Funeral poems

Of all the ways to personalise a funeral service, choosing one or more carefully selected funeral poems is probably among the most touching; poetry is also a good way to help articulate your personal feelings at what is inevitably a difficult time.

Whether you choose a classic funeral poem, something with strong regional focus (such as "My Heart's in the Highlands" by Robert Burns), one of many Christian funeral poems, or a specially written poem by a grandchild, poetry brings special meaning to the celebration of a life.

Choosing funeral poems

Choosing a poem to read at a funeral, as for the whole funeral organisation process, benefits from careful planning. For a poem to have maximum relevance and meaning, it must combine the following:

  • Capture the nature and personality of the deceased
  • Establish the relationship between the poem and the person
  • Combine mourning and celebration with sensitivity
  • Communicate the feelings of the reader
  • Resonate with the mourners

Rather than just concentrating on death and grief, many of the most powerful poems are actually about life and love rather than simply being sad funeral poems. This sits comfortably with the increasing role of funerals as celebrations of a life rather than just mourning events.

Where are funeral poems used

Think carefully about where the poem will be used during the funeral. A typical funeral offers many possibilities, including the following:

  • Short funeral poems on cards accompanying flowers and wreaths
  • In the order of service
  • As a presentation during the funeral service or Celebration of life
  • In a book of remembrance
  • In a personal card to the family of the deceased

What will the poem do?

The funeral, memorial service, or life celebration is about the person who has died and the unique things that they brought to their life. When choosing funeral poems, always think carefully about what will help you and the other mourners remember them best.

Sources of poems for funeral use

  • Books and E-books
  • CDs
  • Websites
  • Recommendation by friends and family
  • Suggestions from a religious minister or funeral director
  • Poems remembered from funerals that you attended

A huge range of funeral poetry (religious funeral poems and non religious funeral poems) is available in books and on the internet. A quick visit to websites such as Amazon will quickly deliver a selection of general and funeral-specific books on poetry. And of course, your local library or high street bookshop should be a great source of uplifting funeral poems too.


Whether you're seeking funeral poems for a grandmother, baby funeral poems or just a good general sample of funeral poems, here are some titles to get you started:

Poems and Readings for Funerals
Julia Watson
ISBN-13: 978-0141014968

Do Not Go Gentle: poems for funerals
Neil Astley
ISBN-13: 978-1852246358

Lament: Scottish Poems for Funerals and Consolation
Lizzie MacGregor
ISBN-13: 978-1904598527

Poems For Funerals & Those Who Grieve
Faye Kilday
ISBN-13: 978-1847284556

How will your loved ones know what poetry to read at your funeral?

Are you looking for funeral poetry for someone else's funeral? Or maybe, like so many enlightened people, you realise the benefit of planning your own funeral arrangements in advance.

It's never too early to start planning and documenting personal decisions about music, funeral poems, and other meaningful details that you'd like at your send-off. Perhaps it's important to have a poem by a particular writer; or perhaps you only want very happy funeral poems?

Either way, when you chose The Well Planned Funeral's Your Funeral Plans and Wishes product you're making sure that your wishes will be known. You'll also be making life easier for those you leave behind by freeing them from otherwise agonising decisions about what you would have liked.

Other Decisions That Need to be Made

Do you need help deciding what funeral prayers you want to be cited, if any? Do you want to give any guidelines about what type of funeral wear you would like people to adopt? Would you like people to send some flowers for funeral or should this only be from close family members? Are they are modern funeral songs that you would like played?