved ones and share in the joy and laughter of being with Jesus.

Jeremy Camp’s “There Will Be a Day” encapsulates this theme of hope and is an excellent choice to include in your funeral song selection.

21. “Homesick” by MercyMe

The common sayings and words of comfort can seem like meaningless background noise when we are mourning and it can feel as though nothing will ever be able to make things right again.

In 2004, MercyMe released a song that encapsulates the feeling of being unable to comprehend God’s plan and the emptiness left behind by the loss of a loved one.

22. “Leaning On The Everlasting Arms” by Alan Jackson 

This hymn of surrender is a comforting and unmatched choice for religious funerals, as it provides reassuring words of peace at a modest length.

For mourners who feel emotionally exhausted due to the loss of a loved one, the hymn offers the reassurance that they can lean on God’s everlasting arms and rest securely “from all alarms.”

The theme of security applies to both the living and the departed, as God’s love and peace are available in the present and the afterlife.

23. “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away” by Justin Moore

With his distinctive Southern accent, the country sensation Justin Moore delivers an unforgettable performance of this song.

It is an ideal choice for commemorating the passing of a loved one, and its Christian message provides solace by reminding us that we will reunite with our departed loved ones in the afterlife.

“If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away” also stirs the imagination of how wonderful it would be to introduce them to our other cherished ones in heaven.

24. “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” by Josh Turner

While the song has deep historical roots and was likely a slave song, it has also faced controversy over the years.

The Nazis deemed the song “undesirable and harmful,” and in 2020, Black Lives Matter attempted to prevent its singing during England’s rugby matches.

The song’s powerful and metaphorical lyrics suggest that the chariot is a means of escape from a fallen world to heaven or to achieve personal freedom.

Regardless of interpretation, the song has been sung at many funerals and serves as a joyful reminder of hope for believers.

25. “My Sweet Lord” by George Harrison

This song expresses Harrison’s desire for a relationship with God.

As a follower of the Hindu sect Hare Krishna, Harrison combines elements from various religious traditions, such as the Hare Krishna mantra and the Judeo-Christian phrase “Hallelujah,” to create a universal and straightforward spiritual message.

26. “Amazing Grace” by Elvis Presley 

This hymn of redemption, penned by a former slave trader who later became an abolitionist, is perhaps the most well-known hymn and has captured the hearts of countless Christians.

While some of the stanzas dealing with sin and repentance may seem less appropriate for a funeral audience, the hymn’s status as a sort of Christian anthem makes it an excellent choice for any religious occasion.

Furthermore, the final stanza’s beautiful portrayal of the afterlife will undoubtedly resonate with mourners’ concerns.

“Amazing Grace” embodies the essence of what it means to have faith in God, and its universal appeal among believers underscores its potency as a representation of the faith.

27. “I’ll See You Again” by Richard Smallwood

“I’ll See You Again,” is a moving gospel tune that provides consolation and comfort to those who have experienced the loss of a loved one.

The song expresses the assurance that someday they will meet again in heaven.

Its haunting melody, sincere lyrics, and Smallwood’s dynamic vocals make it a touching tribute to the unwavering strength of faith and the guarantee of everlasting life. 

This song has become a revered classic in the gospel category.

Its message of hope, affection, and spiritual rejuvenation continues to motivate and move its listeners.

28. “In the Sweet By and By” by Jeff & Sheri Easter

This hopeful and faith-filled song is an evident selection for any collection of comforting hymns, as it inspires a sense of serenity in the listener through the use of imagery of a different, happier world.

For those mourning the loss of a loved one, the hymn’s reference to a distant shore suggests that their loved ones have found peace with the Lord.

While this knowledge does not eliminate the ache that mourners experience, it provides solace during a challenging period.

29. “Jealous of the Angels” by Donna Taggart

Donna Taggart’s harmonious ballad from 2013 provides a more traditional atmosphere.

Despite being a devout Christian, bidding farewell can be difficult.

This song portrays the challenge of accepting the void of losing a loved one.

