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August 2016

The Celebration Sounds Of A Life Well Lived

Last time, I posted about flowers at funerals, but another popular inclusion in a Sydney funeral is music. As funerals have evolved to become celebrations of a life well lived, so have the music selections. Gone are the days of dark somber funeral dirges. Today, people are choosing music that reflects on the life being celebrated.

According to The Telegraph, some of 2016’s popular choices have been:


  • PachelbelCannon in D Music can console in more than one way. Pachelbel’s canon does it by being unchangeable and rock-steady. That endlessly repeating bass and the violin lines following each other in stately procession say, ‘Don’t worry – the world is not going to collapse. Life goes on’.
  • Henry Francis LyteAbide With Me The words of this hymn describing death coming like evening could be frightening. The sweet tune tells us not to be afraid.
  • Sarah Brightman & Andrea BocelliTime to Say Goodbye Pop-classical crossover smash from 1997, and the best-selling single ever in Germany.
  • Antonio Vivaldi – Four Seasons Vivaldi’s four concertos have been a classical music favourite for decades, and the slow movements have a pastoral calm that makes them appropriate for a funeral.
  • Eva CassidyOver The Rainbow The late American singer added an extra layer of vocal pathos to the Judy Garland classic.
  • Tina TurnerSimply The Best Originally written for Eighties soul star Paul Young, The Best has gone on to be a favourite, not only at funerals, but also with sportsmen
  • Dolly Parton and Whitney HoustonI Will Always Love You Dolly Parton wrote and recorded her bitter sweet country ballad in 1973, but it was boosted to international fame thanks to Whitney Houston’s version which was used as the theme tune to 1992 film The Bodyguard.
  • Sarah McLachlanAngel Sarah McLachlan penned this song as a tribute to Smashing Pumpkins touring keyboard player Johnathan Melvoin, who overdosed on heroin and died in 1996.
  • Nat King ColeUnforgettable Nelson Riddle’s orchestration combines with Cole’s smoky vocal to create music that lives up to its title.

And one of the top songs has been Frank Sinatra‘s My Way. I could watch this all day…

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Why Flowers? Thoughts From A Philosophical Cat.

Sydney funeralLady, the philosophical cat?

Over the years of being the official funeral home cat of Elite Funeral Directors, I have seem some amazing flower arrangements come through our doors. Flowers are a traditional part of funerals, but have you ever stopped to think about the origins of flowers and funerals?

Flowers have been a part of funerals for thousands of years. The main reason behind flowers at funerals originally have been to hide the aroma of the body, but that isn’t something we want to think about today. One thing I wish for you to think about is the beauty of flowers and the symbolism it can represent of life. Just as the plant grows into maturity and produces the beautiful flower, a life grows from infancy into maturity and produces a beautiful flower. What a wonderful thought to consider a beautiful life well lived surrounded by beautiful flowers as family and friends celebrate their life.

Now you know the rest of the story…at least how I see it!

I like to think a flower opens itself to outgrow its plantedness. That it yearns to be carried away. ~Author Unknown

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