Funeral Materials

Click on any of the headings to see the full liturgy/poem/reading/reflection

Funeral Reading: Notes from the Other Side

Publish on Comments(0)

Categories: Funeral

Funeral Scripture: 1 Corinthians 15

Publish on Comments(0)

A reading from the first letter of Saint Paul to the People of Corinth when he was asked questions about death and the resurrection of the body.

Someone may ask, ‘How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?’ How Foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And as for what you sow, you do not sow the body that is to be, but a bare seed, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body.

So it is with the resurrection of the dead: What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body.

For this perishable body must put on imperishability, and this mortal body must put on immortality. And when this happens, then the saying that is written will be fulfilled:

‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’
‘Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?’

Yes, thanks be to God! He gives us the victory over death through our Lord Jesus Christ

This is the word of the Lord
Thanks be to God

Categories: Funeral

Funeral Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18

Publish on Comments(0)

A reading from the letter of Saint Paul to the people of Thessalonika

My dear friends, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest, who have no hope.

We believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.

According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.

And so we will be with the Lord forever.

Therefore encourage one another with these words.

This is the word of the Lord
Thanks be to God

Categories: Funeral

Funeral Scripture: John 14:1-6

Publish on Comments(0)

A reading from the Gospel of John

Jesus said to his disciples: `Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me.
In my Father’s house there are many dwelling-places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going.’

Thomas said to him, `Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’

Jesus said to him, `I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’.

This is the word of the Lord
Thanks be to God

Categories: Funeral

I am standing upon that foreshore

Publish on Comments(0)

I am standing upon that foreshore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength and I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come down to mingle with each other.

Then someone at my side says, ‘There! She’s gone!’ ‘Gone where?’ ‘Gone from my sight, that’s all.’

She is just as large in mast and spar and hull as ever she was when she left my side; just as able to bear her load of living freight to the place of her destination. Her diminished size is in me, not in her.

And just at that moment when someone at my side says, ‘There! She’s gone!’ there are other eyes watching her coming and other voices ready to take up the glad shout, ‘Here she comes!’ And that is dying.

Victor Hugo (a passage often attributed to Bishop Brent)

Categories: Funeral

Funeral Reading: Julius Caesar Act 2:2

Publish on Comments(0)

Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard.
It seems to me most strange that men should fear;
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.

William Shakespeare

Categories: Funeral

Where do they go?

Publish on Comments(0)

Where do they go to, the people who leave?
Are they around us, in the cool evening breeze?
Do they still hear us, and watch us each day?
I’d like you to think of them with us that way.

Where do they go to, when no longer here?
I think that they stay with us, calming our fear
Loving us always, holding our hands
Walking beside us, on grass or on sand.

Where do they go to, well it’s my belief
They watch us and help us to cope with our grief
They comfort and stay with us, through each of our days
Guiding us always through life’s mortal maze.

Categories: Funeral

Time

Publish on Comments(0)

Time is too slow for those that wait,
Too swift for those that fear,
Too long for those that grieve,
Too short for those who rejoice,
But for those who love, time is Eternity.

Henry Van Dyke

Categories: Funeral

The Rose Beyond the Wall

Publish on Comments(0)

Near a shady wall a rose once grew,
Budded and blossomed in God’s free light,
Watered and fed by the morning dew,
Shedding it’s sweetness day and night.

As it grew and blossomed fair and tall,
Slowly rising to loftier height,
It came to a crevice in the wall
Through which there shone a beam of light.

Onward it crept with added strength
With never a thought of fear or pride,
It followed the light through the crevice’s length
And unfolded itself on the other side.

The light, the dew, the broadening view
Were found the same as they were before,
And it lost itself in beauties new,
Breathing it’s fragrance more and more.

Shall claim of death cause us to grieve
And make our courage faint and fall?
Nay! Let us faith and hope receive–
The rose still grows beyond the wall,

Scattering fragrance far and wide
Just as it did in days of yore,
Just as it did on the other side,
Just as it will forever-more.

A. L. Frink

Categories: Funeral

The Final Flight

Publish on Comments(0)

Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free, I’m following the path God laid for me.
I took his hand when I heard his call, I turned my back and left it all.

