Non-Religious Funeral Readings

| Your Tribute Founder

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Non-Religious Funeral ReadingsNon-religious funeral readings are an excellent way to pay tribute to a loved one at a funeral service, regardless of their beliefs. The Holy Bible is not the only source of funeral readings. Like religious readings, non-religious funeral readings also convey messages of sympathy and empathy to the bereaved.  Moreover, all listeners or readers, no matter what their religion or ethnicity, can appreciate non-religious readings.

Poems, quotations, and song lyrics are all examples of non-religious funeral readings.  There are so many to choose from, which can make it difficult to find the perfect one or two for a funeral. You will want to choose the right ones to convey the exact feelings or messages that you want to communicate. The following are a few of our favorites. For more non-religious funeral readings we recommend you view our articles on funeral poems and memorial quotes.

Non-Religious Funeral Readings

We Must Not Weep At An End, by David Burrows

We must not weep at an end
for there is no end.
We are not what we were.
We cannot lose what we have gained.
We have met, we have touched each other with smiles,
Exchanged unknown emotions.
We have embraced without shame.
We have met for a season,
A brief interlude in time
And so we part, the purpose done….

From the “Tempest”, by William Shakespeare

Prospero. Be cheerful, sir:
Our revels now are ended.
These our actors, as I foretold you, were all spirits and are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, the cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself, yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve and, like this insubstantial pageant faded, leave not a rack behind.
We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.

Farewell, by Rabindranath Tagore

I have got my leave. Bid me farewell, my brothers!
I bow to you all and take my departure.

Here I give back the keys of my door
—and I give up all claims to my house.
I only ask for last kind words from you.

We were neighbors for long,
but I received more than I could give.
Now the day has dawned
and the lamp that lit my dark corner is out.
A summons has come and I am ready for my journey.

These non-religious funeral readings are helpful, especially for the bereaved that is in denial of a loved one’s death.  They make him or her see that their loved one’s purpose of existence has been accomplished and so he or she must leave this world.

There are some poems and quotes, which celebrate the life of the deceased. They give comfort to those who are mourning the death of a loved one.

Death is Nothing at All (What is Death), by Henry Scott Holland

Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away to the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
That, we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way
which you always used.
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 ever the household word
that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect.
Without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolute unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?

I am but waiting for you.
For an interval.
Somewhere. Very near.
Just around the corner.

All is well.

The lyrics of songs are now being used as non-religious funeral readings.  This is not surprising because the lyrics of a song are basically poems set into music. The following is an example of a popular funeral song. You can find more great songs to play or read at a funeral by view our articles on funeral songs.

I Will Remember You, by Sarah McLaughlin

I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don’t let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories

Remember the good times that we had?
I let them slip away from us when things got bad
How clearly I first saw you smilin’ in the sun
Wanna feel your warmth upon me, I wanna be the one

I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don’t let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories

I’m so tired but I can’t sleep
Standin’ on the edge of something much too deep
It’s funny how we feel so much but we cannot say a word
We are screaming inside, but we can’t be hear

But I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don’t let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories

I’m so afraid to love you, but more afraid to loose
Clinging to a past that doesn’t let me choose
Once there was a darkness, deep and endless night
You gave me everything you had, oh you gave me light

And I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don’t let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories

And I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don’t let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories
Weep not for the memories

The death of a loved one brings varied emotions.  Sorrow, acceptance, and remembrance are only some of these.  The authors of poems, songs and quotations have put them into words for all of us to identify with and, hopefully, draw strength from. One of the occasions where these non-religious funeral readings can be used is during funeral services. They can be read during the memorial service or can be quoted in obituaries or printed in ‘thank you’ cards.  There are many to choose from and your choice will depend on the message that you wish to convey.                                    


| Your Tribute Founder

Jason Ropchan is the Founder and CEO of Your Tribute, an online resource for Funeral and Grief information and products. He has more than 15 years experience in the funeral industry developing and marketing funeral technology. He has worked with thousands of funeral homes worldwide to help them provide online memo...