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Readings for Funeral services

(Click for Memorial Poems or Reflections)

 

The Liturgy of the Word consists of:

  • First Reading
  • Psalm
  • Second Reading
  • Gospel Acclamation
  • Gospel

Sample First Reading: Old Testament Readings

From the Book of Job 19:1.23-27
Then Job said: "O that my words were written down! O that they were inscribed in a book! O that with an iron pen and with lead they were engraved on a rock forever!

For I know that my Redeemer lives, and that at the last he will stand upon the earth; and after my skin has been thus destroyed, then in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see on my side, and my eyes shall behold, and not another.

This is the Word of the Lord

 

From the Book of Wisdom 3:1-9
The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God,
and no torment will ever touch them.
In the eyes of the foolish they seemed to have died,
and their departure was thought to be a disaster,
and their going from us to be their destruction;
but they are at peace.

Although in the sight of others they were punished,
their hope is full of immortality.
Having been disciplined a little, they will receive great good,
because God tested them and found them worthy of himself;
like gold in the furnace he tried them,
and like a sacrificial burnt offering he accepted them.

In the time of their visitation they will shine forth,
and will run like sparks through the stubble.
They will govern nations and rule over peoples,
and the Lord will reign over them forever.

Those who trust in him will understand truth,
and the faithful will abide with him in love,
because grace and mercy are upon his holy ones,
and he watches over his elect.

This is the Word of the Lord

 

From the Book of Wisdom 4:7-15
But the righteous, though they die early, will be at rest.
For old age is not honored for length of time,
or measured by number of years;
but understanding is maturity enough for anyone,
and a blameless life is ripe old age.

There were some who pleased God and were loved by him,
and while living among sinners were taken up.
They were caught up so that evil might not change their understanding
or guile deceive their souls...

Being perfected in a short time, they fulfilled long years;
for their souls were pleasing to the Lord,
therefore he took them quickly out from the midst of wickedness...

For God's grace and mercy are with his elect,
and that he watches over his holy ones.

This is the Word of the Lord

 

From the Book of Isaiah 25:6-9
On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines. And he will destroy on this mountain the shroud that is cast over all peoples, the sheet that is spread over all nations; he will swallow up death forever.

Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces, and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken. It will be said on that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us. This is the Lord for whom we have waited; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

This is the Word of the Lord

 

From the Book of Lamentations 3:24-29
"The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him." The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him.

It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. It is good for one to bear the yoke in youth,
to sit alone in silence when the Lord has imposed it,
to put one's mouth to the dust, for there may yet be hope.

This is the Word of the Lord

Psalms

Psalm 16 “Keep me safe O God, you are my hope, you are my hope O God”.

Psalm 22 “The Lord is my Shepherd, there is nothing I shall want”.

Psalm 23 “Shepherd me O God, beyond my wants beyond my fears, from death into life”.

Psalm 27 “The Lord is my light and my salvation of whom should I be afraid”.

Psalm 32 “May your love be upon us O Lord, as we place all our hope in you”.

Psalm 34  “The Lord will heal the broken heart, God will seek the lost and find them”.

Psalm 91 “Be with me Lord when I am in trouble, be with me Lord I pray”.

Psalm 103 “The Lord is kind and merciful, the Lord is kind and merciful,  Slow to anger, rich in kindness the Lord is kind and merciful”.

Psalm 130 “With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption”.

Psalm 131 “In you O Lord, I have found my peace, I have found my peace”.

 

Second Reading : New Testament Readings

From the Letter of St Paul to the Romans 6:3-9
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For whoever has died is freed from sin.

But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.

This is the Word of the Lord

 From the Letter of St Paul to the Romans 8:31-39
If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? Who will bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us.

Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, "For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

This is the Word of the Lord

 

From the Letter of St Paul to the Romans 14:7-12
We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's. For to this end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living. Why do you pass judgment on your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written, "As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall give praise to God." So then, each of us will be accountable to God.

This is the Word of the Lord

From the First Letter to the Thessalonians 4:13-18
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may no grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died. For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died.

For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel's call and with the sound of God's trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them 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

 From the Second Letter to Timothy 2:8-13
Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David - that is my gospel, for which I suffer hardship, even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But the word of God is not chained. Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, so that they may also obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.

The saying is sure: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he will also deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful - for he cannot deny himself.

This is the Word of the Lord

 

From the First Letter of St John 3:1-2
See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

Beloved, we are God's children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is.

