Worship Materials: Funeral Resources

From the Celebrating Mystery collection

We have come in the midst of life to grieve for the death of ____, to give thanks for his/her life and to bid him/her farewell. Death and life are one in the purposes of love. Jesus said ‘if you grieve with all your heart, you shall find healing’.

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Prayer at a memorial for an infant child

O Dear One, we are overwhelmed with frustration with the impossibility of fully accepting this unacceptable death.

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Blessed Are Those Who Mourn

We come before you today in abject pain and anguish
There are no words to describe the distress of losing someone
You love very deeply
ALL: Jesus said “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted”

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Worship Materials: Death and Grieving

From the Celebrating Mystery collection

1. Every tear is a womb which can birth new life.
2. Grief is the narrow passage through which we pass from death to life.

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Worship Materials: Remembrance of the Dead

From the Celebrating Mystery collection

THOUGHTS FOR REFLECTION
1. To forget the dead is to be alienated from part of oneself.
2. When we liberate our ancestors from the myths that surround them we liberate ourselves.
3. Remembering our ancestors gives life to ourselves and also to them, for we are our ancestors and they are us.

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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.

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Flow of Water, Flow of Life

A meandering stream runs close to a rural church dear to his childhood
With clear water in springtime, turned a sullied brown by summer’s end

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Monthly eBulletin- Life Celebrations in Sacred Community

With such an expansive awareness of our universe and our place in it, it is necessary to pause and honor the corners we turn, the milestones, the past and the present. But meaning is lost when the words are irrelevant, when language is outdated, and practices are dogmatic and un-evolving. As progressive Christians, we are called to walk into the mystery of change, while at the same time keeping close to our hearts the timeless teachings of our tradition. Our life celebrations and rituals must then reflect this call, this necessary aspect of our path. Sacred community is a space to explore these traditions and to create new ones.

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Committal Service for the Dead

We come in sorrow, confronting the fact that life ends. Yet we also know that there is a power stronger than death—the transformative power of love. Love has joined us together…

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What Is

From A Place Where Secret Shadows Shine

If you can
tell me where
I’m going
after I leave here,
I won’t be
going there.

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Memorial Service

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.

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Funeral Service for an Inclusive Community

Written by Rob Stoner, August 2009

I recently conducted the funeral for my father, who died after a long episode of declining health. It was a joy and a privilege to work with my family in preparing this service. But many of our family are not avowedly Christian so I wanted to respect their spiritual traditions as well as be faithful to my own. I also wanted the theology to reflect my own liberal/progressive Christian understanding.

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A Funeral Service (At the Crematorium)

Each birth causes us to wonder
where the spark of life comes from.
Every death makes us wonder
what of that life survives.

What we have done, and who we have been,
remains part of the wider universe long after we are gone.

None of us knows the whole truth about what lies beyond death.
Christians believe that as we journey between life and death,
we are safe in the hands of an infinitely gracious God.

What we do know and believe is that every human life,
with a mind to think and a heart to love,
is an expression of the creative spirit of God.

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The arms of love

I went to the funeral home last night
to see a friend whose life was entwined with mine.
Someone once told me
that if you want to know the truth about a person’s life
go to their funeral.

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Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace; it gives us birth,
To each and everyone;
This precious gift of life to live;
This race for us to run.

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The Doorway

As our lives tread onward, we find ourselves on the Earth side of a “door”
Mortality certain to face us, we wonder what’s beyond –what is the “more?”

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Memorial Prayer

A recent memorial service for a much-loved artist in our church ended with a poem and a prayer. The poem was “When Death Comes” by Mary Oliver,

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Funeral Conversations

I want to share four different stories that made it clear to me why involving those who gather to celebrate the life of one who has died is so important.

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