Funeral

Ministry at the Time of Death

Structure

The minister and the dying person are alone for

    Preparation

    Reconciliation

Others may join the minister and the dying person for

    Opening Prayer

    The Word of God

    Prayers

    Laying on of Hands and Anointing

    Holy Communion

    Commendation

    Prayer when someone has just died

For Notes, see here and here.

Ministry at the Time of Death

Note

Where possible the minister prepares the dying person in private, using the Preparation and Reconciliation sections. The person should be helped to be aware that the time of death is approaching. Family and friends should join the minister and the dying person at the Opening Prayer if they can be present, and it is appropriate that they should receive Holy Communion with the dying person. The different sections of the service may happen at different times, and the last communion may be received on another occasion, and more than once, as pastoral necessity dictates.

See further Notes here.

¶    Preparation

One or more of the following short texts may be said with the dying person. They may be softly repeated two or three times.

Who will separate us from the love of Christ?

Romans 8.35

Whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.

Romans 14.8

Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord

of both the dead and the living.

Romans 14.9

We know that we have a building from God, a house

not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

2 Corinthians 5.1

We will be with the Lord for ever.

1 Thessalonians 4.17

We will see God as he is.

1 John 3.2

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

Psalm 25.1

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom then shall I fear?

Psalm 27.1

I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord

in the land of the living.

Wait for the Lord;

be strong and he shall comfort your heart;

wait patiently for the Lord.

Psalm 27.13,14

Into your hands I commend my spirit;

for you have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.

Psalm 31.5

My soul is athirst for God, even for the living God.

Psalm 42.2

Come, you that are blessed by my Father,

inherit the kingdom prepared for you

from the foundation of the world.

Matthew 25.34

The Lord Jesus says,

‘Today you will be with me in Paradise.’

Luke 23.43

This is indeed the will of my Father,

that all who see the Son and believe in him

may have eternal life;

and I will raise them up on the last day.

John 6.40

In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.

John 14.2

I go and prepare a place for you.

And I will come again and will take you to myself,

so that where I am, there you may be also.

John 14.3

‘I desire that those also, whom you have given me,

may be with me where I am, to see my glory,’

says the Lord Jesus.

John 17.24

Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.

Acts 7.59

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,

his mercies never come to an end;

they are new every morning;

great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3.22,23

The Lord’s Prayer

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation

but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours

now and for ever.

Amen.

(or)

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name;

thy kingdom come;

thy will be done;

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation;

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

the power and the glory,

for ever and ever.

Amen.

¶    Reconciliation

The minister may encourage some expression of penitence, such as

Lord Jesus Christ,

Son of God,

have mercy on me,

a sinner.

(or)

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,

we have sinned against you,

through our own fault,

in thought and word and deed,

and in what we have left undone.

We are heartily sorry,

and repent of all our sins.

For your Son our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake,

forgive us all that is past;

and grant that we may serve you in newness of life

to the glory of your name.

Amen.

(or)

Lord, have mercy upon us.

Christ, have mercy upon us.

Lord, have mercy upon us.

The minister may lay hands on the dying person.

If the minister is a priest, either of these absolutions may be used

God, the Father of mercies,

has reconciled the world to himself through the death and resurrection of his Son, Jesus Christ,

not counting our trespasses against us,

but sending his Holy Spirit to shed abroad his love among us.

By the ministry of reconciliation

entrusted by Christ to his Church,

receive his pardon and peace

to stand before him in his strength alone,

this day and evermore.

Amen.

If the minister is a deacon or lay person, these words are used

May almighty God have mercy on you,

forgive you your sins,

and bring you to everlasting life.

Amen.

At this point others may join the minister and the dying person.

¶    Opening Prayer

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope

through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

[All   Blessed be God for ever.]

Let us pray for …

(Silence)

This prayer may be used

Eternal God,

grant to your servant

[and to us who surround him/her with our prayers]

your peace beyond understanding.

Give us faith, the comfort of your presence,

and the words to say to one another and to you,

as we gather in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

The following may be used

Out of the depths I cry to you:

Lord, hear my voice.

Lord, have mercy.

[All   Lord, have mercy.]

If you should mark what is done amiss:

who may abide it?

Christ, have mercy.

[All   Christ, have mercy.]

Trust in the Lord, for with him there is mercy:

for with him is ample redemption.

Lord, have mercy.

[All   Lord, have mercy.]

¶    The Word of God

These or other suitable readings may be used (see here)

Romans 8.35,37-39

Psalms 23; 139

John 6.35-40[53-58]

The minister may encourage an act of faith or commitment, such as

Holy God,

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

I trust you,

I believe in you,

I love you.

(or)

Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.

(or)

Lord, I believe: help my unbelief.

(or)

Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.

¶    Prayers

This litany or some of the prayers with dying people here may be used, or the minister may pray using his or her own words

God the Father,

All   have mercy upon us.

God the Son,

All   have mercy upon us.

God the Holy Spirit,

All   have mercy upon us.

Holy, blessed and glorious Trinity,

All   have mercy upon us.

By your holy incarnation, by your cross and passion,

by your precious death and burial,

All   have mercy upon us.

By your glorious resurrection and ascension,

and by the coming of the Holy Spirit,

All   have mercy upon us.

Graciously hear us, Lord Jesus Christ,

that it may please you to deliver your servant N from all evil and from eternal death,

All   hear us, good Lord.

That it may please you mercifully to pardon all N’s sins,

All   hear us, good Lord.

That it may please you to give N peace, rest and gladness,

raising him/her to new life in your kingdom,

All   hear us, good Lord.

That it may please you to bring us, with N and all your saints,

to a joyful resurrection,

All   hear us, good Lord.

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,

All   hear us, good Lord.

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,

All   hear us, good Lord.

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,

All   hear us, good Lord.

All   In darkness and in light,

in trouble and in joy,

help us, O God, to trust your love,

to seek your purpose

and to praise your name;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

¶    Laying on of Hands and Anointing

The minister, together with others if that is appropriate, may lay hands on the dying person. This prayer may be used

In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ

I/we lay my/our hands on you, N.

May the Lord in his mercy and love uphold you

by the grace and power of the Holy Spirit.

May he deliver you from all evil,

give you light and peace,

and bring you to everlasting life.

All   Amen.

The minister may anoint the dying person, making the sign of the cross in oil on his or her forehead [and hands] (see Note 1 here)

N, I anoint you with oil in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

May the Lord in his love and mercy uphold you

by the grace and power of the Holy Spirit.

All   Amen.

When the anointing is completed, the minister may add

As you are outwardly anointed with this holy oil,

so may our heavenly Father grant you the inward anointing of the Holy Spirit.

Of his great mercy

may he forgive you your sins

and release you from suffering.

May he deliver you from all evil,

preserve you in all goodness

and bring you to everlasting life;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

¶    Holy Communion

If it is possible, the dying person may receive communion.

Unless the bread and wine have already been consecrated, an authorized Eucharistic Prayer is used (see Note 1 here).

The Agnus Dei may be used before the giving of communion

Lamb of God,

you take away the sin of the world,

have mercy on us.

Lamb of God,

you take away the sin of the world,

have mercy on us.

Lamb of God,

you take away the sin of the world,

grant us peace.

(or)

Jesus, Lamb of God,

have mercy on us.

Jesus, bearer of our sins,

have mercy on us.

Jesus, redeemer of the world,

grant us peace.

After the words of distribution the following may be added

May the Lord Jesus protect you

and lead you to eternal life.

¶    Commendation

The Lord’s Prayer

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

All   Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation

but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours

now and for ever.

Amen.

(or)

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

All   Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name;

thy kingdom come;

thy will be done;

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation;

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

the power and the glory,

for ever and ever.

Amen.

The minister speaks first to the dying person, using these or other suitable words

N, go forth from this world:

in the love of God the Father who created you,

in the mercy of Jesus Christ who redeemed you,

in the power of the Holy Spirit who strengthens you.

May the heavenly host sustain you

and the company of heaven enfold you.

In communion with all the faithful,

may you dwell this day in peace.

All   Amen.

(or)

N, go forth upon your journey from this world,

in the name of God the Father almighty who created you;

in the name of Jesus Christ who suffered death for you;

in the name of the Holy Spirit who strengthens you;

in communion with the blessed saints,

and aided by angels and archangels,

and all the armies of the heavenly host.

May your portion this day be in peace,

and your dwelling the heavenly Jerusalem.

All   Amen.

(and/or)

Holy Lord, almighty and eternal God,

hear our prayers as we entrust to you N,

as you summon him/her out of this world.

Forgive his/her sins and failings

and grant him/her a haven of light, and peace.

Let him/her pass unharmed through the gates of death

to dwell with the blessed in light,

as you promised to Abraham and his children for ever.

Accept N into your safe keeping

and on the great day of judgement

raise him/her up with all the saints

to inherit your eternal kingdom.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

The minister says the prayer of commendation

Gracious God,

nothing in death or life,

nothing in the world as it is,

nothing in the world as it shall be,

nothing in all creation

can separate us from your love.

Jesus commended his spirit into your hands at his last hour.

Into those same hands we now commend your servant N,

that dying to the world and cleansed from sin,

death may be for him/her the gate to life

and to eternal fellowship with you;

through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

(and/or)

Into your hands, O merciful Saviour,

we commend your servant N.

Acknowledge, we pray, a sheep of your own fold,

a lamb of your own flock,

a sinner of your own redeeming.

Enfold him/her in the arms of your mercy,

in the blessed rest of everlasting peace

and in the glorious company of the saints in light.

All   Amen.

One or more of the following may also be used

1    Now, Lord, you let your servant go in peace:  

your word has been fulfilled.

2    My own eyes have seen the salvation  

which you have prepared in the sight of every people;

3    A light to reveal you to the nations  

and the glory of your people Israel.

Luke 2.29-32

Glory to the Father and to the Son

and to the Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning is now

and shall be for ever.

All   Amen.

(or)

1    Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace  :

according to thy word.

2    For mine eyes have seen  :

thy salvation;

3    Which thou hast prepared  :

before the face of all people;

4    To be a light to lighten the Gentiles  :

and to be the glory of thy people Israel.

Luke 2.29-32

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son  :

and to the Holy Ghost;

as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be  :

world without end.

All   Amen.

(and/or)

All   Give rest, O Christ, to your servant with the saints:

where sorrow and pain are no more,

neither sighing, but life everlasting.

You only are immortal, the creator and maker of all:

and we are mortal, formed from the dust of the earth,

and unto earth shall we return.

For so you ordained when you created me, saying:

‘Dust you are and to dust you shall return.’

All of us go down to the dust,

yet weeping at the grave we make our song:

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

All   Give rest, O Christ, to your servant with the saints:

where sorrow and pain are no more,

neither sighing, but life everlasting.

(and/or)

At or just after death

1    Jesus, like a mother you gather your people to you;  

you are gentle with us as a mother with her children.

2    Often you weep over our sins and our pride,  

tenderly you draw us from hatred and judgement.

3    You comfort us in sorrow and bind up our wounds,  

in sickness you nurse us, and with pure milk you feed us.

4    Jesus, by your dying we are born to new life;  

by your anguish and labour we come forth in joy.

5    Despair turns to hope through your sweet goodness;  

through your gentleness we find comfort in fear.

6    Your warmth gives life to the dead,  

your touch makes sinners righteous.

7    Lord Jesus, in your mercy heal us;  

in your love and tenderness remake us.

8    In your compassion bring grace and forgiveness,  

for the beauty of heaven may your love prepare us.

A Song of Anselm

Blessing

The minister uses one of these blessings

May the eternal God

bless and keep us,

guard our bodies,

save our souls

and bring us safe to the heavenly country,

our eternal home,

where Father, Son, and Holy Spirit reign,

one God for ever and ever.

All   Amen.

(or)

God grant you to share in the inheritance of his saints in glory;

and the blessing of God almighty,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

be upon you, and remain with you always.

All   Amen.

¶    Prayer when someone has just died

The minister, a family member or a friend may use some or all of these words

In this moment of sorrow the Lord is in our midst

and consoles us with his word:

No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived,

what God has prepared for those who love him.

Blessed are the sorrowful; they shall be comforted.

Into your hands, O Lord,

we humbly entrust our brother/sister N.

In this life you embraced him/her with your tender love,

and opened to him/her the gate of heaven.

The old order has passed away,

as you welcome him/her into paradise,

where there will be no sorrow, no weeping nor pain,

but the fullness of peace and joy

with your Son and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever.

All   Amen.

Heavenly Father,

into whose hands Jesus Christ

commended his spirit at the last hour:

into those same hands we now commend your servant N,

that death may be for him/her

the gate to life and to eternal fellowship with you;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

Remember, O Lord,

this your servant,

who has gone before us with the sign of faith

and now rests in the sleep of peace.

According to your promises,

grant to him/her and to all who rest in Christ,

refreshment, light and peace;

through the same Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

Most merciful God,

whose wisdom is beyond our understanding,

surround the family of N with your love,

that they may not be overwhelmed by their loss,

but have confidence in your goodness,

and strength to meet the days to come.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

Notes to Ministry at the Time of Death

1  Where the minister is not a bishop or priest

    anointing is omitted;

    Holy Communion may be given but not celebrated;

    the usual alterations are made at the blessing.

2  The laying on of hands may be done by more than one person.

3  Canon B 37 provides that the priest should use ‘pure olive oil consecrated by the bishop of the diocese or otherwise by the priest’. If consecrated oil is not available, the priest may use this form:

Lord, holy Father, giver of health and salvation,

as your apostles anointed those who were sick and healed them,

so continue the ministry of healing in your Church.

Sanctify this oil, that those who are anointed with it

may be freed from suffering and distress,

find inward peace, and know the joy of your salvation,

through your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Amen.

4  Wherever possible, care should be taken to use versions of texts familiar to the dying person.

Before the Funeral

¶    At Home before the Funeral

Note

This service may be adapted for use

    on hearing the news of a death;

    as part of the minister’s visit to the family before the Funeral.

Hymns may be sung at appropriate points.

Preparation

At this time of sorrow

the Lord is in our midst

and consoles us with his word:

Blessed are the sorrowful; they shall be comforted.

Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation.

He comforts us in all our afflictions

and thus enables us to comfort those who grieve

with the same consolation we have received from him.

We shall not all die

All   but we shall be changed.

The trumpet shall sound and the dead will rise immortal

All   and we shall be changed.

The perishable must be clothed with the imperishable

All   and the mortal must be clothed with immortality.

We shall not all die

All   but we shall be changed.

Readings

These or other appropriate readings may be used

We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not 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.

1 Thessalonians 4.13-15

1    I lift up my eyes to the hills;  

from where is my help to come?

2    My help comes from the Lord,  

the maker of heaven and earth.

3    He will not suffer your foot to stumble;  

he who watches over you will not sleep.

4    Behold, he who keeps watch over Israel  

shall neither slumber nor sleep.

5    The Lord himself watches over you;  

the Lord is your shade at your right hand,

6    So that the sun shall not strike you by day,  

neither the moon by night.

7    The Lord shall keep you from all evil;  

it is he who shall keep your soul.

8    The Lord shall keep watch over your going out

and your coming in,  

from this time forth for evermore.

Psalm 121

Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ Martha said to him, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.’

John 11.21-24

Prayers

Memories of the departed may be shared, ending with the following prayer

O God, who brought us to birth,

and in whose arms we die,

in our grief and shock contain and comfort us;

embrace us with your love,

give us hope in our confusion

and grace to let go into new life;

through Jesus Christ.

All   Amen.

These or other prayers may follow

Lord, we come into your presence to remember N

and to seek your comfort,

for we know that nothing can separate us from your love

and that you support us in our sorrow.

We are sure that the souls of the righteous are with you

and that nothing can harm them.

Although they have died they are in peace.

Give us your strength to rejoice

that you have taken N to be with yourself

where he/she shall no more be in need.

May we find life and peace and perfect joy with him/her in your presence;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

God of all consolation,

in your unending love and mercy

you turn the darkness of death

into the dawn of new life.

Your Son, by dying for us, conquered death

and, by rising again, restored to us eternal life.

May we then go forward eagerly to meet our redeemer

and, after our life on earth,

be reunited with all our brothers and sisters

in that place where every tear is wiped away

and all things are made new;

through Jesus Christ our Saviour.

All   Amen.

Lord, be with us as we open the door.

Come in with us, go out with us.

Do not sleep when we sleep,

but watch over us, protect us and keep us safe,

our only helper and maker.

All   Amen.

cf Psalm 121

Conclusion

And now to him who is able to keep us from falling,

and lift us from the dark valley of despair

to the bright mountain of hope,

from the midnight of desperation

to the daybreak of joy;

to him be power and authority, for ever and ever.

All   Amen.

¶    For those Unable to be Present at the Funeral

Note

This service may be adapted to suit particular circumstances. It may be led by a friend or family member or by a minister. It is deliberately based on the Funeral Service itself.

The Gathering

We meet in the name of Jesus Christ,

who died and was raised to the glory of God the Father.

We join with those in (place)

in remembering before God our brother/sister N;

to give thanks for his/her life;

to commend him/her to God our merciful redeemer and judge;

to commit his/her body to be buried/cremated,

and to comfort one another in our grief.

God of all consolation,

your Son Jesus Christ was moved to tears

at the grave of Lazarus his friend.

Look with compassion on your children in their loss;

give to troubled hearts the light of hope

and strengthen in us the gift of faith,

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

Almighty God,

you judge us with infinite mercy and justice

and love everything you have made.

In your mercy

turn the darkness of death into the dawn of new life,

and the sorrow of parting into the joy of heaven;

through our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

All   Amen.

Those present may be encouraged to share briefly their memories of the one who has died.

Prayers of Penitence and the Collect may be used from the Funeral Service.

Reading

An appropriate reading from the selection here is read.

Prayers

The prayers from the Funeral Service, or less formal prayer, may follow as appropriate to the circumstances.

Commendation and Farewell

The prayers in this section of the Funeral Service (here) may be adapted with the addition of a phrase such as ‘With those in (place)’ before the words ‘We entrust…’ or ‘We commend…’.

This may be followed by a time of silence, the Lord’s Prayer and a form of dismissal.

¶    Receiving the Coffin at Church before the Funeral

Note

The coffin may be received into the church at the beginning of the Funeral Service, or earlier in the day, or on the day before the Funeral. A candle may stand beside the coffin and may be carried in front of the coffin when it is brought into the church.

Receiving the Coffin

The minister meets the coffin at the door of the church and says

We receive the body of our brother/sister N

with confidence in God, the giver of life,

who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead.

The coffin may be sprinkled with water, and these words may be used

With this water we call to mind N’s baptism.

As Christ went through the deep waters of death for us,

so may he bring us to the fullness of resurrection life

with N and all the redeemed.

(or)

Grant, Lord,

that we who are baptized into the death of your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ

may continually put to death our evil desires and be buried with him;

and that through the grave and gate of death

we may pass to our joyful resurrection;

through his merits,

who died and was buried and rose again for us,

your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

These or other suitable sentences of Scripture may be used (see here). The minister may add ‘Alleluia’ to any of these sentences.

‘I am the resurrection and the life,’ says the Lord. ‘Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.’

John 11.25,26

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.

Romans 8.38,39

Since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died. So we will be with the Lord for ever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

1 Thessalonians 4.14,17b,18

We brought nothing into the world, and we take nothing out. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.

1 Timothy 6.7; Job 1.21b

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is his faithfulness.

Lamentations 3.22,23

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Matthew 5.4

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

John 3.16

When the coffin is in place, the minister prays using these or other suitable words

God our Father,

by raising Christ your Son you destroyed the power of death

and opened for us the way to eternal life.

As we remember before you our brother/sister N,

we ask your help for all who shall gather in his/her memory.

Grant us the assurance of your presence and grace,

by the Spirit you have given us;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

A pall may be placed over the coffin by family, friends or other members of the congregation and these words may be said

We are already God’s children,

but what we shall be has not yet been revealed.

