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Christ-Centered Worship Songs: Leading Worship at a Funeral

It was the most difficult “worship” service I have ever had the honor of planning or leading.   On a cold January morning,  the pastor called me into his office.  One of the young  ladies in our congregation had died in a horrible car crash.  She was only 20.   “Jim,” the pastor said, “we’ve been asked to lead worship for her service.   I am putting you in charge.”   Nicole had been “The Girl of The West” which was a very big deal out here in Colorado.  Because of this, her memorial service had to be moved to a much larger facility.  We expected over 500 people to attend.   I was overwhelmed by the assignment!

Leading worship at a funeral for a genuine believer is no small task.   Yes, we gather to celebrate their life, but the emotion present in those gathered is not celebratory.  It is grief, gut wrenching heartache, over the loss of someone they love. Few people feel like singing.   In addition, many who attend the service will not know the Savior.   If you are asked to lead worship in this situation, you will need songs that help people express their pain and their hope in the resurrection.  You will also need songs that call unbelievers attention to the Savior.

I don’t remember the songs we chose for Nicole’s service.   I do recall there were several drafts, and that I was not completely happy with our final choices.   I wish I had known about Read the rest of this entry