Today we will be sharing our favorite gospel funeral songs. We’ve chosen a range of different singers and time periods so that you have plenty of options. Funerals are tough on everyone involved, but the right song can help lighten the day as you honor and remember your loved one through music.
These timeless tracks will allow funeral attendees to hear their emotions expressed, yet with a gospel note of hope. Each song in its own way demonstrates how death is not the end, thanks to God’s grace.
Even though we grieve deeply, there is great joy in entering the presence of God when our life has finished.
So be inspired! Read on to uncover our top picks for the 21 best gospel funeral songs.
Best Gospel Songs for Funerals
1. Take My Hand, Precious Lord by Jim Reeves (1962)
First on our list is a beloved classic: Take My Hand, Precious Lord. Jim Reeves has an angelic voice that perfectly encapsulates the essence of a funeral.
Reeves talks about the comfort of leaning on God towards the end of your life. The lyrics are sad, yet it has a hopeful rhythm. This song was released in 1962, but continues to be used to this day because of the timeless lyrics and sweet message.
2. You Raise Me Up by Josh Groban (2003)
This incredible ballad will always go straight to the heart. Since it was released in 2003, many people have chosen You Raise Me Up by Josh Groban as the ideal funeral song to hear in memory of a loved one.
The metaphors in the song are beautiful and poetic, and the chorus is very cathartic. This familiarity is something people at a funeral can find comfort in. The song carries the hopeful message that death is not the end of our journey.
Related: 21 Christian Songs for Funerals
3. Mansion Over the Hilltop by Elvis Presley (1960)
Elvis is always a wonderful choice. This gospel song is very different from his usual rock n roll songs, showing a softer, slower side of the singer.
The lyrics are powerful and comforting. In Mansion Over the Hilltop, Presley talks about a metaphorical home waiting for us in heaven. It serves as a reminder that although this life must come to an end, the next life is an end to all suffering.
4. Jesus Promised Me a Home Over There by Jennifer Hudson (2008)
Jennifer Hudson delivers hopeful lyrics with soulful singing in this contemporary version of the classic gospel tune Jesus Promised Me a Home Over There.
The song has an uplifting tone, talking about the peaceful place waiting for us when this life has finished. Hudson’s powerful vocals carry strength and hope to all who grieve at the funeral. The song encourages the listener to not be afraid, but rather to look forward to living forever in heaven.
5. Amazing Grace by Judy Collins & The Global Virtual Choir (2020)
The lyrics of Amazing Grace have been bringing people to tears ever since the song was first published in 1779. Judy Collins’ voice is haunting, and she delivers the lyrics perfectly.
This modern rendition brings another dimension by combining the 1970 Judy Collins acapella recording with the Global Virtual Choir in 2020. The lyrics remind the listener of God’s grace, and how even the most sinful of us can be saved.
6. Lead Me Gently Home by Johnny Cash (1959)
Lead Me Gently Home is a gospel funeral song filled with soothing harmonies and comforting lyrics. Cash’s voice is gravelly yet soft, as if The Man in Black is consoling a child.
The ballad emphasizes that when people pass away, they are going to God’s home, where he is waiting patiently for all of us. The optimistic message of the song combined with its soothing sound fits the tone of a funeral perfectly.
7. Heaven Song by Phil Wickham (2009)
Heaven Song is a beautiful track that completely immerses the listener. The chorus is empowering, as Wickham imagines entering Heaven and singing alongside the angels eternally.
This positive imagery helps to shine a holy light on death and reminds the audience that God joyfully receives all who believe his word and put their faith in Christ.
8. Rock of Ages by Amy Grant, featuring Vince Gill (2015)
This stunning duet between Amy Grant and Vince Gill has a country feel to it, and both singers showcase the incredible range of their powerful voices.
The harmonies are soothing, and the hymn is a good tempo for a funeral. As soon as you start listening, the pair take you on a relaxing journey of poetic lyrics and lovely vocal runs.
9. The Old Rugged Cross by Alan Jackson (2006)
This song has been helpful for those grieving a loved one, as it encourages the listener to lean on the hope to be found in cross of Christ in times of sadness. The lyrics are a blend of sadness and hope, feelings which both come to the surface during grief.
10. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot by Eric Clapton (1975)
This is a personal favorite of mine, because of its optimism and beautiful melodies. The lyrics talk about lovingly being taken home by God, which is a thought that helps many people come to terms with death.
