Holy Bible

Old and New Testament Readings For Funerals

Introduction

For some people, the word of God can help find peace and consolation.

Searching the old and new testament for inspiration is a daunting task. Here is a list of the most popular testament readings for funerals. Let it guide you to finding the perfect words for your loved one.

While reviewing the selections, listen to your heart, your family, and your faith. We offer our condolences, and hope you find comfort in this difficult time.

Note: The Catholic Church has formal structures regarding funeral liturgies. Not all denominations follow the same guidelines. For the purposes of this article we default to the Catholic methodology and recommend that you check with your officiant.

Old and New Testament Readings

Many Bible passages are moving and appropriate for a funeral liturgy. Choose from the Old Testament, the New Testament or a combination of both. The chosen passage may be read by a family member or a friend.

Did the deceased leave any instructions or have a favorite scripture passage? Friends and family members may also have suggestions and ideas. In any case, the priest (minister) can advise you and help make a final decision for scripture readings.

Catholic Testament Readings

In the Catholic Church funeral services follow a specific structure. This article will focus on Catholic funerals, but the testament selections can be used for any kind of funeral—even secular services—if you choose.

Time needed: 40 minutes.

Roman Catholic funerals follow this structure. Specific selections from the Testament can be found below.

  1. First Reading

    The first reading is selected from the Old Testament. It is normally accompanied by a psalm. The family will choose someone to read the reading, and psalm if it will not be sung. The song, if sung, will be performed by the cantor and choir. The cantor may also lead the congregation in a response.

  2. Second Reading

    The second reading is selected from the New Testament. The family will choose someone to proclaim the selection.

  3. Gospel

    The Gospel reading is taken from the New Testament. The family may select this reading themselves or consult with the priest. The priest or deacon will proclaim the Gospel reading. Holy Bible

This is a more complete guide to how a Catholic funeral works.

Non-biblical readings such as poems cannot take the place of scripture readings. Also, substituting readings from other sources aside from the scripture is not allowed.

Sample Reading

Here is a video of Jenna Bush Hager reading Revelation 21:1-25 for her late grandfather George H.W. Bush’s funeral liturgy.

Below are some of the most popular Catholic readings for the funeral rites.

First Reading from the Old Testament

The first reading in Mass is usually taken from the Old Testament, except during the Easter season. More than any other readings, the first reading is always linked or related in some way to the Gospel.

Job 19:1. 23-27

A reading from the Book of Job

Job said:
‘Ah, would that these words of mine were written down,
inscribed on some monument
with iron chisel and engraving tool,
cut into the rock for ever.
This I know: that my Avenger lives,
and he, the last, will take his stand on earth.
After my awaking, he will set me close to him,
and from my flesh I shall look on God.
He whom I shall see will take my part:
these eyes will gaze on him and find him not aloof.’

The Word of the Lord

Wisdom 3:1–9

A reading from the Book of Wisdom

The souls of the virtuous are in the hands of God,
no torment shall ever touch them.
In the eyes of the unwise, they did appear to die,
their going looked like a disaster,
their leaving us, like annihilation;
but they are in peace.
If they experienced punishment as men see it,
their hope was rich with immortality;
slight was their affliction, great will their blessings be.
God has put them to the test
and proved them worthy to be with him;
he has tested them like gold in a furnace,
and accepted them as a holocaust.
When the time comes for his visitation they will shine out;
as sparks run through the stubble, so will they.
They shall judge nations, rule over peoples,
and the Lord will be their king for ever.
They who trust in him will understand the truth,
those who are faithful will live with him in love;
for grace and mercy await those he has chosen.

The Word of the Lord

Wisdom 3:1–6. 9 (shorter form)

A reading from the Book of Wisdom

The souls of the virtuous are in the hands of God,
no torment shall ever touch them.
In the eyes of the unwise, they did appear to die,
their going looked like a disaster,
their leaving us, like annihilation;
but they are in peace.
If they experienced punishment as men see it,
their hope was rich with immortality;
slight was their affliction, great will their blessing be.
God has put them to the test
and proved them worthy to be with him;
he has tested them like gold in a furnace,
and accepted them as a holocaust.
They who trust in him will understand the truth,
those who are faithful will live with him in love;
for grace and mercy await those he has chosen.

