Music and Poems for Services

Within both the Oak and Willow chapels we have a comprehensive music library that can ensure that whatever music choice you wish can be played during the funeral service

Music Facilities

When making funeral arrangements, music can play a large part in personalising the funeral service. Music can be played when the mourners enter and exit the chapel, and hymns or personalised music may be played when the curtains close or at any other time during the service. However, this is entirely at the discretion of the mourners making the funeral arrangements.

When choosing pieces of music, consideration should be given to their total playing time, and whether this will impact on the rest of the service time booked.


The Willow chapel is fitted with an organ, there is no organ within the new Oak chapel, if this facility is required in this new chapel you may use the chapels sound system and bring in your own musical instrument such as an electronic organ. If you wish to use the organ within the Willow chapel then family or funeral directors will need to hire an organist. We are able to supply contact details of local organists if this is required.

Occasionally we have requests for members of the family to play the organ in the Willow chapel themselves. This facility is available, but we do suggest that they visit the chapel a few days before the funeral to familiarise themselves with the organ layout.

Hymn CD

A specialist hymn system is available, if required, for playing standard hymns with a choir to aid with singing. Checks need to be made several days before the service to ensure that the hymn required is available. If a special hymn is required then this can be obtained from our music suppliers, but at least 4 days notice is needed for this facility and contact needs to be made with the crematorium office by either the funeral director or person arranging the funeral. Please be aware that hymn words that you print on your order of service need to match our music system.

Family/Own CDs

Your own CDs can be played on the crematoriums sound system. However, consideration should be given to the quality of the CD, as these often do not play the same on different machines.

CDs need to be brought to the Crematorium at least one clear day prior to the service. This is so we can check them out to ensure that they play well. If we can have the CD(s) early enough, we can avoid any problems on the day of the service.

Service Books and Service Sheets

We have two books available in the chapel for use during services; Hymns Ancient and Modern New Standard Version, and Funeral Services of the Christian Churches in England.

However, sheets with the service details clearly set out can be made to personalise your funeral. Hymns that you wish to sing, photographs, special poems, sayings or other details can be put into a service sheet so that mourners are able to follow the service on the day. Directions can be given in this, or details of where donations may be sent. If you are using a funeral director they can advise you, or if you wish you may make up your own service sheets. If you wish to contact the Crematorium office we can offer suggestions, help and advice on contents.


Poetry often expresses emotions in a very clear and simple way. You may like to use some of these suggestions, or you may have your own favourite readings.

Several books that may be useful are listed below . You can reserve a book for collection at your local library.

You can also use this Amazon link and commission from items you purchase will be used to support your local libraries.

  • All in the end is harvest: An anthology for those who grieve.
    Agnes Whitaker (ed) (1996) London Darton, Longman and Todd. ISBN: 0232516243. Prose and poetry published in association with Cruse Bereavement Care.


  • Do not go gentle: Poems for funerals.
    Neil Astley (ed) (2003) Tarset: Bloodaxe Books. ISBN: 1852246359. Traditional and contemporary poems for people of all faiths, agnostics and atheists.


  • The long pale corridor: Contemporary poems of bereavement.
    Judi Benson and Agneta Falk (eds) (1996). Newcastle upon Tyne: Bloodaxe Books. ISBN: 1852243171.


  • Poems and Readings for Funerals.
    Julia Watson (ed) (2004). London. Penguin Books. ISBN: 0141014962.


  • In Loving Memory A collection for Memorial Services, Funerals and Just Getting By.
    Sally Emerson (ed) (2004). London. Little Brown. ISBN: 0316725994. 


Popular Poems and Sayings


  • All Is Well
    Death is nothing at all
    I have only slipped away into the next room
    I am I, and you are you
    Whatever we were to each other
    That we are still
    Call me by my old familiar name
    Speak to me in the easy way, which you always used
    Put no difference into your tone
    Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow
    Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together
    Play, smile, think of me, pray for me
    Let my name be ever the household word that it always was
    Let it be spoken without effort
    Without the shadow of a trace on it
    Life means all that it ever meant
    It is the same as it ever was
    There is absolutely unbroken continuity
    Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
    I am but waiting for you
    For an interval
    Somewhere very near
    Just around the corner
    All is well

    Henry Scott Holland


  • Have Faith
    Have faith in love and do not fear the sadness that comes
    When someone has gone away.
    For love is deeper than the deepest sorrow:
    Its light can reach beyond the darkest day.
    Have faith in love... for love is sure and constant;
    A tie too strong for time and loss to sever.
    And for those who love, there are no final partings.
    Where love has been, there love will be forever


  • I Did Not Die
    Do not stand at my grave and weep
    I am not there, I do not sleep;
    I am a thousand winds that blow,
    I am the diamond glints of snow;
    I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
    I am the gentle autumn rain;
    When you awaken in the morning's hush;
    I am the swift uplifting rush
    Of quiet birds in circled flight,
    I am the soft stars that shine at night;
    Do not stand at my grave and cry,
    I am not there
    I did not die.


