Anyone who has experienced a death of a loved one will want his or her send-off to be as meaningful as possible. Our Bible readings for a funeral will provide you with a selection of Bible readings that will uplift and comfort friends and family at the funeral.
A funeral mass is intended to be a celebration of the life of the person who passed away. However, this will also be a very difficult time for the people left behind, as their loss is overwhelming. Naturally, we will want to pay tribute to our loved one while comforting the guests at the funeral. One of the best ways to accomplish this is through the readings that are to be spoken during the ceremony. A lot of people don’t know what to choose as readings for a funeral and it is good that the Bible has a lot of verses that are applicable for a funeral service.
Understandably, the Bible is very long and it might be difficult for you to remember which parts are appropriate readings for a funeral. Here are some very beautiful Bible verses that you could use.
Readings For A Funeral
“Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.””
This encapsulates one of the most fundamental precepts of the Christian faith, which is that Jesus Christ is the bread of life and that whoever believes in him would also receive eternal life. Furthermore, even though people have departed this earth, in the final day Christ will raise them up.
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?”
Jesus preaches that people should believe in Jesus and God, the Father. Belief and obedience in them will assure one that Jesus will prepare a place for him in heaven. Christians who hear these readings should not be scared of death if they emulate Jesus’ examples.
2 Macabees 12:43-46
“Judas, the ruler of Israel, took up a collection among all his soldiers, amounting to two thousand silver drachmas, which he sent to Jerusalem to provide for an expiatory sacrifice. In doing this he acted in a very excellent and noble way, inasmuch as he had the resurrection of the dead in view; for if he were not expecting the fallen to rise again, it would have been useless and foolish to pray for them in death. But if he did this with a view to the splendid reward that awaits those who had gone to rest in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be freed from this sin.”
Emphasizes even further that the dead will be resurrected at some point in the future and that we, as the living, should respect and continue to pray for them.
“Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin – because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him.”
This reading tells us that in dying, our bodies are finally freed from sin and are no longer mastered by death. Instead, in death we are finally able to be resurrected just as Christ did.
“He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.”
This is another iconic verse that tells us that God is the Supreme Being, and that death is not the end because that privilege lies solely to God as the beginning and end of everything.
To choose readings for a funeral it is important to consult with the pastor and his team because they will coordinate the mass. The pastor is also responsible for reciting a homily based on the scripture that was proclaimed during the funeral. Normally the pastor will also have recommendations that will let the mass be the most meaningful. There are three readings recited at the funeral and these are the first reading, taken from the Old Testament, the second reading, taken from the New Testament, and the Gospel. There are also two psalms, which is the Responsorial Psalm and the Prayers of the Faithful which requires the participation of the crowd.
Choosing Bible readings for a funeral is an important piece of the funeral planning process. The readings spoken at the funeral will help console friends and family attending the funeral. There are numerous Bible readings that would be applicable for a funeral service. For more options, read the related articles below, or consult your church.
Updated: December 11, 2012