The Word of the Lord

Wisdom 4:7–15

A reading from the Book of Wisdom

The souls of the virtuous are in the hands of God,
no torment shall ever touch them.
In the eyes of the unwise, they did appear to die,
their going looked like a disaster,
their leaving us, like annihilation;
but they are in peace.
If they experienced punishment as men see it,
their hope was rich with immortality;
slight was their affliction, great will their blessing be.
God has put them to the test
and proved them worthy to be with him;
he has tested them like gold in a furnace,
and accepted them as a holocaust.
They who trust in him will understand the truth,
those who are faithful will live with him in love;
for grace and mercy await those he has chosen.

The Word of the Lord

Isaiah 25:6–9

A reading from the prophet Isaiah

On this mountain,
the Lord of hosts will prepare for all peoples
a banquet of rich food.
On this mountain he will remove
the mourning veil covering all peoples,
and the shroud enwrapping all nations,
he will destroy Death for ever.
The Lord will wipe away the tears from every cheek;
he will take away his people’s shame
everywhere on earth,
for the Lord has said so.
That day, it will be said: See, this is our God
in whom we hoped for salvation;
the Lord is the one in whom we hoped.
We exult and we rejoice
that he has saved us.

The Word of the Lord

Lamentations 3:17–26

A reading from the Book of Lamentations

My soul is shut out from peace;
I have forgotten happiness.
And now I say, ‘My strength is gone,
that hope which came from the Lord’.
Brooding on my anguish and affliction
is gall and wormwood.
My spirit ponders it continually
and sinks within me.
This is what I shall tell my heart,
and so recover hope:
the favours of the Lord are not all past,
his kindnesses are not exhausted;
every morning they are renewed;
great is his faithfulness.
‘My portion is the Lord’ says my soul
‘and so I will hope in him.’
The Lord is good to those who trust him,
to the soul that searches for him.
It is good to wait in silence
for the Lord to save.

The Word of the Lord

Daniel 12:1–3

A reading from the prophet Daniel

I, Daniel, was doing penance
when I received this message from the Lord:
‘At that time Michael will stand up,
the great prince who mounts guard over your people.
There is going to be a time of great distress,
unparalleled since nations first came into existence.
When that time comes, your own people will be spared,
all those whose names are found written in the Book.
Of those who lie sleeping in the dust of the earth many will awake,
some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting disgrace.
The learned will shine as brightly as the vault of heaven,
and those who have instructed many in virtue,
as bright as stars for all eternity.’

The Word of the Lord

2 Maccabees 12:43–45

A reading from the Second Book of Maccabees

Judas, the leader of the Jews,
took a collection from the people individually,
amounting to nearly two thousand drachmae,
and sent it to Jerusalem to have a sacrifice for sin offered,
an altogether fine and noble action,
in which he took full account of the resurrection.
For if he had not expected the fallen to rise again
it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead,
whereas if he had in view the splendid recompense
reserved for those who make a pious end,
the thought was holy and devout.
This was why he had this atonement sacrifice offered for the dead,
so that they might be released from their sin.

The Word of the Lord

First Reading from the New Testament (Easter Season)

During Easter Time, the first reading is usually taken from the New Testament—either the Acts of Apostles, which tells the early days of the Church, or the Book of Revelation, which provides a vision of heaven.

You can choose from the following New Testament readings for the first reading instead of an Old Testament reading.

Acts 10:34–43

A reading from the Acts of the Apostles

Peter addressed Cornelius and his household:
‘Te truth I have now come to realize,’ he said,
‘is that God does not have favorites,
but that anybody of any nationality who fears God
and does what is right is acceptable to him.
‘It is true, God sent his word to the people of Israel,
and it was to them that the good news of peace
was brought by Jesus Christ—but Jesus Christ is Lord of all men.
You must have heard about the recent happenings in Judaea;
about Jesus of Nazareth and how he began in Galilee,
after John had been preaching baptism.
God had anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power,
and because God was with him, Jesus went about doing good
and curing all who had fallen into the power of the devil.
Now I, and those with me, can witness to everything he did
throughout the countryside of Judaea and in Jerusalem itself:
and also to the fact that they killed him by hanging him on a tree,
yet three days afterward God raised him to life
and allowed him to be seen, not by the whole people
but only by certain witnesses God had chosen beforehand.
Now we are those witnesses
—we have eaten and drunk with him
after his resurrection from the dead—
and he has ordered us to proclaim this to his people
and to tell them that God has appointed him
to judge everyone alive or dead.
It is to him that all the prophets bear this witness:
that all who believe in Jesus
will have their sins forgiven through his name.’