I could not stay another day, To laugh, to love, to work, to play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way, I’ve found that peace at the end of the day.

If my parting has left a void, Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss, Ah, yes, these things too I will miss.

Be not burdened with times of sorrow, I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My Life’s been full, I savoured much, Good friends, good times, a loved one’ touch.

Perhaps my time seemed all too brief, Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your heart and share with me, God wanted me now, He set me free.

Categories: Funeral

The Broken Chain

Publish on Comments(0)

We little knew that day,
God was going to call your name.
In life we loved you dearly,
In death, we do the same.

It broke our hearts to lose you.
You did not go alone.
For part of us went with you,
The day God called you home.

You left us beautiful memories,
Your love is still our guide.
And although we cannot see you,
You are always at our side.

Our family chain is broken,
And nothing seems the same,
But as God calls us one by one,
The chain will link again.

Ron Tranmer

Categories: Funeral

Remember

Publish on Comments(0)

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 plann’d:
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 you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.

Christina Rossetti

Categories: Funeral

Life Must Go On

Publish on Comments(0)

Grieve for me, for I would grieve for you
Then brush away the sorrow and the tears

Life is not over, but begins anew
With courage you must greet the coming years

To live forever in the past is wrong
It can only cause you misery and pain
Dwell not on memories overlong

With others 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

Categories: Funeral

Life is but a Stopping Place

Publish on Comments(0)

Life is but a stopping place,
A pause in what’s to be,
A resting place along the road,
to sweet eternity.

We all have different journeys,
Different paths along the way,
We all were meant to learn some things,
but never meant to stay…

Our destination is a place,
Far greater than we know.
For some the journey’s quicker,
For some the journey’s slow.

And when the journey finally ends,
We’ll claim a great reward,
And find an everlasting peace,
Together with the Lord.

Categories: Funeral

Life And Death

Publish on Comments(0)

Birth is a beginning and death a destination, but life is a journey a going – a growing from stage to stage, from childhood to maturity and youth to age.

From innocence to awareness and ignorance to knowing;
From foolishness to discretion and then perhaps, to wisdom.
From weakness to strength or strength to weakness and, often, back again.
From health to sickness and back we pray, to health again.

From offence to forgiveness
From loneliness to love
From joy to gratitude
From pain to compassion, and grief to understanding
From fear to faith
From defeat to defeat to defeat – until, looking backward or ahead, we see that victory lies not as some high place along the way, but in having made the journey, stage by stage.

A sacred pilgrimage.

Birth is a beginning and death a destination.
But life is a journey, a sacred pilgrimage – made stage by stage to life everlasting.

Categories: Funeral

In The Presence Of Death

Publish on Comments(0)

In the presence of death, we must continue to sing the song of life.We must be able to accept death and go from it’s presence better able to bear our burdens and to lighten the load of others.

Out of our sorrows should come understanding. Through our sorrows, we join with all of those before who have had to suffer and all of those who will yet have to do so.

Let us not be gripped by the fear of death. If another day be added to our lives, let us joyfully receive it, but let us not anxiously depend on our tomorrows.

Though we grieve the deaths of our loved ones, we accept them and hold on to our memories as precious gifts.

Let us make the best of our loved ones while they are with us, and let us not bury our love with death.

Seneca

Categories: Funeral

If I Be the First of Us to Die

Publish on Comments(0)

If I be the first of us to die,
Let grief not blacken long your sky.
Be bold yet modest in your grieving.
There is a change but not a leaving.
For just as death is part of life,
The dead live on forever in the living.

And all the gathered riches of our journey,
The moments shared, the mysteries explored,
The steady layering of intimacy stored,
The things that made us laugh or weep or sing,
The joy of sunlit snow or first unfurling of the spring,
The wordless language of look and touch,
The knowing,
Each giving and each taking,
These are not flowers that fade,
Nor trees that fall and crumble,
Nor are the stone,
For even stone cannot the wind and rain withstand
And mighty mountain peaks in time reduce to sand.

What we were, we are.
What we had, we have.
A conjoined past imperishably present.

