Funeral entrance music

Funeral procession.

Funeral entrance music sets the mood at the start of a funeral ceremony. It’s usually an instrumental track or a song that people will hear when they take their seats or when the coffin is carried into the venue.

In this article, we look at what makes good music for the funeral entry and offer some suggestions to help you choose something that’s right for the funeral you’re planning. We’ve also included a few famous examples of music for funeral processions.

What is a good entrance song for a funeral?

You can think of entrance music for a funeral as being like the first sentence in a story or the first scene in a film. It’s there to set a mood and help people know what to expect from the funeral service.

So what makes good funeral entry music? That depends. As you’ll hear from our suggestions, entrance funeral songs can feel sad, uplifting, peaceful or powerful. It’s your choice what mood you want to create and how you want to remember the person who has died. You could even pick a song simply because it meant a lot to that person.

Bear in mind that some religions have rules about funeral music. For instance, you can only choose certain entrance hymns for a catholic funeral mass. Some faiths, like Islam and Orthodox Judaism, don’t allow music at all.

Tip: it’s a good idea to think about funeral entrance and exit music together. Choosing different moods for the entry and exit can have a powerful effect.

Ideas for entrance music for funerals

Classical music for the funeral entrance

Here are 3 classical pieces that strike different moods. For more ideas, take a look at our article on classical music for funerals.

Symphony No. 9 in E minor (2nd movement) by Antonín Dvořák


String Quartet No. 16 (3rd movement) by Ludwig van Beethoven


Largo in E♭ major by Frédéric Chopin

Organ music for the funeral entrance

Organ music is always a popular choice for the start of a funeral. We’ve come up with a mix of religious and non-religious suggestions for you to consider.

Depending on the funeral venue you choose, you can play these songs through a sound system or hire an organist to play them live.

Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ by Johann Sebastian Bach


Onward Christian Soldiers by Sabine Baring-Gould

Ricercar Brevis by J. P. Sweelinck

The best entrance songs for funerals

If you’re looking for popular funeral entry music these songs are well-known and have lyrics that are suitable for funerals.

Boyzone – No Matter What

Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah

Ellie Goulding – How Long Will I Love You

Funeral entrance songs for the older generation

These songs are a little older, so might be a good fit for someone who grew up in the 1950s or 1960s. We’ve chosen a couple for mum and a couple for dad, but you don’t have to stick to these categories. One of our ‘dad’ songs might suit your mum – and that’s fine.

Funeral entrance songs for dad

Procol Harum – A Whiter Shade of Pale

Queen – Play the Game

Funeral entrance songs for mum


Mary Hopkin – Those Were the Days

Ella Fitzgerald – Always

Entrance hymns for funerals

Here’s a selection of funeral entrance hymns. At a Christian funeral, the entrance hymn is the first song people sing before the priest starts the service.

You’ll find more ideas in our guide to traditional funeral songs and hymns.

Here I Am, Lord by Dan Schutte

Come, Holy Ghost by Louis Lambillotte

Make Me a Channel of Your Peace by Sebastian Temple

Funeral procession music

This is what’s played when the coffin is transported to the funeral venue or cemetery.

In a really elaborate send-off – such as a state funeral – a brass band might play funeral procession music as the hearse drives by. More commonly, though, it means the tune you’ll hear while pallbearers carry the coffin into the venue. It can also refer to music for the ‘processional’ – the final part of a Catholic funeral mass.

Here are 3 examples of well-known funeral procession songs.

Marche funèbre by Frédéric Chopin

This is the most famous piece of music for a funeral procession. ‘March funèbre’ is French for ‘funeral march’.

Funeral March No. 1 by Johann Heinrich Walch

‘Funeral March No. 1’ was one of the pieces of music played at the Queen’s funeral procession. People often think Beethoven wrote it, but it’s actually by the German composer Johann Heinrich Walch.

Let There Be Peace on Earth by Jill Jackson-Miller and Sy Miller

This is a popular modern hymn that’s often used as funeral processional music for Catholic services.

Explore more funeral music

You can find a funeral director near you using Funeral Choice’s free search tool. Would you like to see more funeral ideas? Browse our funeral advice centre.