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Hey guys, 


Needed some advice- one of our church members recently passed away and we are having a memorial service in her honor in place of our regularly scheduled Sunday Morning service. We are keeping kind of the same format as our sunday service (with worship) because that was one of the main things that she loved about our church; however, I do want to be sensitive to the family that will be joining us for that service. I've got a list of some of her favorite songs and I want to use them- but I am having trouble making a cohesive set list out of them- additional song suggestions would be helpful. 


Her favorites: 

I'll Fly Away 

How Great Is Our God/ How Great Thou Art 


My additions: 
I Will Rise (Tomlin)

I Can Only Imagine (Mercy me but in the style of Rita Springer)

In Christ Alone


I just need something to bridge the gap between I'll Fly Away and How Great is Our God




Tags: funeral, help, memorial, songs

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Justin, I'm sure you realize this, but in a funeral situation, cohesiveness is not what matters most; what the family wants to hear or what the person requested is the important thing. This is their time, to remember the person who has left. As someone who has bured both parents, I know what I'm talking about. It's a time to reflect on a life lived, not "preach the word" or provide a concert. Again, I'm sure you know this.


I would suggest using I'll Fly Away as your opening song, perhaps introducing it by saying that this was one of her favorite songs. Then move into I Will Rise and the rest of your set. At the end, close with her songs again (How Great Is Our God/ How Great Thou Art). You could even say something before the last song(s), mentioning that she especially liked them.


The only other thought is that you have a lot of music here for a funeral service - at least compared to the ones I'm used to. Generally it's 2 or 3 songs at most. But your situation may be different. We're just stuffy Canadians!

I completely understand what you're saying.  I absolutely am not going into it as a "normal" worship set...even though worship music is too be played. That's why I wanted to kick it out there because I've never been asked to "lead worship" at a memorial/funeral service before. 


It is alittle bit of a different situation, in the fact that it's not your typical "funeral/memorial service" because she wanted us to have a worship set like normal- she didn't want any special songs or anything like that- she wanted us to worship because that was what she loved. So- it's got me in a difficult position of honoring her wishes and honoring the family because I most definitely don't want the incoming family-not associated with our church- to think that I am dishonoring her.  


Thank you for your suggestion- that's what I was leaning towards. 

"There is coming a day", chorus goes "what a day that will be, when my Jesus I will see....." Its kinda old country style but would fit beautifully after "I'll fly away"......blessingsx

There is a beautiful song by Fernando Ortega called Give Me Jesus, its really simple and beautiful - have a look at the lyrics below.

Another thing to consider would be songs that may give the family some comfort - possibly Faithful One (You are my rock in times of trouble... etc).

Just remember, don't put too much pressure on yourself to 'get it right'.  It is one of the most difficult services to lead worship in, but the family will have way more to think about than whether you got the songs in the right order.



In the morning, when I rise
In the morning, when I rise
In the morning, when I rise, give me Jesus

Give me Jesus,
Give me Jesus,
You can have all this world,
But give me Jesus

When I am alone
When I am alone
When I am alone, give me Jesus

When I come to die
When I come to die
When I come to die, give me Jesus.




Any song about the hope we have in Christ Jesus, His faithfulness, etc. would be appropriate. 



Remember that old movie called  The Big Chill?  It opens with a funeral service where the organist is playing The Rolling Stones  "You Can't Always Get What You Want".  It was a touching scene because that was the deceased persons favorite song and also one that all his young friends in attendance recognized.  I'm not suggesting to do this, only that I think funerals are a different occasion  than a worship service.  They are not really for God so much as for the friends and family and to honor the deceased.  Some of you may disagree with that.  I guess it really only becomes an issue where the deceased person was not a believer.  It takes a special heart with tact to navigate that and be respectful as well as honest, but I have seen it done successfully.


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