Almighty God, you love everything you have made and watch over us with your unending mercy. We rejoice in your promises of healing, joy, and peace to all who love you. In your mercy turn the darkness of death to the dawn of new life, and the sorrow of parting to the joy of heaven; through our Savior Jesus Christ who died and rose again and who lived forevermore. AMEN
We meet here today to honor the life of [DECEASED]. We give thanks for his life and ask God to bless him now that their time in this world has come to an end. For [DECEASED], the journey is now beginning. But for us, there is loss, grief, and pain. Every one of us here has been affected – perhaps in small ways, or perhaps in transformative ones- by [DECEASED]. His life mattered to us all. It is important for us to collectively acknowledge and accept that the world has fundamentally changed with his passing. We are all grieving. Life will not be the same – nor should it be. Together, let us open our hearts and commemorate the impact [DECEASED] had on us.
Members of [DECEASED’s] family will be coming forward to share thoughts on his life, but first, let us sing together (or listen to) a song that he loved.
[To be selected by family members]
. Eternal God, we pray for ourselves and for [DECEASED]. We stand where Earth and Heaven meet, where life is brought to death Deliver us from grief, fear, and doubt, from despair and unbelief, and bring us to the light of your presence. Grant us that peace, which the world cannot give, so that we, with [DECEASED] may trust in you and find our life through you. Lord, you renew the face of the Earth, gather to yourself [DECEASED], whom we have loved, and grant him those things, which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart imagined. Great Father-Mother God, watch over us this day – and all days. Give us the strength to accept what is past, to appreciate what is present and to look forward to good in our future. Grant us peace; sacred moments of communion with the Universe and faith – in whatever most expresses our deepest inner truth. Bless us and heal us; breathe peace and grace into our lives. Amen
I would now like to invite to the front anyone who would like to share some remarks about [DECEASED]
And now I will invite (close friend/family member) to share their thoughts.
. [DECEASED] is now safe. He/she is already on their way to heaven to enjoy all that awaits there. Let us say this final farewell to (his/her) body as we commit [DECEASED’s] physical form to its natural end.
[DECEASED], we bless you and thank you for being a part of our lives. We honor your life on Earth and we pray for your peace ever-after. We will not forget you. Go well into the kingdom of heaven.
We have been remembering with love and gratitude a life that touched us all.
I encourage you to help, support, and love those who grieve most. Allow them to cry; to hurt; to smile and to remember. Grief works through our systems in its own time.
Remember to bless each day and to live it to the full in honor of life itself – and of [DECEASED]. We often take life for granted and yet it is the greatest gift God gave us.
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. So then, go in peace, and the God of all peace go with you. Amen.
Before we end, we just want to let everyone know (what comes next, are you taking the casket to a grave? Will there be gathering food?). That at the conclusion, you would like everyone to take a flower and put it in the casket and say goodbye if they like.
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 will 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 life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – John 14: 1-6 Flowers
Pass the flowers around. People go to the casket and put flowers in and say goodbye. Then the lid is closed
Malphurs, Aubrey, and Keith Willhite, eds. A Contemporary Handbook for Weddings & Funerals and Other Occasions. Kregel Academic, 2003
Minnich, N. C. (2018). Where is the body?–Funeral liturgy as catechesis (Doctoral dissertation).
Osmer, R. R. (2008). Practical theology: An introduction. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing.
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