First of all, I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your loved one. If you, or they, wanted black funeral songs specifically, today I’ll share some of the best with you. Read on below to see them, all of which are performed by African American or black brothers and sisters.
1.“Going Up Yonder” by Walter Hawkins
Song Year: 1975
One of the most encouraging songs to be played at a black funeral is one by Walter and Tramaine Hawkins. For the loved one that followed Jesus, the family can be comforted and assured that their loved one is in a better place – they have gone up yonder, which means heaven.
They are with God, at peace, and in a place of love and comfort. The tempo is upbeat, and the lyrics are comforting. This song will lift everyone's spirits. The Hawkins is one of the best contemporary gospel singers known in the black community.
2.”Soon and Very Soon” by Andrae Crouch
Song Year: 1976
Andrae Crouch's gospel music has expanded across the globe. He is one of the preeminent gospel singers, and his songs have been played and sung at funerals, specifically black funerals, for years. This song by Andrae Crouch is one of the classic gospel songs for black funerals.
Soon and very soon is comforting and encouraging for anyone who has lost a loved one who loved God. They are now with the king they loved, and soon and very soon, we all will be with the king enjoying His presence and fellowship with others. So, despite the grief and the mourning, we can look up and look forward. Separation won't last forever.
3.“Jesus Promised Me a Home Over There” by Jennifer Hudson
Song Year: 2008
Jennifer Hudson made her debut on American Idol with this song. The song is passionate, spiritual, and uplifting. Many who followed Christ and grew up in church know just what this song means.
It's Jesus' promise in the Bible that He will leave, but part of His mission is to set up places or homes for His followers in heaven when life here is over.
That's the promise we believe, and this song sings of that comforting promise that assures us that all is well with our loved ones who followed Jesus. Your loved ones are in a better place and living in a better home. The song also encourages those who are left behind but also love God.
4.“Oh, I Want To See Him” by R.H. Cornelius
Although written many years ago, this popular hymn is a favorite among black funeral songs. The song has been sung by many at funerals. The words are beautiful, and the meaning is deep.
For followers of Christ, we finally see His face and the joy that comes with that. The song speaks of entering a glorious time once one has passed on from this life.
No need to be sorrowful or walk around downtrodden. Your loved one is with God and enjoying every minute of it. For them, the cares of this life are past, and they're home at last. For those left, we can be encouraged and lift our heads, knowing something better waits for us.
5. “Take Me To The King” by Tamela Mann
Song Year: 2012
This contemporary song is a favorite of many. Tamela Mann's vocals are strong, and the words are powerful. The song starts slow and explodes into joyful praise of seeing the king – God.
It's uplifting and comforting. It speaks of frustrations experienced in life and finally realizing all that's necessary is being in God's presence and enjoying Him forever.
6. “Stand” by Donnie McClurkin
Song Year: 1996
This song by one of Gospel's contemporary artists will encourage and uplift anyone facing the death of a loved one. How do you handle grief, pain, disappointment, and broken hearts – just stand. Stand firm in your faith in God.
Stand firm because your loved one is in a better place. Stand firm. Don't turn and run. Don't hide, be strong. It's okay to cry. It's okay to stumble but don't fall. Don't stay down but get up and stand. This is one of the more encouraging and comforting songs played at a funeral.
7. “Amazing Grace” by John Newton
Song Year: 1779
John Newton wrote this song after a horrible experience of being lost at sea. Newton, who was a slave owner, was a troubled man who had a near-death experience on the sea, which turned his life completely around.
After praying to God, Newton became a different man. Years later, he penned what many would call the most famous hymn ever. He wrote this amazing song after a scripture in the Bible. It was initially named something else, but over the years became Amazing Grace.
The lyrics are heart-wrenching, deep, and convincing. The song has been remade and sung by multiple artists and churches. It is uplifting, inspiring, and comforting for those who have lost a loved one. This song is one of the most popular songs played at funerals. It's usually played before or after but can be played anytime.
8. “When I See Jesus” by Douglas Miller
Song Year: 1981
This song will uplift everyone attending a funeral, especially a black funeral. No matter what happens in this life, if we trust in Jesus and live right, we will see eternal life. Douglas Miller's vocals will move your spirit and encourage you.
When I see Jesus, everything will be right. All our troubles will be over. You don't have to worry about your loved one who lived for God – everything is alright.
9. “Safe In His Arms” by Rev. Milton Brunson & The Thompson Community Singers
Song Year: 1986
What a beautiful song. It will stir the souls of all who attend a funeral. The lyrics are encouraging and inspiring for any funeral. Your loved one is safe in his arms and resting peacefully.
It's meaningful and insightful. The vocals and tempo fit any funeral. It tells us there is hope, and we can move forward without worrying about our loved ones.
10. “I Shall Wear A Crown” by Minister Thomas Whitfield
Song Year: 1973
When your loved one has passed, that's not the end. If they lived faithfully for God, they would wear a crown. They shall be rewarded for a life well lived in Christ. They now see the face of the One they lived for, and all is well.
This song is played at many black funerals. It's pretty much a staple funeral song with soul-stirring and uplifting lyrics. It's inspiring for those left behind, reminding them that they have something to look forward to.