This is the Word of the Lord

 

From the Book of Revelation 21:1-7
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away." And the one who was seated on the throne said, "See, I am making all things new." Also he said, "Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true." Then he said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life. Those who conquer will inherit these things, and I will be their God and they will be my children.

This is the Word of the Lord

 

Gospel Acclamation: Alleluia except during Lent.

Gospel

A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew (5: 1 -12)

Seeing the crowds, Jesus went up the hill. There he sat down and was joined by

his disciples. Then he began to speak. This is what he taught them:

Blessed are the poor in spirit; theirs is the kingdom o f heaven.

Blessed are the gentle; they shall have the earth as their heritage.

Blessed are those who mourn; they shall be comforted.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for what is right; they shall be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful; they shall have mercy shown them.

Blessed are the pure in heart; they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers; they shall be called the children of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted in the cause of right; theirs is the kingdom

of heaven.

Blessed are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of

calumny against you on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be

great in heaven.

A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke (24: 13-16, 28-35)

On the first day of the week, two of the disciples were on their way to a village

called Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking together

about all that had happened. Now as they talked this over, Jesus himself came up

and walked by their side; but something prevented them from recognising him.

When they drew near the village to which they were going, he made as if to go

on; but they pressed him to stay with them. “It is nearly evening,” they said,

“and the day is nearly over.” So he went in to stay with them. Now, while he was

with them at table, he took the bread and said the blessing; then he broke it and

handed it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognised him; but he

had vanis hed from their sight. Then they said to each other, “Did not our hearts

burn within us as he talked to us on the road and explained the scriptures to us?”

They set out at that instant and returned to Jerusalem.

A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew (11: 25 -30)

Jesus exclaimed, “I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for hiding these

things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children. Yes,

Father, for that is what it pleased you to do. Everything has been entrusted to me

by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, just as no one knows

the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.

Come to me all you who labour and are overburdened and I will give you rest.

Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and

you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.”

A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew (27: 45 -54)

When the sixth hour came there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth

hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, Lama

Sabachthani?” which means, “My God, My God, why have you deserted me?”

When some of those who stood by heard this, they said, “Listen, he is calling on

Elijah.” Someone ran and soaked a sponge in vinegar and putting it on a reed,

gave it to him to drink saying, “Wait and see if Elijah will come to take him

down.” But Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. And the veil of the

Temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The centurion, who was standing in

front of him, had seen how he had died and said, “In truth this man was the Son

of God.”

A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to John (11: 17-27)

On arriving at Bethany, Jesus found that Lazarus had been in the tomb for four

days already. Bethany is only about two miles from Jerusalem, and many Jews

had come to Martha and Mary to sympathise with them over their brother. When

Martha heard that Jesus had come she went to meet him. Mary remained sitting

in the house. Martha said to Jesus, “If you had been here, my brother would not

have died, but I know that, even now, whatever you ask of God, he will grant

you.” “Your brother,” said Jesus to her, “will rise again.” Martha said, “I know he

will rise again at the resurrection on the last day.” “I am the resurrection and the

life. If anyone believes in me, even though they die, they shall live, and whoever

lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” “Yes Lord,” she said,

“I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who was to come into

this world.”

A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to John (14: 1-6)

Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God still,

and trust in me. There are many rooms in my Father’s house; if there were not, I

should have told you. I am going now to prepare a place for you, and after I have

gone and prepared you a place, I shall return to take you with me; so that where

I am you may be too. You know the way to the place I am going.” Thomas said,

“Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father

except through me.”

A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to John (3: 37-40)

Jesus said to the crowd: “All that the Father gives me will come to me and

whoever comes to me I shall not turn away; because I have come from heaven,

not to do my own will, but to do the will of him who sent me. Now the will of him

who sent me is that I shall lose nothing of all that he has given to me, and that I

should raise it up on the last day. Yes, it is my Father’s will that whoever sees the

Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and that I shall raise them up on

the last day.”

A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew (25: 31 -36)

Jesus said to his disciples: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, escorted by all the angels, then he will take his seat on his throne of glory. All the nations will be assembled before him and he will separate one from another as the shepherd separates sheep from goats. He will place the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right hand, “Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take for your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you made me welcome; naked and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me.” Then the virtuous will say to him in reply, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you; or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome, naked and clothe you; sick or in prison and go to see you?” And the king will answer, “I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers and sisters, you did it to me.”