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Hymns for Funerals

Hymns for Funerals

Hymns are generally included in the funeral service of a loved one. The following are some of the most traditional hymns for funerals.
Girija Shinde
Christian funeral services, since centuries, have been characterized by songs in remembrance of the deceased. However, very few of them actually console the grievers. On the other hand, traditional hymns help to express the grief, and for sometime at least, provide comfort and solace to the tortured hearts. You can choose them according to your choice, or as per the liking of the deceased. Read the lyrics before using them for the memorial service or funeral so that you know what exactly they convey. It is better to provide the lyrics to the people attending the funeral, as not all are well-versed with hymns. They can either be played on a CD, or sung to the accompaniment of a small instrument, whichever possible. Following are six popular funeral hymns which can also be used for a catholic funeral mass.

#1
Abide With Me

Abide with me: fast falls the eventide;
the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide:
when other helpers fail and comforts flee,
help of the helpless, O abide with me.

I need thy presence every passing hour;
what but thy grace can foil the tempter's power?
Who, like thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

I fear no foe, with thee at hand to bless;
ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death's dark sting? where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if thou abide with me.

Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes;
shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies;
heaven's morning breaks, and earth's vain shadows flee;
in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.


― Henry Francis Lyte.

#2
The Day Thou Gavest

The day thou gavest, Lord, is ended;
The darkness falls at Thy behest;
To Thee our morning hymns ascended,
Thy praise shall sanctify our rest.

We thank Thee that Thy church unsleeping,
While earth rolls onward into light,
Through all the world her watch is keeping,
And rests not now by day or night.

As o'er each continent and island
The dawn leads on another day,
The voice of prayer is never silent,
Nor dies the strain of praise away.

The sun that bids us rest is waking
Our brethren 'neath the western sky,
And hour by hour fresh lips are making
Thy wondrous doings heard on high.

So be it, Lord! Thy throne shall never,
Like earth's proud empires, pass away;
Thy kingdom stands, and grows forever,
Till all Thy creatures own Thy sway.


― John Ellerton.

#3
The King Of Love My Shepherd Is by

The king of love my shepherd is,
Whose goodness faileth never;
I nothing lack if I am his
And he is mine forever.

Where streams of living water flow
My ransomed soul he leadeth,
And where the verdant pastures grow
With food celestial feedeth.
Perverse and foolish oft I strayed,
But yet in love he sought me,
And on his shoulder gently laid,
And home rejoicing brought me.

In death's dark vale I fear no ill
With thee, dear Lord, beside me;
Thy rod and staff my comfort still,
Thy cross before to guide me.

Thou spread'st a table in my sight;
Thy unction grace bestoweth;
And O what transport of delight
From thy pure chalice floweth!

And so through all the length of days
Thy goodness faileth never:
Good shepherd, may I sing thy praise
Within thy house forever.


― Henry Baker.

#4
Be Thou My Vision

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul's Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven's joys, O bright Heaven's Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.


― Dallan Forgaill.

#5
Amazing Grace

Amazing grace! how sweet the sound,
that saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost but now am found,
was blind but now I see.

'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
and grace my fears relieved;
how precious did that grace appear
the hour I first believed!

The Lord has promised good to me,
his word my hope secures;
he will my shield and portion be
as long as life endures.

Through many dangers, toils, and snares,
I have already come;
'tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
and grace will lead me home.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

The world shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun refuse to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Shall be forever mine.

When we've been there ten thousand years,
bright shining as the sun,
we've no less days to sing God's praise
than when we'd first begun.


― John Newton.

#6
Suppertime

Many years ago in days of childhood
I used to play till evening time would come
Still winding down that old familiar pathway
I hear my mother call at setting sun

"Come home, come home it's suppertime"
The shadows lengthen so fast
"Come home, come home it's suppertime"
We're going home at last

Some of the fondest memories of my childhood
Are woven around suppertime
When mother used to call from the back steps
Of the old home place

"Come on home now son, it's suppertime"
My how I'd love to hear that once again
But you know the time has woven for me the realization
Of a truth that's even more thrilling

That someday we'll be called to gather
Around the great supper table up there
For the greatest suppertime of them all, with our Lord
I can almost hear the call now comin' from the portals of Heaven
"Come home son, it's suppertime"

"Come home, come home it's suppertime"
The shadows lengthen fast
"Come home, come home it's suppertime"
We're going home at last


― Stanphill, Ira F.

You can use these funeral hymns for a memorial service as well. If nothing else, these induce a great feeling of spiritual peace.