11. “Walk Around Heaven” by Patti LaBelle
Song Year: 2011
Another soul-stirring song tailored and made for a black funeral, Patti Labelle sings this song with power only way Patti Labelle can do it. A gospel song mixed with some R&B/Soul will make this a favorite among those who attend the funeral.
12. “I Can Only Imagine” by Tamela Mann
Song Year: 2001
Originally sung by the gospel group MercyMe, Tamela Mann puts her soulful spin on this beautiful and inspiring song. The song will flood your mind with memories of your loved one, but that's okay. The lyrics are deep and insightful.
We often wonder what our loved ones that have passed on are doing. The song helps us get a small glimpse of the happiness and peace they are experiencing. They're enjoying themselves forever, surrounded by the love of God.
13. “I Pray We‘ll Be Ready” by Chicago Mass Choir
Song Year: 2005
This song is more about being ready when death comes. The lyrics tell everyone to get ready or be ready when that last day comes, and it's too late. The song is popular among black churches and is a wonderful song for a black funeral.
14. “In My New Home” by Lee Williams and The Spiritual QC’s
Song Year: 2007
This song is perfect for a singer who has passed on, especially a singer that lived for God. They sang songs for God in churches all over, and now that they've passed, they are singing in their new home.
15. “Angels Will Be Singing” by Edwin Hawkins
Song Year: 1984
The Hawkins singers were popular during the 1970s and 1980s among the African-American community. This song is by Edwin Hawkins, who wrote and choreographed this song with the Arts Seminar Mass Choir.
It's comforting to know that the angels are singing now that your loved one has passed. This song is encouraging and uplifting, telling you there's no reason to let grief overwhelm you. Your loved one is home and enjoying themselves.
16. “The Battle Is Not Yours” by Yolanda Adams
Song Year: 1993
A perfect song for those who have lost loved ones because the battle is not yours; it's the Lord's. Hand over all your pain to Him. Everything is in His hand, and He will work it. He will give you strength during your darkest hours. Just trust Him. Keep your head up, and things will get better. Let the memories of your loved one comfort you.
17. “I Can’t Feel At Home” by New Jerusalem Baptist Church
Song Year: 1996
This song's upbeat tempo will uplift and encourage you during your darkest moments. It helps you look forward to the future and helps you look to where your loved ones have passed on to – where we will one day meet them again.
The song speaks of all the disappointments of this life. We don’t feel at home and long to go to our real home one day. Play this song and watch the attendees stand to their feet, sing, and clap along. It’s a joyful song that will make you forget you’re at a funeral.
18. “God Is” by James Cleveland
Song Year: 1968
James Cleveland is a staple among the African-American gospel community. He wrote many songs that most people can relate to – songs that have significant meanings about one's spiritual life and outlook.
These songs are treasure troves and are favorites among many people. This song is inspiring and uplifting. It has a slower tempo, but it is soul-stirring. This song will have you in deep meditation regarding your spiritual life and connection to God.
The song is also one of the more popular black funeral songs. It will strengthen you by helping you focus on the joy and strength of your life instead of the sad moments that funerals can bring.
19. “View That Holy City” by Rizen
Song Year: 2004
This song will lift your spirit – and everybody else's at a funeral. It's an uptempo, hand-clapping, and foot-stomping tune that will wipe away the tears and turn those frowns upside down. You'll feel like you're at a real celebration of life service instead of a funeral.
20. “His Eye Is On The Sparrow” by Mahalia Jackson
Song Year: 1905
This is one of the great hymns of all time, sung by one of the greatest gospel singers of all time, Mahalia Jackson. Mahalia Jackson's voice is unmatched. Her singing will stir your soul and lift your spirit. The lyrics are about God's protection over our lives.
We may think sparrows are insignificant, but God has his eye on them, and if He has his protective eye on them, how much more does He watch over us and care for us, especially during a time of sorrow?
21. “The Lord Is My Shepherd” by Cissy Houston
Song Year: 1996
The mother of Whitney Houston sings a favorite Psalm in the Bible many cherish during times of difficulties and the death of loved ones. What can encourage, uplift, and inspire you while going through the darkest and toughest times of your life than this meaningful Psalm?
The Lord is my Shepherd and gives us comfort and strength to get through the dark valleys. The song is wonderfully made, and Cissy Houston's voice is powerful. The choir behind her does an outstanding job.
22. “I Know Who Holds Tomorrow” by Albertine Walker and the Caravans
Song Year: 2006
Albertine Walker sings this song with such power and soul. This song is definitely one of the best funeral songs ever made. The lyrics tell us that there is no reason the loss of a loved one should cause us to hold our heads down or even become depressed.
Our hope is in the One who holds tomorrow – God. Not only does He hold the future, but He holds the present, and He'll get us through our darkest days one step at a time.
23. “I’m Going Away” by Walter Hawkins
Song Year: 1987
Another member from the Hawkins performs an uplifting song that's a sure favorite at any black funeral. Like most songs on this list and most black funeral songs, this one encourages us to keep looking up and away because we're going away one day to a better place where our loved ones have passed away.
The tempo is upbeat but has a good vibe that will bring a smile to your face and good memories of your loved one that's no longer around.
Best Black Funeral Songs, Final Thoughts
Funerals are a way to memorialize our loved ones, cherish their memories with others, and formally celebrate their life. A funeral involves a lot of patience and preparation – from choosing the funeral directors to picking out the type of casket that fits your loved one to the music played.