  • If I knew
    If I knew it would be the last time
    that I'd see you fall asleep,
    I would tuck you in more tightly
    and pray the Lord, your soul to keep.
    If I knew it would be the last time
    that I see you walk out the door,
    I would give you a hug and kiss
    and call you back for one more.
    If I knew it would be the last time
    I'd hear your voice lifted up in praise,
    I would videotape each action and word,
    so I could play them back day after day.
    If I knew it would be the last time,
    I could spare an extra minute
    to stop and say "I love you,"
    instead of assuming you would KNOW I do.
    If I knew it would be the last time
    I would be there to share your day,
    Well I'm sure you'll have so many more,
    so I can let just this one slip away.
    For surely there's always tomorrow
    to make up for an oversight,
    and we always get a second chance
    to make everything just right.
    There will always be another day
    to say "I love you,"
    And certainly there's another chance
    to say our "Anything I can do?"
    But just in case I might be wrong,
    and today is all I get,
    I'd like to say how much I love you
    and I hope we never forget.
    Tomorrow is not promised to anyone,
    young or old alike,
    And today may be the last chance
    you get to hold your loved one tight.
    So if you're waiting for tomorrow,
    why not do it today?
    For if tomorrow never comes,
    you'll surely regret the day,
    That you didn't take that extra time
    for a smile, a hug, or a kiss
    and you were too busy to grant someone,
    what turned out to be their one last wish.
    So hold your loved ones close today,
    and whisper in their ear,
    Tell them how much you love them
    and that you'll always hold them dear
    Take time to say "I'm sorry,"
    "Please forgive me," "Thank you," or "It's okay."
    And if tomorrow never comes,
    you'll have no regrets about today.


  • If I Should Go
    If I should go before the rest of you,
    break not a flower nor inscribe a stone,
    nor, when I am gone, speak in a Sunday voice,
    but be the usual selves that I have known.
    Weep, if you must; parting is hell,
    but life goes on, so sing as well.

    Joyce Grenfell
  • Leisure
    What is life if, full of care,
    We have no time to stand and stare?
    No time to stand beneath the boughs
    And stare as long as sheep or cows
    No time to see when woods we pass
    Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass
    No time to see, in broad daylight
    Streams full of stars, like skies at night
    No time to turn at Beauty’s glance
    And watch her feet, how they can dance
    No time to wait till her mouth can
    Enrich that smile her eyes began?
    A poor life this if, full of care,
    We have no time to stand and stare.

    William Henry Davies


  • Remember
    Remember me when I am gone away,
    Gone far away into the silent land
    When you can no more hold me by the hand
    Nor I half turn to go, yet turning stay
    Remember me when no more day by day
    You tell me of our future that you planned
    Only remember me, you understand
    It will be late to counsel then or pray
    Yet if you should forget me for a while
    And afterwards remember, do not grieve
    For if the darkness and corruption leave
    A vestige of the thoughts that once I had
    Better by far that you should forget and smile
    Than that you should remember and be sad.

    Christina Rossetti


  • Success
    To laugh often and love much;
    to win the respect of intelligent persons
    and the affection of children;
    to earn the approbation of honest critics
    and to endure the betrayal of false friends;
    to appreciate beauty;
    to find the best in others;
    to give of one’s self;
    to leave the world a little better,
    whether by a healthy child,
    a garden patch
    or a redeemed social condition;
    to have played and laughed with enthusiasm
    and sung with exultation;
    to know that even one life has breathed easier
    because you have lived –
    this is to have succeeded.

    Ralph Waldo Emerson


  • They Do Not Leave
    They do not leave. They are not gone,
    They look upon us still,
    They walk among the valley now,
    They stride upon the hill.
    Their smile is in the summer sky,
    Their grace is in the breeze,
    Their memories whisper in the grass
    Their calm is in the trees.
    Their tears are in the gentle rain,
    Their sigh is in the autumn leaves
    They do not leave, They are not gone
    It’s only us who grieve.


  • We Remember
    When we are weary and in need of strength
    When we are lost and sick at heart,
    We remember him/her
    When we have a joy we crave to share
    When we have decisions that are difficult to make
    When we have achievements that are based on his/hers
    We remember him/her
    At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter
    At the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring,
    We remember him/her
    At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of summer
    At the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of autumn,
    We remember him/her
    At the rising of the sun and at it's setting,
    We remember him/her
    As long as we live he/she will live,
    For he/she is now a part of us,
    And we remember him/her.


  • We Hold You Close
    We hold you close within our hearts
    And there you shall remain
    To walk with us throughout our lives
    Until we meet again
    So rest in peace dear loved one
    And thanks for all you’ve done
    We pray that God has given you
    The crown you’ve truly won


  • What Is Dying
    A Ship sails and I stand watching till she fades on the horizon,
    And someone at my side says, “She has gone!”
    Gone where?
    Gone from my sight, that is all;
    She is just as large as when I saw her…
    The diminished size and total loss of sight is in me, not in her.
    And just at the moment when someone at my side says,
    “She is gone”, there are others who are watching her coming,
    and other voices take up a glad shout,
    “there she come!”
    And that is dying.

