The Church Pianist: Playing for Funerals

Funerals are not easy for any of us. Death has visited our church family twice in the last two weeks…both very unexpected.  I’m just thankful that both men knew the Lord.

I’ll just share some thoughts with you on playing for funerals.

Think about the mood of music needed for this occasion. For me…I want to play hymns that soothe the broken hearts of many people.

Varying the speed of hymns adds a nice touch. I try not to play too many slow hymns in a row… to avoid a sense of despair. In my mind, I’m trying to encourage the family that is so overwhelmed with sorrow. I want to remind them that God cares… and their loved one is in heaven (if that loved one had asked Jesus into their heart).

Here’s a list of hymns I would play before the funeral starts.  Maybe this will help those of you who have a hard time deciding what to play for a funeral.

Check out the Funeral Hymn Collection also available in our music store.

Abide With Me

Blessed Assurance

Jesus is the Sweetest Name I Know

He Hideth My Soul

Does Jesus Care?

God Leads Us Along

Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus

Simply Trusting

It is Well

Wonderful Peace

My Saviour First of All

Draw Me Nearer

Near to the Heart of God

Blessed Quietness

In the Sweet By and By

There’s Just Something About That Name

Zion’s Hill

Beulah Land

How_Beautiful_Heaven_Must_Be  page one

How Beautiful Heaven Must Be       page two

What a Friend We Have in Jesus

*Click on the red underlined hymns above for a free piano solo arrangement and blue underlined hymns for arrangement from the online church pianist music store.

Ever notice how it’s the old hymns of faith that soothe our hearts during such times of need?  I thank the Lord for such a strong heritage of music.

Playing for a funeral is just another way for the church pianist to minister to the hearts of his or her church family.



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8 Responses to “The Church Pianist: Playing for Funerals”

  1. Sally says:

    This is a blessing. My daughters, 15 and 12, have had to do funeral music ministry several times now, and it is so helpful to have this list. You are so right about too many slow songs in a row giving a spirit of despair. And yet the really light-hearted ones seem out of place. These are nice, uplifting tunes.

  2. Tracy says:

    Thank you for this list. Also, thank you for always providing free copies of your wonderful arrangements!

  3. Inna says:

    Thank you for sharing free copies of your beautiful arrangements.

  4. D. White says:

    Please print your arrangement of Jesus is the Sweetest Name I Know, which I listened to you play. It is listed under playing for funeral songs.

    Your playing leads one to worship.

    • Jenifer Cook says:

      I appreciate your interest in “Jesus is the Sweetest Name I Know”.
      Unfortunately,this particular arrangment is not availabe in print at this time.

      I do plan to publish this piano arrangement either through my music store or through Soundforth sometime in the near future.

      Thanks for your kind words.

  5. Robert says:

    For your interest, here’s a list of hymns that I’ve used for funerals for many years. Many of them you have on your own list.

    Abide With Me
    Amazing Grace
    Come, Ye Disconsolate
    Does Jesus Care?
    Face to Face
    God Will Take Care of You
    It Is Well With My Soul
    My Faith Looks Up to Thee
    My Jesus, I Love Thee
    My Saviour First of All
    Nearer, My God, to Thee
    O That Will Be Glory
    Precious Lord Take My Hand
    Rock of Ages
    Safe in the Arms of Jesus
    Saved By Grace
    Sweet By and By
    Tell It to Jesus
    The Sands of Time Are Sinking
    The Lord’s My Shepherd
    What a Friend We Have in Jesus
    When We See Christ

  6. paul allen says:

    love this site, i love the free sheet music,would it be possible to do a tutorial on TIS SO SWEET TO TRUST IN JESUS.could you do a free arrangement of TIS SO SWEET TO TRUST IN JESUS for advanced piano.
    just came across this site yesterday.
    thanks you so much.

    • Jenifer Cook says:

      Thanks Paul. Wish I had time to produce more free advanced piano arrangements but they take ALOT of time. That’s why the majority of my free arrangements are intermediate or less.
      Appreciate the comments though and will consider a tutorial on “Tis So Sweet”. Thanks for your visits!

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