Yet we know that when Christ appears we shall be like him,

for we shall see him as he is.

(or)

On Mount Zion the Lord will remove the pall of sorrow

hanging over all nations.

He will destroy death for ever.

He will wipe away the tears from every face.

A Bible may be placed on the coffin, with these words

Lord Jesus Christ,

your living and imperishable word brings us to new birth.

Your eternal promises to us and to N are proclaimed in the Bible.

A cross may be placed on the coffin, with these words

Lord Jesus Christ,

for love of N and each one of us

you bore our sins on the cross.

Other suitable symbols of the life and faith of the departed person may be placed on or near the coffin, with the minister’s permission. Those present may be encouraged to share briefly their memories of the one who has died.

Silence is kept.

Readings and Prayers

Heavenly Father,

you have not made us for darkness and death,

but for life with you for ever.

Without you we have nothing to hope for;

with you we have nothing to fear.

Speak to us now your words of eternal life.

Lift us from anxiety and guilt

to the light and peace of your presence,

and set the glory of your love before us;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

John 14.1-6 or other appropriate readings may be read, with psalms and prayers and silence (see here and here).

Almighty God,

you love everything you have made

and judge us with infinite mercy and justice.

We rejoice in your promises of pardon, joy and peace

to all those who love you.

In your mercy turn the darkness of death into the dawn of new life

and the sorrow of parting into the joy of heaven;

through our Saviour Jesus Christ,

who died, who rose again, and lives for evermore.

All   Amen.

Ending

The minister uses one or more of these prayers. The service may end with a time of silence. As they leave, the mourners may come near and touch the coffin, or gather round it and pray.

N has fallen asleep in the peace of Christ.

As we leave his/her body here, we entrust him/her,

with faith and hope in everlasting life,

to the love and mercy of our Father

and surround him/her with our love and prayer.

[In baptism, he/she was made by adoption a child of God.

At the eucharist he/she was sustained and fed.

God now welcomes him/her to his table in heaven

to share in eternal life with all the saints.]

God of all consolation,

your Son Jesus Christ was moved to tears

at the grave of Lazarus his friend.

Look with compassion on your children in their loss;

give to troubled hearts the light of hope

and strengthen in us the gift of faith,

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

The Lord God almighty is our Father:

All   he loves us and tenderly cares for us.

The Lord Jesus Christ is our Saviour:

All   he has redeemed us and will defend us to the end.

The Lord, the Holy Spirit is among us:

All   he will lead us in God’s holy way.

To God almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

All   be praise and glory today and for ever. Amen.

¶    A Funeral Vigil

Note

The vigil may take place as part of a service at church before the Funeral, or it may be a separate service. It may take place in church, at home or in another suitable place, such as a hospital chapel. The Gathering and the Ending may be omitted if the vigil is part of another service.

The Gathering

O Lord, open our lips

All   and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Blessed are you, God of compassion and mercy,

shepherd and protector of your grieving people,

their beginning and their ending.

Lead us to a place of peace and refreshment;

guide us to springs of life-giving water;

wipe away the tears from our eyes

and bring us to heaven

where there is no more death,

no more grief or crying or pain

in your presence, Father, Son and Holy Spirit:

All   blessed be God for ever.

Christ yesterday and today,

the beginning and the end,

Alpha and Omega;

all time belongs to him,

and all ages;

to him be glory and power,

through every age and for ever.

All   Amen.

If candles are to be lit

May the light of Christ, rising in glory,

banish all darkness from our hearts and minds.

One of these themes, or a selection from them, may be chosen.

Assurance and Comfort

Old Testament: Isaiah 61.1-3

To comfort all who mourn

Psalm: 139 here

Psalm Prayer

Lord,

you created and fashioned us,

you know us and search us out,

you abide with us through light and dark:

help us to know your presence in this life

and, in the life to come, still to be with you;

where you are alive and reign,

God, for ever and ever.

All   Amen.

New Testament: 1 Peter 1.3-9

We have been born anew to a living hope

Canticle: A Song of God’s Children (here)

Gospel: John 14.1-6

In my Father’s house are many rooms

Prayer

The Faithfulness of God

Old Testament: Isaiah 53.1-10

The suffering servant

Psalm: 116.1-8[9-17] (here)

Psalm Prayer

Lord of life,

we walk through eternity in your presence.

Lord of death,

we call to you in grief and sorrow:

you hear us and rescue us.

Watch over us as we mourn the death of your servant,

precious in your sight,

and keep us faithful to our vows to you.

All   Amen.

New Testament: Romans 8.31-end

Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ

Revelation 21.1-7

Behold I make all things new

Canticle: A Song of the Justified (here)

Gospel: John 6.35-40[53-58]

All that the Father gives me will come to me

Prayer

The Hope of Heaven

Apocrypha: Wisdom 3.1-5,9

The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God

Psalm: 25.1-9 (here)

Psalm Prayer

God of our salvation,

in our sorrow we lift our hearts to

you and put our faith in you.

Have compassion on us,

forgive us, and love us to eternity,

as you guide us and teach us

in the way that lies ahead

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

New Testament: Romans 8.18-25[26-30]

The future glory

Revelation 21.22-end; 22.3b-5

The Lord God will be their light

Canticle: A Song of Faith (here)

Gospel: John 14.1-6

In my Father’s house are many rooms

Prayer

Easter

Old Testament: Job 19.23-27

I know that my Redeemer lives

Psalm: 32 (here)

Psalm Prayer

Lord, our hiding place in times of trouble,

you bring our guilt to mind.

Your hand seems heavy;

our tongues dry up

and we openly confess our guilt.

Embrace us with your mercy.

Teach us to trust you,

and bring us at the last

to rejoice in your presence for ever and ever.

All   Amen.

New Testament: 2 Timothy 2.8-13

If we have died with him, we shall also live with him

Canticle: A Song of the Redeemed (here)

Gospel: John 11.17-27

I am the resurrection and the life

Prayer

Advent

Old Testament: Daniel 12.1-3[5-9]

Everyone whose name shall be found written in the book

Psalm: 27 (here)

Psalm Prayer

O God our defender,

give us the light of truth and wisdom,

that all our hope may be fixed on you

and on your Son, Jesus the Christ.

All   Amen.

New Testament: 1 Thessalonians 4.13 -18

So we shall always be with the Lord

Canticle: The Song of Manasseh (here)

Gospel: Matthew 25.31- end

The final judgement

Prayer

An Unexpected Death

Apocrypha: Wisdom 4.8-11,13-15

Age is not length of time

Psalm: 6 (here)

Psalm Prayer

Our eyes, Lord, are wasted with grief;

you know we are weary with groaning.

As we remember our death

in the dark emptiness of the night,

have mercy on us and heal us;

forgive us and take away our fear

through the dying and rising of Jesus your Son.

All   Amen.

New Testament: 2 Corinthians 4.7-15

We carry in our mortal bodies the death of Jesus

Canticle: Nunc dimittis (The Song of Simeon) (here)

Gospel: Luke 12.35-40

The coming of the Son of Man

Prayer

A Child

Old Testament: 2 Samuel 12.16-23

David’s son dies

Psalm: 38.9-end (here)

Psalm Prayer

Lord, have mercy

on those who go about in mourning all the day long,

who feel numb and crushed

and are filled with the pain of grief,

whose strength has given up

and whose friends and neighbours are distant.

You know all our sighing and longings:

be near to us and teach us to fix our hope on you alone;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

Apocrypha: Wisdom 4.8 -11,13-15

Age is not length of time

Canticle: A Song of Anselm (here)

Gospel: Luke 12.35-40

The coming of the Son of Man

Prayer

Ending

The Lord’s Prayer is said.

The minister says this or another suitable ending

The Lord God almighty is our Father:

All   he loves us and tenderly cares for us.

The Lord Jesus Christ is our Saviour:

All   he has redeemed us and will defend us to the end.

The Lord, the Holy Spirit is among us:

All   he will lead us in God’s holy way.

To God almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

All   be praise and glory today and for ever. Amen.

¶    On the Morning of the Funeral

Note

This brief form of service is intended to provide a short time of recollection some time before going to the Funeral. It may be led by a friend, family member or the minister.

Preparation

As we set out on our journey today,

we pray for the presence of Christ,

who has gone this way before us.

Lord Jesus, you have shown us the way to the Father:

Lord, have mercy.

All   Lord, have mercy.

Lord Jesus, your word is a light to our path:

Christ, have mercy.

All   Christ, have mercy.

Lord Jesus, you are the good shepherd,

leading us into everlasting life:

Lord, have mercy.

All   Lord, have mercy.

The Word

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,

his mercies never come to an end;

they are new every morning;

great is your faithfulness.

‘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.

For the Lord will not reject for ever.

Although he causes grief, he will have compassion

according to the abundance of his steadfast love;

for he does not willingly afflict or grieve anyone.

Lamentations 3.22-26,31-33

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

you have not made us for darkness and death,

but for life with you for ever.

Without you we have nothing to hope for;

with you we have nothing to fear.

Speak to us now your words of eternal life.

Lift us from anxiety and guilt

to the light and peace of your presence,

and set the glory of your love before us;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

The Funeral

¶    Pastoral Introduction

This may be read by those present before the service begins.

God’s love and power extend over all creation. Every life, including our own, is precious to God. Christians have always believed that there is hope in death as in life, and that there is new life in Christ after death.

Even those who share such faith find that there is a real sense of loss at the death of a loved one. We will each have had our own experiences of their life and death, with different memories and different feelings of love, grief and respect. To acknowledge this at the beginning of the service should help us to use this occasion to express our faith and our feelings as we say farewell, to acknowledge our loss and our sorrow, and to reflect on our own mortality. Those who mourn need support and consolation. Our presence here today is part of that continuing support.

The Outline Order for Funerals

For Notes, see here.

The Gathering

1   The coffin may be received at the door by the minister.

2   Sentences of Scripture may be used.

3   The minister welcomes the people and introduces the service.

4   A tribute or tributes may be made.

5   Authorized Prayers of Penitence may be used.

6   The Collect may be said here or in the Prayers.

Readings and Sermon

7   One or more readings from the Bible is used.

     Psalms or hymns may follow the readings.

8   A sermon is preached.

Prayers

9   The prayers usually follow this sequence:

    Thanksgiving for the life of the departed

    Prayer for those who mourn

    Prayers of Penitence (if not already used)

    Prayer for readiness to live in the light of eternity

Commendation and Farewell

10   The dead person is commended to God with authorized words.

The Committal

11   The body is committed to its resting place with authorized words.

The Dismissal

12   The service may end with a blessing.

If the Funeral Service takes place within a celebration of Holy Communion, the material here is followed for the Liturgy of the Sacrament.

The Funeral Service

Structure

    The Gathering

[Sentences]

Introduction

[Prayer]

[Prayers of Penitence]

The Collect

    Readings and Sermon

    Prayers

    Commendation and Farewell

    The Committal

    The Dismissal

For Notes, see here.

The Funeral Service

¶    The Gathering

The coffin may be received by the minister (see Note 7 here). One or more sentences of Scripture may be used.

‘I am the resurrection and the life,’ says the Lord. ‘Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.’

John 11.25,26

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.

Romans 8.38,39

Since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died. So we will be with the Lord for ever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

1 Thessalonians 4.14,17b,18

We brought nothing into the world, and we take nothing out.

The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.

1 Timothy 6.7; Job 1.21b

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is his faithfulness.

Lamentations 3.22,23

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Matthew 5.4

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

John 3.16

Introduction

The minister says

We meet in the name of Jesus Christ,

who died and was raised to the glory of God the Father.

Grace and mercy be with you.

The minister introduces the service in these or other suitable words

We have come here today

to remember before God our brother/sister N;

to give thanks for his/her life;

to commend him/her to God our merciful redeemer and judge;

to commit his/her body to be buried/cremated,

and to comfort one another in our grief.

The minister may say one of these prayers

God of all consolation,

your Son Jesus Christ was moved to tears

at the grave of Lazarus his friend.

Look with compassion on your children in their loss;

give to troubled hearts the light of hope

and strengthen in us the gift of faith,

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

(or)

Almighty God,

you judge us with infinite mercy and justice

and love everything you have made.

In your mercy

turn the darkness of death into the dawn of new life,

and the sorrow of parting into the joy of heaven;

through our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

All   Amen.

A hymn may be sung.

A brief tribute may be made (see Note 4 here).

Prayers of Penitence

These or similar words may be used to introduce the confession

As children of a loving heavenly Father,

let us ask his forgiveness,

for he is gentle and full of compassion.

Silence may be kept.

These words may be used

God of mercy,

we acknowledge that we are all sinners.

We turn from the wrong that we have thought and said and done,

and are mindful of all that we have failed to do.

For the sake of Jesus, who died for us,

forgive us for all that is past,

and help us to live each day

in the light of Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

(or)

Lord, have mercy.

All   Lord, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

All   Christ, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

All   Lord, have mercy.

The minister may say

May God our Father forgive us our sins

and bring us to the eternal joy of his kingdom,

where dust and ashes have no dominion.

All   Amen.

The Collect

The minister invites the people to pray, silence is kept and the minister says this or another suitable Collect (see here)

Merciful Father,

hear our prayers and comfort us;

renew our trust in your Son,

whom you raised from the dead;

strengthen our faith

that all who have died in the love of Christ

will share in his resurrection;

who lives and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

All   Amen.

¶    Readings and Sermon

A reading from the Old or New Testament may be read (see here).

This or another psalm or hymn is used (see Note 2 here)

1    The Lord is my shepherd;  

therefore can I lack nothing.

2    He makes me lie down in green pastures  

and leads me beside still waters.

3    He shall refresh my soul  

and guide me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

4    Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil;  

for you are with me;

your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

5    You spread a table before me

in the presence of those who trouble me;  

you have anointed my head with oil

and my cup shall be full.

6    Surely goodness and loving mercy shall follow me

all the days of my life,  

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Psalm 23

A reading from the New Testament (which may be a Gospel reading) is used.

A sermon is preached.

¶    Prayers

A minister leads the prayers of the people.

The prayers usually follow this sequence:

¶    Thanksgiving for the life of the departed

¶    Prayer for those who mourn

¶    Prayers of Penitence (if not already used)

¶    Prayer for readiness to live in the light of eternity

This form may be used. If occasion demands, the responses may be omitted and the concluding prayer said by the minister alone. For other prayers, see here.

God of mercy, Lord of life,

you have made us in your image

to reflect your truth and light:

we give you thanks for N,

for the grace and mercy he/she received from you,

for all that was good in his/her life,

for the memories we treasure today.

[Especially we thank you]

Silence

[Lord, in your mercy

All   hear our prayer.]

You promised eternal life to those who believe.

Remember for good this your servant N

as we also remember him/her.

Bring all who rest in Christ

into the fullness of your kingdom

where sins have been forgiven

and death is no more.

Silence

[Lord, in your mercy

All   hear our prayer.]

Your mighty power brings joy out of grief

and life out of death.

Look in mercy on [… and] all who mourn.

Give them patient faith in times of darkness.

Strengthen them with the knowledge of your love.

Silence

[Lord, in your mercy

All   hear our prayer.]

You are tender towards your children

and your mercy is over all your works.

Heal the memories of hurt and failure.

Give us the wisdom and grace to use aright

the time that is left to us here on earth,

to turn to Christ and follow in his steps

in the way that leads to everlasting life.

Silence

[Lord, in your mercy

All   hear our prayer.]

All   God of mercy,

entrusting into your hands all that you have made

and rejoicing in our communion with all your

   faithful people,

we make our prayers through Jesus Christ our Saviour.

Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer may be said.

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

All   Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation

but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours

now and for ever.

Amen.

(or)

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

All   Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name;

thy kingdom come;

thy will be done;

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation;

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

the power and the glory,

for ever and ever.

Amen.

A hymn may be sung.

¶    Commendation and Farewell

The minister stands by the coffin and may invite others to gather around it.

The minister says

Let us commend N to the mercy of God,

our maker and redeemer.

Silence is kept.

The minister uses this or another prayer of entrusting and commending (see here)

God our creator and redeemer,

by your power Christ conquered death

and entered into glory.

Confident of his victory

and claiming his promises,

we entrust N to your mercy

in the name of Jesus our Lord,

who died and is alive

and reigns with you,

now and for ever.

All   Amen.

If the Committal does not follow as part of the same service in the same place, some sections of the Dismissal (here) may be used here.

¶    The Committal

Sentences of Scripture may be used (here).

The minister says

either

The Lord is full of compassion and mercy,

slow to anger and of great goodness.

As a father is tender towards his children,

so is the Lord tender to those that fear him.

For he knows of what we are made;

he remembers that we are but dust.

Our days are like the grass;

we flourish like a flower of the field;

when the wind goes over it, it is gone

and its place will know it no more.

But the merciful goodness of the Lord endures for ever and ever toward those that fear him

and his righteousness upon their children’s children.

(or)

We have but a short time to live.

Like a flower we blossom and then wither;

like a shadow we flee and never stay.

In the midst of life we are in death;

to whom can we turn for help,

but to you, Lord, who are justly angered by our sins?

Yet, Lord God most holy, Lord most might,

O holy and most merciful Saviour,

deliver us from the bitter pain of eternal death.

Lord, you know the secrets of our hearts;

hear our prayer, O God most mighty;

spare us, most worthy judge eternal;

at our last hour let us not fall from you,

O holy and merciful Saviour.

The minister uses one of the following forms of Committal.

At the burial of a body

We have entrusted our brother/sister N to God’s mercy,

and we now commit his/her body to the ground:

earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust:

in sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life

through our Lord Jesus Christ,

who will transform our frail bodies

that they may be conformed to his glorious body,

who died, was buried, and rose again for us.

To him be glory for ever.

All   Amen.

(or)

in a crematorium, if the Committal is to follow at the Burial of the Ashes

We have entrusted our brother/sister N to God’s mercy,

and now, in preparation for burial,

we give his/her body to be cremated.

We look for the fullness of the resurrection

when Christ shall gather all his saints

to reign with him in glory for ever.

All   Amen.

(or)

in a crematorium, if the Committal is to take place then

We have entrusted our brother/sister N to God’s mercy,

and we now commit his/her body to be cremated:

earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust:

in sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life

through our Lord Jesus Christ,

who will transform our frail bodies

that they may be conformed to his glorious body,

who died, was buried, and rose again for us.

To him be glory for ever.

All   Amen.

¶    The Dismissal

This may include

¶    The Lord’s Prayer (if not used earlier)

¶    The Nunc Dimittis

¶    One or more suitable prayers

¶    An Ending

The Lord’s Prayer

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

All   Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation

but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours

now and for ever.

Amen.

(or)

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

All   Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name;

thy kingdom come;

thy will be done;

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation;

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

the power and the glory,

for ever and ever.

Amen.

Nunc Dimittis (The Song of Simeon)

1    Now, Lord, you let your servant go in peace:  

your word has been fulfilled.

2    My own eyes have seen the salvation  

which you have prepared in the sight of every people;

3    A light to reveal you to the nations  

and the glory of your people Israel.

Luke 2.29-32

Glory to the Father and to the Son

and to the Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning is now

and shall be for ever. Amen.

Prayers

One or more of these prayers, or other suitable prayers, may be used

All   Heavenly Father,

in your Son Jesus Christ

you have given us a true faith and a sure hope.

Strengthen this faith and hope in us all our days,

that we may live as those who believe in

   the communion of saints,

   the forgiveness of sins

   and the resurrection to eternal life;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

All   God be in my head,

and in my understanding;

God be in my eyes,

and in my looking;

God be in my mouth,

and in my speaking;

God be in my heart,

and in my thinking;

God be at my end,

and at my departing.

Amen.

Support us, O Lord,

all the day long of this troublous life,

until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes,

the busy world is hushed,

the fever of life is over

and our work is done.

