Memorial Service

+ In Loving Memory +

Name

Dates of birth and death

 

Giving Thanks to God for Name’s Life

 

PRELUDE

 

GREETING

P:  We have gathered here today to give thanks for and honor Name’s life.  You have come because you are family – close family or extended family; or because you are friends – old, long-trusted friends or newer friends; or because you knew Name through other connections in his life.  We have gathered to mourn his death and to grieve for our loss.

Maybe you have come today to support those who grieve; to surround them with love and bear them up for their own life’s journey.

For whatever reason you have come, we are grateful.  Thanks for knowing Name and being part of his life; thanks for knowing his family and being part of their lives.  On behalf of Name’s family, I’d like to thank you for giving of your time to be here this afternoon. We also want to acknowledge that there are some who would have liked being here today but were unable to do so.  Their presence will be missed.

 

INTRODUCTION

I am, as many of you know, Pastor _________, and it is indeed one the great privileges of my ministry and life to conduct this memorial service today.  While this will be a service based on Christian teachings and I will remember Name as a Child of God in Christ, it is important for you to know that I am aware that not all of you have chosen the Christian faith as your spiritual journey.  So during those times, particularly in times of prayer, I invite you to remember Name in whatever way feels appropriate and right for you and blesses your spirit.

 

OFFERING OUR PRAYERS

Creator God, we thank you for the gift of life; from the moment of conception and birth to the moment of our last breath we live amidst the wonder and beauty of all life.

C:  We marvel at the gift of what it means to be fully human, fully alive.  And today we particularly thank you for the gift of Name’s life, a gift to us and to many others in this world.

P:  Loving God, we thank you for the gift of love; for the wonder of human relationships; the ability to know another and be known; to accept another and be accepted; to live in depth of meaning together.

C:  And today we particularly thank you for the love we knew from Name and the love we could offer him in return; a depth of relationship which makes our grieving even deeper.

P:  Gracious God, we thank you for the gift of grace; for the ability to forgive and be forgiven; for opportunities to let go of the past and make fresh beginnings; for opportunity to find deep peace in our lives.

C:  And today we want to let go of any hurt or failure in our relationship with Name. May we be enabled to know forgiveness and healing that our continuing memories of him may be filled with peace.

P:  Ever-present God, receive our prayers.  Amen.

 

 HYMN                               “Borning Cry”                    

 

 

A READING FROM THE BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES                       Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.
Word of God, Word of Life.

C:  Thanks be to God

 

A BRIEF HOMILY BASED ON JOHN 12 AND JOHN 14

 

HYMN                           “Abide With Me”                    

 

SILENT MOMENT OF REFLECTION

We will each have our own memories of Name. You are invited, over refreshments after this service to share your stories of him with each other. There will be some photos of Name in an album for you to peruse and to help you remember. But now, you are invited, in a moment of silence to remember the Name that you knew.

 

CONTINUING IN AN ATTITUDE OF PRAYER

P:  Gracious God, today we remember with gratitude the life of_____________’s son Name; who was a brother, friend, colleague, and neighbor.

C: We are grateful for everything in Name’s life that was good and honorable but we are most thankful that we knew him and loved him and knew that he loved and cared for us.

P:  So while we are thankful that Name is released from further suffering we pray for wisdom and courage to grieve his passing.

C:  Enable us to weep and to laugh; to let go and to rebuild; to remember in our lives the qualities of life which we discovered in Name’s life.

P:  We thank you for all those who, even in their grief, surround and support each other through these days.

C:  May we each be upheld and strengthened today and encouraged to live life fully and hopefully as a loving testimony to Name’s presence amongst us.  Grants us each your peace, we pray. Amen.

 

Committal & Commendation:

None of us truly knows what lies beyond the grave. Some of us believe that there is a life beyond this life – an encounter with the living God; but in his letter to the church at Corinth, Paul says that it is as different from this life as the fully grown plant is from the seed from which it grew.

Some of us believe that this life is all we have and that we are called to live this life as fully as possible – fully human, fully alive to God’s purposes.  But whatever we believe about life beyond death, we can all know this: Name is at peace; he is at peace from the troubles and ailments of this world; he is at peace with us and he is at peace with God.  Name’s ashes will return to the earth.  But Name’s spirit will live on in those who care for him in this life.

Let us pray:  God who holds us all with arms of love and compassion, at this moment of farewell we offer to you, all the regrets, the pain, the “if onlys”, knowing that you will surround Name and us with your loving and forgiving presence.

Your love, O God, is stronger than death…and so we reverently, lovingly, and trustingly commit Name’s ashes to the ground as a testimony to the cycle of life and death.  In doing so we know that the earth is replenished and life is eternally renewed.  Grant us strength this day.  Amen.

 

CLOSING HYMN              “Go, My Children, With My Blessing”                       

 

THE FINAL BLESSING

May each of us know the gifts of God: grace, mercy and peace today and every day.

C:  Amen

 

 

Service composed by George and Ruth Krauss with Pastor Vera Guebert-Steward, using Rob Stoner’s “Funeral Service for an Inclusive Community.”

 

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