The Word of the Lord

Acts 10:34–36. 42–43

A reading from the Acts of the Apostles

Peter proceeded to address the people in these words:  “In truth, I see that God shows no partiality.  Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly is acceptable to him.  You know the word that he sent to the Israelites as he proclaimed peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.  He commissioned us to preach to the people and testify that he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead.  To him all the prophets bear witness, that everyone who believes in him will receive forgiveness of sins through his name.”

The Word of the Lord

Apocalypse 14:13

A reading from the Book of Apocalypse

I, John heard a voice from heaven say to me, ‘Write down: Happy are those who die in the Lord! Happy indeed, the Spirit says; now they can rest for ever after their work, since their good deeds go with them.’

The Word of the Lord

Apocalypse 20:11–21:1

A reading from the Book of Apocalypse

I, John, saw a great white throne and the One who was sitting on it. In his presence, earth and sky vanished, leaving no trace. I saw the dead, both great and small, standing in front of his throne, while the book of life was opened, and other books opened which were the record of what they had done in their lives, by which the dead were judged. The sea gave up all the dead who were in it: Death and Hades were emptied of the dead that were in them; and everyone was judged according to the way in which he had lived. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the burning lake. This burning lake is the second death; and anybody whose name could not be found written in the book of life was thrown into the burning lake. Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; the first heaven and the first earth had disappeared now, and there was no longer any sea.

The Word of the Lord

Apocalypse 21:1–7

A reading from the Book of Apocalypse

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth. For the first heaven and the first earth was gone, and the sea is now no more. And I John saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice from the throne, saying: Behold the tabernacle of God with men, and he will dwell with them. And they shall be his people; and God himself with them shall be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes: and death shall be no more, nor mourning, nor crying, nor sorrow shall be any more, for the former things are passed away. And he that sat on the throne, said: Behold, I make all things new. And he said to me: Write, for these words are most faithful and true. And he said to me: It is done. I am Alpha and Omega; the beginning and the end. To him that thirsteth, I will give of the fountain of the water of life, freely. He that shall overcome shall possess these things, and I will be his God; and he shall be my son.

The Word of the Lord

Second Reading from the New Testament

The second reading is taken from the letters in the New Testament. It follows a semi-continuous pattern, as it comes after the Responsorial Psalm in the funeral Mass. Because of this, the second reading is not always linked to the first reading or the Gospel.

Romans 5:5–11

A reading from the Letter of Paul to the Romans

Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts
through the holy Spirit that has been given to us. For Christ, while we were still helpless,
yet died at the appointed time for the ungodly. Indeed, only with difficulty does one die
for a just person, though perhaps for a good person one might even find courage to die.
But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. How
much more then, since we are now justified by his blood, will we be saved through him
from the wrath. Indeed, if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through
the death of his Son, how much more, once reconciled, will we be saved by his life. Not
only that, but we also boast of God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we
have now received reconciliation.

The Word of the Lord

Romans 5:17–21

A reading from the Letter of Paul to the Romans

For if, by the transgression of one person, death came to reign through that one, how
much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of justification
come to reign in life through the one person Jesus Christ. In conclusion, just as through
one transgression condemnation came upon all, so through one righteous act acquittal and life came to all. For just as through the disobedience of one person the many were made sinners, so through the obedience of one the many will be made righteous. The law entered in so that transgression might increase but, where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through justification for eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Word of the Lord

Romans 6:3–9

A reading from the Letter of 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.
For if we have grown into union with him through a death like his, we shall also be
united with him in the resurrection. We know that our old self was crucified with him, so
that our sinful body might be done away with, that we might no longer be in slavery to
sin. For a dead person has been absolved from sin. 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.

The Word of the Lord

Romans 6:3–4. 8–9

A reading from the Letter of 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.

