Article - Bagpipes at Funerals and Memorials

Some helpful hints on bagpipes at funerals and memorials

Music is integral to the funeral rights. Mention bagpipes and most people will associate them with funerals. This association of the bagpipes and funerals stem from what the pipes can do best, powerfully play and touch the deepest emotions where words fail to reach. For hundreds of years the bagpipes have been played at funeral services, commemorating their loss of a loved one with music. The soulful and haunting sounds of the bagpipe's ancient scale express convictions and feelings that words alone may fail to convey. If you are reading this article, you may be in need of bagpiper to help you and your family deal with a very difficult time in your lives. We have prepared a simple explanation of how to find and use the services of bagpiper at a funeral.

When to Use a Piper at the Service

The bagpipes can be utilized at any point during the funeral service. Typically the bagpiper will perform at either the Funeral Mass or at the Interment at the cemetery. Occasionally, a bagpiper may be requested to perform at both the mass and the interment.

The bagpipes can be utilized at any point during the funeral service. Typically the bagpiper will perform at either the Funeral Mass at the chapel or at the Interment at the cemetery, or both.

The Funeral Mass at the Church

The piper will usually plays before, on rare occasions during, and after the funeral mass.

Before the Mass Begins

As the funeral procession arrives, the bagpiper can play several tunes before procession stops. Once all vehicles are stopped, the bagpiper should take up a position near the rear door of the hearse. When the doors of the hearse open, the bagpiper should starts playing once again. The bagpiper should play Amazing Grace and stop once everyone is inside the church.

During the Mass

Most churches do not allow bagpipes to be played inside a church. If your church will allow it limit the amount of playing to just one or two tunes. If the bagpiper has a set of small pipes available, request the use of the small pipes for inside the church.

After the Mass

The piper should start playing as the church door is opened and casket is being carried out. The piper can stand near the hearse while playing. Again, the piper should play "Amazing Grace" oncec more, and then proceed to play any other tunes that may have been requested. When the back door of the hearse is closed, the piper may continue to play until the hearse leaves and is out of site.

At the Internment

When the funeral procession arrives, the piper should play until the hearse stops. When the doors of the hearse open, the piper should begin to play once more and lead the procession into the graveside or into the internment location.

If requested, the bagpiper can arrange to play "Amazing Grace" or any other requested tune during the moment of silence.

At the conclusion of the service the piper can plays a lament or hymn such as Flowers of the Forest or Amazing Grace. Mourners often place flowers on the gravesite. The bagpiper should continue to play and after a period of time, walk slowly away while playing.

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