- A Celebration of the Life and Funeral of _____________________________ “Home for ___________”
For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under Heaven.
There is a time to be born, and a time to die,
A time to plant, and a time to harvest,
A time to grieve, and a time to be happy,
A time to mourn and a time to dance,
Yes, for everything there is a reason and time
For every matter under heaven,
A time to be born and a time to die!
Ecclesiastes 3 (selected)
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Be still, and know that I am God;
I am exalted among the nations.
I am exalted in the earth,
The Lord of hosts is with us.
The God of Jacob is our refuge.
Be still, and know that I am God.
2 Words of Gathering
With the gracious Spirit of Almighty God, and on behalf of the
family of ___________________, I welcome you to this service.
Family and friends come together in each others’ presence at
different times, for different reasons; frequently to celebrate with
each other the joys of our life together: a birthday, an
anniversary, a reunion, a holiday, or a wedding, and occasionally
to console one another in times of sorrow.
Today, it is true; we are here to share the sadness and loss we feel
because of the death of this woman, but certainly not this alone.
Even more important, we have come together in faith, to
celebrate the life of _______________, the gift she was from God to each of you, and the love you have for her in the life you shared.
This very purpose, to mourn our loss; to affirm our love and to
celebrate her life and faith appears to be the intent of the verses
found in Psalm 23. Let us reflect as the organist plays and I read the words of the Psalm.
3 Psalm 23
The Lord is my Shepherd
I shall not want
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures
He leadeth me beside still waters
He restoreth my soul
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness
For His name sake
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of
death THAT’S TESTING!
I will fear no evil
For Thou art with me
Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me
Thou preparest a table before me
in the presence of mine enemies
Thou anointest my head with oil My cup runneth over
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
4 Tribute by June
_____________________ was and is a gift to each of you. I did
not know her personally but was privileged to speak with
_____________________ and met many of you last evening.
__________________ was committed to homemaking, care
giving, and cheering the Blue Jays through winning and loosing
and she passed on those values to whomever she met.
As for everyone who knew her, you have enjoyed the blessing of
her caring, generous presence, and therefore are able to
understand a little more fully the wonder of mystery – of God’s
divine purpose which places us together in these intimate
relationships that give meaning to joy and life.
Because of _____________________ each in you own way and
together, we appreciate and give thanks for the warmth and
beauty of God’s love, which was experienced with her.
It is only fitting, then, that this day be a mixture of tears an
smiles: tears as you share the grief of a loved one’s death, and
smiles as you recall the ways your lives were enriched by
______________ life among you. It is right and good that you
take time to remember. As many as are here today, we each have different memories.
- Her quiet generosity and determination, yet ability to speakher mind.
- Her feelings about life and family.
- Her supportiveness and a good neighbour regardless of who needed help.
- Truly some one worth knowing!
- The extension of her table to feed more mouths if they dropped in (even when she could not afford it).
- Her gardening skills – her rose garden, and the list goes on -and on – and on – and on.
She was truly a woman of character and strength.
We pause for a few quiet moments then, in which you are invited to silently and prayerfully recall your personal previous experiences with her, and in silent meditation, give thanks to God for the blessing of _______________ in your own life.
O Spirit of Life, we pray with warm thoughts of
_______________in our hearts … that strengths be remembered
and weaknesses forgotten … that goodness be affirmed and
wrongs forgiven … that her life be celebrated and her death
accepted … that whatever she has taught us during the life she
shared with us, be gratefully learned, and her physical remains
gracefully left, never to haunt or hurt or hold us back from living
We ask, O God, that today in whatever way is meaningful to each
one, you hold up for us the promise of new life … that our fear be
overwhelmed by faith … that anger be absorbed in love … that
disappointment be tempered with hope … that confusion be
clarified, sadness consoled, brokenness made whole … and more
than anything else, life ________________, that we may commit
ourselves anew to loving, giving, caring, forgiving, supporting
relationships in her memory.
Be with us, O Spirit of Love, in shaping each tomorrow by
sharing in each life here today. Amen.
…..and we continue in the spirit of prayer by praying together:
THE LORD’S PRAYER
(Matthew 6: 9-13)
Our Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever. Amen.
WORDS OF FAITH AND ENCOURAGEMENT
As people of faith, we affirm the seasonal nature of our earthly
existence and accept the seasons of life as God’s design for all
We see in the spring, summer, autumn, and winter, the cycle of
life that carries us, and all of creation, from birth to death to
And as enthusiastically as we embrace the beauty of life in full
bloom, so we must channel our thinking to imagine the ways that
life will be fulfilled through the inescapable autumn and winter.
This will enable and inspire us to anticipate the inevitable coming
of spring, the resurrection to new life which always follows.
And so, on this cold winter day, we have come to spend these few
fragile moments together.
We believe in God’s presence among us, and look to each other
for strength and support.
In faith we profess with one another the re-assurance that life is
good, and that death is not the final word; and that because of
what we say and do here today together, _____________ life will
be honoured beyond her death, through the way we choose to live
The mystery of what lies beyond our physical death is something
not one of us can claim with absolute certainty.
For people of Christian faith, our hope is described through the
resurrection of Jesus Christ, as the promise of a life fulfilled, a life
made whole, a life beyond death, a life in God’s eternal embrace, a
life born of divine love.
And even though from our place on this side of death’s threshold,
we can not say for sure, we are bold to believe and proclaim this
divine mystery, and take comfort from this eternal truth:
Whatever lies beyond our human life on earth, which is hidden
from us by this veil of flesh, ______________ now possesses for
her very own.
Our faith teaches and assures us of this life which reaches beyond
death. And it is this hope which enables us to face bluntly and
boldly __________ passing.
Her dying is the unchanging reality with which we must live; and
we will surely miss her. But never would we want to hold her
back from the new life which God is preparing for her.
For this we do believe: The perishable shall become
imperishable; the broken shall be made whole; the sick shall be
restored to health; and ________________ shall indeed walk
with God, alive in spirit and truth.
I DON’T NEED TO UNDERSTAND
- Sunshine comes and sunshine goes; then shadows linger.
Darkness fills the night with mystery and care.
But within my heart a gentle voice reminds me,
“Fear no evil,” Jesus said, “for I’ll be there.”
I don’t need to understand; I just need to hold His hand.
I don’t need to ever ask the reason why.
For I know He’ll make a way Thru the night and thru the day.
I don’t need to understand; I just need to hold His hand.
- Life is like a mighty sea, so tossed and driven;
Billows rise within the heart of every man.
Storms so many times will leave the heart with questions
That you don’t need to understand; just hold His hand.
- When my life down here is thru and Jesus calls me
To my home up there upon the golden shore,
I’ll look back; review the path that lay before me;
But I won’t care to understand – anymore.
By Magdalene Crocker
SCRIPTURE: Ecclesiastes 3:1-11
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 harvest; a time to laugh and a time to weep; a time
to mourn and a time to dance; a time to hold fast and a time to set
free; a time to speak and a time to keep silence. God has made
everything suitable for its time; moreover God has put a sense of
past and future into our minds.
WORDS OF FAREWELL
The time has come, here, this afternoon to bid farewell to
___________________. For a time she walked with us as a
family member and a friend, a gift for which we are truly
thankful. And now God has welcomed her home.
So, in faith, we are able to return these physical remains from
where they came: Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
At the same time we return her spirit to the hand of God,
knowing as truly as ________________ memory lives on in each
of us, so she lives.
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord make His face shine upon you.
May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you
and give you peace.
In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
To the family (list names)
May the peace of God, which surpasses all human
understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and
love of God, and may that love, our eternal source of comfort and
strength be with you all. Amen.