If a loved one has passed away and you are helping to plan the funeral, you will need to select the funeral readings. Our list of popular funeral readings will help you with this difficult task. The funeral readings are an important part of the funeral because they help put into words your feelings towards your loved one. They also provide friends and family in attendance with words of encouragement and help to ease the solace they are feeling.
The funeral should be a celebration of life and have a clear message of hope. Choose from the popular funeral readings the words that have a special meaning for you and your loved one. Typically two or three readings are chosen. If you are unsure how many readings to choose, or what readings to select, you should speak to the church or funeral home.
On the day of the funeral, you, or another member of your family may be composed enough to do the readings. However, if you feel it will be too difficult, feel free to ask a friend, relative or member of the church or funeral home to deliver these popular funeral readings for you.
Popular Funeral Readings
2 Corinthians 5:1
“Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.”
This is one of the most popular funeral readings, which tells us that the passing of a person is merely a means for all humans to join the Father in the Kingdom that he has built for us in heaven. It also tells us that death is only a tool in which we shed our earthly shell.
1 Corinthians 15:50-57
“I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Through Christ we will no longer perish and death is necessary for us to be able to inherit the Kingdom that God has prepared for us. This popular funeral reading also says that death is the way to which we can achieve immortality in heaven. It similarly talks about the end of days where when the last trumpet sounds, the dead will be raised.
“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;”
This reading gives us hope that death shouldn’t limit us and after our death Christ has promised to us life once more.
Wisdom 3:1-6, 9
“The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them. They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction. But they are in peace. For if in the eyes of men, indeed they be punished, yet is their hope full of immortality; Chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed, because God tried them and found them worthy of himself. As gold in the furnace, he proved them, and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself. Those who trust in him shall understand truth, and the faithful shall abide with him in love; Because grace and mercy are with his holy ones, and his care is with his elect.”
This is a beautiful and fitting reading for a funeral service because it tells us that the passing, though thought to be a bad thing by those that are still living, is actually good news for in death they find peace and that actually, death allows them to face immortality because they are already with the Father.
“But now, this is what the LORD says– he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead. Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life. Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth– everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.””
This reading tells us that we are the Lord’s children and he loves us and created us so that we may be with him in glory.
These are only a few examples of popular funeral readings that are rich in meaning and would enhance your service.
One cannot partake in life without experiencing death. Funerals are an important part of this life cycle. Funerals are as much a celebration of life as it is a chance for us to grieve. For though we all expect that at some point we, or our loved ones, will pass away, it doesn’t make the event any less painful. Reading a few of these popular funeral readings at a mass or funeral service will help to console the friends and family in attendance and pay tribute to your loved one.
Updated: December 12, 2012