Suggestions for funeral readings

Readings Page the Vard Sisters

 

Suitable as a first reading – from the book of Sirach [44:1, 10-15]

So let us now give praise to godly women, our ancestors of generations past.
But we will praise these godly women.
Whose righteous deeds have never been forgotten.
Their reputations will be passed on to their descendants
And this will be their inheritance.
Their descendants continue to keep the convenant
And always will, because of what their ancestors did.
Their family line will go on forever,
And their fame will never fade.
Their bodies were laid to rest,
But their reputations will live forever.
Nations will tell about the wisdom of these women,
And God’s people will praise them.

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Second reading – from the letter of St Paul to the Phillipians [4:4-9]

May you always be joyful in your union with the lord, rejoice! Show a gentle attitude towards everyone. The Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers, ask God for what you need always asking him with a thankful heart. And God’s peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus. In conclusion, my brothers and sisters, fill your minds with those things that are good and put that deserve praise: things that are true, noble right, pure, lovely and honourable. Put into practice what you learnt and received from me, both from my words and from my action. And the God who gives us peace will be with you.

This is the word of the Lord.

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A reading from the Book of Wisdom. (3:1-9)
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 at 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 to be worthy 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 forever.
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.
This is the Word of the Lord!

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A reading from the Book of Wisdom (4:7-15)
The virtuous person, though he die before his time, will find rest.
Length of days is not what makes age honourable,
nor number of years the measure of life;
understanding, this is man’s grey hairs, untarnished life, this is ripe old age.
He has sought to please God, so God has loved him;
as he was living among sinners, he has been taken up.
He has been carried off so that evil may not wrap his understanding
or treachery seduce his soul;
Coming to perfection in so short a while, he achieved long life;
his soul being pleasing to the Lord,
he has taken him quickly from the wickedness around him.
Yet people look on, uncomprehending;
it does not enter their heads that grace and mercy await the chosen of the Lord,
and protection, his holy ones.
This is the word of the Lord

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A reading from the prophet Isaiah
Do not be afraid, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name, you are mine.
Should you pass through the sea, I will be with you;
Or through the rivers, they will not swallow you up.
Should you walk through fire, you will not be scorched and the flames will not burn you.
For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.
This is the Word of the Lord.

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A reading from the book of Ecclesiastes: (3:1-7,11)
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 root up what is planted;
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 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 discard;
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
God has made everything suitable for its time.
This is the word of the Lord.

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A reading from the Book of Ecclesiasticus
Let us praise the illustrious,
our ancestors in their successive generations.
Here is a list of the generous
whose good works have not been forgotten.
In their descendents there remains
a rich inheritance born of them.
Their descendents stand by their covenants and
thanks to them, so do their children’s children.
Their offspring will last forever,
their glory will not fade.
Their bodies have been buried in peace,
and their names live on for all generations.
The peoples will proclaim their wisdom,
the assembly will celebrate their praise.
This is the word of the Lord.

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A gospel reading: Come You Whom My Father Has Blessed – Matthew (25:31-46)

Jesus said to his disciples: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
The gospel of the Lord.

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A gospel reading: Today You Will Be With Me In Paradise – Luke (23:33, 39-43)

When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him and the criminals there, one on his right, the other on his left. Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us.” The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, “Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He replied to him, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
The gospel of the Lord.