Then, Lord, in your mercy grant us a safe lodging,

a holy rest, and peace at the last;

through Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

Ending

One of these, or another suitable ending, may be used

May God in his infinite love and mercy

bring the whole Church,

living and departed in the Lord Jesus,

to a joyful resurrection

and the fulfilment of his eternal kingdom.

All   Amen.

May God give you

his comfort and his peace,

his light and his joy,

in this world and the next;

and the blessing of God almighty,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

be among you and remain with you always.

All   Amen.

God will show us the path of life;

in his presence is the fullness of joy:

and at his right hand

there is pleasure for evermore.

cf Psalm 16.11

Unto him that is able to keep us from falling,

and to present us faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

to the only wise God our Saviour,

be glory and majesty,

dominion and power,

both now and ever.

All   Amen.

Jude 24,25

The Funeral Service within a Celebration of Holy Communion

Structure

    The Gathering

[Sentences]

[Introduction]

[Prayer]

Prayers of Penitence

The Collect

    The Liturgy of the Word

Reading(s)

Gospel Reading

Sermon

    Prayers

    The Liturgy of the Sacrament

The Peace

Preparation of the Table

Taking of the Bread and Wine

The Eucharistic Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer

Breaking of the Bread

Giving of Communion

Prayer after Communion

    Commendation and Farewell

    The Committal

    The Dismissal

For Notes, see here.

The Funeral Service within a Celebration of Holy Communion

¶    The Gathering

The coffin may be received by the minister (see Note 7 here).

One or more sentences of Scripture may be used.

‘I am the resurrection and the life,’ says the Lord. ‘Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.’

John 11.25,26

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.

Romans 8.38,39

Since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died. So we will be with the Lord for ever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

1 Thessalonians 4.14,17b,18

We brought nothing into the world, and we take nothing out. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.

1 Timothy 6.7; Job 1.21b

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is his faithfulness.

Lamentations 3.22,23

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Matthew 5.4

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

John 3.16

Introduction

The minister says

We meet in the name of Jesus Christ,

who died and was raised to the glory of God the Father.

Grace and mercy be with you.

The minister introduces the service in these or other suitable words

We have come here today

to remember before God our brother/sister N;

to give thanks for his/her life;

to commend him/her to God our merciful redeemer and judge;

to commit his/her body to be buried/cremated,

and to comfort one another in our grief.

The minister may say one of these prayers

God of all consolation,

your Son Jesus Christ was moved to tears

at the grave of Lazarus his friend.

Look with compassion on your children in their loss;

give to troubled hearts the light of hope,

and strengthen in us the gift of faith,

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

(or)

Almighty God,

you judge us with infinite mercy and justice

and love everything you have made.

In your mercy

turn the darkness of death into the dawn of new life,

and the sorrow of parting into the joy of heaven;

through our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

All   Amen.

A hymn may be sung.

A brief tribute may be made (see Note 4 here).

Prayers of Penitence

These or similar words may be used to introduce the confession

As children of a loving heavenly Father,

let us ask his forgiveness,

for he is gentle and full of compassion.

Silence may be kept.

This or another authorized confession is used

God of mercy,

we acknowledge that we are all sinners.

We turn from the wrong that we have thought and said and done,

and are mindful of all that we have failed to do.

For the sake of Jesus, who died for us,

forgive us for all that is past,

and help us to live each day

in the light of Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

(or)

Lord, have mercy.

All   Lord, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

All   Christ, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

All   Lord, have mercy.

This or another authorized absolution is used

May God our Father forgive us our sins

and bring us to the eternal joy of his kingdom,

where dust and ashes have no dominion.

All   Amen.

The Collect

The minister invites the people to pray, silence is kept and the minister says this or another suitable Collect (see here)

Merciful Father,

hear our prayers and comfort us;

renew our trust in your Son,

whom you raised from the dead;

strengthen our faith

that all who have died in the love of Christ

will share in his resurrection;

who lives and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

All   Amen.

¶    The Liturgy of the Word

Reading(s)

Either one or two readings from Scripture precede the Gospel reading (see here).

At the end of each the reader may say

This is the word of the Lord.

All   Thanks be to God.

The psalm or canticle (here) follows the first reading; other hymns and songs may be used between the readings.

Gospel Reading

An acclamation may herald the Gospel reading.

One of the following may be used

[Alleluia, alleluia.]

God so loved the world

that he gave his only Son.

[Alleluia.]

cf John 3.16

(or)

[Alleluia, alleluia.]

Blessed are those who die in the Lord

for they rest from their labour.

[Alleluia.]

cf Revelation 14.13

When the Gospel is announced the reader says

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to N.

All   Glory to you, O Lord.

At the end

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

All   Praise to you, O Christ.

Sermon

¶    Prayers

A minister leads the prayers of the people.

The prayers usually follow this sequence:

¶    Thanksgiving for the life of the departed

¶    Prayer for those who mourn

¶    Prayers of Penitence (if not already used)

¶    Prayer for readiness to live in the light of eternity

This form may be used. If occasion demands, the responses may be omitted and the concluding prayer said by the minister alone.

God of mercy, Lord of life,

you have made us in your image

to reflect your truth and light:

we give you thanks for N,

for the grace and mercy he/she received from you,

for all that was good in his/her life,

for the memories we treasure today.

[Especially we thank you …]

Silence

[Lord in your mercy

All   hear our prayer.]

You promised eternal life to those who believe.

Remember for good this your servant N

as we also remember him/her.

Bring all who rest in Christ

into the fullness of your kingdom

where sins have been forgiven

and death is no more.

Silence

[Lord in your mercy

All   hear our prayer.]

Your mighty power brings joy out of grief

and life out of death.

Look in mercy on [… and] all who mourn.

Give them patient faith in times of darkness.

Strengthen them with the knowledge of your love.

Silence

[Lord in your mercy,

All   hear our prayer.]

You are tender towards your children

and your mercy is over all your works.

Heal the memories of hurt and failure.

Give us the wisdom and grace to use aright

the time that is left to us here on earth,

to turn to Christ and follow in his steps

in the way that leads to everlasting life.

Silence

[Lord in your mercy,

All   hear our prayer.]

All   God of mercy,

entrusting into your hands all that you have made

and rejoicing in our communion with all your

   faithful people,

we make our prayers through Jesus Christ our Saviour.

Amen.

A hymn may be sung.

¶    The Liturgy of the Sacrament

The Peace

The president may introduce the Peace with a suitable sentence. The following may be used

Jesus says:

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.

Not as the world gives do I give you.

Do not let your hearts be troubled,

neither let them be afraid. [Alleluia.]

The peace of the risen Lord be always with you

All   and also with you.

These words may be added

Let us offer one another a sign of peace.

All may exchange a sign of peace.

The service continues with the Preparation of the Table. Presidential texts for the rest of the service are to be found in Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England (pages 155-335) and the President’s edition (pages 381-524).

Preparation of the Table
Taking of the Bread and Wine

The following prayer may be used

May all who are called to a place at your table

follow in the way that leads to the unending feast of life.

All   Amen.

The Eucharistic Prayer

An authorized Eucharistic Prayer is used.

One of these Proper Prefaces may be used

Short Proper Prefaces

And now we give you thanks

because through him you have given us

the hope of a glorious resurrection;

so that, although death comes to us all,

yet we rejoice in the promise of eternal life;

for to your faithful people life is changed, not taken away;

and when our mortal flesh is laid aside

an everlasting dwelling place is made ready for us in heaven.

(or)

And now we give you thanks

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

In him who rose from the dead

our hope of resurrection dawned.

The sting of death has been removed

by the glorious promise of his risen life.

Extended Proper Preface

Blessed are you, gracious God,

creator of heaven and earth,

giver of life, and conqueror of death.

By his death on the cross,

your Son Jesus Christ offered the one true sacrifice for sin,

breaking the power of evil

and putting death to flight.

[With all your saints

All   we give you thanks and praise.]

Through his resurrection from the dead

you have given us new birth into a living hope,

into an inheritance which is imperishable,

undefiled, and unfading.

[With all your saints

All   we give you thanks and praise.]

The joy of resurrection fills the universe,

and so we join with angels and archangels,

with [N and] all your faithful people,

evermore praising you and saying:

The following acclamation is particularly suitable during the Eucharistic Prayer

Praise to you, Lord Jesus:

All   dying you destroyed our death,

rising you restored our life:

Lord Jesus, come in glory.

The Lord’s Prayer
Breaking of the Bread

These words may be used

Every time we eat this bread

and drink this cup,

All   we proclaim the Lord’s death

until he comes.

Giving of Communion

The following invitation may be used

Jesus is the Lamb of God

who takes away the sin of the world.

Blessed are those who are called to his supper.

All   Lord, I am not worthy to receive you,

but only say the word and I shall be healed.

The following words may be used at the giving of communion

The bread of heaven in Christ Jesus.

The cup of life in Christ Jesus.

Prayer after Communion

One or both of the following prayers may be used

Gracious God,

we thank you that in your great love

you have fed us with the spiritual food and drink of the body and blood of your Son Jesus Christ

and have given us a foretaste of your heavenly banquet:

grant that this sacrament may be to us

a comfort in affliction

and a pledge of our inheritance

in that kingdom where there is no death,

neither sorrow nor crying,

but fullness of joy with all your saints;

through Jesus Christ our Saviour.

All   Amen.

All   Heavenly Father,

in your Son Jesus Christ

you have given us a true faith and a sure hope.

Strengthen this faith and hope in us all our days,

that we may live as those who believe in

   the communion of saints,

   the forgiveness of sins

   and the resurrection to eternal life;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

¶    Commendation and Farewell

The minister stands by the coffin and may invite others to gather around it.

The minister says

Let us commend N to the mercy of God,

our maker and redeemer.

Silence is kept.

The minister uses this or another prayer of entrusting and commending (see here)

God our creator and redeemer,

by your power Christ conquered death

and entered into glory.

Confident of his victory

and claiming his promises,

we entrust N to your mercy

in the name of Jesus our Lord,

who died and is alive

and reigns with you,

now and for ever.

All   Amen.

If the Committal does not follow as part of the same service in the same place, some sections of the Dismissal (here) may be used here.

¶    The Committal

Sentences of Scripture may be used (here).

The minister says

either

The Lord is full of compassion and mercy,

slow to anger and of great goodness.

As a father is tender towards his children,

so is the Lord tender to those that fear him.

For he knows of what we are made;

he remembers that we are but dust.

Our days are like the grass;

we flourish like a flower of the field;

when the wind goes over it, it is gone

and its place will know it no more.

But the merciful goodness of the Lord endures for ever and ever toward those that fear him

and his righteousness upon their children’s children.

(or)

We have but a short time to live.

Like a flower we blossom and then wither;

like a shadow we flee and never stay.

In the midst of life we are in death;

to whom can we turn for help,

but to you, Lord, who are justly angered by our sins?

Yet, Lord God most holy, Lord most mighty,

O holy and most merciful Saviour,

deliver us from the bitter pain of eternal death.

Lord, you know the secrets of our hearts;

hear our prayer, O God most mighty;

spare us, most worthy judge eternal;

at our last hour let us not fall from you,

O holy and merciful Saviour.

The minister uses one of the following forms of Committal.

At the burial of a body

We have entrusted our brother/sister N to God’s mercy,

and we now commit his/her body to the ground:

earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust:

in sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life

through our Lord Jesus Christ,

who will transform our frail bodies

that they may be conformed to his glorious body,

who died, was buried, and rose again for us.

To him be glory for ever.

All   Amen.

(or)

in a crematorium, if the Committal is to follow at the Burial of the Ashes

We have entrusted our brother/sister N to God’s mercy,

and now, in preparation for burial,

we give his/her body to be cremated.

We look for the fullness of the resurrection

when Christ shall gather all his saints

to reign with him in glory for ever.

All   Amen.

(or)

in a crematorium, if the Committal is to take place then

We have entrusted our brother/sister N to God’s mercy,

and we now commit his/her body to be cremated:

earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust:

in sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life

through our Lord Jesus Christ,

who will transform our frail bodies

that they may be conformed to his glorious body,

who died, was buried, and rose again for us.

To him be glory for ever.

All   Amen.

¶    The Dismissal

The Nunc dimittis (here) may be said.

This or another suitable blessing is used

God the Father,

by whose love Christ was raised from the dead,

open to you who believe the gates of everlasting life.

All   Amen.

God the Son,

who in bursting the grave has won a glorious victory,

give you joy as you share the Easter faith.

All   Amen.

God the Holy Spirit,

whom the risen Lord breathed into his disciples,

empower you and fill you with Christ’s peace.

All   Amen.

And the blessing of God almighty,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

be among you and remain with you always.

All   Amen.

Notes to the Funeral Service

1  Sentences

Sentences of Scripture may be used at the entry, after the Introduction, or at other suitable points.

2  Psalms and Readings

Psalms and Readings should normally be drawn from those set out here. A psalm should normally be used. It may be in a metrical or hymn version, or be replaced by a scriptural song (for Canticles, see here). There must always be one reading from the Bible.

3  Hymns

Points are suggested for these, but they may be sung at any suitable point.

4  Tribute

Remembering and honouring the life of the person who has died, and the evidence of God’s grace and work in them, should be done in the earlier part of the service, after the opening prayer, though if occasion demands it may be woven into the sermon or come immediately before the Commendation. It may be done in conjunction with the placing of symbols, and may be spoken by a family member or friend or by the minister using information provided by the family. It is preferable not to interrupt the flow of the Reading(s) and sermon with a tribute of this kind.

5  Sermon

The purpose of the sermon is to proclaim the gospel in the context of the death of this particular person.

6  Creed

An authorized Creed or an authorized Affirmation of Faith may be said after the sermon.

7  Receiving the coffin

The coffin may be received into the church at the beginning of the service, or earlier in the day, or on the day before the funeral.

    A candle may stand beside the coffin and may be carried in front of the coffin when it is brought into the church.

    The coffin may be sprinkled with water on entry. This may occur at the Commendation, or at the Committal.

    A pall may be placed over the coffin in church by family, friends or other members of the congregation.

    Before or at the start of the service or after the opening prayer and hymn, and with the minister’s agreement, suitable symbols of the life and faith of the departed person may be placed on or near the coffin.

    At the sprinkling, the placing of the pall or symbols, the words here may be used.

8  The Committal

The Committal is used at the point at which it is needed, for example:

    at the burial of the body in a cemetery or churchyard,

    at the interment of ashes when this follows on the same day or the day following cremation, in which case the second ‘preparation for burial’ prayer (here) is used at the crematorium, or

    at a crematorium when the interment of ashes is not to follow immediately.

Forms of Commendation and Committal are provided, but when occasion demands, other authorized forms may be used.

   When the body or the ashes are to be deposited in a vault, mausoleum or brick grave, these words may be used at the committal:

We have entrusted our brother/sister N to God’s mercy, and now we commit his/her body to its resting place.

9  The Funeral Service within Holy Communion

The Notes to the Order for the Celebration of Holy Communion, as well as the Notes to the Funeral Service, apply equally to this service. Texts are suggested at different points, but other suitable texts may be used. In the Liturgy of the Word, there should be a Gospel reading, preceded by either one or two other readings from the Bible.

Supplementary Texts

¶    Sentences

God will show us the path of life; in his presence is the fullness of joy: at his right hand there is pleasure for evermore.

cf Psalm 16.10

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Psalm 46.1

Out of the depths have I cried to you, O Lord; Lord, hear my voice; let your ears consider well the voice of my supplications.

cf Psalm 130.1

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

Job 19.25-27

As they came from their mother’s womb, so they shall go again, naked as they came; they shall take nothing for their toil, which they may carry away with their hands. This also is a grievous ill: just as they came, so shall they go; and what gain do they have from toiling for the wind?

Ecclesiastes 5.15,16

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is his faithfulness.

Lamentations 3.22,23

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Matthew 5.4

The king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’

Matthew 25.34

Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.’

Luke 23.43

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

John 3.16

This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day.

John 6.40

‘I am the resurrection and the life,’ says the Lord. ‘Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.’

John 11.25,26

In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I 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.

John 14.2,3

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.

Romans 8.38,39

What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him – these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit.

1 Corinthians 2.9-10a

He must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

1 Corinthians 15.25,26

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

2 Corinthians 1.3,4

We know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

2 Corinthians 5.1

We believe that Jesus died and rose again; and so it will be for those who died as Christians; God will bring them to life with Jesus. Thus we shall always be with the Lord. Comfort one another with these words.

cf 1 Thessalonians 4.14,17b,18

We brought nothing into the world, and we take nothing out. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.

1 Timothy 6.7; Job 1.21b

At the Celebration of Holy Communion

Jesus said, ‘Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.’ [Alleluia.]

John 6.54

¶    Some Texts which may be Used by the Minister

Receiving the coffin

We receive the body of our brother/sister N

with confidence in God, the giver of life,

who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead.

Sprinkling the coffin with water

With this water we call to mind N’s baptism.

As Christ went through the deep waters of death for us,

so may he bring us to the fullness of resurrection life

with N and all the redeemed.

(or)

Grant, Lord,

that we who are baptized into the death of your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ

may continually put to death our evil desires and be buried with him;

and that through the grave and gate of death

we may pass to our joyful resurrection;

through his merits,

who died and was buried and rose again for us,

your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

Covering the coffin with a pall

We are already God’s children,

but what we shall be has not yet been revealed.

Yet we know that when Christ appears we shall be like him,

for we shall see him as he is.

(or)

On Mount Zion the Lord will remove the pall of sorrow

hanging over all nations.

He will destroy death for ever.

He will wipe away the tears from every face.

Placing a Bible on the coffin

Lord Jesus Christ,

your living and imperishable word brings us to new birth.

Your eternal promises to us and to N are proclaimed in the Bible.

Placing a cross on the coffin

Lord Jesus Christ,

for love of N and each one of us

you bore our sins on the cross.

¶    The Blessing of a Grave

O God,

whose Son Jesus Christ was laid in a tomb:

bless, we pray, this grave

as the place where the body of N your servant may rest in peace,

through your Son, who is the resurrection and the life;

who died and is alive and reigns with you

now and for ever.

All   Amen.

The Outline Order for the Funeral of a Child

For Notes, see here.

The Gathering

1   The coffin may be received at the door by the minister,

    or it may be in place before the congregation assembles.

2   Sentences of Scripture may be used.

3   The minister welcomes the people and introduces the service.

4   A tribute or tributes may be made.

5   Authorized Prayers of Penitence may be used.

6   The Collect may be said here or in the Prayers.

Readings and Sermon

7   One or more readings from the Bible is used.

    Psalms or hymns may follow the readings.

8   A sermon is preached.

Prayers

9   The prayers usually follow this sequence:

    Thanksgiving for the child’s life, however brief

    Prayer for those who mourn

    Prayers of Penitence (if not already used)

    Prayer for readiness to live in the light of eternity

Commendation and Farewell

10   The child is commended to God with authorized words.

The Committal

11   The child’s body is committed to its resting place with authorized words.

The Dismissal

12   The service may end with a blessing.

For Resources for the Funeral of a Child, see here.

The Outline Order for the Funeral of a Child within a Celebration of Holy Communion

The Gathering

1   The coffin may be received at the door by the minister,

    or it may be in place before the congregation assembles.

2   Sentences of Scripture may be used.

3   The minister welcomes the people and introduces the service.

4   A tribute or tributes may be made.

5   Authorized Prayers of Penitence are used here or in the Prayers.

6   The Collect is said here or in the Prayers.

The Liturgy of the Word

7   One or more readings from the Bible is used.

    Psalms or hymns may follow the readings.