The track is a beautiful option for a funeral music lineup and could be especially fitting for a live performance.

30. “Angels Among Us” by Alabama

This Christian song depicts the notion that angels continue to support and direct us through challenging times, especially after we lose someone close.

It comforts Christians by assuring them that their departed loved ones are still present, offering guidance to navigate life’s ups and downs.

31. “When We All Get to Heaven” by Richard Smallwood

“When We All Get to Heaven” exalts the aspiration and assurance of heaven and the elation that awaits believers upon their arrival at their eternal abode.

The song’s inspiring lyrics and uplifting melody remind us of the hope and faith that supports believers through life’s difficulties and hardships. 

Smallwood inspires listeners to anticipate the day they will participate in the celestial choir, praising God for all eternity.

32. “Abide With Me” by Abide With Me

When Henry Francis Lyte was 54 years old, he was afflicted with tuberculosis and knew he would die soon.

However, he turned this difficult time into an opportunity to compose one of the most exquisite and beloved hymns of all time.

Unsurprisingly, this hymn has become a common choice for spiritual funerals.

Lyte’s reflection on mortality and his relationship with God, given his proximity to death, makes it all the more moving.

The song resonates not only with those nearing the end of their lives but also with mourners facing the end of a particular way of life, such as living with their loved ones.

Funeral attendees can relate to Lyte’s sincere plea for God to remain with him as “the darkness deepens.”

33. “Stand” by Donnie McClurkin

Donnie McClurkin’s “Stand” is a compelling gospel song that conveys the importance of having faith and perseverance when faced with difficult situations.

The song’s inspiring melody and uplifting lyrics communicate the courage and determination derived from trusting God’s strength and love.

The chorus boldly declares the empowering truth that we can stand and overcome adversity with God’s grace and power.

“Stand” has become a cherished anthem of hope and resilience, motivating listeners worldwide to remain steadfast in their faith and to rely on God’s promises. 

34. “I Need Thee Every Hour” by Don Moen 

This beloved 19th-century hymn expresses devotion during trying times and explores themes such as perseverance, faith, suffering, and comfort.

For those attending a funeral, the hymn can be interpreted as a plea for divine guidance throughout the grieving process.

The awareness of God’s companionship provides solace to mourners as they prepare for a new way of life and embark on the path to recovery.

35. “Jesus Promised Me a Home Over There” by Jennifer Hudson

Blind Willie Johnson originally recorded the compelling gospel song “Jesus Promised Me a Home Over There” in 1927.

In her soulful rendition of this classic hymn, Jennifer Hudson infuses it with renewed vitality and passion.

The song celebrates the promise of eternal life in heaven, and Hudson’s formidable vocals convey the elation and the yearning that accompanies this promise. 

Accompanied by a moving choir, Hudson delivers an emotionally charged performance bound to inspire and uplift listeners. 

36. “‘Tis So Sweet” by The Winans & Donnie McClurkin  

Like the other hymns on this list, this 19th-century masterpiece offers solace and support to mourners during difficult times.

Anyone grieving can find solace in the understanding that the anxiety, dread, and uncertainty that frequently accompany loss are entrusted to a higher power.

According to the writer of this song, there is no need to hold on to anything or bear a heavy burden.

Though this assurance does not eliminate the grief of loss, it does provide some consolation and can help mitigate the irrational guilt, frustration, and stress that people often grapple with while recovering.

37. “I Shall Wear a Crown” by Richard Smallwood

This song’s euphoric melody and motivational lyrics commemorate the assurance of everlasting life and the hope we can derive from Christ.

Smallwood sings about the obstacles we encounter in our lives but stresses that through faith in Jesus, we will ultimately emerge triumphant.

The song’s chorus is particularly impactful, asserting that we will be adorned with a crown of glory and remain with our Savior forever.

38. “Cry Out To Jesus” by Third Day

“Cry Out to Jesus” is a source of comfort as it reminds us that Jesus is near to those who are suffering and heartbroken.

It offers solace in knowing that our cries for help are heard by a compassionate God who empathizes with our pain. 