    Several versions of this poem are attributed to Bishop Brent, Henry Van Dyke, Victor Hugo and others


  • You Can Shed Tears
    You can shed tears that they’ve gone,
    Or you can smile because they have lived.
    You can close your eyes and pray they’ll come back,
    Or you can open you eyes and see all they have left you.
    Your heart can be empty because you can’t see them,
    Or your heart can be full of the love you’ve shared.
    You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
    Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
    You can remember them and only that they’ve gone,
    Or you can cherish their memory and let it live on.
    You can cry and close your mind,
    Be empty and turn your back,
    Or you can do what they’d want;
    Smile, open your eyes, love and journey on.

    David Harkins


  • Miss you
    I miss you in the morning, dear
    When all the world is new;
    I know the day can bring no joy
    Because it brings not you.
    I miss the well-loved voice of you,
    Your tender smile for me,
    The charm of you, the joy of your
    Unfailing sympathy.
    The world is full of folks, it’s true,
    But there was only one of you.
    I miss you at the noontide, dear;
    The crowded city street
    Seems but a desert now, I walk
    In solitude complete.
    I miss your hand beside my own
    The light touch of your hand,
    The quick gleam in the eyes of you
    So sure to understand.
    The world is full of folks, it’s true,
    But there was only one of you.
    I miss you in the evening, dear,
    When daylight fades away;
    I miss the sheltering arms of you
    To rest me from the day,
    I try to think I see you yet
    There where the firelight gleams –
    Weary at last, I sleep, and still
    I miss you in my dreams.
    The world is full of folks, it’s true,
    But there was only one of you.


  • A Navaho Prayer
    When I come to the end of the road
    And the sun has set for me
    I want no rites in a gloom filled room
    Why cry for a soul set free?
    Miss me a little, but not for long
    And not with your head bowed low
    Remember the love that once we shared
    Miss me, but let me go.
    For this is a journey we all must take
    And each must go alone.
    Its all part of the master plan
    A step on the road to home,
    When you are lonely and sick at heart
    Go to the friends we know.
    Laugh at all the things we used to do
    Miss me, but let me go.
    Grieve for me, for I would grieve for you.
    Then brush away the sorrow and tears
    Life is not over, but begins anew,
    with courage you must great the coming years.
    To live forever in the past is wrong;
    Can only cause you misery and pain.
    Dwell not on memories overlong,
    With other you must share and care again.
    Reach out and comfort those who comfort you;
    Recall the years, but only for a while.
    Nurse not your loneliness; but live again.
    Forget not.
    Remember with a smile.


  • Afterglow
    I’d like the memory of me to be a happy one.
    I’d like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done.
    I’d like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways.
    Of happy times and laughing times and bright and sunny days.
    I’d like the tears of those who grieve, to dry before the sun.
    Of happy memories that I leave when life is done.


  • It was beautiful
    It was beautiful ….As long as it lasted
    The journey of my life.
    I have no regrets whatsoever
    Save the pain I’ll leave behind.
    Those dear hearts …. Who love and care
    And the strings pulling at the heart and soul.
    The strong arms that held me up
    When my own strength let me down.
    At every turning of my life
    I came across good friends,
    Friends, who stood by me … Even when time raced me by.
    Farwell! Farwell my friends;
    I Smile and bid you goodbye.
    No I shed no tears …. For I need them not,
    All I need is your smile.
    If you feel sad do think of me
    For that’s what I’ll like
    When you live in the hearts of those you love;
    Remember then …. You never die.


  • A measurement of worth
    Not, how did they die, but how did they live?
    Not, what did they gain, but what did they give?
    These are the units to measure the worth.
    Of a person as a person, regardless of birth.
    Not, what was their church, nor what was their creed?
    But for their work and their care
    For those people in need:
    Their strength for their children
    Their love for their partners in life.
    But had they befriended those really in need?
    Were they every ready, with a word of good cheer,
    To bring back a smile, to banish a tear?
    These are the units that measure a life.
    Not, what did they sketch in the newspaper say,
    But how many were sorry when they passed away?


  • Indian Prayer
    When I am dead
    Cry for me a little
    Think of me sometimes
    But not too much.
    Think of me now and again
    As I was in life
    At some moments it's pleasant to recall
    But not for long.
    Leave me in peace
    And I shall leave you in peace
    And while you live
    Let your thoughts be with the living.


  • Word
    There is a word,
    of grief the sounding token.
    There is a word bejewelled with bright tears.
    The saddest word fond lips have ever spoken,
    A little word that breaks the chain of years.
    Its utterance must ever bring emotion,
    The memories it crystals cannot die.
    ‘Tis known in every land,
    on every ocean,
    It is Goodbye.


Short Sayings


  • Deep peace of the running weave to you
    Deep peace of the flowing air to you
    Deep peace of the quiet earth to you
    Deep peace of the shining stars to you
    Deep peace of the heart of peace to you.


  • May the road rise to meet you
    May the wind be always at your back
    May the sun shine warm upon your face
    May the rain fall softly on your fields
    Until we meet again
    May he hold you in the hollow of his hand.


  • We give thanks for the life of insert name………
    and for all that we can remember and treasure.
    Help us to have trust for the future
    and strength to face every new circumstance in life. 


Last Updated: 9 September 2021