8   A Gospel reading is used

9   A sermon is preached.

Prayers

10   The prayers usually follow this sequence:

    Thanksgiving for the child’s life, however brief

    Prayer for those who mourn

    Prayers of Penitence (if not already used)

    Prayer for readiness to live in the light of eternity

The Liturgy of the Sacrament

11   The Peace

12   Preparation of the Table

      Taking of the Bread and Wine

13   The Eucharistic Prayer (any authorized Eucharistic Prayer may be used)

14   The Lord’s Prayer (used here rather than in the Prayers)

15   Breaking of the Bread

16   Giving of Communion

17   Prayer after Communion

Commendation and Farewell

18   The child is commended to God with authorized words.

The Committal

19   The child’s body is committed to its resting place with authorized words.

The Dismissal

20   The service may end with a blessing.

Resources for the Funeral of a Child follow (here).

Notes

The notes to the Funeral Service (here) apply equally to this service.

1  An Outline Order is provided, followed by some suggested resources which may be suitable for different occasions and different ages.

2  The presence of young children at a child’s funeral should be welcomed and their needs should be borne in mind.

3  Care should be taken to ensure that there is a clear president throughout, who introduces and concludes the service, and that the number of other speakers, musical items and non-biblical readings does not unbalance the service from its focus on the word of God, prayer and thanksgiving.

4  Wherever possible, the name of the child should be used in the text of the service.

For a Theological Note on the Funeral of a Child Dying near the Time of Birth, see here.

Resources for the Funeral of a Child

¶    The Gathering

Words for the Greeting

We meet in the name of Jesus Christ,

who died and was raised to the glory of God the Father.

Grace and mercy be with you.

[All   And also with you.]

Words for introducing the service

We have come together to worship God,

to thank him for his love,

and to remember the [short] life on earth of N;

to share our grief

and to commend him/her to the eternal care of God.

[We meet in the faith that death is not the end,

and may be faced without fear,

bitterness or guilt.]

(or)

We have come here today

to remember before God our brother/sister N;

to give thanks for his/her life;

to commend him/her to God our merciful redeemer and judge;

to commit his/her body to be buried/cremated,

and to comfort one another in our grief.

Introductory sentences

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.

Romans 8.38,39

The Lamb who is at the throne will be their shepherd, and will lead them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away all tears from their eyes.

Revelation 7.17

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.

1 John 3.2

Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.

Mark 10.14

I will comfort you, says the Lord, as a mother comforts her child, and you shall be comforted.

Isaiah 66.13

Opening prayers

God of all mercies,

you make nothing in vain

and love all that you have made.

Comfort us in our grief,

and console us by the knowledge of your unfailing love,

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

O God, who brought us to birth,

and in whose arms we die,

in our grief and shock,

contain and comfort us;

embrace us with your love,

give us hope in our confusion

and grace to let go into new life;

through Jesus Christ.

All   Amen.

God of love,

you have bound us together in life with N / those we love

and opened the door of heaven

through the suffering and resurrection of Jesus;

look upon us in your mercy,

give us courage to face our grief

and bring us all to the fullness of the risen life;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

¶    Readings

One or more passages from the Bible is read.

The following may be suitable for particular occasions

Psalm 23

Psalm 84.1-4

Song of Solomon 2.10-13

Isaiah 49.15-16

Jeremiah 1.4-8

Jeremiah 31.15-17

Matthew 18.1-5,10

Mark 10.13-16

John 6.37- 40

John 10.27,28

Romans 8.18,28,35,37-39

1 Corinthians 13.1-13

Ephesians 3.14-19

¶    Prayers

The prayers usually follow this sequence:

¶    Thanksgiving for the child’s life, however brief

¶    Prayer for those who mourn

¶    Prayers of Penitence (if not already used)

¶    Prayer for readiness to live in the light of eternity

Some suggestions follow, from which a choice will need to be made according to age and circumstances.

1   The Lord Jesus is the lover of his people and our only sure hope.

Let us ask him to deepen our faith and sustain us in this dark hour.

You became a little child for our sake, sharing our human life.

To you we pray:

All   bless us and keep us, O Lord.

You grew in wisdom, age and grace

and learned obedience through suffering.

To you we pray:

All   bless us and keep us, O Lord.

You welcomed children, promising them your kingdom.

To you we pray:

All   bless us and keep us, O Lord.

You comforted those who mourned the loss of children and friends.

To you we pray:

All   bless us and keep us, O Lord.

You took upon yourself the suffering and death of us all.

To you we pray:

All   bless us and keep us, O Lord.

You promised to raise up those who believe in you,

just as you were raised up in glory by the Father.

To you we pray:

All   bless us and keep us, O Lord.

2   Father,

you know our hearts and share our sorrows.

We are hurt by our parting from N, whom we loved:

when we are angry at the loss we have sustained,

when we long for words of comfort,

yet find them hard to hear,

turn our grief to more patient faith,

our affliction to firmer hope

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

3   Father, the death of N brings an emptiness into our lives.

We are separated from him/her

and feel broken and bewildered.

Give us confidence that he/she is safe

and his/her life complete with you,

and bring us together at the last

to the wholeness and fullness of your presence in heaven,

where your saints and angels enjoy you for ever and ever.

All   Amen.

4   Lord, we pray for those who mourn,

for parents and children,

friends and neighbours.

Be gentle with them in their grief.

Show them the depths of your love,

a glimpse of the kingdom of heaven.

Spare them the torment of guilt and despair.

Be with them as they weep beside the empty tomb of our risen Saviour.

All   Amen.

5   Most merciful God,

whose wisdom is beyond our understanding,

surround the family of N with your love,

that they may not be overwhelmed by their loss,

but have confidence in your love,

and strength to meet the days to come.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

6   O God, you do not willingly grieve or afflict your children.

Look with pity on the suffering of this family in their loss.

Sustain them in their anguish;

and into the darkness of their grief

bring the light of your love;

through Jesus Christ we pray.

All   Amen.

7   Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ:

All   the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort.

The Lord is near to those who call upon him:

All   to all who call upon him faithfully.

As a father is tender towards his children:

All   so is the Lord tender to those that fear him.

As a mother comforts her child:

All   so shall the Lord bring you comfort.

Then Jesus took the children in his arms:

All   he placed his hands on each of them and blessed them.

Prayers which may be said by the parents

8   God of love and life,

you gave N to us as our son/daughter.

Give us now the assurance

that though he/she has passed from our sight,

he/she has not passed from your care.

Draw near to us in our sadness,

bring blessing out of grief,

and help us in our tears and pain

to know you standing alongside us

and to experience your love and healing;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

9   God of all mystery,

whose ways are beyond understanding,

lead us, who grieve at this untimely death,

to a new and deeper faith in your love,

which brought your only Son Jesus

through death into resurrection life.

We make our prayer in Jesus’ name.

All   Amen.

10   God of hope,

we come to you in shock and grief and confusion of heart.

Help us to find peace

in the knowledge of your loving mercy to all your children,

and give us light to guide us out of our darkness

into the assurance of your love.

All   Amen.

11   God of unfailing compassion,

in your creative love and tenderness you gave us N,

so full of hope for the future.

You are the source of all our lives,

the strength of all our days.

You did not make us for darkness and death

but to see you face to face

and to enjoy abundant life.

Help us to comfort one another

with the consolation we ourselves receive from you;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

12   God of all grace and comfort,

we thank you for N,

and for the place he/she held in all our hearts.

We thank you

for the love in which he/she was conceived

and for the care with which he/she was surrounded.

As we remember times of tears and laughter,

we thank you for the love we shared because of him/her,

reflecting that love which you poured upon us

in your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

13   God our Father,

you know our thoughts and share our sorrows.

Lead us out of desolation

to the caring comfort of your love.

When we forget what happiness is,

renew in us fresh springs of hope.

When we feel bereft of peace,

restore our hearts and calm our fears.

And when we come at last to our departing,

bring us home with you for ever,

the family of God complete;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

14   Almighty God, creator and keeper of life,

we acknowledge that our child N is your child,

loved since before the foundation of the world.

Grant us such trust

in the finished work of your Son our Saviour

that we shall look with hope

towards a full knowledge of N,

whose earthly life we have so little shared

but who is now complete with Christ in you.

All   Amen.

15   Lord of all, we thank you

for your work in creation,

for nourishing life in the womb,

for your love even in death.

Thank you for the life of this child N,

whom you gave to us and have taken to yourself.

Thank you for the arms of your love,

embracing both us and N in your family.

Thank you for your presence in our sorrow

and your strength as our family grows older.

Take our sadness, and fill us with your Spirit

to serve you on earth

and join your saints in glory;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

For the parents

16   Heavenly Father,

you alone can heal our broken hearts;

you alone can wipe away the tears that well up inside us;

you alone can give us the peace we need;

you alone can strengthen us to carry on.

We ask you to be near those whose time of joy has been turned into sadness.

Assure them that with you nothing is wasted or incomplete,

and uphold them with your tender love.

Supported by your strength,

may our love for one another be deepened

by the knowledge of your love for us all.

All   Amen.

17   Loving Father,

in your mercy you have brought your daughter N through childbirth in safety.

We pray that N [and N] will know your support

in this time of trouble and sorrow at the loss of their child,

and enjoy your protection always;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

18   Loving Father,

your servant Mary,

the mother of our Lord and God, Jesus Christ,

stood by the cross while her Son was dying.

May that same Jesus, victorious over death,

risen and ascended,

give comfort to these grieving parents,

and strengthen their faith in you;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

The children in the family

19   Lord Jesus,

we ask you to be close to the children of this family,

whose lives have been changed by sorrow.

Give them courage to face their loss,

and comfort them with your unchanging love.

All   Amen.

20   When we are weary and in need of strength,

when we are lost and sick at heart,

we remember him/her.

When we have a joy we long to share,

when we have decisions that are hard to make,

we remember him/her.

At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter,

at the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring,

we remember him/her.

At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of summer,

at the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of the autumn,

we remember him/her.

At the rising of the sun and at its setting,

we remember him/her.

A stillborn child

21   God our creator,

from whom all life comes,

comfort this family,

grieving for the loss of their hoped-for child.

Help them to find assurance

that with you nothing is wasted or incomplete,

and uphold them with your love,

through Jesus Christ our Saviour.

All   Amen.

22   Gracious God,

we thank you for the love in which N was conceived

and for the love of the home into which he/she was to be born.

We pray that the love which his/her parents have for each other

may grow and deepen as a result of this experience.

Give us grace, in patience and understanding,

to listen to each other,

and to help one another in the days to come.

All   Amen.

23   Farewell

Heavenly Father, N and N have named their baby N

– a name to be treasured for ever in their hearts.

But it was you who formed him/her in the womb;

you knew him/her by name before time began.

Now we commit N into your ever-caring and gentle love;

he/she brought the promise of joy

to many lives for so short a time;

enfold him/her now in eternal life,

in the name of our risen Saviour who was born and died

and lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit for ever.

All   Amen.

¶    Commendation and Farewell

1   God our creator and redeemer,

by your power Christ conquered death

and returned to you in glory.

Confident of your victory

and claiming his promises,

we entrust N into your keeping

in the name of Jesus our Lord,

who, though he died, is now alive

and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God now and for ever.

All   Amen.

2   An older child

Into your hands, Lord,

our faithful creator and most loving redeemer,

we commend your child N,

for he/she is yours in death as in life.

In your great mercy

gather him/her into your arms

and fulfil in him/her the purpose of your love;

that, rejoicing in the light and refreshment of your presence,

he/she may enjoy that life which you have prepared for all those who love you,

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

3   A young child

Heavenly Father,

whose Son our Saviour

took little children into his arms and blessed them:

receive, we pray, your child N

in your never-failing care and love,

comfort all who have loved him/her on earth,

and bring us all to your everlasting kingdom;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

4   A baby

To you, gentle Father,

we humbly entrust this child so precious in your sight.

Take him/her into your arms

and welcome him/her into your presence

where there is no sorrow nor pain,

but the fullness of peace and joy with you

for ever and ever.

All   Amen.

5   Stillbirth

God of compassion, you make nothing in vain

and love all you have created;

we commend to you N and N’s child N,

for whom they poured out such great love,

for whom they cherished so many hopes and dreams.

We had longed to welcome him/her amongst us;

grant us the assurance that he/she is now encircled in your arms of love,

and shares the resurrection life of your Son, Jesus Christ.

All   Amen.

6   Miscarriage

God of compassion, you make nothing in vain

and we love all that you have created;

we commend to you N and N’s child (name child if appropriate)

for whom they poured out such great love,

for whom they cherished many hopes and dreams.

Grant them the assurance that their child,

though not seen by us, is seen and known by you,

and will share the risen life of your Son, Jesus Christ.

All   Amen.

¶    The Committal

The minister uses one of the following forms of Committal.

At the burial of a body

We have entrusted N to God’s mercy,

and we now commit his/her body to the ground:

earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust:

in sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life

through our Lord Jesus Christ,

who will transform our frail bodies

that they may be conformed to his glorious body,

who died, was buried, and rose again for us.

To him be glory for ever.

All   Amen.

(or)

in a crematorium, if the Committal is to follow at the Burial of the Ashes

We have entrusted N to God’s mercy,

and now, in preparation for his/her burial,

we give his/her body to be cremated.

We look for the fullness of the resurrection

when Christ shall gather all his saints

to reign with him in glory for ever.

All   Amen.

(or)

in a crematorium, if the Committal is to take place then

We have entrusted N to God’s mercy,

and we now commit his/her body to be cremated:

earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust:

in sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life

through our Lord Jesus Christ,

who will transform our frail bodies

that they may be conformed to his glorious body,

who died, was buried, and rose again for us.

To him be glory for ever.

All   Amen.

¶    The Dismissal

God be in my head,

and in my understanding;

God be in mine eyes,

and in my looking;

God be in my mouth,

and in my speaking;

God be in my heart,

and in my thinking;

God be at mine end,

and at my departing.

All   Amen.

Blessings

May Christ the good shepherd

enfold you with love,

fill you with peace,

and lead you in hope,

to the end of your days;

and the blessing of God almighty,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

be among you and remain with you always.

All   Amen.

May God give you

his comfort and his peace,

his light and his joy,

in this world and the next;

and the blessing of God almighty,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

be among you and remain with you always.

All   Amen.

May the love of God and the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ

bless and console you,

and all who have known and loved N,

this day and for evermore.

All   Amen.

Theological Note on the Funeral of a Child Dying near the Time of Birth

This Note draws on advice to the Liturgical Commission from the Revd Oliver O’Donovan, Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology in the University of Oxford.

There has been a growing recognition of the need for particular pastoral care for the parents and families of children dying near the time of birth, evidenced by the work of such bodies as the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society and the publication by the Joint Committee for Hospital Chaplaincy of guidelines in pastoral care: Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Neonatal Death. Part of this pastoral care is the provision of a full Funeral service which recognizes that the sense of loss and need for space and proper words for mourning is as great as with the death of any other person. In addition to this, the use of some of the Resources for the Funeral of a Child in a memorial service after the disposal of the body might especially help those families who have agreed too rapidly to the disposal of the body and afterwards wish for some way of marking the end of their child’s life.

Such deeply felt pastoral needs cannot be met without an awareness of potentially divisive theological questions. The words in the Committal, ‘In sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life’, raise two questions.

First, is it right to regard an unborn child as a human person, with the capacity for life after death? It would clearly be wrong to hold a Funeral service but to omit these words on the grounds of doubt about whether the corpse was fully human. The decision has already been taken, once it is resolved to hold a Funeral service for a stillbirth, that the parents’ grief at this event is to be treated quite seriously as grief at the loss of a child. If we cannot speak of a stillborn child as a human being, then we cannot speak of a stillborn child at all. There is certainly no other status (such as that of an animal or a pet) that we can confidently assign to a nascent human being. The terms ‘stillborn’ and ‘stillbirth’ are generally used to refer to the death of children in the womb after the stage of viability has been reached, i.e. for practical legal purposes after twenty-four weeks’ gestation, when both current law and current medical practice afford the child full protection as a human being.

Second, is it right to speak of a ‘sure and certain hope’ in the case of someone who has not lived outside the womb, and has not been baptized? You cannot baptize someone who is dead: in any case, to do this would open up enormous areas of debate at the other end of the age-scale. Nor is there provision for baptism in utero: not only is it difficult to consider as baptism an event in which water does not touch the person being baptized, it also raises problems about how the decision is taken as to which babies to baptize in this way. It is better to look behind the baptism at the thing signified, namely, in the case of infant baptism, the desire of the parents and the place of the child within the love of God – as one might with an unbaptized child of a few days old. To attribute faith to the dead infant is no more implausible than the assumption made in infant baptism itself. It is possible that this point could be made by requiring the parents to profess that they would have brought the child to baptism had they been able.

We are right to be cautious about a particular assertion of the individual child’s resurrection. The doubt here, which we feel in the case of an adult given burial by charitable assumption, is compounded by slight speculative doubt that attaches to the human individuality of the child and also by the fact that the child is unbaptized. None of these factors is decisive; however, each detracts in a slight measure from the confidence with which we can assert that this individual will be raised on the last day. The actual text of the Committal, however, does stop short of this assertion. It says that we commit the child’s body to the ground in sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life. This allows us to claim the significance of the resurrection for our bereavement without dictating precisely to God in what form the resurrection is to restore to us that which we have lost. Surely, this is the correct way to lay hold on the hope of the resurrection, not only in the case of stillborn children but every time that we are bewildered by the mystery of the individual personality and the hiddenness of its destiny.

Those who conduct such services will need to be loving and sensitive, in using the texts as tools at their disposal in giving pastoral help, talking with parents about which prayers they particularly identify with, discovering if there is a name by which parents know their child, facing with them the definiteness of death which such a service marks. No apology is needed for facing the theological questions, because pastoral help cannot realistically be given on the basis of a general lovingness which has doubts or a bad conscience about the words used, but only on the basis of a clear faith in our dead and risen Saviour, Jesus Christ.

After the Funeral

¶    At Home after the Funeral

Note

This service may be adapted for use either immediately after the funeral or later. It may be led by a friend or family member or by a minister.

At the Door

The minister may say

In the name of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

All   Amen.

The peace of God our heavenly Father,

of Jesus Christ the source of peace,

and of the Holy Spirit the comforter

come upon this house and all who live here.

Open, O God, the door of this house;

let your light shine here to drive away all darkness;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

The Word of God

One or more of the following readings may be used

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 go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.

John 14.1-3

Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Matthew 11.28-30

We are citizens of heaven, and from heaven we expect our deliverer to come, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will transform our humble bodies, and give them a form like that of his own glorious body, by that power which enables him to make all things subject to himself. This, my dear friends, whom I love and long for, my joy and my crown, this is what it means to stand firm in the Lord.

Philippians 3.20–4.1

In you, O Lord, do I seek refuge;

let me never be put to shame.

In your righteousness, deliver me and set me free;

incline your ear to me and save me.

Be for me a stronghold to which I may ever resort;

send out to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.

Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked,

from the grasp of the evildoer and the oppressor.

For you are my hope, O Lord God,

my confidence, even from my youth.

Upon you have I leaned from my birth, when you drew me from my mother’s womb;

my praise shall be always of you.

O God, you have taught me since I was young,

and to this day I tell of your wonderful works.

Forsake me not, O God, when I am old and grey-headed,

till I make known your deeds to the next generation and your power to all that are to come.

Psalm 71.1-6,17,18

Those who sow in tears

shall reap with songs of joy.

Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed,

will come back with shouts of joy, bearing their sheaves with them.

Psalm 126.5,6

Where can I go then from your spirit?

Or where can I flee from your presence?

If I climb up to heaven, you are there;

if I make the grave my bed, you are there also.

If I take the wings of the morning

and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

Even there your hand shall lead me,

your right hand hold me fast.

If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will cover me

and the light around me turn to night,’

Even darkness is no darkness with you; the night is as clear as the day;

darkness and light to you are both alike.

Psalm 139.7-11

Prayers

A suitable prayer or prayers from the Prayers section here may be used, or informal prayer for the family may be more appropriate. This prayer may be especially appropriate if there is food after the Funeral

Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

whose disciples recognized him as he broke bread at their table after the resurrection:

we thank you for your strength upholding us in what we have done today,

and now we ask for your presence to be recognized in this home;

bring your peace and joy to each place which stirs the memory;

give your strength and presence in those daily tasks which used to be shared,

and in all the changes of life give us grace to do your will day by day,

and to look for the glorious coming of Christ,

when you will gather us together to your table in heaven

to be with you for ever and ever.