This song is a popular choice for funerals as it has a memorable chorus that lights up any room in which it is played. There’s something about this old gospel song that just brings people together.
11. How Great Thou Art by Carrie Underwood (2014)
This timeless hymn was adapted from a poem written in 1885, and the song has graced churches ever since. Carrie Underwood lends her angelic voice to it, bringing a fresh voice to this well-worn ballad of faith.
The lyrics speak reverently of God and his kindness, and leads the listener to meditate on the eternal happiness waiting for all who worship Jesus.
12. Just a Closer Walk with Thee by The Original 5 Blind Boys of Mississippi (1997)
This is the most upbeat gospel funeral song on our list; it has an effortless feel to it and is full of lovely harmonies. The five singers each deliver their parts beautifully and having five vocal parts adds so much flavor.
Just a Closer Walk with Thee has hopeful lyrics about being gently guided to the Lord, and how heaven is eternal. If you want an optimistic song, then this is a great option.
13. Spirit in the Sky by Norman Greenbaum (1970)
Most people know Norman Greenbaum’s Spirit in the Sky, so it’s a good choice if you’re looking for the comfort that comes with familiarity. The tune is upbeat, and happy lyrics help to elevate the listener.
The song makes heaven sound like one big party, and this outlook will be a source of hope and solace to those experiencing loss. This is a classic gospel song with lyrics that never seem to lose their power.
14. Peace in the Valley by Elvis Presley (1957)
This is another of Elvis’ lovely gospel hymns. In the song, he talks about looking forward to the peacefulness of heaven that is waiting for him.
Presley delivers sweet, robust vocals over a slow tempo. This relaxed pacing gives the listener plenty of time for reflection and emotion, which is perfect for a funeral.
15. Down to the River to Pray by Alison Krauss (2007)
This song uses no instruments, just the sound of Alison Krauss’ voice accompanied by charming yet haunting harmonies. The song is about the power of prayer and the lyrics convey a strong sense of togetherness.
Although there will be many grieving at a funeral, choosing this song can help remind mourners that they are united in their struggle.
16. I’m Going Away by Walter Hawkins (1978)
The song starts with a lovely piano solo, before leading into the main melody. Walter Hawkins’ soothing voice is enjoyable to listen to and the accompanying harmonies are joyous.
The lyrics talk about how death will take a person to a happy place specially prepared for them. It’s a reminder that there is an individual spot in heaven for each of us, prepared by Jesus, that you can look forward to as you trust in him.
17. I’ll Fly Away by Hank Williams (1949)
This upbeat gospel classic will definitely lift people’s spirits. Williams talks about soaring to a place where happiness has no end. This is the heavenly place that awaits all who remain faithful in the struggle, and this song is the perfect reminder of that.
The melodies are joyous, and the instruments play happily alongside Williams’ lovely voice.
Related: 21 Best Country Music Funeral Songs
18. I Can Only Imagine by MercyMe (1999)
This contemporary classic is made up of beautiful singing and a soft piano accompaniment. In the lyrics, lead vocalist Bart Millard sings about walking by the side of God and dancing in Heaven.
The platinum hit tune is a lovely reminder that although it is heartbreaking to lose someone, they have been taken to a place of joy where they will no longer suffer.
19. Still by Hillsong United (2003)
This peaceful gospel song is perfect for a time of reflection during a funeral. In the song, the singer uses beautiful imagery of storms and oceans, as representations of God’s love.
It’s a wonderful worship song that emphasizes the strength of God’s love, which can help us through anything.
20. Uncloudy Day by Willie Nelson (1976)
In this classic song, Willie Nelson sings of a place where there is no pain and encourages the listener to look forward to it. Nelson’s upbeat singing is accompanied by dreamy harmonies and a playful guitar.
It is by no means a sad song, but instead an encouraging one, ideal for that ray of hope that every funeral attendee needs to hear.
21. Who Am I by Casting Crowns (2003)
Who Am I is a reflection on our need to rely on God in times of need. The words emphasize that we are imperfect, yet God accepts us nevertheless. The lovely melody is joined by a peaceful piano and electric guitar.
This song takes the listener on a journey of poetic lyrics, and it has a slow tempo that suits the tone of a funeral well.
Read next: 100+ Best Funeral Songs of All Time
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