The song has stood the test of time and is still widely recognized today.

With many members of the congregation likely familiar with the lyrics, it is an excellent choice if you are seeking songs that invite participation and communal singing.

39. “I Will Rise” by Chris Tomlin

“I Will Rise” is a poignant Christian funeral song that urges believers to reflect on their lives and deaths and take solace in the knowledge that they will ultimately return to God’s embrace.

Its lyrics convey the idea that when we rise, God will call out our name, and all our pain will vanish.

The chorus, which declares, “Before my God fall on my knees / And rise / I will rise,” is particularly impactful, reminding us of the steadfast faith we can hold onto even in our darkest moments.

40. “I’ll Fly Away” by Joey and Rory 

The song’s writer portrays death as a time of joy and rest, in contrast to the shadows, prison bars, and weariness of life.

By presenting life’s fleetingness in a positive light, the song encourages us to see the bigger picture, the full range of emotions.

The hardships and sufferings of this life are merely brief moments compared to the eternal paradise that awaits the speaker.

The phrase “I’ll fly away” is not a mere possibility but rather a conviction that the speaker is resolutely fixated on.

41. “Broken Halos” by Chris Stapleton

In 2018, Chris Stapleton was awarded a Grammy for the best country song with “Broken Halos,” a piece that he claimed was influenced by the lives of individuals who had died prematurely.

Rolling Stone journalist Chris Parton described the track as having a Southern gospel folk-rock style and as “a moving reminder to keep holding on to faith, despite facing hardships.

Stapleton’s lyrics suggest that angels come to our aid when needed, but after their work is done, they depart, leaving us in a state of confusion as to why they had to leave us.

See also: Best Chris Stapleton Songs

42. “Lead Me Gently Home” by Johnny Cash

“Lead Me Gently Home” is a gospel funeral song with calming harmonies and reassuring lyrics.

Johnny Cash’s voice is rough yet gentle as if he’s consoling a child.

The ballad highlights the idea that when someone dies, they go to God’s home, where He awaits us all with patience. 

Its uplifting message and tranquil melody make it a fitting choice for a funeral service.

43. “If I Don’t Wake Up” by The Williams Brothers

The Williams Brothers released this song in 1996, conveying the idea of life’s delicacy and the significance of living intentionally and purposefully.

This emotional song features a soulful melody, compelling vocals, and thought-provoking lyrics that emphasize the value of every moment and the necessity of making the most of our time.

The song urges listeners to embrace every day with enthusiasm, appreciate life’s blessings and opportunities, and seize the moment.

44. “Marvelous” by Walter Hawkins

Walter Hawkins’ “Marvelous” is a timeless gospel classic that reveres the magnificence and splendor of God.

The song’s buoyant melody and fervent lyrics convey the wonder and respect that arise from experiencing God’s love and mercy.

The chorus proclaims the uplifting fact that God is extraordinary, and His might and glory are immeasurable.

“Marvelous” has transformed into a cherished anthem of adoration and worship, motivating listeners worldwide to raise their voices in homage to God’s magnificence

45. “Guide Me Oh Thou Great Redeemer” by Charlotte Church 

In this hymn, the singer uses the metaphor of a journey to frame her message. 

She implores God to guide him on his path and portrays himself as a wanderer on a desolate land.

Charlotte borrows imagery from Exodus 13, requesting that God provide a pillar of cloud and fire to show the way.

She also depicts herself crossing the Jordan River to reach the land of Canaan.

All three images parallel the course that mourners take on their journey of grief. 

The unshakable dependence on God during times of difficult transformation is relatable to mourners.

Best Christian Funeral Songs & Hymns – Final Thoughts

The funeral songs discussed above provide comfort and serve as a reminder about how we should view the death of a loved one; a sad happening reminds us there’s something bigger beyond the life we live today. 

These songs offer modern and classic versions, which continue to offer those mourning the death of their loved one peace, joy, and reflection.

You may also like: Best Gospel Funeral Songs

 

Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

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