Chaplain Colin Green Personal Bereavement Services




There is so much to choose from and it would be my pleasure to assist you in selecting the most appropriate, if you wish. For a crematorium service one or perhaps two songs would be sufficient. I am happy to assist you in this choice. 

Almost all crematoriums can provide an organist, but it is increasingly popular to use streamed music played over the sound system, whether hymns and songs to sing along to or to listen to. Equally a simply vast range of songs or tunes of any sort can be requested to be played to be listened to.

Traditional hymns and modern songs
Here are the most commonly chosen hymns and songs in funerals I have led during the two and a half years, in order of frequency used by the families whom I have been serving:

  • All things bright and beautiful

  • The Lord's my Shepherd

  • Abide with me

  • Morning has broken

  • Amazing Grace

  • And did those feet (Jerusalem)

  • The Day Thou gavest

  • On a hill far away (The old rugged cross)

  • O Lord my God (How great Thou art)

  • Praise my soul the King of heaven

  • Dear Lord and Father of mankind

  • Love divine all loves excelling

  • There is a green hill far away

  • Lord of all hopefulness

  • The Lord's my Shepherd (And I will trust)

  • Guide me O Thou great Redeemer

  • I danced in the morning (Lord of the dance)

  • Lead us heavenly Father lead us

  • We plough the fields and scatter

  • Eternal Father strong to save

  • Fight the good fight

  • Immortal, invisible, God only wise

  • Make me a channel of your peace

  • All people that on earth do dwell

  • Faithful One so unchanging

  • Great is Thy faithfulness

  • Now thank we all our God

  • Onward Christian soldiers

  • The King of love, my Shepherd is

  • To everything, turn, turn, turn

  • And can it be that I shouldst gain

  • Be Thou my vision

  • For the beauty of the earth

  • Give me joy in my heart

  • I the Lord of sea and sky

  • I will sing the wondrous story

  • In heavenly love abiding

  • Just as I am without one plea

  • Nearer my God to Thee

  • One day at a time sweet Jesus

  • Teach me my God and King

  • What a friend we have in Jesus

  • Who would true valour see

  • Wonderful Lord, Wonderful God

Songs from live musicians
You may have musicians and singers whom you wish to take part in the service and provided they can set up quickly in the brief time between funeral services, then that is an excellent idea. I can also offer the option of leading a song on my acoustic guitar or singing to everyone using the guitar. The most frequently requested song in this combination of acoustic guitar and voices is Amazing Grace.  Other songs which have been presented in this way include: "Turn, turn, turn (to everything there is a season), I danced in the morning (Lord of the Dance), the modern version of The Lord's my Shepherd (And I will trust) and Wonderful Lord, Wonderful God".  Another excellent contemporary song which I can particularly recommend for a funeral is Faithful One So Unchanging. There is no extra fee for these songs if I am singing on my own, but when other singers come, a modest extra charge to cover both singing and transport costs will be made. If you invite me to make the customary visit to your home, to prepare the service together, I can introduce you to these songs if you would like me to do so.  


The more unusual!It is increasingly common to have a huge variety of music played in funeral services. Virtually any recording can be sourced given time. Some of the most popular songs are:


  • Wind Beneath My Wings (Bette Midler)

  • My Heart Will Go On (Celine Dion)

  • I Will Always Love You (Whitney Houston)

  • Simply The Best (Tina Turner)

  • Angels (Robbie Williams)

  • You'll Never Walk Alone (Gerry And The Pacemakers) 

  • Candle In The Wind (Elton John)

  • Unchained Melody (Righteous Brothers)

  • Bridge Over Troubled Water (Simon and Garfunkel)

  • Time To Say Goodbye (Sarah Brightman)

  • My Way (Frank Sinatra)




The Bible

There are very many commonly used verses from the Bible which can help us in the service. These include the following:


  • Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God; trust also in me.  In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you.  I am going there to prepare a place for you.  Thomas said to him, "Lord we don't know where You are going, so how can we know the way?"  Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.  (John chapter 14, verses 1-3, 6, 27)


  • The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.  Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. (Psalm 23: a Psalm of David). 

  • Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. … And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be His people and God Himself will be with them and be their God.  He will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new.  (Excerpts from Revelation chapter 21, verses 1-5). 


  • There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, … a time to be silent and a time to speak.  God …. has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart. (From Ecclesiastes 3).


  • Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail. Love is eternal. These three remain: faith, hope, and love; and the greatest of these is love. (From 1 Corinthians 13).


I shall be most happy to select some verses on your behalf, or look at some together with you when planning the service.

If you search the Internet for funeral poems, you'll quickly find a very large range indeed. I also have quite a range we can consider together.  I have a wide range of poems to offer, some with a spiritual content and some without.  Here are a few sample lines from two poems that I find particularly helpful to those who are travelling the journey through bereavement:

My Memories

On the road that all must tread
You have travelled on ahead
Out into the morning light
Out of reach and out of sight
But never far away
For every night and every day
On the wings of memory
Something brings you back to me
Some simple and familiar thing
Will start my heart remembering 


By Patience Strong


We Can Choose

We can choose to grieve, for grieve we must
Or we can pretend that the road's not that tough
We can choose to pity our sad state
Or treasure the memories we know are great…
We can leave all alone the ones deep in their grief
Or sit alongside them and bring some relief

Loving each other's the way we must follow
It's not easy, but together we can face tomorrow.

By Colin Green