The Word of the Lord

Romans 8:14–23

A reading from the Letter of Paul to the Romans

For 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, then 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 that the sufferings 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; for creation was made subject to futility, not of its own accord but because of the one who subjected it, in hope that creation itself would be set free from slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now; and not only that, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, we also groan within ourselves as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.

The Word of the Lord

Romans 8:31–35. 37–39

A reading from the Letter of Paul to the Romans

What then shall we say to this? 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? Who will bring a charge against God’s chosen ones? It is God who acquits us. Who will condemn? 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, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The Word of the Lord

Romans 14:7–12

A reading from the Letter of Paul to the Romans

None of us lives for oneself, and no one dies for oneself. For if we live, we live for the
Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord; so then, whether we live or die, we are the
Lord’s. For this is why Christ died and came to life, that he might be Lord of both the
dead and the living. For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is
written: “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bend before me, and every tongue
shall give praise to God.” So (then) each of us shall give an account of himself (to God).

The Word of the Lord

1 Corinthians 15:20–28

A reading from the First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians

But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen
asleep. For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead came
also through a human being. For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be
brought to life, but each one in proper order: Christ the first fruits; then, at his coming,
those who belong to Christ; then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to his God and Father, when he has destroyed every sovereignty and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death, for “he subjected everything under his feet.” But when it says that everything has been subjected, it is clear that it excludes the one who subjected
everything to him. When everything is subjected to him, then the Son himself will (also)
be subjected to the one who subjected everything to him, so that God may be all in all.

The Word of the Lord

1 Corinthians 15:20–23

A reading from the First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians

Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.  For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead came also through a human being.  For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life, but each one in proper order:  Christ the first fruits; then, at his coming, those who belong to Christ.

The Word of the Lord

1 Corinthians 15:51–57

A reading from the First Letter of 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. For that which is corruptible must
clothe itself with incorruptibility, and that which is mortal must clothe itself with
immortality. And when this which is corruptible clothes itself with incorruptibility and
this which is mortal clothes itself with immortality, 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?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But
thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Word of the Lord

2 Corinthians 4:14–5:1

A reading from the Second Letter of Paul to the Corinthians

Brothers and Sisters:
Knowing that the one who raised the Lord Jesus
will raise us also with Jesus
and place us with you in his presence.
Everything indeed is for you,
so that the grace bestowed in abundance
on more and more people
may cause the thanksgiving to overflow
for the glory of God.
Therefore, we are not discouraged;
rather, although our outer self is wasting away,
our inner self is being renewed day by day.
For this momentary light affliction
is producing for us an eternal weight of glory
beyond all comparison, as we look not to what is seen
but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory,
but what is unseen is eternal.
For we know that if our earthly dwelling, a tent,
should be destroyed, we have a building from God,
a dwelling not made with hands, eternal in heaven.

The Word of the Lord

2 Corinthians 5:1. 6–10

A reading from the Second Letter of Paul to the Corinthians

For we know that if our earthly dwelling, a tent, should be destroyed, we have a building from God, a dwelling not made with hands, eternal in heaven. So we are always courageous, although we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yet we are courageous, and we would rather leave the body and go home to the Lord. Therefore, we aspire to please him, whether we are at home or away. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive recompense, according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil.

The Word of the Lord

Philippians 3:20–21

A reading from the Letter of Paul to the Philippians

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will change our lowly body to conform with his glorified body by the power that enables him also to bring all things into subjection to himself.

The Word of the Lord

1 Thessalonians 4:13–18

A Reading from the First Letter of Paul to the Thessalonians

We do not want you to be unaware, brothers, about those who have fallen asleep, so that you may not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose, so too will God, through Jesus, bring with him those who have fallen asleep. Indeed, we tell you this, on the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will surely not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself, with a word of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God, will come down from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore, console one another with these words.

The Word of the Lord

2 Timothy 2:8–13

A reading from the Second Letter of Paul to Timothy

Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David: such is my gospel, for which I am suffering, even to the point of chains, like a criminal. But the word of God is not chained. Therefore, I bear with everything for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, together with eternal glory. This saying is trustworthy: If we have died with him we shall also live with him; if we persevere we shall also reign with him. But if we deny him he will deny us. If we are unfaithful he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself.

