A celebration of life is an alternative to the traditional funeral service. They tend to be more personal events than a funeral and offer many opportunities for personalization, including with the music you choose.

If you’ve decided to plan a celebration of life service for someone you’ve lost, you might be wondering just how to make things feel personal. You’re not alone! Planning a memorial service of any kind takes a lot of thought and care, and our Creative Memorial Planners are here to help!.

Just know that planning a personalized funeral service doesn’t have to be a grand-scale, over-the-top ordeal; even something as simple as playing your loved one’s favorite song or a playlist of modern, celebratory music can be enough to add some personality into the celebration. (Not that anything is wrong with a good ol’ classic rendition of Amazing Grace; it’s just that has been done over and over again and what’s unique about that?)

What Purpose Music Serves at a Celebration of Life

A great way to personalize a celebration of life service is through music. Any songs played at a celebration of life gathering should serve two purposes:

1)     They should be songs the deceased enjoyed, and

2)     They should be celebratory.

Remember that a gathering of this type is not meant to be somber; think more along the lines of a party the deceased would have very much enjoyed attending along with everyone else. Positive and uplifting music can be incredibly healing.

But what are the best celebration of life songs? With a celebration of life, there are so many options to what songs you can play.

You may find it extra special to choose songs or artists that were important to your late loved one if you can. What were their favourite artists or a genre they loved? Consider also the genres they didn’t like and avoid those!

Our Top 10 Song Choices for Your Celebration of Life

Below you’ll find our top picks, just to get you started in building your playlist. Don’t be afraid to be creative, though – feel free to let these ideas inspire your own!

1. Somewhere Over The Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

2. What A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong

3. Here Comes The Sun by The Beatles

4. Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper

5. Something About The Way You Look Tonight by Elton John

6. Close to You by The Carpenters

7. Dancing Queen by ABBA

8. Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison

9. Unforgettable by Nat King Cole & Natalie Cole

10. Fire and Rain- James Taylor

If you like this playlist, you can find it and more of our #FinalPlaylist in Spotify. We are building different playlists for different kinds of celebrations.

Looking for more ideas on how to personalize your memorial event? Here are some other ideas for you can add personal touches to your end of life celebration.