Funeral Planning Trends: Funeral Karaoke
Playing music at a funeral is something almost all cultures and religions do in some form or another. Pianos or organs, a vocalist or harpist, pre-recorded songs that accompany the procession—there is something about music that speaks to the soul and helps communities to heal.
It’s probably no wonder, then, that funerals and a more modern kind of music are starting to form a new trend. Some families and funeral homes are taking musical mourning to the next level by installing karaoke machines that allow the newly bereaved to express their grief in an entirely new way: by belting out a favorite song in front of the entire audience.
Although karaoke is most commonly associated with bars or parties where there’s more enthusiasm than class, it is a medium that encourages participation. There is no need for karaoke singers to have talent, and people who are not familiar with all the words to a song can rely on the scrolling words to fill in the gap.
For funerals, this can help ease quite a bit of the tension that naturally builds when a large group gathers for unhappy reasons. Families might be striving to repair broken relationships, mourners might be struggling to come to terms with their own feelings, and the circumstances of the death might be adding to the pain of the day. Music has a way of ameliorating a lot of these issues—especially if people are encouraged to relax and try to find the positive.
Keeping Things Respectful
Of course, karaoke can quickly turn things into a joke rather than a respectful gathering, so it is important to adhere to a few common sense rules.
- Sing songs that meant something to the deceased or have a special place in your heart.
- Avoid lyrics that might cause offense or rely on foul language.
- Keep performances in line with the tone of the day.
- Do not be afraid to tell a quick story about the deceased and why you’ve chosen a particular song.
- Make the performance about the deceased instead of yourself.
- Sing at the funeral luncheon/after party instead of the funeral itself (when requested).
You might also opt to take a smaller group out to karaoke after the funeral takes place (and the immediate family has departed). This can be especially nice if the deceased was a lover of music, bars, and/or karaoke.
Funeral karaoke is a little bit like the funeral selfie phenomenon, which straddles the line between tacky and healing, so it is always best to make the decision to include it carefully. Not everyone will support the idea of turning a funeral into a celebration of life rather than a mourning of death, but for some, it is a great way to come to terms with loss and remember a life that meant so much to everyone.