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Service of Thanksgiving for a Life


Welcome to you all, to this time of remembrance and thanksgiving –

and a time of sadness and tears too.


We have all come to this place, as part of our

journey through grief and loss to say goodbye to

………..X………….. Wife, mother, sister/ husband etc.

to remember his/her part in our lives;

to celebrate happy memories

and to give thanks for shared experiences in

in good, and in testing, times.







Time for Reflection     

Now we take some time to reflect on all that has been.

If there are regrets address them now, then lay them down.

If there are things that need to be said, say them silently now, and then let the words go on the breeze.

If there is an empty place in your heart, fill it with memories of happiness shared and love shown in the past – time cannot alter them.

If there are tears to shed – let them flow now and in the future, they are signs of your care – the expression of your pain – do not deny them.

They are part of your journey.

Now is a quiet time to reflect on all that has been.




ALL               (Loving God we thank you) for ……….X………

Or                  We give thanks for …….X…..

                        for all he/she meant to each one of us

                        for laughter and tears

                        for sacrificial love

                        and for life itself.   Amen






 For those who mourn:

 It is built into the fragility of life that there

will be times for mourning.

These are times to share with one another;

stories to tell, shoulders to cry on,

helping hands to comfort.


Help us to listen to those who grieve

and in our time lean on the love of family and friends.

Together we shall know that sharing sorrow

shines light on the darkness of grief.

Help us to find comfort in one another.





ALL     When rain falls on parched earth,

              When birdsong pulses a summer evening,

               When a kind word shatters the walls of loneliness,

               When tears break a desert of emptiness,

               When you and I share the life that we live,

                We know the love (of God) that is the source of all life.


Optional Lord’s Prayer substitute

Divine Love,

Wellspring of our existence,

build us into a loving community.

Feed us and heal us

with wisdom and grace.

Shatter our prejudice and

soothe the pain of failure.

Weave love and peace

into our intentions and actions

so that we may stand for

justice and compassion

as a reflection of

the piercing tenderness we see

in the heart of Jesus.



The year goes around and season faithfully follows season.

The boughs that bend to breaking in the winter wind

will fill with sap once more

and burst into young fresh green.

They bend low a second time in summer

with full leaf and blossom

and then autumn will glow red and fiery

until each dying leaf makes a scarlet carpet

to soften the footsteps of winter once again.

So life and death are part of the unending rhythm

of creation, renewal and love.

(As we give thanks to God in Christ

for the beginning of life so

we trust in God for the end of life).   Amen

or:  and we are content to be part of that wonderful, continuing mystery.


Burial or Cremation takes place during this prayer


Letting Go

The span of life for ……..X………. has come to an end.

As it has been for those who are already

profoundly in our memories,

so we trust it will be for ….her/him…….

– and so it shall be for us in our time –

held in the light by those who love us.

So we say goodbye

and we let him/her go as our last most-loving act.

We let her/him go.     Amen



Sending Out

So now let us go out to live life to the full

in every way open to each of us;

knowing God in sparkling streams

and high-flying clouds;

in outstretched wings

and down-lined nests.

We leave this place united in sorrow and love

and in the Light of reflected tenderness.

So go from this place

and seek justice and peace for all;

be courageous, be creative and be loving

in the likeness of Jesus (Christ).   Amen


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