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Do you sing after a death? if so, why?

I'm just curious. We had a local teen killed in an auto accident. I was reading about it and saw the songs they picked at her memorial. I remember watching a movie The Last of His Tribe (I think is the title) with Graham Green and John Voight. In it Graham Green explained that in his culture they sang over the body of the deceased so the ancestors would know his spirit was passing over and they'd migrate to the sound of the singing. In turn, they would sing so he could find them. I like that. So now I sing when I hear of someone's death. I did that when a neighbor killed himself. I found out he was alone in life so that meant no one would sing for him to call his ancestors. I have no idea if it helped but it gave me peace to know he may have found them and was happier on the other side.


Asked by admckenzie at 4:04 PM on Jun. 27, 2010 in Religion & Beliefs

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Answers (8)
  • I think that is a neat idea. Singing is healing for people and that sounds a lot less sad that many traditions.

    Answer by KTMOM at 4:21 PM on Jun. 27, 2010

  • My religion teaches that death is a reason for celebration, so we sing at funerals. I can't imagine NOT doing it. :)

    Answer by dotsicle at 4:13 PM on Jun. 27, 2010

  • It is just what we've always done. It is a comfort to the soul somehow. When my grandpa passed my sisters and I sat beside him at the viewing. We all had hymnals with us. We just began singing Papa Joes favorite songs. In the next year or so afterwards people would come up to me, or one of my sisterrs and tell us how comforting that was, or how beautiful we sang. The neatest part was it was inpromptu. Usually when there is singing it is everyone...not just a few singing while others listened.

    Answer by GrnEyedGrandma at 4:16 PM on Jun. 27, 2010

  • Thats cool.

    Ive not done it but Ive not been to many funerals or been around anyone when they died so the opportunity wasnt really there. Ive sang at funeral services but not for the reasons you stated.

    I will probably play my husbands favorite songs as we scatter his ashes after he passes, that will bring us all some peace I think.

    Answer by Amaranth361 at 4:12 PM on Jun. 27, 2010

  • That's a neat custom! Though we don't always sing along, most of the funerals I've gone to have included songs, and I've especially liked the ones where the song was appropriate to the person. At the funeral of my ex's stepdad, at the end they played 'Happy Trails' as the casket was being carried out... his stepdad was a country music lover and horse owner and general cowboy type guy... it seemed so appropriate to who he was. At my grandmother's funeral my dad and his siblings chose the song 'Smile' to be played as people filed into the chapel for the service... again, it seemed so appropriate to the moment as it's a song about smiling through the pain and realizing that life is still worth living.

    Answer by Freela at 6:42 PM on Jun. 27, 2010

  • Generally yes. I havent been to many funerals but the last one, we sang.

    Answer by 3gigglemonsters at 8:21 PM on Jun. 27, 2010

  • Thankfully I've only been to one funeral, and I don't remember singing, although I do love the idea. :)

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 8:53 PM on Jun. 27, 2010

  • lol...

    We played a Polka at my G'ma B's funeral!

    Answer by MamaK88 at 5:42 PM on Jun. 28, 2010