I went to a funeral last weekend for a guy that was only a year older than me. He had tragically died as a result of a motorcycle accident that he had experienced several weeks before. I knew him from the youth group that I grew up in, but hadn’t seen him in several years. I had no clue who he had become in the last few years of his life.

With that said, I was very surprised by the eclectic music choices at the funeral service. It would have been very hard to pin down a common thread in the music that was chosen to honor and celebrate his life. However, the songs did a great job of portraying the life of a guy that meant a lot to many people. It got me thinking…

What songs would you want played at your funeral? Would you want an uplifting song that would encourage people to take joy in your memory? Would you want something more somber to encourage reflection? How about time period? Would you go for hymns, timeless rock ballads, modern pop, or a collaboration of several?

I would like readers to comment with a list of songs that they would want played at their funeral with an explanation. Here are a few of my choices:

1.“It Is Well With My Soul” Written by Horatio Spafford in 1873. Spafford’s children died when a ship sank in route to England from the United States. He boarded the next ship to England to meet his grieving wife. At the exact place that the previous boat had gone down, Spafford looked into the water and penned the words:
“When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrow like sea billows roll.
Whatever my lot, thou has taught me to say: ‘It is well, it is well with my soul’”

2.“Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing”Written by Robert Robinson in 1757. The lyrics of the fourth verse paint a beautiful portrait of man’s struggle with seeking his own desires and leaving the beautiful, safe will of God:
“O to grace how great a debtor, daily I’m constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love;
here’s my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above.”

3.“Strangers and Pilgrims” by Save the Ship. I know that is seems arrogant to have a song from your own band played at your funeral. However, my wife and I wrote most of the lyrics to this song together. It is a story about the journey of life, and trusting God to safely take you through it:
“Strangers and Pilgrims, I’ve made you a homeland.
Make haste, and follow the stars.
By land or by sea, our hearts worn with wandering.
Look up! We are going home!”

so… what about you?