Hemel Hempstead (01442) 253465

Berkhamsted (01442) 870326

Music at the funeral

Music will play some part in most services, whether it be sung hymns or simply a piece of recorded music which the family or deceased has chosen. We are able to advise on appropriate music and acceptable formats for any funeral service venue when you make your arrangements. However below are some general guidelines.

Services at the crematorium

Funerals at the crematorium are limited to a specific amount of time. Whilst extra time can be booked at most crematoria (normally at additional cost), most funerals will not take more than the prescribed time. This limitation means that one or two hymns or pieces of recorded music can be used during the main service, with an additional piece of music being played as the mourners enter the chapel and another as they exit. An organist (or recorded equivalent) is available at most crematoria, and most have facilities for playing CDs.

Nearly all crematoria will have copies of "Hymns Old and New", which has the words to most popular hymns, with the notable exceptions of "I vow to thee my country" and "Onward Christian Soldiers" (these are often provided as inserts).

Please note that due to technical difficulties and copyright issues, most crematoria prefer original CDs to play from, clearly marked as to which track is to be played and at what point in the service. CDs should be submitted to the funeral director no later than two working days prior to the funeral to allow them to be delivered to the crematorium.

Services at the Chilterns Crematorium and West Herts Crematorium

Recently installed in both the Chilterns Crematorium and West Herts Crematorium is a new system which provides music from a computerised library. This system can be used to supply traditional organ music or nearly any piece of music currently available for purchase. This system negates the need to bring CDs to the service, and avoids any technical difficulties which may be experienced with these.

To make use of the new system, please inform your minister or celebrant of your music requirements at least two working days before the funeral and they will make sure that the tracks you request are available at the crematorium on the day of the service.

Moving forward the crematoria will be disallowing any CDs brought along on the day of the service, so we advise that you make use of the new system. If you have any questions about this system you can call our offices or visit the system provider's web site at www.wesleymusic.co.uk.

Services in church

When a service takes place in church, the time allowed for the service can, after discussion with the minister and funeral director, be adjusted to accommodate a shorter or longer service. If more hymns or pieces of music are desired the minister will normally be able to cater for these. Most churches will have an organist, although an additional fee will usually be charged to cover their costs. Not all churches have facilities for playing recorded music so please discuss this with the minister if you intend to have something played.

Services at the graveside

For services that take place at the graveside, there is no facility provided by the cemetery for music. Most cemeteries however will not object to music being played or sung at the graveside as part of the service. If a friend or member of the family wishes to bring along a portable CD or tape player (battery powered only, as there is unlikely to be a power socket nearby) the minister or celebrant will be able to incorporate that into the service. Alternatively if a hymn or song is to be sung and the people are willing, it can be sung a cappella.

Soloists and Pipers

We are often asked to provide the services of a piper or soloist for a funeral. These can take part in the service at any of the locations above (with certain restrictions) and we are pleased to be able to supply both on request.

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