Funeral Liturgy

The Funeral Service


Greetings ladies and gentlemen.  I’m X and I welcome you to the Y Chapel as we gather as an expression of our love, respect and regard for N.

We come to mourn and to honour her/him. To lay to rest her/his mortal body and support one another as we grieve.

When N drew her/his first breath, life came flooding into a new way of being. The Breath said, observe me, and learn to live in the present moment. Feel me, and know the ebb and flow of Life.

Move with me, said the Breath, and I’ll invite your very being to dance. Make sounds with me and I shall teach your heart to sing.

Follow me, said the Breath, and I’ll lead you out to the farthest reaches of the Universe… and inward to the deepest parts of your being.

Each time I come, said the Breath, I am the gift of Life. And yet I am released without regret, suffering or fear.

The universe breathes me into you – you send me back to the universe… I am the flow of Life between every single part of you and all that is.

A few days ago (after xx years) the breath was released and did not return. And so now we gather to remember her/his story, to offer support and consolation to those whose lives N has shared. We come to offer sympathy to those whose lives have been diminished by her/his death and to acknowledge publically the debt owed by all for the wonderful things N had brought to the lives she/he has shared.

We human beings have sensed the mystery of death, and known the pain of grief, since time immemorial. The eternal cycle of life is encountered in our journeys, from the rising and setting of the sun; to the passing of the seasons, where the joy of new life in spring inevitably gives way to the darkness of winter, but never without the hope of another spring to come And so we engage the reality of death by commemorating the passing of those whom we love, but always in the hope that beyond this physical world there is a deeper life to be embraced.






Breathe in me….deep

That I might breathe…and live

And hold me close that I might sleep

Soft held by all you give.


Come kiss me wind and take my breath

Till you and I are one

And we will dance along the breeze

Until all death is gone.


And no one knows that we exist

Wrapped in each other’s arms

Except the One who blew the breath

That hides me safe from harm.


Come kiss me wind and take my breath

Till you and I are one

And we will dance along the breeze

Until all death is gone.



The farewell


As we come to the moment of farewell,

Let us go forward in peace.

To love someone is to risk the pain of parting.
Not to love is never to have lived.
The grief which we now experience is the honouring of our love.


The Committal 

N your life we honour, your departure we accept, your memory we cherish. In grief at your death but in gratitude for your life and for the privilege of sharing it with you, we commit your body to the elements, earth to earth ashes to ashes, dust to dust. As we commit your very being to all that is eternal.


For what is to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt in the sun?

And what is to cease breathing but to free the breath from its restless tides,

that it may rise and expand and seek unencumbered?

Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.

And when you have reached the mountain top then you shall begin to climb.

And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

Kahlil Gibran



May the rising of the sun bring you new hope every day.

May the moon gently restore you by night.

May the rain wash away your tears,

and the breeze blow new joy into your being.

And all the days of your life may you walk gently through this land and know it peace.


Topics: Worship & Liturgy. Seasons & Special Events: Life Celebration (funeral). Resource Types: Full Service Liturgies.

Review & Commentary

  • pat welker

    I have been looking for words like these for a long time. I will include them in my plans for my own celebration of life when that time comes. Thank you

  • jan matter

    This is a beautiful liturgy whether for folks who are “unchurched” or those who are deeply “churched” and all those in between, no matter the denomination or religion. Thank you.

  • Paul Rush

    Christian funerals without the resurrection of Jesus are not christian funerals. According to St Paul in 1 Corinthians, you are to be pitied above all. The Lord bless you and turn you towards a true and robust faith.