Funeral Information - Readings
When choosing scriptures for the Funeral Liturgy, there should be one reading from the Old Testament, and one reading from the New Testament. Although you can choose from the whole Bible, the texts below are especially appropriate.
Old Testament Selections (First Reading)
A1 - From the Book of Job
Job said: “Oh, would that my words were written down! Would that they were inscribed in a record, never to be forgotten: that with an iron chisel and with lead they were cut in the rock forever! As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives; that he will at last stand forth upon the dust: whom I myself shall see: my own eyes shall behold him, and from my flesh I shall see God; my inmost being is consumed with longing.
A2 - From the Book of Wisdom
The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them. They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction. But they are in peace. For if before men, indeed, they be punished, yet is their hope full of immortality; chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed, because God tried them and found them worthy of himself. As gold in the furnace, he proved them, and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself. Those who trust in him shall understand truth, and the faithful shall abide with him in love: Because grace and mercy are with his holy ones and his care is with his elect.
A3 - From the Prophet Isaiah
On this mountain the Lord of hosts will provide for all peoples. On this mountain he will destroy the veil that veils all peoples, the web that is woven over all nations: he will destroy death forever. The Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces; the reproach of his people he will remove from the whole earth; for the Lord has spoken. On that day it will be said: “Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us! This is the Lord for whom we looked; let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!”
A4 - From the Book of Lamentations
My soul is deprived of peace, I have forgotten what happiness is; I tell myself my future is lost – all that I hoped for from the Lord. The thought of my homeless poverty is bitter poison. Remembering my misery over and over leaves my soul downcast within me. But I will call this to mind as my reason to have hope: The favors of the Lord are not exhausted, His mercies are not exhausted: the favors of the Lord are renewed each morning, so great is His faithfulness. ‘My portion is the Lord,’ says my soul: therefore will I hope in Him. Good is the Lord to one who waits for Him, to the soul that seeks Him: It is good to hope in silence for the saving help of the Lord.
A5 - From the Prophet Daniel
I, Daniel, mourned and I heard this word of the Lord: “At that time there shall arise Michael, the great prince, guardian of Your people: It shall be a time unsurpassed in distress since nations began until that time. At that time Your people who are found written in the Book shall escape. Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake: Some shall live forever; the wise shall shine brightly like the splendor of the firmament, and those who live lives of justice and peace shall be like the stars forever.”
A6 - From the Book of Ecclesiastes
There is a season for everything, a time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, a time to die; A time for planting, a time for uprooting the plant; A time for knocking down, a time for building up; A time for tears, a time for laughter; A time for embracing, a time to refrain from embracing; A time for keeping, a time for casting away; A time for keeping silent, a time for speaking; A time for loving, a time for hating; A time for war, a time for peace; What do God’s people gain for the efforts they make? I contemplate all the toil God has given to His people to do. All that people do is appropriate for its time. Although God has permitted His people to consider time in its wholeness, we cannot comprehend the work of God from the beginning to the end.
New Testament Selections (Second Reading)
B1 - From St. Paul to the Romans
Are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were Baptized into His death? We were indeed buried with Him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life. If then, we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him. We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has power over Him.
B2 - From St. Paul to the Romans
If God is for us, who can be against us? He, who did not spare His own son, but handed Him over for us all, how will He not also give us everything else along with Him? It is Christ Jesus who died, rather, was raised, who also is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, distress, or persecution, or famine? No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor present things nor future things, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
B3 - From St. Paul to the Romans
Those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, “Abba, Father!” The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children than heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. I consider the suffering of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us. For creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the Children of God. We groan within ourselves as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.
B4 - From St. Paul to the Corinthians
Behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed, in an instant, in the blink of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. and then the word that is written shall come about; “Death is swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
B5 - From St. Paul to the Philippians
I wish to know Christ and the power flowing from His resurrection: likewise to know how to share in His sufferings by being formed into the pattern of His death. Thus do I hope that I may arrive at resurrection from the dead. It is not that I have reached it yet, or have already finished my course; but I am racing to grasp the prize if possible, since I have been grasped by Christ Jesus. Sisters and Brothers, I do not think of myself as having reached the finish line. I give no thought to what lies behind but push onto what lies ahead. My entire attention is on the finish line as I run toward the prize to which God calls me – life on high in Christ Jesus.
B6 - From the Book of Revelation
I, John, saw a new heaven and a new earth. the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be His people and God will always be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, for the old order has passed away.” The One who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give a gift from the spring of life-giving water. The victor will inherit these gifts, and I shall be their God, and they will be my children