The Word of the Lord

1 John 3:14–16

A reading from the First Letter of John

We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers. Whoever does not love remains in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life remaining in him. The way we came to know love was that he laid down his life for us; so we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

The Word of the Lord

Testament Readings for the Death of a Child

Book of Verse watercolor image

There are also passages from the Scripture that are appropriate for the burial of a child. You may select from the list below.

First Reading from the Old Testament

Isaiah 25:6–9

A reading from the prophet Isaiah

On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines, of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear. And he will destroy on this mountain the shroud that is cast over all peoples, the sheet that is spread over all nations; he will swallow up death forever. Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces, and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken. It will be said on that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us. This is the Lord for whom we have waited; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

The Word of the Lord

Lamentations 3:17–26

A reading from the Book of Lamentations

My soul is shut out from peace;
I have forgotten happiness.
And now I say, My strength is gone
that hope which came from the Lord.
Brooding on my anguish and affliction
is gall and wormwood.
My spirit ponders it continually
and sinks within me
This is what I shall tell my heart,
and so recover hope:
the favours of the Lord are not all past,
his kindnesses are not exhausted;
every morning they are renewed;
great is his faithfulness.
My portion is the Lord says my soul
and so I will hope in him.
The Lord is good to those who trust him,
to the soul that searches for him.
It is good to wait in silence for the Lord to save.

The Word of the Lord

First Reading from the New Testament (Easter Season)

Instead of a passage from the Old Testament, the first reading during Easter Time is taken from the New Testament.

Apocalypse 7:9–10. 15–17

A reading from the Book of Revelation

I, John, had a vision of a great multitude,
     which no one could count,
     from every nation, race, people, and tongue.
They stood before the throne and before the Lamb,
     wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.
They cried out in a loud voice:
     “Salvation comes from* our God, who is seated on the throne,
          and from the Lamb.”     “For this reason they stand before God’s throne
          and worship him day and night in his temple.
          The One who sits on the throne will shelter them.
     They will not hunger or thirst anymore,
          nor will the sun or any heat strike them.
     For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne
          will shepherd them
          and lead them to springs of life-giving water,
          and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

The Word of the Lord

Apocalypse 21:1. 3–5

A reading from the Book of Revelation

I, John, saw a new heaven and a new earth.
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 himself will always be with them as their God.
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.”

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Second Reading from the New Testament

Romans 6:3–4. 8–9

A Reading from the Letter of 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 to 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.

The Word of the Lord

Romans 14:7–9

A Reading from the Letter of Paul to the Romans

For none of us lives to himself, and none dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord. Or if we die, we die to the Lord. If therefore we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died, rose, and lived again, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.

The Word of the Lord

1 Corinthians 15:20–23

A Reading from the First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians

Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.  For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead came also through a human being.  For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life, but each one in proper order:  Christ the first fruits; then, at his coming, those who belong to Christ.

The Word of the Lord

Ephesians 1:3–5

A reading from the Letter to the Ephesians

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will.

The Word of the Lord

1 Thessalonians 4:13–14. 18

A Reading from the First Letter of Paul to the Thessalonians

We do not want you to be unaware, brothers, about those who have fallen asleep, so that you may not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose, so too will God, through Jesus, bring with him those who have fallen asleep. Thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore, console one another with these words.

The Word of the Lord

FAQ

What is a funeral liturgy?

The funeral liturgy is the main celebration of the Christian community for the deceased. The liturgy is traditionally celebrated in the church, but it can also be held at a crematorium or funeral chapel. There are two forms possible for a liturgy: a funeral Mass or a funeral liturgy outside Mass.

Can I pick other scripture readings aside from the ones given here?

Yes. You can pick another reading but remember that you should confirm with your priest or officiant to make sure it is an appropriate selection.

Can I replace the scripture reading with a funeral poem?

Following the formal (Catholic) structure, non-biblical readings may not take the place of scripture readings. However, you can use your poems or other readings at another point in the liturgy, have it printed in the service booklet, or read it at the reception.

Is the first reading always taken from the Old Testament?

No. Although the first reading is generally taken from the Old Testament for most of the year, this is not always the case. During Easter Time, the first reading is taken from the New Testament, particularly the Acts of Apostles or the Book of Revelation.

Conclusion

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