All   Amen.

Conclusion

The minister may say some or all of Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the hills;

from where is my help to come?

My help comes from the Lord,

the maker of heaven and earth.

He will not suffer your foot to stumble;

he who watches over you will not sleep.

Behold, he who keeps watch over Israel

shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord himself watches over you;

the Lord is your shade at your right hand,

So that the sun shall not strike you by day,

neither the moon by night.

The Lord shall keep you from all evil;

it is he who shall keep your soul.

The Lord shall keep watch over your going out and your coming in,

from this time forth for evermore.

All   Amen.

The Burial of Ashes

Note

If the service begins in church or chapel, it may be appropriate to invite the mourners to the place of burial at the end of the readings, and to use the psalms at the place of burial.

Preparation

The minister greets the people in these or other suitable words

Grace, mercy and peace

from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ

be with you all.

Though we are dust and ashes,

God has prepared for those who love him a heavenly dwelling place.

At his/her funeral we commended N into the hands of almighty God.

As we prepare to commit the remains of N to the earth,

we entrust ourselves and all who love God to his loving care.

Appropriate sentences of Scripture may be used.

The eternal God is our refuge,

and underneath are the everlasting arms.

cf Deuteronomy 33. 27 AV

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!

By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading,

kept in heaven for you.

1 Peter 1.3,4

Lord, you have been our refuge

from one generation to another.

Before the mountains were brought forth, or the earth and the world were formed,

from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

You turn us back to dust and say:

‘Turn back, O children of earth.’

For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday,

which passes like a watch in the night.

Psalm 90.1-4

Readings

One or more readings follows. The psalms may be used at the place of burial (see Note here).

‘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 for ever!

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.

My heart faints within me!’

Job 19.23-27

4    The Lord himself is my portion and my cup;  

in your hands alone is my fortune.

5    My share has fallen in a fair land;  

indeed, I have a goodly heritage.

6    I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel,  

and in the night watches he instructs my heart.

7    I have set the Lord always before me;  

he is at my right hand; I shall not fall.

8    Wherefore my heart is glad and my spirit rejoices;  

my flesh also shall rest secure.

9    For you will not abandon my soul to Death,  

nor suffer your faithful one to see the Pit.

10  You will show me the path of life;

in your presence is the fullness of joy  

and in your right hand are pleasures for evermore.

Psalm 16.4-10

1    O Lord, you have searched me out and known me;  

you know my sitting down and my rising up;

you discern my thoughts from afar.

2    You mark out my journeys and my resting place  

and are acquainted with all my ways.

3    For there is not a word on my tongue,  

but you, O Lord, know it altogether.

4    You encompass me behind and before  

and lay your hand upon me.

5    Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,  

so high that I cannot attain it.

6    Where can I go then from your spirit?  

Or where can I flee from your presence?

7    If I climb up to heaven, you are there;  

if I make the grave my bed, you are there also.

8    If I take the wings of the morning  

and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

9    Even there your hand shall lead me,  

your right hand hold me fast.

10  If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will cover me  

and the light around me turn to night,’

11  Even darkness is no darkness with you;

the night is as clear as the day;  

darkness and light to you are both alike.

13  I thank you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;  

marvellous are your works, my soul knows well.

Psalm 139.1-11,13

Someone will ask, ‘How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?’ Fool! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And as for what you sow, you do not sow the body that is to be, but a bare seed, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body.

So it is with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body.

1 Corinthians 15.35-38, 42-44a

After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body. Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

John 19.38-end

I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. Its gates will never be shut by day – and there will be no night there. People will bring into it the glory and the honour of the nations. But nothing unclean will enter it, nor anyone who practises abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him; they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And there will be no more night; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign for ever and ever.

Revelation 21.22-end, 22.3b-5

The Committal

The minister says

either

We have entrusted our brother/sister N to God’s mercy,

and we now commit his/her mortal remains to the ground:

earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust:

in sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life

through our Lord Jesus Christ,

who will transform our frail bodies

that they may be conformed to his glorious body,

who died, was buried, and rose again for us.

To him be glory for ever.

All   Amen.

(or)

God our Father,

in loving care your hand has created us,

and as the potter fashions the clay

you have formed us in your image.

Through the Holy Spirit

you have breathed into us the gift of life.

In the sharing of love you have enriched our knowledge of you and of one another.

We claim your love today,

as we return these ashes to the ground

in sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life.

The congregation may join with the minister in saying

All   Thanks be to God who gives us the victory

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayers
The Lord’s Prayer

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

All   Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation

but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours

now and for ever.

Amen.

(or)

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

All   Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name;

thy kingdom come;

thy will be done;

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation;

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

the power and the glory,

for ever and ever.

Amen.

Heavenly Father,

we thank you for all those whom we love but see no longer.

As we remember N in this place,

hold before us our beginning and our ending,

the dust from which we come

and the death to which we move,

with a firm hope in your eternal love and purposes for us,

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

Other prayers may be used, ending with

God of hope,

grant that we, with all who have believed in you,

may be united in the full knowledge of your love

and the unclouded vision of your glory;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

The Dismissal

May the infinite and glorious Trinity,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

direct our life in good works,

and after our journey through this world

grant us eternal rest with all the saints.

All   Amen.

An Outline Order for a Memorial Service

For Notes, see here.

The Gathering

1   The minister welcomes the people and introduces the service.

2   Sentences of Scripture may be used.

3   Authorized Prayers of Penitence may be used.

4   The Collect may be said here or in the Prayers.

Readings and Sermon

5   One or more readings from the Bible is used.

    Psalms or hymns may follow the readings.

6   Other songs and readings may be used and a tribute or tributes made.

7   A sermon is preached, testimony may be given and an authorized

    Creed or Affirmation of Faith may be used.

Prayers

8   The prayers usually follow this sequence:

    Thanksgiving for the life of the departed

    Prayer for those who mourn

    Prayers of Penitence (if not already used)

    Prayer for readiness to live in the light of eternity

Commendation and Dismissal

9   The dead person is commended to God with authorized words.

10   The service may end with a blessing.

An Outline Order for a Memorial Service within a Celebration of Holy Communion

For Notes, see here.

The Gathering

1   The minister welcomes the people and introduces the service.

2   Sentences of Scripture may be used.

3   Authorized Prayers of Penitence are used here or in the Prayers.

4   The Collect is said here or in the Prayers.

The Liturgy of the Word

5   One or more readings from the Bible, including a Gospel reading, is used.

    Psalms or hymns may follow the readings.

6   Other songs and readings may be used and a tribute or tributes made.

7   A sermon is preached, testimony may be given and an authorized

    Creed or Affirmation of Faith may be used.

Prayers

8   The prayers usually follow this sequence:

    Thanksgiving for the life of the departed

    Prayer for those who mourn

    Prayers of Penitence (if not already used)

    Prayer for readiness to live in the light of eternity

The Liturgy of the Sacrament

9   The Peace

10   Preparation of the Table

      Taking of the Bread and Wine

11   The Eucharistic Prayer (any authorized Eucharistic Prayer may be used)

12   The Lord’s Prayer (used here rather than in the Prayers)

13   Breaking of the Bread

14   Giving of Communion

15   Prayer after Communion

Commendation and Dismissal

16   The dead person is commended to God with authorized words.

17   The service may end with a blessing.

Notes

1  These Outline Orders are designed for use in church several weeks after the Funeral service has taken place. One way of amplifying the first Order is provided here.

2  If the memorial service takes place on the same day as, or very soon after, the Funeral, the Funeral service should be used, without the Committal.

3  For annual memorial services a provision such as that on pages 62-82 in The Promise of His Glory should be used.

4  Care should be taken to ensure that there is a clear president throughout, who introduces and concludes the service, and that the number of other speakers, musical items and non-biblical readings does not unbalance the service from its focus on the word of God, prayer and thanksgiving.

Memorial Service: A Sample Service

The Gathering

The minister welcomes the people and introduces the service.

Sentences of Scripture may be sung or said, and a hymn may be sung.

The minister says

We meet in the name of Jesus Christ,

who died and was raised to the glory of God the Father.

Grace and mercy be with you.

[All   And also with you.]

The minister introduces the service in these or other suitable words

We look not to the things that are seen

but to the things that are unseen;

for the things that are seen are transient

but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Today we come together

to remember before God our brother/sister N,

to give thanks for his/her life

and to comfort one another in our grief.

Opening Prayer

One of these prayers is said

Father in heaven,

we thank you because you made us in your own image

and gave us gifts in body, mind and spirit.

We thank you now for N

and what he/she meant to each of us.

As we honour his/her memory,

make us more aware that you are the one

from whom comes every perfect gift,

including the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ.

All   Amen.

(or)

Father in heaven, we praise your name

for all who have finished this life loving and trusting you,

for the example of their lives,

the life and grace you gave them

and the peace in which they rest.

We praise you today for your servant N

and for all that you did through him/her.

Meet us in our sadness

and fill our hearts with praise and thanksgiving,

for the sake of our risen Lord, Jesus Christ.

All   Amen.

Readings and Sermon

This canticle may be used

All   The ransomed of the Lord shall return,

and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

The wilderness and the dry land shall rejoice:

the desert shall burst into song.

They shall see the glory of the Lord:

the majesty of our God.

All   The ransomed of the Lord shall return,

and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Strengthen the weary hands:

make firm the feeble knees.

Say to the anxious: Be strong, fear not,

your God is coming with judgement:

coming with judgement to save you.

All   The ransomed of the Lord shall return,

and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Isaiah 35.1,2b,3,4,10a

A reading from the Old or New Testament may be used.

At the end the reader may say

This is the word of the Lord.

All   Thanks be to God.

A reading from the New Testament (which may be a Gospel reading) is used. When the Gospel is announced the reader says

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to N.

All   Glory to you, O Lord.

At the end

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

All   Praise to you, O Christ.

Memories may be shared, a tribute or tributes may be made.

Psalms, hymns and other songs and readings may be used.

A sermon is preached.

One of these prayers may be used to provide a link with the Affirmation of Faith or the Thanksgiving

Father in heaven,

we give you thanks for your servant N.

We praise you as we recollect his/her life and cherish his/her memory.

We bless you that in bearing your image

he/she has brought light to our lives;

for we have seen in his/her friendship reflections of your compassion, in his/her integrity demonstrations of your goodness, in his/her faithfulness glimpses of your eternal love.

Grant to each of us, beloved and bereft,

the grace to follow his/her good example

so that we with him/her may come to your everlasting kingdom;

through Jesus Christ our Lord,

who died and rose again and opened the gate of glory,

to whom be praise for all eternity.

All   Amen.

(or)

Almighty Saviour,

those who have died in faith

have eternal joy in your presence.

For us who remain, be with us in our sadness

and turn our eyes to you.

By your death once for all upon the cross,

raise us to new life,

give us victory over death

and confidence to look forward to your coming.

All   Amen.

Affirmation of Faith

This Affirmation of Faith may be used

Let us declare our faith

in the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ:

All   Christ died for our sins

in accordance with the Scriptures;

he was buried;

he was raised to life on the third day

in accordance with the Scriptures;

afterwards he appeared to his followers,

and to all the apostles:

this we have received,

and this we believe.

Amen.

cf 1 Corinthians 15.3-7

Prayers
Prayers of Penitence

The minister may introduce the confession with these or other suitable words

God has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of his glory in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us. As we acknowledge our human frailty, we call to mind our sins of word, deed and omission, and confess them before God our Father.

Silence is kept.

All   Father eternal, giver of light and grace,

we have sinned against you and against our neighbour,

in what we have thought,

in what we have said and done,

through ignorance, through weakness,

through our own deliberate fault.

We have wounded your love,

and marred your image in us.

We are sorry and ashamed,

and repent of all our sins.

For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,

who died for us,

forgive us all that is past;

and lead us out from darkness

to walk as children of light.

Amen.

The minister says an authorized absolution.

Prayers of Intercession

Suitable prayers are said (see here).

This introduction and response may be used

In peace let us pray to the Lord, using the response:

Hear us, risen Lord,

All   our resurrection and our life.

Prayers of Thanksgiving

Hymns may be sung and testimony given.

Either the whole of, or these verses from, the Te Deum may be used

You, Christ, are the King of glory,

the eternal Son of the Father.

When you took our flesh to set us free

you humbly chose the Virgin’s womb.

You overcame the sting of death

and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.

You are seated at God’s right hand in glory.

We believe that you will come and be our judge.

Come then, Lord, and help your people,

bought with the price of your own blood,

and bring us with your saints

to glory everlasting.

One or more of these thanksgivings may be used

You are worthy, our Lord and God,

to receive glory and honour and power.

All   For you have created all things,

and by your will they have their being.

You are worthy, O Lamb, for you were slain,

and by your blood you ransomed for God saints from every tribe and language and nation.

All   You have made them to be a kingdom and priests serving our God,

and they will reign with you on earth.

To the One who sits on the throne and to the Lamb

be blessing and honour, glory and might,

   for ever and ever.

Amen.

(or)

We give you thanks and praise, almighty Father,

that you sent your Son to die,

and raised him from the dead for the salvation of all.

Lord, hear us.

All   Lord, graciously hear us.

We thank you for N who in baptism was given the pledge of eternal life,

and now through faith rejoices with the saints in glory.

Lord, hear us.

All   Lord, graciously hear us.

We thank you for our brother/sister who shared the bread of life,

a foretaste of the eternal banquet of heaven.

Lord, hear us.

All   Lord, graciously hear us.

We thank you for our deceased relatives and friends,

who have helped us in the faith

and now find rest from their labours.

Lord, hear us.

All   Lord, graciously hear us.

We thank you that the family and friends of our brother/sister N

may be consoled in their grief by the Lord,

who wept at the death of his friend Lazarus.

Lord, hear us.

All   Lord, graciously hear us.

We pray for all of us assembled here to worship in faith,

that we may be gathered together again in God’s kingdom.

Lord, hear us.

All   Lord, graciously hear us.

(or)

Lord God, creator of all,

you have made us creatures of this earth,

but have also promised us a share in life eternal.

According to your promises,

may all who have died in the peace of Christ

share with your saints in the joy of heaven,

where there is neither sorrow nor pain

but life everlasting.

All   Alleluia. Amen.

The Commendation

Almighty God,

in your great love

you crafted us by your hand

and breathed life into us by your Spirit.

Although we became a rebellious people,

you did not abandon us to our sin.

In your tender mercy

you sent your Son

to restore in us your image.

In obedience to your will

he gave up his life for us,

bearing in his body our sins on the cross.

By your mighty power

you raised him from the grave

and exalted him to the throne of glory.

Rejoicing in his victory

and trusting in your promise

to make alive all who turn to Christ,

we commend N to your mercy

and we join with all your faithful people

and the whole company of heaven

in the one unending song of praise:

glory and wisdom and honour

be to our God for ever and ever.

All   Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

All   Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation

but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours

now and for ever.

Amen.

(or)

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

All   Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name;

thy kingdom come;

thy will be done;

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation;

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

the power and the glory,

for ever and ever.

Amen.

The Dismissal
The Peace

Jesus said: Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you.

Not as the world gives give I unto you. Do not let your

hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

The peace of the risen Christ be always with you

All   and also with you.

Conclusion

Neither death nor life

can separate us from the love of God

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Grant to us, Lord God,

to trust you not for ourselves alone,

but also for those whom we love

and who are hidden from us by the shadow of death;

that, as we believe your power to have raised our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead,

so may we trust your love to give eternal life to all who believe in him;

through Jesus Christ our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

All   Amen.

The God of peace,

who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus,

that great shepherd of the sheep,

make you perfect in every good work to do his will;

and the blessing of God almighty,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

be among you and remain with you always.

All   Amen.

Resources

Prayers for Use with the Dying and at Funeral and Memorial Services

These prayers follow the order of dying and mourning. They reflect the sequence found in the services, from the time of death until after the Funeral:

    Prayers with Dying People here

    Gathering Prayers here

    Prayers of Penitence (Kyries and Absolutions) here

    Collects for Funeral and Memorial Services here

    Thanksgiving for the Life of the Departed here

    Prayers for Those who Mourn here

    Prayers for Readiness to Live in the Light of Eternity here

    Litanies and Responsive Prayers here

    Prayers of Entrusting and Commending here

    Blessings and other Endings here

    Prayers for Use after Psalms here

Other suitable prayers may be found in the sections Before the Funeral (here) and After the Funeral (here). Prayers suitable for a child may be found here.

Prayers with Dying People

1   Soul of Christ, sanctify me.

Body of Christ, save me.

Blood of Christ, refresh me.

Water from the side of Christ, wash me.

Passion of Christ, strengthen me.

O good Jesus, hear me.

Within your wounds hide me.

Let me never be separated from you.

From the power of darkness defend me.

In the hour of my death, call me

and bid me come to you,

that with your saints I may praise you

for ever and ever.

Amen.

2   Christ be with me, Christ within me,

Christ behind me, Christ before me,

Christ beside me, Christ to win me,

Christ to comfort and restore me,

Christ beneath me, Christ above me,

Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,

Christ in hearts of all that love me,

Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

3   Lord Jesus Christ, we thank you

for all the benefits you have won for us,

for all the pains and insults you have borne for us.

Most merciful redeemer,

friend and brother,

may we know you more clearly,

love you more dearly,

and follow you more nearly,

day by day.

Amen.

4   Lord,

in weakness or in strength

we bear your image.

We pray for those we love

who now live in a land of shadows,

where the light of memory is dimmed,

where the familiar lies unknown,

where the beloved become as strangers.

Hold them in your everlasting arms,

and grant to those who care a strength to serve, a patience to persevere, a love to last and a peace that passes human understanding.

Hold us in your everlasting arms,

today and for all eternity;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Gathering Prayers

5   God our refuge and strength,

close at hand in our distress;

meet us in our sorrow and lift our eyes

to the peace and light of your constant care.

Help us so to hear your word of grace

that our fear will be dispelled by your love,

our loneliness eased by your presence

and our hope renewed by your promises

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

6   Gracious Father,

in darkness and light,

in trouble and in joy,

help us to trust your love,

to serve your purpose

and to praise your name;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

7   Heavenly Father,

you have not made us for darkness and death,

but for life with you for ever.

Without you we have nothing to hope for;

with you we have nothing to fear.

Speak to us now your words of eternal life.

Lift us from anxiety and guilt

to the light and peace of your presence,

and set the glory of your love before us;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

Prayers of Penitence
Kyries

8   Remember, Lord, your compassion and love,

for they are everlasting.

Lord, have mercy.

[All   Lord, have mercy.]

Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions,

but think on me in your goodness, O Lord, according to your steadfast love.

Christ, have mercy.

[All   Christ, have mercy.]

O keep my soul and deliver me;

let me not be put to shame, for I have put my trust in you.

Lord, have mercy.

[All   Lord, have mercy.]

9   Lord Jesus, you have shown us the way to the Father:

Lord, have mercy.

[All   Lord, have mercy.]

Lord Jesus, your word is a light to our path:

Christ, have mercy.

[All   Christ, have mercy.]

Lord Jesus, you are the good shepherd,

leading us into everlasting life:

Lord, have mercy.

[All   Lord, have mercy.]

10   Praise the Lord, O my soul,

and forget not all his benefits:

Lord, have mercy.

[All   Lord, have mercy.]

Who forgives all your sin

and heals all your infirmities:

Christ, have mercy.

[All   Christ, have mercy.]

Who saves your life from destruction

and crowns you with mercy and loving-kindness:

Lord, have mercy.

[All   Lord, have mercy.]

11   Out of the depths I cry to you:

Lord, hear my voice.

Lord, have mercy.

