Hymns at funerals dying out as ‘celebratory’ pop songs become more popular

May 9, 2017 by

by Olivia Rudgard,Telegraph

For decades traditional hymns such as Abide with Me and The Lord Is My Shepherd have been staples at British funerals.

But their popularity is waning as more people opt instead for cheerier secular songs.

A shift to more balanced ceremonies which involve celebration as well as mourning has driven an increase in pop songs and poems…

[…] Top five funeral pop songs for over 50’s

  1. Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life – Monty Python
  2. Stairway To Heaven – Led Zeppelin
  3. My Way – Frank Sinatra
  4. Another One Bites The Dust – Queen
  5. Bat Out Of Hell – Meatloaf

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[Editor’s note: on one level this list shows typical British ‘gallows humour’ but on another it’s an insight into the desperately serious spiritual state of the nation. When I worked as a vicar I often had requests for “My Way at funerals, and always managed to gently steer the family away towards something less blasphemous like Nat King Cole’s ‘Unforgettable’. Other vicars would disagree, saying that our pastoral responsibility is simply to give the family what they want at a time of loss, and to assure the assembled mourners of the certainty of the loved one’s place in heaven, even though his theme tune was “My Way”. The crisis then is not so much loss of collective memory of classic hymns, sad though that is, but a national amnesia about the Gospel, which should drive us to our knees in prayer, and motivate us afresh in evangelism.]

See also

Less than a third of Britons believe religion is important, says poll, by Alex Williams, Premier

Britain’s loss of religious faith: how should we interpret shocking new statistics, by Damian Thompson, Spectator

…as one historian put it to me, ‘we’re far too busy worshipping ourselves to be a truly Christian country”

Popularity of humanist weddings in Scotland is soaring – John Paul Breslin, Sunday Post

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