So when you walk the wood where once we walked together
And scan in vain the dappled bank beside you for my shadow,
Or pause where we always did upon the hill to gaze across the land,
And spotting something, reach by habit for my hand,
And finding none, feel sorrow start to steal upon you,
Be still.
Close your eyes.
Breathe.
Listen for my footfall in your heart.
I am not gone but merely walk within you.

Categories: Funeral

I Am There

Publish on Comments(0)

Look for me when the tide is high
And the gulls are wheeling overhead

When the autumn wind sweeps the cloudy sky
And one by one the leaves are shed

Look for me when the trees are bare
And the stars are bright in the frosty sky

When the morning mist hangs on the air
And shorter darker days pass by.

I am there, where the river flows
And salmon leap to a silver moon

Where the insects hum and the tall grass grows
And sunlight warms the afternoon

I am there in the busy street
I take you hand in the city square

In the market place where the people meet
In your quiet room – I am there

I am the love you cannot see
And all I ask is – look for me

Iris Hesselden

Categories: Funeral

He is Gone

Publish on Comments(0)

You can shed tears that he is gone
Or you can smile because he has lived
You can close your eyes and pray that he will come back
Or you can open your eyes and see all that he has left

Your heart can be empty because you can’t see him
Or you can be full of the love that you shared
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday

You can remember him and only that he is gone
Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on
You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back
Or you can do what he would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

David Harkins

Categories: Funeral

Feel no Guilt in Laughter

Publish on Comments(0)

Feel no guilt in laughter, she’d know how much you care.
Feel no sorrow in a smile that she is not here to share.

You cannot grieve forever; she would not want you to.
She’d hope that you could carry on the way you always do.

So, talk about the good times and the way you showed you cared,
The days you spent together, all the happiness you shared.

Let memories surround you, a word someone may say
Will suddenly recapture a time, an hour, a day,
That brings her back as clearly as though she were still here,
And fills you with the feeling that she is always near.

For if you keep those moments, you will never be apart
And she will live forever locked safely within your heart.

Categories: Funeral

Epitaph on a Friend

Publish on Comments(0)

An honest man here lies at rest,

The friend of man, the friend of truth,
The friend of age, and guide of youth:

Few hearts like his, with virtue warm’d,
Few heads with knowledge so inform’d;

If there’s another world, he lives in bliss;
If there is none, he made the best of this.

Robert Burns

Categories: Funeral

Do not Stand at my Grave and Weep

Publish on Comments(1)

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 on 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.

Mary Elizabeth Frye

Categories: Funeral

All Is Well

Publish on Comments(0)

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 same easy way which you always did.

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 the household word that it always was.

Let it be spoken without effect, without the shadow of a ghost 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 just waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near,

just around the corner. All is well.

Henry Scott Holland

Categories: Funeral

A Life That Matters

Publish on Comments(0)

Ready or not, some day it will all come to an end. There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours, days. All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else.

Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance. It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed. Your grudges, resentments, frustrations, and jealousies will finally disappear. So, too, your hopes, ambitions, plans, and to-do lists will expire.

The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away. It won’t matter where you came from, or on what side of the tracks you lived. At the end, whether you were beautiful or brilliant, male or female, even your skin colour won’t matter.

So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured?

What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built; not what you got, but what you gave.

What will matter is not your success, but your significance.

What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught.

What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others.

What will matter is not your competence, but your character.

What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will feel a lasting loss when you’re gone.

What will matter is not your memories, but the memories that live in those who loved you.

Living a life that matters doesn’t happen by accident. It’s not a matter of circumstance but of choice.

Choose to live a life that matters.

Categories: Funeral

Miss me, but let me go

Publish on Comments(0)

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 we once shared,
Miss me, but let me go!

For this a journey we all must take,
And each must go alone;
It’s all a part of the master’s plan
A step on the road to home.

When you are lonely and sick of heart
Go to the friends we know,
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds,
Miss me, but let me go.

Robyn Rancman 

Categories: Funeral

Burial of Ashes

Publish on Comments(0)

Part of a collection which may be downloaded from here from the Agnus Dei website

Preparation

The minister greets the people in these or other suitable words

Grace, mercy and peace
from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ
be with you all.