[All   Lord, have mercy.]

If you should mark what is done amiss:

who may abide it?

Christ, have mercy.

[All   Christ, have mercy.]

Trust in the Lord, for with him there is mercy:

for with him is ample redemption.

Lord, have mercy.

[All   Lord, have mercy.]

Absolutions

12   May the God of love

bring us back to himself,

forgive us our sins

and assure us of his eternal love

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

The following absolution is particularly appropriate when the Funeral service is set within Holy Communion

13   May God our Father forgive us our sins

and bring us to the fellowship of his table

with his saints for ever.

All   Amen.

Collects for Funeral and Memorial Services

14   Merciful Father,

hear our prayers and comfort us;

renew our trust in your Son,

whom you raised from the dead;

strengthen our faith

that [N and] all who have died in the love of Christ

will share in his resurrection;

who lives and reigns with you,

now and for ever.

All   Amen.

15   Eternal God, our maker and redeemer,

grant us [with N] and all the faithful departed

the sure benefits of your Son’s saving passion and glorious resurrection:

that, in the last day,

when you gather up all things in Christ,

we may with them enjoy the fullness of your promises;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

All   Amen.

Thanksgiving for the Life of the Departed

16   Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

who has blessed us all with the gift of this earthly life

and has given to our brother/sister N

his/her span of years and gifts of character.

God our Father, we thank you now for all his/her life,

for every memory of love and joy,

for every good deed done by him/her

and every sorrow shared with us.

We thank you for his/her life and for his/her death,

we thank you for the rest in Christ he/she now enjoys,

we thank you for giving him/her to us,

we thank you for the glory we shall share together.

Hear our prayers through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

17   Merciful Father and Lord of all life,

we praise you that we are made in your image

and reflect your truth and light.

We thank you for the life of your child N,

for the love he/she received from you

and showed among us.

Above all, we rejoice at your gracious promise

to all your servants, living and departed,

that we shall rise again at the coming of Christ.

And we ask that in due time

we may share with our brother/sister that clearer vision,

when we shall see your face in the same Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

18   Lord of all, we praise you

for all who have entered into their rest

and reached the promised land where you are seen face to face.

Give us grace to follow in their footsteps

as they followed in the way of your Son.

Thank you for the memory of those you have called to yourself:

by each memory, turn our hearts from things seen to things unseen,

and lead us till we come to the eternal rest you have prepared for your people,

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

19   Father in heaven, we praise your name

for all who have finished this life loving and trusting you,

for the example of their lives,

the life and grace you gave them,

and the peace in which they rest.

We praise you today for your servant N

and for all that you did through him/her.

Meet us in our sadness

and fill our hearts with praise and thanksgiving,

for the sake of our risen Lord, Jesus Christ.

All   Amen.

20   Father in heaven,

we thank you because you made us in your own image

and gave us gifts in mind, body and spirit.

We thank you now for N

and what he/she meant to each of us.

As we honour his/her memory,

make us more aware that you are the one

from whom comes every perfect gift,

including the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ.

All   Amen.

21   God our Father,

we thank you that you have made each of us in your own image,

and given us gifts and talents with which to serve you.

We thank you for N,

the years we shared with him/her,

the good we saw in him/her,

the love we received from him/her.

Now give us strength and courage

to leave him/her in your care,

confident in your promise of eternal life

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

22   Eternal God and Father,

we praise you that you have made people to share life together

and to reflect your glory in the world.

We thank you now for N,

for all that we saw of your goodness and love in his/her life

and for all that he/she means to each one of us.

As we too journey towards death

may we do so in the company of Jesus,

who came to share our life

that we might share the life of eternity.

To him be glory with you and the Holy Spirit

for ever and ever.

All   Amen.

23   Lord God, creator of all,

you have made us creatures of this earth

but have also promised us a share in life eternal:

receive our thanks and praise

that, through the passion and death of Christ,

your child N, our brother/sister,

whom we commend into your hands today,

shares with your saints in the joy of heaven,

where there is neither sorrow nor pain

but life everlasting. Alleluia.

All   Amen.

24   Almighty God,

you love everything you have made

and judge us with infinite mercy and justice.

We rejoice in your promises of pardon, joy and peace

to all those who love you.

In your mercy turn the darkness of death into the dawn of new life,

and the sorrow of parting into the joy of heaven;

through our Saviour Jesus Christ,

who died, rose again, and lives for evermore.

All   Amen.

25   Almighty God,

we come before you, the supreme judge,

and to Jesus, the mediator of the new covenant,

and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect;

we give you thanks for giving us an unshakeable kingdom

and we worship you in reverence and awe,

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

Prayers for Those who Mourn

26   God of mercy,

as we mourn the death of N

and thank you for his/her life,

we also remember times when it was hard for us to understand,

to forgive, and to be forgiven.

Heal our memories of hurt and failure,

and bring us to forgiveness and life

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

27   Lord Jesus Christ,

you comforted your disciples when you were going to die:

now set our troubled hearts at rest

and banish our fears.

You are the way to the Father:

help us to follow you.

You are the truth:

bring us to know you.

You are the life:

give us that life,

to live with you now and for ever.

All   Amen.

28   O God, who brought us to birth,

and in whose arms we die,

in our grief and shock

contain and comfort us;

embrace us with your love,

give us hope in our confusion

and grace to let go into new life;

through Jesus Christ.

All   Amen.

29   Father,

you know our hearts and share our sorrows.

We are hurt by our parting from N whom we loved:

when we are angry at the loss we have sustained,

when we long for words of comfort,

yet find them hard to hear,

turn our grief to truer living,

our affliction to firmer hope

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

30   Gracious God,

surround us and all who mourn this day

with your continuing compassion.

Do not let grief overwhelm your children,

or turn them against you.

When grief seems never-ending,

take them one step at a time

along your road of death and resurrection

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

31   Father, the death of N brings an emptiness into our lives.

We are separated from him/her

and feel broken and disturbed.

Give us confidence that he/she is safe

and his/her life complete with you,

and bring us together at the last

to the wholeness and fullness of your presence in heaven,

where your saints and angels enjoy you for ever and ever.

All   Amen.

32   Lord, we pray for those who mourn,

for parents and children,

friends and neighbours.

Be gentle with them in their grief.

Show them the depths of your love,

a glimpse of the kingdom of heaven.

Spare them the torment of guilt and despair.

Be with them as they weep beside the empty tomb of our risen Saviour,

Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

33   Most merciful God,

whose wisdom is beyond our understanding,

surround the family of N with your love,

that they may not be overwhelmed by their loss,

but have confidence in your goodness

and strength to meet the days to come.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

34   Father of all mercies and God of all consolation,

you pursue us with untiring love

and dispel the shadow of death with the bright dawn of life.

[Give courage to this family in their loss and sorrow.

Be their refuge and strength, O Lord,

reassure them of your continuing love

and lift them from the depths of grief

into the peace and light of your presence.]

Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,

by dying has destroyed our death,

and by rising, restored our life.

Your Holy Spirit, our comforter,

speaks for us in groans too deep for words.

Come alongside your people,

remind them of your eternal presence

and give them your comfort and strength.

All   Amen.

35   Lord God,

you are attentive to the voice of our pleading.

Let us find in your Son

comfort in our sadness,

certainty in our doubt

and courage to live.

Make our faith strong

through Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

36   Risen Lord Jesus,

draw near to us as we walk this lonely road.

Pierce our weary sorrow

and gladden our heavy hearts as you go with us,

and bring us in the end to your heavenly table.

All   Amen.

37   O God, you do not willingly grieve or afflict your children.

Look with pity on the suffering of this family in their loss.

Sustain them in their anguish;

and into the darkness of their grief

bring the light of your love;

through Jesus we pray.

All   Amen.

38   Almighty God,

Father of all mercies and giver of all comfort:

deal graciously, we pray, with those who mourn,

that, casting all their care on you,

they may know the consolation of your love;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

39   Out of the darkness of our grief,

we cry to you, O Lord.

You gave him/her to us,

and you have taken him/her away.

Turn to us, Lord, and have pity on us,

and give us the comfort that you alone can give,

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

After a short life

40   Lord our God,

you give and you take away.

You blessed us through the gift of N,

who is now taken from us

and whose loss we mourn.

Help us, through our tears and pain,

to glimpse your hand at work

to bring blessing out of grief.

To you be glory for ever.

All   Amen.

41   God of all mystery, whose ways are beyond understanding,

lead us, who grieve at this untimely death,

to a new and deeper faith in your love,

which brought your only Son Jesus

through death into resurrection life.

We make our prayer in Jesus’ name.

All   Amen.

42   After a sudden death

God of hope,

we come to you in shock and grief and confusion of heart.

Help us to find peace in the knowledge of your loving mercy to all your children,

and give us light to guide us out of our darkness

into the assurance of your love,

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

After a violent death

43   Merciful God,

hear the cries of our grief,

for you know the anguish of our hearts.

It is beyond our understanding

and more than we can bear.

Accept our prayer

that as N has been released from this world’s cruelty

so may he/she be received into your safe hands and secure love.

We pray that justice may be done

and that we may treasure the memory of his/her life

more than the manner of his/her death.

For Christ’s sake.

All   Amen.

44   God of love,

we thank you that N is in your gentle and loving hands,

far from the cruelty, violence and pain of our world.

When the trouble was near,

we could not understand how you seemed to remain far away.

And yet it is to you we turn;

for in life and death

it is you alone whom we can trust,

and yours alone is the love that holds us fast.

We find it hard to forgive the deed

that has brought us so much grief.

But we know that, if life is soured by bitterness,

an unforgiving spirit brings no peace.

Lord, save us and help us.

Strengthen in us the faith and hope that N

is freed from the past with all its hurt,

and rests for ever in the calm security of your love,

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

After a suicide

45   Eternal God and Father,

look in mercy on those who remember N before you.

Let not the manner of his/her death

cloud the good memories of his/her life.

For N the trials of this world are over

and death is past.

Accept from us all that we feel

even when words fail;

deliver us from despair

and give us strength to meet the days to come

in the faith of Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

46   God our strength and our redeemer:

you do not leave us in this life

nor abandon us in death.

Hear our prayer for those in despair,

when days are full of darkness

and the future empty of hope.

Renew in them your sustaining strength

for we believe that there is nothing in all creation

that can separate us from your love

in Christ Jesus our Lord.

All   Amen.

47   After a long illness

Eternal God,

our life is a fleeting shadow that does not endure.

Our years pass quickly,

our days are few and full of trouble.

We thank you that N no longer has to suffer pain or fear,

grappling with death, fighting for life;

and that for him/her

limitations are ended,

weakness is overcome,

and death itself is conquered.

As he/she passes from our earthly sight,

we thank you for the years of his/her presence among us.

And while we feel the pain of the parting,

we rejoice in the faith that he/she has gone to be with you,

for in your presence is the fullness of joy,

at your right hand are pleasures for evermore.

Bless those who had the care of him/her,

especially doctors, nurses and technicians.

Guide and prosper all who are engaged in

medical research:

may they never lose heart

in their search to discover the way of health and healing.

Grant that by their vision and courage

we may advance in our understanding of the world

and be better able to help those in need.

All   Amen.

48   In sorrow, guilt and regret

Forgiving God,

in the face of death we discover

how many things are still undone,

how much might have been done otherwise.

Redeem our failure.

Bind up the wounds of past mistakes.

Transform our guilt to active love

and by your forgiveness make us whole.

We pray in Jesus’ name.

All   Amen.

Prayers for Readiness to Live in the Light of Eternity

49   Support us, O Lord,

all the day long of this troublous life,

until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes,

the busy world is hushed,

the fever of life is over

and our work is done.

Then, Lord, in your mercy grant us a safe lodging,

a holy rest, and peace at the last;

through Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

50   Grant us, Lord,

the wisdom and the grace

to use aright the time

that is left to us on earth.

Lead us to repent of our sins,

the evil we have done

and the good we have not done;

and strengthen us to follow the steps of your Son,

in the way that leads to the fullness of eternal life;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

51   God, our Father,

we thank you that you sent your Son Jesus Christ

to die for us and rise again.

His cross declares your love to be without limit;

his resurrection, that death our last enemy is doomed.

By his victory we are assured of the promise

that you will never leave us or forsake us;

that neither death nor life,

nor things present nor things to come,

can separate us from your love

in Christ Jesus our Lord.

All   Amen.

52   Almighty God, we pray that,

encouraged by the example of your saints,

we may run with patience the race that is set before us,

looking to Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith;

so that at the last we may join those whom we love

in your presence where there is fullness of joy;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

53   Almighty God,

you have surrounded us by a great cloud of witnesses.

As you strengthened them,

inspire us to throw off all that weighs us down

and the sin that clings so closely.

As you sustained them,

keep us running in the race that lies ahead,

fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.

Hear us as we offer with them,

in the power of the eternal Spirit,

the unending song of praise,

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

54   Father, your Son has become the source of eternal salvation

for all who follow him.

When we are tempted to turn from your way:

form in us the obedience of Christ, our brother.

When our consciences are stained by sin:

cleanse us with the sacrifice of Christ, our priest.

When we fear our death and the death of those we love:

strengthen us in the knowledge that Christ has gone before us

and entered your holy presence, crowned with glory and honour,

where he is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

All   Amen.

55   Eternal God,

whose Son Jesus Christ said,

‘Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid’,

take away our fear of death;

bring us to the place he has gone to prepare for us;

and give us his peace for ever.

All   Amen.

56   Living God,

you have lit the day with the sun’s light

and the midnight with shining stars.

Lighten our hearts with the bright beams

of the Sun of Righteousness

risen with healing in his wings,

Jesus Christ our Lord.

And so preserve us in the doing of your will,

that at the last we may shine

as the stars for ever;

through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

57   Intimate God,

you are able to accept in us

what we cannot even acknowledge;

you have named in us

what we cannot bear to speak of;

you hold in your memory

what we have tried to forget;

you will hold out to us

a glory we cannot imagine.

Reconcile us through your cross

to all that we have rejected in ourselves,

that we may find no part of your creation

to be alien or strange to us,

and that we ourselves may be made whole,

through Jesus Christ, our lover and our friend.

All   Amen.

58   Eternal God,

you give light to those who sit in darkness

and in the shadow of death;

let your light shine on those who mourn

that they may rejoice in your holy comfort

and live in the light of the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

59   Father of all,

by whose mercy and grace

your saints remain in everlasting light and peace:

we remember with thanksgiving

those whom we love but see no longer;

and we pray that in them

your perfect will may be fulfilled;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

60   Eternal Lord God, you hold all souls in life:

shed forth, we pray,

upon your whole Church in paradise and on earth

the bright beams of your light and heavenly comfort;

and grant that we,

following the good example of those who have loved and served you here and are now at rest,

may at the last enter with them

into the fullness of your eternal joy;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

Litanies and Responsive Prayers

61   In peace let us pray to the Lord.

Jesus, bread from heaven,

you satisfy the hungry with good things:

grant us a share with all the faithful departed

in the banquet of your kingdom.

Hear us, risen Lord,

All   our resurrection and our life.

Jesus, the light of the world,

you gave the man born blind the gift of sight

and opened the eyes of his faith:

bring those in darkness to your eternal light and glory.

Hear us, risen Lord,

All   our resurrection and our life.

Jesus, Son of the living God,

you summoned your friend Lazarus from death to life:

raise us at the last to full and eternal life with you.

Hear us, risen Lord,

All   our resurrection and our life.

Jesus, crucified Saviour,

in your dying you entrusted each to the other,

Mary your mother and John your beloved disciple:

sustain and comfort all who mourn.

Hear us, risen Lord,

All   our resurrection and our life.

Jesus, our way and truth and life,

you drew your disciple Thomas from doubt to faith:

reveal the resurrection faith to the doubting and the lost.

Hear us, risen Lord,

All   our resurrection and our life.

May God in his infinite love and mercy bring the whole Church,

living and departed in the Lord Jesus,

to a joyful resurrection

and the fulfilment of his eternal kingdom.

All   Amen.

62   Let us turn to Christ Jesus

with confidence and faith in the power of his cross and resurrection.

Risen Lord, pattern of our life for ever:

Lord, have mercy.

All   Lord, have mercy.

Promise and image of what we shall be:

Lord, have mercy.

All   Lord, have mercy.

Son of God who came to destroy sin and death:

Lord, have mercy.

All   Lord, have mercy.

Word of God who delivered us from the fear of death:

Lord, have mercy.

All   Lord, have mercy.

Crucified Lord, forsaken in death, raised in glory:

Lord, have mercy.

All   Lord, have mercy.

Lord Jesus, gentle shepherd who brings rest to our souls,

give peace to N for ever:

Lord, have mercy.

All   Lord, have mercy.

Lord Jesus, you bless those who mourn and are in pain.

Bless N’s family and friends who gather around him/her today:

Lord, have mercy.

All   Lord, have mercy.

63   The Lord Jesus is the lover of his people and our only sure hope.

Let us ask him to deepen our faith and sustain us in this dark hour.

You became a little child for our sake, sharing our human life.

To you we pray.

All   Bless us and keep us, O Lord.

You grew in wisdom, age and grace

and learned obedience through suffering.

To you we pray.

All   Bless us and keep us, O Lord.

You welcomed children, promising them your kingdom.

To you we pray.

All   Bless us and keep us, O Lord.

You comforted those who mourned the loss of children and friends.

To you we pray.

All   Bless us and keep us, O Lord.

You took upon yourself the suffering and death of us all.

To you we pray.

All   Bless us and keep us, O Lord.

You promised to raise up those who believe in you,

just as you were raised up in glory by the Father.

To you we pray.

All   Bless us and keep us, O Lord.

64   Dear friends, our Lord comes to raise the dead

and comforts us with the solace of his love.

Let us praise the Lord Jesus Christ.

Word of God, creator of the earth to which N now returns:

in baptism you called him/her to eternal life

to praise your Father for ever:

Lord, have mercy.

All   Lord, have mercy.

Son of God, you raise up the just

and clothe them with the glory of your kingdom:

Lord, have mercy.

All   Lord, have mercy.

Crucified Lord, you protect the soul of N by the power of your cross,

and on the day of your coming

you will show mercy to all the faithful departed:

Lord, have mercy.

All   Lord, have mercy.

Judge of the living and the dead,

at your voice the tombs will open

and all the just who sleep in your peace

will rise and sing the glory of God:

Lord, have mercy.

All   Lord, have mercy.

All praise to you, Jesus our Saviour,

death is in your hands

and all the living depend on you alone:

Lord, have mercy.

All   Lord, have mercy.

65   We pray with confidence to God, the almighty Father,

who raised Christ his Son from the dead for the salvation of all.

For N who in baptism was given the pledge of eternal life,

that through faith he/she may now rejoice with the saints in glory.

Lord, in your mercy

All   hear our prayer.

For our brother/sister who shared the bread of life,

that in Christ he/she may be raised up on the last day.

Lord, in your mercy

All   hear our prayer.

For those who have fallen asleep in the hope of rising again,

that they may see God face to face.

Lord, in your mercy

All   hear our prayer.

For the family and friends of our brother/sister N,

that they may be consoled in their grief by the Lord,

who wept at the death of his friend Lazarus.

Lord, in your mercy

All   hear our prayer.

66   We give you thanks and praise, almighty Father,

that you sent your Son to die,

and raised him from the dead for the salvation of all.

Lord, hear us.

All   Lord, graciously hear us.

We thank you for N who in baptism was given the pledge of eternal life,

and now through faith rejoices with the saints in glory.

Lord, hear us.

All   Lord, graciously hear us.

We thank you for our brother/sister who shared the bread of life,

a foretaste of the eternal banquet of heaven.

Lord, hear us.

All   Lord, graciously hear us.

We thank you for our deceased relatives and friends,

who have helped us in the faith

and now find rest from their labours.

Lord, hear us.

All   Lord, graciously hear us.

We thank you that the family and friends of our brother/sister N

may be consoled in their grief by the Lord,

who wept at the death of his friend Lazarus.

