Rise Up and Sing

Hope + change through song

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Hospice Song List

We don't always have the opportunity to sing directly to our loved ones when they are dying. But in many cases it can help make the transition go more smoothly. Our wish is that this list be a resource for you - a starting place to help you find songs that you can sing at bedside. You may find some songs on this list may fit well with your loved one's beliefs and some will not. Some songs on the list are not religious but provide a loving message of comfort. Peter and I have sung at the bedsides of our mothers, fathers and many dear friends. We have found singing can bring a calming energy to the room. It can help make the transition a time of sweetness even in the midst of deep grief. May we all be tender with each other as we sing our goodbyes. We will continue to update this list. 

In Rise Again these songs are found mainly in a chapter called "Healing & Letting Go". 

We had help in putting this chapter together from Kate Munger who has been central in launching a movement called Threshold Choirs devoted to helping people make often difficult transitions, such as at the end of life.

Here are some songs in that chapter. (The songs below with an asterick are often used by Threshold Choirs.)

  • Can I Stand Here for You* 119
  • Crossing the Bar 120
  • Hand Upon Your Heart 159
  • May You Walk 122
  • Mi Shebeirach 123
  • My Grateful Heart* 123
  • Onawa’s Waltz 123
  • Pure Grace* 124
  • Sending You Light* 124
  • So Many Angels* 124

​Other helpful songs found elsewhere in Rise Again:

  • Breathing In, Breathing Out 52
  • Lay Down Brother (Sister) 121
  • Sanctuary 59
  • Sea of Dreams 161
  • Tide and the River Rising 274
  • To My Old Brown Earth 274
  • Well May the World Go 282

Here are some good songs for this purpose in Rise Up Singing:

In "Lullabies":

Other songs in Rise Up Singing that may be helpful:

  • Amazing Grace 92
  • Angel Band 92
  • Angels Hovering Round 92
  • Balm in Gilead 208
  • Bamboo 229
  • Brother Sun, Sister Moon 41
  • Catch the Wind 122
  • Dona Nobis Pacem 194
  • Down by the Sallie Gardens 123
  • Edelweiss 152
  • (Somewhere) Over the Rainbow 31
  • Moon River 66
  • River 226
  • Safe in the Harbour 205 
  • Spirit of the Living God 197
  • Swing Low Sweet Chariot 212
  • There’s a Long Long Trail a Winding 81
  • Ubi Caritas 197


Best Concrete