16 Top Contemporary Christian Songs for Funerals

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No one said that all Christians have to play "Amazing Grace" or "Abide With Me" at their loved one’s funerals. Even if your church requires that you choose religious funeral songs, you might be able to pick something more contemporary in nature. 

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Take a look at our contemporary Christian songs for funerals that you probably won’t find in your church’s hymnal. We include celebratory songs that celebrate that your loved one is in heaven and more serious-sounding songs as well.

Uplifting Contemporary Christian Funeral Songs

Songs for a funeral don't have to sound like a dirge. Take a look at our songs from more contemporary artists that speak about heaven’s glory and the release of pain that comes after death.

You may want to choose an uplifting song for the end of the funeral service or as background music for a funeral slideshow

1. “On Eagle’s Wings” by Michael Joncas

One of the most popular contemporary songs often played at funerals, “On Eagle’s Wings," was used at many of the funerals for those who died in the September 11 attacks.

The comforting lyrics include: 

“And he will raise you up on eagles’ wings.
Bear you on the breath of dawn
Make you to shine like the sun.
And hold you in the palm of his hand.”

2. “Blessed Be Your Name” by Matt Redman and Beth Redman

This song of praise offers an excellent choice to conclude a funeral. It gives glory to God. It reminds everyone in attendance that even though you are sad that your loved one is no longer with you on earth, you still glorify God. One of the verses illustrates this point beautifully:

“You give and take away.
You give and take away.
My heart will choose to say
Lord blessed be Your name.”

3. “I Can Only Imagine” by Mercy Me

The lyricist of “I Can Only Imagine” dreams about what heaven will be like in this song. The song includes these lines: 

“Surrounded by your glory
What will my heart feel
Will I dance for you, Jesus
Or in awe of you be still.”

4. “I’ll Fly Away” by Albert E. Brumley

Even though this song was written in 1929, some would consider this a contemporary Christian piece. It certainly describes death as a “some glad morning when this life.” 

ยป MORE: Do you know someone who's experiencing a loss? This checklist is here to help.

 

Sorrowful Contemporary Christian Funeral Songs

Even though you know that your loved one is in heaven, you may feel overwhelming sadness. It may not feel right to you to have an upbeat song playing at your loved one’s funeral. Read through some songs that still have a positive message but with a sorrowful tone.

You may not have seen these songs on lists of the best funeral songs of all time, but they involve contemporary alternatives to people who enjoy this type of music. 

5. “Dancing With the Angels” by Monk and Neagle

The lyrics of this song aren’t exceedingly sorrowful, but the tune sounds somewhat melancholy. The speaker of the song sings about how even though sadness permeates everything, he or she feels comfort that a loved one is in heaven.

The words include: 

“You’re dancing with the angels.
Walking in new life
You’re dancing with the angels.
Heaven fills your eyes.
Now that you’re dancing with the angels.”

6. “Welcome Home” by Michael W. Smith

As a Christian, you may dream about the time when you will have angels gathered around you, saying, “Welcome home!” This song describes a time when you won't experience tears or pain. The joyful topic has a slower beat and a more melancholy feel.

7. “Go Rest High on That Mountain” by Vince Gill

Are you planning the funeral for someone who had a troubled life? You may want to choose this song. It includes the lines: 

“Go rest high on that mountain
Son, your work on earth is done
Go to heaven a-shoutin’
Love for the father and the son.”

8. “Save a Place For Me” by Matthew West

The songwriter wrote this piece after the passing of his grandmother. He says, “Save a place for me. I’ll be there soon.”

Contemporary Christian Funeral Songs for Parents or Grandparents

Are you looking for contemporary songs with a classic feel for the funeral of your parents or grandparents? You may believe these seem too old to go on our list of “modern” funeral songs. Regardless of when they were written or whether or not they appear in your church’s hymnal, they all represent Christ-centered songs appropriate for this type of service.

9. “Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone) by John Newton, Chris Tomlin, and Louie Giglio 

Perhaps you wish to have a blend of traditional and contemporary music at your parent's or grandparent’s funeral. If so, this modern version of “Amazing Grace” hits the right note. 

The song begins with the traditional lyrics and tune, but it includes additional lyrics:

“My chains are gone
I’ve been set free
My God, my savior has ransomed me.
And like a flood, his mercy reigns.
Unending love, amazing grace.”

10. “Cornerstone” by Hillsong

Did your parent or grandparent have a long relationship with Christ? This song may fit the bill with its words:

“My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” 

This song is a popular choice at churches that feature contemporary music.

11. “Because He Lives” by Gloria and William J. Gaither

This classic but contemporary song has an uplifting message. Even though it is not necessarily a “funeral song,” it includes the stanza: 

“And then one day I’ll cross the river
I’ll fight life’s final war with pain
And then, as death gives way to vict’ry
I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know he reigns.”

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

You might want to use an a cappella recording of this song, sung with perfect harmony. The words were written from the perspective of someone who is looking forward to the absence of pain or sorrow. The song was written in the 1950s. 

Contemporary Christian Funeral Songs for Children

Choosing the music for a child’s funeral can seem extremely difficult. Some songs, written from the perspective of someone looking forward to heaven after a long life, includes upbeat contemporary music. Consider this, but carefully read the lyrics to see if they fit the situation. 

13. “Till We Meet Again” by Kirk Franklin

This loss of a child may seem especially hard to bear. This song asks God for strength and peace “till we meet again.”

14. “I Will Rise” by Chris Tomlin

This speaker in this song looks forward to the time when his work on earth is done. At that point, he sings, 

“And I will rise when he calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles’ wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise, I will rise.”

15. “Lord, I Need You” by Matt Maher

You may feel shaken to your core over the loss of a child. This song will remind all of the Christians attending the funeral to turn to their faith. The lyrics for the chorus states,

“Lord, I need you, oh I need you.
Every hour, I need you
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need you.”

16. “Somewhere, Somehow” by Amy Grant

This song could have been written about the death of a child. It includes the lines, 

“Somewhere far beyond today
I will find a way to find you
And somehow through the lonely nights
I will leave a light in the dark.”

Choose the Songs for Your Funeral

When people say that they will prearrange their funeral, they may visit a funeral home, choose a casket, and purchase a cemetery plot. If you have opinions about what type of funeral you would like to have, why not let your loved ones know?

Write your own obituary, choose the clothes that you want to wear in the casket, and pick the songs that you want at your funeral. Use CAKE’s resources to make and share your plan with your loved ones. 

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