Lord, hear us.

All   Lord, graciously hear us.

We pray for all of us assembled here to worship in faith,

that we may be gathered together again in God’s kingdom.

Lord, hear us.

All   Lord, graciously hear us.

67   Let us pray with confidence to God our Father,

who raised Christ his Son from the dead for the salvation of all.

Grant, Lord, that your servant may know the fullness of life

which you have promised to those who love you.

Lord, in your mercy

All   hear our prayer.

Be close to those who mourn:

increase their faith in your undying love.

Lord, in your mercy

All   hear our prayer.

May we be strengthened in our faith,

live the rest of our lives in following your Son,

and be ready when you shall call us to eternal life.

Lord, in your mercy

All   hear our prayer.

Show your mercy to the dying;

strengthen them with hope,

and fill them with the peace and joy of your presence.

Lord, in your mercy

All   hear our prayer.

Lord, we commend all those who have died to your unfailing love,

that in them your will may be fulfilled;

and we pray that we may share with them in your eternal kingdom;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

Prayers of Entrusting and Commending

68   Lord Jesus, our redeemer,

you willingly gave yourself up to death,

so that all might be saved and pass from death to life.

By dying you unlocked the gates of life

for all those who believe in you.

So we commend N into your arms of mercy,

believing that, with sins forgiven,

he/she will share a place of happiness, light and peace

in the kingdom of your glory for ever.

All   Amen.

69   N has fallen asleep in the peace of Christ.

We entrust him/her, with faith and hope in everlasting life,

to the love and mercy of our Father

and surround him/her with our love and prayer.

[In baptism, he/she was made by adoption a child of God.

At the eucharist he/she was sustained and fed.

God now welcomes him/her to his table in heaven

to share in eternal life with all the saints.]

All   Amen.

70   Heavenly Father,

your Son Jesus Christ is the firstborn from the dead.

We believe that he will raise up the bodies of his faithful people to be like his in glory.

We commend N to your mercy

and pray that as you gather him/her to yourself,

you will give to us your blessing of peace;

through Jesus Christ our Lord,

who died and rose again to save us,

and is now alive and reigns with you

and the Holy Spirit in glory for ever.

All   Amen.

71   Heavenly Father,

you have assured us

that everyone who looks to your Son

and believes in him

shall have eternal life.

Trusting in your faithfulness,

we commend N to your mercy

as we await that great day

when you raise us with him/her to life in triumph

and we shall stand before you,

with all your whole creation made new in him,

in the glory of your heavenly kingdom.

All   Amen.

72   God our creator and redeemer,

by your power Christ conquered death

and returned to you in glory,

bearing in his body the marks of his passion.

Confident of your victory

and claiming his promises,

we entrust N into your keeping

in the name of Jesus our Lord,

who, though he died, is now alive

and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

All   Amen.

73   Almighty God,

as you bring us face to face with our mortality,

we thank you for making each one of us in your own image

and giving us gifts in body, mind and spirit.

We thank you now as we honour the memory of N,

whom you gave to us and have taken away.

We entrust him/her to your mercy,

and pray that you will show us the path of life,

and the fullness of joy in your presence

through all eternity.

All   Amen.

74   Almighty God,

in your great love

you crafted us by your hand

and breathed life into us by your Spirit.

Although we became a rebellious people,

you did not abandon us to our sin.

In your tender mercy

you sent your Son

to restore in us your image.

In obedience to your will

he gave up his life for us,

bearing in his body our sins on the cross.

By your mighty power

you raised him from the grave

and exalted him to the throne of glory.

Rejoicing in his victory

and trusting in your promise

to make alive all who turn to Christ,

we commend N to your mercy

and we join with all your faithful people

and the whole company of heaven

in the one unending song of praise:

glory and wisdom and honour

be to our God for ever and ever.

All   Amen.

At the time of death

75   Into your hands, Lord,

our faithful creator and most loving redeemer,

we commend your child N,

for he/she is yours in death as in life.

In your great mercy

fulfil in him/her the purpose of your love;

gather him/her to yourself in gentleness and peace,

that, rejoicing in the light and refreshment of your presence,

he/she may enjoy that rest which you have prepared for your faithful servants;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

76   Into your hands, O merciful Saviour,

we commend your servant N.

Acknowledge, we pray, a sheep of your own fold,

a lamb of your own flock,

a sinner of your own redeeming.

Enfold him/her in the arms of your mercy,

in the blessed rest of everlasting peace

and in the glorious company of the saints in light.

All   Amen.

77   N, go forth from this world:

in the love of God the Father who created you,

in the mercy of Jesus Christ who redeemed you,

in the power of the Holy Spirit who strengthens you.

May the heavenly host sustain you

and the company of heaven enfold you.

In communion with all the faithful,

may you dwell this day in peace.

All   Amen.

78   N, go forth upon your journey from this world,

in the name of God the Father almighty who created you;

in the name of Jesus Christ who suffered death for you;

in the name of the Holy Spirit who strengthens you;

in communion with the blessed saints,

and aided by angels and archangels,

and all the armies of the heavenly host.

May your portion this day be in peace,

and your dwelling the heavenly Jerusalem.

All   Amen.

79

All   Give rest, O Christ, to your servant with the saints:

where sorrow and pain are no more,

neither sighing, but life everlasting.

You only are immortal, the creator and maker of all:

and we are mortal, formed from the dust of the earth,

and unto earth shall we return.

For so you ordained when you created me, saying:

‘Dust you are and to dust you shall return.’

All of us go down to the dust,

yet weeping at the grave, we make our song:

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

All   Give rest, O Christ, to your servant with the saints:

where sorrow and pain are no more,

neither sighing, but life everlasting.

Blessings and other Endings

80   And now to him who is able to keep us from falling,

and lift us from the dark valley of despair

to the bright mountain of hope,

from the midnight of desperation

to the daybreak of joy;

to him be power and authority, for ever and ever.

All   Amen.

81   God be in my head,

and in my understanding;

God be in my eyes,

and in my looking;

God be in my mouth,

and in my speaking;

God be in my heart,

and in my thinking;

God be at my end,

and at my departing.

All   Amen.

82   May Christ the good shepherd

enfold you with love,

fill you with peace,

and lead you in hope,

to the end of your days;

and the blessing of God almighty,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

be among you and remain with you always.

All   Amen.

83   The Lord is here,

his Spirit is with us.

We need not fear,

his Spirit is with us.

We are surrounded by love,

his Spirit is with us.

We are immersed in peace,

his Spirit is with us.

We rejoice in hope,

his Spirit is with us.

We travel in faith,

his Spirit is with us.

84   May the eternal God

bless and keep us, guard our bodies,

save our souls

and bring us safe to the heavenly country,

our eternal home,

where Father, Son, and Holy Spirit reign,

one God for ever and ever.

All   Amen.

For a Memorial Service

85   The love of the Lord Jesus draw you to himself,

the power of the Lord Jesus strengthen you in his service,

the joy of the Lord Jesus fill your hearts;

and the blessing of God almighty,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

be among you and remain with you always.

All   Amen.

86   May the infinite and glorious Trinity,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

direct our life in good works,

and after our journey through this world,

grant us eternal rest with the saints.

All   Amen.

87   The Lord God almighty,

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

the holy and undivided Trinity,

guard us, save us,

and bring us to that heavenly city,

where he lives and reigns for ever and ever.

All   Amen.

88   The Lord God almighty is our Father:

All   he loves us and tenderly cares for us.

The Lord Jesus Christ is our Saviour:

All   he has redeemed us and will defend us to the end.

The Lord, the Holy Spirit is among us:

All   he will lead us in God’s holy way.

To God almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

All   be praise and glory today and for ever. Amen.

Prayers for Use after Psalms

For use after Psalm 6

Our eyes, Lord, are wasted with grief;

you know we are weary with groaning.

As we remember our death

in the dark emptiness of the night,

have mercy on us and heal us;

forgive us and take away our fear

through the dying and rising of Jesus your Son.

All   Amen.

For use after Psalm 32

Lord, our hiding place in times of trouble,

you bring our guilt to mind.

Your hand seems heavy;

our tongues dry up

and we openly confess our guilt.

Embrace us with your mercy.

Teach us to trust you,

and bring us at the last

to rejoice in your presence for ever and ever.

All   Amen.

For use after Psalm 38

Lord, have mercy

on those who go about in mourning all the day long,

who feel numb and crushed

and are filled with the pain of grief,

whose strength has given up

and whose friends and neighbours are distant.

You know all our sighing and longings:

be near to us and teach us to fix our hope on you alone;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

For use after Psalm 39

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God,

grant that we may ever seek you

and feed on you all our days,

for you are in all and with all and through all,

now and for ever.

All   Amen.

For use after Psalm 90

Teach us, Lord, to number our days;

to see the span of our life in the light of eternity.

Reveal your splendour to us.

Give us the wisdom and grace to know your love

and to rejoice in your forgiveness and life;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

For use after Psalm 116

Lord of life,

we walk through eternity in your presence.

Lord of death,

we call to you in grief and sorrow:

you hear us and rescue us.

Watch over us as we mourn the death of your servant,

precious in your sight,

and keep us faithful to our vows to you.

All   Amen.

For use after Psalm 120

God of mercy,

we are in trouble and we call to you.

Deliver us from lies and deceit

and the pain of the enemy’s attack.

And give us peace, the peace Christ won upon the cross.

All   Amen.

For use after Psalm 121

Faithful Lord, lift us up when we are down.

Watch over us and keep us safe.

Be with us in our going out and in our coming in,

now and for ever.

All   Amen.

For use after Psalm 130

Lord of mercy and redemption,

rescue us, we pray, from the depths of sin and death;

forgive us what we do wrong,

and give us grace to stand in your presence,

to serve you in Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

For use after Psalm 138

Lord, do not abandon us in our desolation.

Keep us safe in the midst of trouble,

and complete your purpose for us

through your steadfast love and faithfulness,

in Jesus Christ our Saviour.

All   Amen.

For use after Psalm 139

Lord,

you created and fashioned us,

you know us and search us out,

you abide with us through light and dark:

help us to know your presence in this life

and, in the life to come, still to be with you;

where you are alive and reign,

God, for ever and ever.

All   Amen.

Bible Readings and Psalms for Use at Funeral and Memorial Services

Any suitable translation may be used.

¶    New Testament Readings

John 6.35-40

Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away; 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. This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day.’

John 11.17-27

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ Martha said to him, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’ She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.’

John 14.1-6

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 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 the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’

Romans 8.31-end

What then are we to say about these things? 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.

1 Corinthians 15.1-26,35-38,42-44a,53-end

I should remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you – unless you have come to believe in vain.

For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace towards me has not been in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them – though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we proclaim and so you have come to believe.

Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified of God that he raised Christ – whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have died in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died. For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being; for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after he has destroyed every ruler and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

But someone will ask, ‘How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?’ Fool! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And as for what you sow, you do not sow the body that is to be, but a bare seed, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body.

So it is with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body.

For this perishable body must put on imperishability, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When this perishable body puts on imperishability, and this mortal body puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will be fulfilled:

‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’

‘Where, O death, is your victory?

Where, O death, 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.

Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labour is not in vain.

1 Corinthians 15.20-end

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died. For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being; for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after he has destroyed every ruler and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For ‘God has put all things in subjection under his feet.’ But when it says, ‘All things are put in subjection,’ it is plain that this does not include the one who put all things in subjection under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to the one who put all things in subjection under him, so that God may be all in all.

Otherwise, what will those people do who receive baptism on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized on their behalf?

And why are we putting ourselves in danger every hour? I die every day! That is as certain, brothers and sisters, as my boasting of you – a boast that I make in Christ Jesus our Lord. If with merely human hopes I fought with wild animals at Ephesus, what would I have gained by it? If the dead are not raised,

‘Let us eat and drink,

for tomorrow we die.’

Do not be deceived:

‘Bad company ruins good morals.’

Come to a sober and right mind, and sin no more; for some people have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.

But someone will ask, ‘How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?’ Fool! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And as for what you sow, you do not sow the body that is to be, but a bare seed, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. Not all flesh is alike, but there is one flesh for human beings, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. There are both heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one thing, and that of the earthly is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; indeed, star differs from star in glory.

So it is with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body. Thus it is written, ‘The first man, Adam, became a living being’; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first, but the physical, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so are those who are of the dust; and as is the man of heaven, so are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we will also bear the image of the man of heaven.

What I am saying, brothers and sisters, is this: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I will tell you a mystery! We will not all die, but we will 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 will be changed. For this perishable body must put on imperishability, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When this perishable body puts on imperishability, and this mortal body puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will be fulfilled:

‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’

‘Where, O death, is your victory?

Where, O death, 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.

Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labour is not in vain.

1 Thessalonians 4.13-end

We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not 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 for ever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Revelation 21.1-7

I, John, 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;

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.’

¶    Further Readings

Old Testament and Apocrypha

Genesis 42.29-end The sorrow you would cause me would kill me

2 Samuel 1.17,23-end David’s lament for Saul and Jonathan

2 Samuel 12.16-23 David’s son dies

Job 19.23-27 I know that my Redeemer lives

Isaiah 53.1-10 The suffering servant

Isaiah 61.1-3 To comfort all who mourn

Lamentations 3.22-26,31-33 The love of the Lord never ceases

Daniel 12.1-3[5-9] Everyone whose name shall be found written in the book

Wisdom 2.22 – 3.5,9 The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God

Wisdom 3.1-5,9 The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God

Wisdom 4.8-11,13-15 Age is not length of time

Ecclesiasticus 38.16-23 Do not forget, there is no coming back

Psalms

Psalm 6 here

Psalm 23 here

Psalm 25 here

Psalm 27 here

Psalm 32 here

Psalm 38.9-end here

Psalm 42 here

Psalm 90 here

Psalm 116 here

Psalm 118.4-end here

Psalm 121 here

Psalm 130 here

Psalm 139 here

New Testament

The passages printed here are included in this list.

Matthew 25.31-end The final judgement

Mark 10.13-16 Let the little children come to me

Mark 15.33-39; 16.1-6 He has risen, he is not here

Luke 12.35-40 The coming of the Son of Man

Luke 24.1-9[10-11] The Resurrection

John 5.[19-20]21-29 Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life

John 6.35-40[53-58] All that the Father gives me will come to me

John 11.17-27 I am the resurrection and the life

John 14.1-6 In my Father’s house are many rooms

John 19.38-end The burial of Christ

John 20.1-11 The Resurrection of Christ

Romans 6.3-8[9-11] All of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death

Romans 8.18-25[26-30] The future glory

Romans 8.31-end Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ

Romans 14.7-12 Christ the Lord of the living and the dead

1 Corinthians 15.1-26,35-38,42-44a,53-end The resurrection of the dead

1 Corinthians 15.20-end The resurrection of the dead

2 Corinthians 4.7-15 We carry in our mortal bodies the death of Jesus

2 Corinthians 4.16 – 5.10 The heavenly body

Ephesians 3.14-19[20-21] The power to understand Christ’s love

Philippians 3.10-end God’s purposes for us

1 Thessalonians 4.13-18 So we shall always be with the Lord

2 Timothy 2.8-13 If we have died with him, we shall also live with him

1 Peter 1.3-9 We have been born anew to a living hope

1 John 3.1-3 We shall be like him

Revelation 7.9-end The crowd worshipping in heaven

Revelation 21.1-7 Behold I make all things new

Revelation 21.22-end; 22.3b-5 The Lord God will be their light

Other readings may be more suitable for a particular occasion, for instance, at the Funeral of a child:

Psalm 84.1-4

Song of Solomon 2.10-13

Isaiah 49.15-16

Jeremiah 1.4-8

Jeremiah 31.15-17

Matthew 18.1-5,10

John 10.27,28

1 Corinthians 13.1-end

Psalms for Use at Funeral and Memorial Services

Psalm 6

1    O Lord, rebuke me not in your wrath;  

neither chasten me in your fierce anger.

2    Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am weak;  

Lord, heal me, for my bones are racked.

3    My soul also shakes with terror;  

how long, O Lord, how long?

4    Turn again, O Lord, and deliver my soul;  

save me for your loving mercy’s sake.

5    For in death no one remembers you;  

and who can give you thanks in the grave?

6    I am weary with my groaning;  

every night I drench my pillow

and flood my bed with my tears.

7    My eyes are wasted with grief  

and worn away because of all my enemies.

8    Depart from me, all you that do evil,  

for the Lord has heard the voice of my weeping.

9    The Lord has heard my supplication;  

the Lord will receive my prayer.

10  All my enemies shall be put to shame and confusion;  

they shall suddenly turn back in their shame.

Psalm 23

1    The Lord is my shepherd;  

therefore can I lack nothing.

2    He makes me lie down in green pastures  

and leads me beside still waters.

3    He shall refresh my soul  

and guide me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

4    Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil;  

for you are with me;

your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

5    You spread a table before me

in the presence of those who trouble me;  

you have anointed my head with oil

and my cup shall be full.

6    Surely goodness and loving mercy shall follow me

all the days of my life,  

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Psalm 25

1    To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul;

O my God, in you I trust;  

let me not be put to shame;

let not my enemies triumph over me.

2    Let none who look to you be put to shame,  

but let the treacherous be shamed and frustrated.

3    Make me to know your ways, O Lord,  

and teach me your paths.

4    Lead me in your truth and teach me,  

for you are the God of my salvation;

for you have I hoped all the day long.

5    Remember, Lord, your compassion and love,  

for they are from everlasting.

6    Remember not the sins of my youth

or my transgressions,  

but think on me in your goodness, O Lord,

according to your steadfast love.

7    Gracious and upright is the Lord;  

therefore shall he teach sinners in the way.

8    He will guide the humble in doing right  

and teach his way to the lowly.

9    All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth  

to those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.

10  For your name’s sake, O Lord,  

be merciful to my sin, for it is great.

11  Who are those who fear the Lord?  

Them will he teach in the way that they should choose.

12  Their soul shall dwell at ease  

and their offspring shall inherit the land.

13  The hidden purpose of the Lord is for those who fear him  

and he will show them his covenant.

14  My eyes are ever looking to the Lord,  

for he shall pluck my feet out of the net.

15  Turn to me and be gracious to me,  

for I am alone and brought very low.

16  The sorrows of my heart have increased;  

O bring me out of my distress.

17  Look upon my adversity and misery  

and forgive me all my sin.

18  Look upon my enemies, for they are many  

and they bear a violent hatred against me.

19  O keep my soul and deliver me;  

let me not be put to shame, for I have put my trust in you.

20  Let integrity and uprightness preserve me,  

for my hope has been in you.

21  Deliver Israel, O God,  

out of all his troubles.

Psalm 27

1    The Lord is my light and my salvation;

whom then shall I fear?  

The Lord is the strength of my life;

of whom then shall I be afraid?

2    When the wicked, even my enemies and my foes,

came upon me to eat up my flesh,  

they stumbled and fell.

3    Though a host encamp against me,

my heart shall not be afraid,  

and though there rise up war against me,

yet will I put my trust in him.

4    One thing have I asked of the Lord

and that alone I seek:  

that I may dwell in the house of the Lord

all the days of my life,

5    To behold the fair beauty of the Lord  

and to seek his will in his temple.

6    For in the day of trouble

he shall hide me in his shelter;  

in the secret place of his dwelling shall he hide me

and set me high upon a rock.

7    And now shall he lift up my head  

above my enemies round about me;

8    Therefore will I offer in his dwelling an oblation

with great gladness;  

I will sing and make music to the Lord.

9    Hear my voice, O Lord, when I call;  

have mercy upon me and answer me.

10  My heart tells of your word, ‘Seek my face.’  

Your face, Lord, will I seek.

11  Hide not your face from me,  

nor cast your servant away in displeasure.

12  You have been my helper;  

leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.

13  Though my father and my mother forsake me,  

the Lord will take me up.