Though we are dust and ashes,
God has prepared for those who love him a heavenly dwelling place.
At his/her funeral we commended N into the hands of almighty God.
As we prepare to commit the remains of N to the earth,
we entrust ourselves and all who love God to his loving care.

Reading

A reading from the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians

Someone will ask, ‘How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?’ No! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And as for what you sow, you do not sow the body that is to be, but a bare seed, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body.
So it is with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in sorrow, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body.

1 Corinthians 15.35-38, 42-44a

The Committal

As we committed the body of N to be cremated, with the same words we commit their ashes;

Heavenly Father
We have entrusted our brother/sister N to God’s mercy,
and we now commit his/her mortal remains to the ground:
earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust:
in sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life
through our Lord Jesus Christ,
who will transform our frail bodies
that they may be conformed to his glorious body,
who died, was buried, and rose again for us.
To him be glory for ever.
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen

Heavenly Father,
we thank you for all those whom we love but see no longer.
As we remember N in this place,
hold before us our beginning and our ending,
the dust from which we come
and the death to which we move,
with a firm hope in your eternal love and purposes for us,
in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

The Dismissal

May the infinite and glorious Trinity,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
direct our life in good works,
and after our journey through this world
grant us eternal rest with all the saints.
Amen.

May the love of God and the peace of Christ bless and console you
and gently wipe away every tear from your eye,
and May the Blessing of God Almighty
+Father, Son and Holy Spirit
Be upon you and remain with you this day and always
Amen

The Funeral is ended. Go in Peace.

Categories: Funeral, Parish

Liturgy: Burial of Ashes (at Sea)

Publish on Comments(10)

On Palm Sunday, I will be burying ashes at sea. For anyone interested, this is my usual liturgy, reproduced here as it is not that common.

Gathering

In the name of the +Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Grace, mercy and peace
from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit
be with you all.

Though we are dust and ashes,
God has prepared for those who love him a heavenly dwelling place.
At his/her funeral we commended N into the hands of almighty God.
As we prepare to commit the remains of N to the sea,
we entrust ourselves and all who love God to his loving care.

Scripture

Hear the comforting words of the Holy Scriptures:

The eternal God is our refuge,
and underneath are the everlasting arms.

cf Deuteronomy 33. 27 AV

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled,
and unfading, kept in heaven for you.

1 Peter 1.3,4

Lord, you have been our refuge
from one generation to another.

Before the mountains were brought forth,
or the earth and the world were formed,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

You turn us back to dust and say:
‘Turn back, O children of earth.

‘For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday,
which passes like a watch in the night.

Psalm 90.1-4

Reading

A reading from the first letter of St Paul to the Corinthians

Someone will ask, ‘How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?’ No! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And as for what you sow, you do not sow the body that is to be, but a bare seed, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body.

So it is with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in sorrow  is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body.

1 Corinthians 15.35-38, 42-44a

Committal

As we committed the body of N to be cremated, with the same words we commit his/her ashes:

Heavenly Father, we have entrusted our brother/sister to God’s mercy,
and we now commit their mortal remains to the deep
In sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life, until that day when the sea shall give up her dead, through our Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our frail bodies, that they may be conformed to his glorious body, who died, was buried and rose again for us, to him be glory forever. Amen.

God our Father,
in loving care your hand has created us,
and as the potter fashions the clay
you have formed us in your image.
Through the Holy Spirit
you have breathed into us the gift of life.
In the sharing of love you have enriched our knowledge
of you and of one another.
We claim your love today,
as we return these ashes to the deep
in sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life.
Amen

Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.

Heavenly Father,
we thank you for all those whom we love but see no longer.
As we remember N in this place,
hold before us our beginning and our ending,
the dust from which we come
and the death to which we move,
with a firm hope in your eternal love and purposes for us,
in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen

Blessing & Dismissal
May the love of God and the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ
Bless and console you and gently wipe away every tear from your eye,
And the blessing of God Almighty, +Father, Son and Holy Spirit
Be upon you and remain with you,
This day and always
Amen

The funeral is ended. Let us go in peace.

Categories: Funeral, Parish
Tags: Burial, Burial Of Ashes, Funeral, How To Bury At Sea, Interrment, Interrment Of Ashes, Liturgy