14  Teach me your way, O Lord;  

lead me on a level path,

because of those who lie in wait for me.

15  Deliver me not into the will of my adversaries,  

for false witnesses have risen up against me,

and those who breathe out violence.

16  I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord  

in the land of the living.

17  Wait for the Lord;

be strong and he shall comfort your heart;  

wait patiently for the Lord.

Psalm 32

1    Happy the one whose transgression is forgiven,  

and whose sin is covered.

2    Happy the one to whom the Lord imputes no guilt,  

and in whose spirit there is no guile.

3    For I held my tongue;  

my bones wasted away

through my groaning all the day long.

4    Your hand was heavy upon me day and night;  

my moisture was dried up like the drought in summer.

5    Then I acknowledged my sin to you  

and my iniquity I did not hide.

6    I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’  

and you forgave the guilt of my sin.

7    Therefore let all the faithful make their prayers to you

in time of trouble;  

in the great water flood, it shall not reach them.

8    You are a place for me to hide in;

you preserve me from trouble;  

you surround me with songs of deliverance.

9    ‘I will instruct you and teach you

in the way that you should go;  

I will guide you with my eye.

10  ‘Be not like horse and mule which have no understanding;  

whose mouths must be held with bit and bridle,

or else they will not stay near you.’

11  Great tribulations remain for the wicked,  

but mercy embraces those who trust in the Lord.

12  Be glad, you righteous, and rejoice in the Lord;  

shout for joy, all who are true of heart.

Psalm 38

9    O Lord, you know all my desires  

and my sighing is not hidden from you.

10  My heart is pounding, my strength has failed me;  

the light of my eyes is gone from me.

11  My friends and companions stand apart from my affliction;  

my neighbours stand afar off.

12  Those who seek after my life lay snares for me;  

and those who would harm me whisper evil

and mutter slander all the day long.

13  But I am like one who is deaf and hears not,  

like one that is dumb, who does not open his mouth.

14  I have become like one who does not hear  

and from whose mouth comes no retort.

15  For in you, Lord, have I put my trust;  

you will answer me, O Lord my God.

16  For I said, ‘Let them not triumph over me,  

those who exult over me when my foot slips.’

17  Truly, I am on the verge of falling  

and my pain is ever with me.

18  I will confess my iniquity  

and be sorry for my sin.

19  Those that are my enemies without any cause are mighty,  

and those who hate me wrongfully are many in number.

20  Those who repay evil for good are against me,  

because the good is what I seek.

21  Forsake me not, O Lord;  

be not far from me, O my God.

22  Make haste to help me,  

O Lord of my salvation.

Psalm 42

1    As the deer longs for the water brooks,  

so longs my soul for you, O God.

2    My soul is athirst for God, even for the living God;  

when shall I come before the presence of God?

3    My tears have been my bread day and night,  

while all day long they say to me, ‘Where is now your God?’

4    Now when I think on these things, I pour out my soul:  

how I went with the multitude

and led the procession to the house of God,

5    With the voice of praise and thanksgiving,  

among those who kept holy day.

6    Why are you so full of heaviness, O my soul,  

and why are you so disquieted within me?

7    O put your trust in God;  

for I will yet give him thanks,

who is the help of my countenance, and my God.

8    My soul is heavy within me;  

therefore I will remember you from the land of Jordan,

and from Hermon and the hill of Mizar.

9    Deep calls to deep in the thunder of your waterfalls;  

all your breakers and waves have gone over me.

10  The Lord will grant his loving-kindness in the daytime;  

through the night his song will be with me,

a prayer to the God of my life.

11  I say to God my rock,

‘Why have you forgotten me,  

and why go I so heavily, while the enemy oppresses me?’

12  As they crush my bones, my enemies mock me;  

while all day long they say to me, ‘Where is now your God?’

13  Why are you so full of heaviness, O my soul,  

and why are you so disquieted within me?

14  O put your trust in God;  

for I will yet give him thanks,

who is the help of my countenance, and my God.

Psalm 90

1    Lord, you have been our refuge  

from one generation to another.

2    Before the mountains were brought forth,

or the earth and the world were formed,  

from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

3    You turn us back to dust and say:  

‘Turn back, O children of earth.’

4    For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday,  

which passes like a watch in the night.

5    You sweep them away like a dream;  

they fade away suddenly like the grass.

6    In the morning it is green and flourishes;  

in the evening it is dried up and withered.

7    For we consume away in your displeasure;  

we are afraid at your wrathful indignation.

8    You have set our misdeeds before you  

and our secret sins in the light of your countenance.

9    When you are angry, all our days are gone;  

our years come to an end like a sigh.

10  The days of our life are three score years and ten,

or if our strength endures, even four score;  

yet the sum of them is but labour and sorrow,

for they soon pass away and we are gone.

11  Who regards the power of your wrath  

and your indignation like those who fear you?

12  So teach us to number our days  

that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.

13  Turn again, O Lord; how long will you delay?  

Have compassion on your servants.

14  Satisfy us with your loving-kindness in the morning,  

that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.

15  Give us gladness for the days you have afflicted us,  

and for the years in which we have seen adversity.

16  Show your servants your works,  

and let your glory be over their children.

17  May the gracious favour of the Lord our God be upon us;  

prosper our handiwork; O prosper the work of our hands.

Psalm 116

1    I love the Lord,

for he has heard the voice of my supplication;  

because he inclined his ear to me

on the day I called to him.

2    The snares of death encompassed me;

the pains of hell took hold of me;  

by grief and sorrow was I held.

3    Then I called upon the name of the Lord:  

‘O Lord, I beg you, deliver my soul.’

4    Gracious is the Lord and righteous;  

our God is full of compassion.

5    The Lord watches over the simple;  

I was brought very low and he saved me.

6    Turn again to your rest, O my soul,  

for the Lord has been gracious to you.

7    For you have delivered my soul from death,  

my eyes from tears and my feet from falling.

8    I will walk before the Lord  

in the land of the living.

9    I believed that I should perish

for I was sorely troubled;  

and I said in my alarm,

‘Everyone is a liar.’

10  How shall I repay the Lord  

for all the benefits he has given to me?

11  I will lift up the cup of salvation  

and call upon the name of the Lord.

12  I will fulfil my vows to the Lord  

in the presence of all his people.

13  Precious in the sight of the Lord  

is the death of his faithful servants.

14  O Lord, I am your servant,  

your servant, the child of your handmaid;

you have freed me from my bonds.

15  I will offer to you a sacrifice of thanksgiving  

and call upon the name of the Lord.

16  I will fulfil my vows to the Lord  

in the presence of all his people,

17  In the courts of the house of the Lord,  

in the midst of you, O Jerusalem.

Alleluia.

Psalm 118

4    Let those who fear the Lord proclaim,  

‘His mercy endures for ever.’

5    In my constraint I called to the Lord;  

the Lord answered and set me free.

6    The Lord is at my side; I will not fear;  

what can flesh do to me?

7    With the Lord at my side as my saviour,  

I shall see the downfall of my enemies.

8    It is better to take refuge in the Lord  

than to put any confidence in flesh.

9    It is better to take refuge in the Lord  

than to put any confidence in princes.

10  All the nations encompassed me,  

but by the name of the Lord I drove them back.

11  They hemmed me in, they hemmed me in on every side,  

but by the name of the Lord I drove them back.

12  They swarmed about me like bees;

they blazed like fire among thorns,  

but by the name of the Lord I drove them back.

13  Surely, I was thrust to the brink,  

but the Lord came to my help.

14  The Lord is my strength and my song,  

and he has become my salvation.

15  Joyful shouts of salvation  

sound from the tents of the righteous:

16  ‘The right hand of the Lord does mighty deeds;

the right hand of the Lord raises up;  

the right hand of the Lord does mighty deeds.’

17  I shall not die, but live  

and declare the works of the Lord.

18  The Lord has punished me sorely,  

but he has not given me over to death.

19  Open to me the gates of righteousness,  

that I may enter and give thanks to the Lord.

20  This is the gate of the Lord;  

the righteous shall enter through it.

21  I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me  

and have become my salvation.

22  The stone which the builders rejected  

has become the chief cornerstone.

23  This is the Lord’s doing,  

and it is marvellous in our eyes.

24  This is the day that the Lord has made;  

we will rejoice and be glad in it.

25  Come, O Lord, and save us we pray.  

Come, Lord, send us now prosperity.

26  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord;  

we bless you from the house of the Lord.

27  The Lord is God; he has given us light;  

link the pilgrims with cords

right to the horns of the altar.

28  You are my God and I will thank you;  

you are my God and I will exalt you.

29  O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;  

his mercy endures for ever.

Psalm 121

1    I lift up my eyes to the hills;  

from where is my help to come?

2    My help comes from the Lord,  

the maker of heaven and earth.

3    He will not suffer your foot to stumble;  

he who watches over you will not sleep.

4    Behold, he who keeps watch over Israel  

shall neither slumber nor sleep.

5    The Lord himself watches over you;  

the Lord is your shade at your right hand,

6    So that the sun shall not strike you by day,  

neither the moon by night.

7    The Lord shall keep you from all evil;  

it is he who shall keep your soul.

8    The Lord shall keep watch over your going out

and your coming in,  

from this time forth for evermore.

Psalm 130

1    Out of the depths have I cried to you, O Lord;

Lord, hear my voice;  

let your ears consider well the voice of my supplication.

2    If you, Lord, were to mark what is done amiss,  

O Lord, who could stand?

3    But there is forgiveness with you,  

so that you shall be feared.

4    I wait for the Lord; my soul waits for him;  

in his word is my hope.

5    My soul waits for the Lord,

more than the night watch for the morning,  

more than the night watch for the morning.

6    O Israel, wait for the Lord,  

for with the Lord there is mercy;

7    With him is plenteous redemption  

and he shall redeem Israel from all their sins.

Psalm 139

1    O Lord, you have searched me out and known me;  

you know my sitting down and my rising up;

you discern my thoughts from afar.

2    You mark out my journeys and my resting place  

and are acquainted with all my ways.

3    For there is not a word on my tongue,  

but you, O Lord, know it altogether.

4    You encompass me behind and before  

and lay your hand upon me.

5    Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,  

so high that I cannot attain it.

6    Where can I go then from your spirit?  

Or where can I flee from your presence?

7    If I climb up to heaven, you are there;  

if I make the grave my bed, you are there also.

8    If I take the wings of the morning  

and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

9    Even there your hand shall lead me,  

your right hand hold me fast.

10  If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will cover me  

and the light around me turn to night,’

11  Even darkness is no darkness with you;

the night is as clear as the day;  

darkness and light to you are both alike.

12  For you yourself created my inmost parts;  

you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

13  I thank you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;  

marvellous are your works, my soul knows well.

14  My frame was not hidden from you,  

when I was made in secret

and woven in the depths of the earth.

15  Your eyes beheld my form, as yet unfinished;  

already in your book were all my members written,

16  As day by day they were fashioned  

when as yet there was none of them.

17  How deep are your counsels to me, O God!  

How great is the sum of them!

18  If I count them, they are more in number than the sand,  

and at the end, I am still in your presence.

19  O that you would slay the wicked, O God,  

that the bloodthirsty might depart from me!

20  They speak against you with wicked intent;  

your enemies take up your name for evil.

21  Do I not oppose those, O Lord, who oppose you?  

Do I not abhor those who rise up against you?

22  I hate them with a perfect hatred;  

they have become my own enemies also.

23  Search me out, O God, and know my heart;  

try me and examine my thoughts.

24  See if there is any way of wickedness in me  

and lead me in the way everlasting.

Canticles for Use at Funeral and Memorial Services

A Song of the Redeemer

Refrain:

All   Proclaim the time of the Lord’s favour,

and comfort all who grieve.

1    The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,  

because he has anointed me.

2    He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,  

to announce release from darkness for the prisoners,

3    To proclaim the time of the Lord’s favour,  

and to comfort all who grieve,

4    To give them oil of gladness instead of mourners’ tears,  

a garment of splendour for the heavy heart.

5    They will be called trees of righteousness,  

planted by the Lord for his praise.

6    For God shall make his righteousness and praise  

blossom before all the nations.

7    Buildings long in ruins will be rebuilt  

and the desolate cities restored.

8    And you shall be called the Redeemed of the Lord,  

a city no longer forsaken.

Isaiah 61.1-3,11b,4; 62.12

Glory to the Father and to the Son

and to the Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning is now

and shall be for ever. Amen.

The Song of Manasseh

Refrain:

All   Full of compassion and mercy and love

is God, the Most High, the Almighty.

1    O Lord almighty and God of our forebears,  

you who made heaven and earth in all their glory:

2    All things tremble with awe at your presence,  

before your great and mighty power.

3    Immeasurable and unsearchable is your promise of mercy,  

for you are God, Most High.

4    You are full of compassion and very merciful,  

and you relent at human suffering.

5    O God, according to your great goodness,  

you have promised repentance and forgiveness

to those who have sinned against you.

6    The sins I have committed against you  

are more in number than the sands of the sea.

7    I am not worthy to look up and see the heavens,  

because of my many sins and iniquities.

8    And now my heart bows before you,  

imploring your kindness upon me.

9    I have sinned, O God, I have sinned,  

and I acknowledge my transgressions.

10  Unworthy as I am, I know that you will save me,  

according to your great mercy.

11  For all the host of heaven sings your praise,  

and your glory is for ever and ever.

Manasseh 1a,2,4,6,7,9a,c,11,12,14b,15b

Glory to the Father and to the Son

and to the Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning is now

and shall be for ever. Amen.

A Song of the Righteous

Refrain:

All   God has found the righteous worthy

and their hope is of immortality.

1    The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God  

and no torment will ever touch them.

2    In the eyes of the foolish, they seem to have died;  

but they are at peace.

3    For though, in the sight of others, they were punished,  

their hope is of immortality.

4    Having been disciplined a little,

they will receive great good,  

because God tested them and found them worthy.

5    Like gold in the furnace, God tried them  

and, like a sacrificial burnt offering, accepted them.

6    In the time of their visitation, they will shine forth  

and will run like sparks through the stubble.

7    They will govern nations and rule over peoples  

and God will reign over them for ever.

Wisdom 3.1,2a,3b-8

Glory to the Father and to the Son

and to the Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning is now

and shall be for ever. Amen.

Nunc Dimittis (The Song of Simeon)

Refrain:

All   Awake may we watch with Christ:

asleep may we rest in peace.

1    Now, Lord, you let your servant go in peace:  

your word has been fulfilled.

2    My own eyes have seen the salvation  

which you have prepared in the sight of every people;  

3    A light to reveal you to the nations  

and the glory of your people Israel.

Luke 2.29-32

Glory to the Father and to the Son

and to the Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning is now

and shall be for ever. Amen.

1    Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace  :

according to thy word.

2    For mine eyes have seen  :

thy salvation;

3    Which thou hast prepared  :

before the face of all people;

4    To be a light to lighten the Gentiles  :

and to be the glory of thy people Israel.

Luke 2.29-32

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son  :

and to the Holy Ghost;

as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be  :

world without end. Amen.

A Song of the Justified

Refrain:

All   We are justified by faith,

we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1    God reckons as righteous those who believe,  

who believe in him who raised Jesus from the dead;

2    For Christ was handed over to death for our sins,  

and raised to life for our justification.

3    Since we are justified by faith,  

we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

4    Through Christ we have gained access

to the grace in which we stand,  

and rejoice in our hope of the glory of God.

5    We even exult in our sufferings,  

for suffering produces endurance,

6    And endurance brings hope,  

and our hope is not in vain,

7    Because God’s love has been poured into our hearts,  

through the Holy Spirit, given to us.

8    God proves his love for us:  

while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.

9    Since we have been justified by his death,  

how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath.

10  Therefore, we exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ,  

in whom we have now received our reconciliation.

Romans 4.24,25; 5.1-5,8,9,11

Glory to the Father and to the Son

and to the Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning is now

and shall be for ever. Amen.

A Song of God’s Children

Refrain:

All   The Spirit of the Father,

who raises Christ Jesus from the dead,

gives life to the people of God.

1    The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus  

has set us free from the law of sin and death.

2    All who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God;  

for we have received the Spirit that enables us to cry, ‘Abba, Father’.

3    The Spirit himself bears witness that we are children of God  

and if God’s children, then heirs of God;

4    If heirs of God, then fellow-heirs with Christ;  

since we suffer with him now, that we may be glorified with him.

5    These sufferings that we now endure  

are not worth comparing to the glory that shall be revealed.

6    For the creation waits with eager longing  

for the revealing of the children of God.

Romans 8.2,14,15b-19

Glory to the Father and to the Son

and to the Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning is now

and shall be for ever. Amen.

A Song of Faith

Refrain:

All   God raised Christ from the dead,

the Lamb without spot or stain.

1    Blessed be the God and Father  

of our Lord Jesus Christ!

2    By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope  

through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

3    Into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled and unfading,  

kept in heaven for you,

4    Who are being protected by the power of God

through faith for a salvation  

ready to be revealed in the last time.

5    You were ransomed from the futile ways of your ancestors  

not with perishable things like silver or gold

6    But with the precious blood of Christ  

like that of a lamb without spot or stain.

7    Through him we have confidence in God,

who raised him from the dead and gave him glory,  

so that your faith and hope are set on God.

1 Peter 1.3-5,18,19,21

Glory to the Father and to the Son

and to the Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning is now

and shall be for ever. Amen.

A Song of the Redeemed

Refrain:

All   Salvation belongs to our God,

who will guide us to springs of living water.

1    Behold, a great multitude  

which no one could number,

2    From every nation,

from all tribes and peoples and tongues,  

standing before the throne and the Lamb.

3    They were clothed in white robes

and had palms in their hands,  

and they cried with a loud voice, saying,

4    ‘Salvation belongs to our God

who sits on the throne,  

and to the Lamb.’

5    These are they

who have come out of the great tribulation,  

they have washed their robes

and made them white in the blood of the Lamb;

6    Therefore they stand before the throne of God,  

whom they serve day and night within the temple.

7    And the One who sits upon the throne  

will shelter them with his presence.

8    They shall never again feel hunger or thirst,  

the sun shall not strike them,

nor any scorching heat.

9    For the Lamb at the heart of the throne  

will be their Shepherd,

10  He will guide them to springs of living water,  

and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.

Revelation 7.9,10,14b-17

        To the One who sits on the throne and to the Lamb  

        be blessing and honour and glory and might, for ever and ever. Amen.

A Song of the Lamb

Refrain:

All   Let us rejoice and exult

and give glory and homage to our God.

1    Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,  

whose judgements are true and just.

2    Praise our God, all you his servants,  

all who fear him, both small and great.

3    The Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns:  

let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory.

4    For the marriage of the Lamb has come  

and his bride has made herself ready.

5    Blessed are those who are invited  

to the wedding banquet of the Lamb.

Revelation 19.1b,2b,5b,6b,7,9b

To the One who sits on the throne and to the Lamb  

be blessing and honour and glory and might,

   for ever and ever. Amen.

A Song of Anselm

Refrain:

All   Gather your little ones to you, O God,

as a hen gathers her brood to protect them.

1    Jesus, like a mother you gather your people to you;  

you are gentle with us as a mother with her children.

2    Often you weep over our sins and our pride,  

tenderly you draw us from hatred and judgement.

3    You comfort us in sorrow and bind up our wounds,  

in sickness you nurse us, and with pure milk you feed us.

4    Jesus, by your dying we are born to new life;  

by your anguish and labour we come forth in joy.

5    Despair turns to hope through your sweet goodness;  

through your gentleness we find comfort in fear.

6    Your warmth gives life to the dead,  

your touch makes sinners righteous.

7    Lord Jesus, in your mercy heal us;  

in your love and tenderness remake us.

8    In your compassion bring grace and forgiveness,  

for the beauty of heaven may your love prepare us.

from Anselm of Canterbury

Glory to the Father and to the Son

and to the Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning is now

and shall be for ever. Amen.