Mass readings
(English)

The Old Testament (Pick just 1 – it will be the first reading)

A reading from the book of Job 19:123-27

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.

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 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. 

Shorter Form

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 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.

A reading from the book of Wisdom 4:7-15

The virtuous man, though he die before his time, will find rest.   

Length of days is not what makes age honorable, nor number of years the  true 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 warp his understanding or  treachery

 seduce his soul; for the fascination of evil throws good things into  the shade and the whirlwind of desire corrupts a simple heart.

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.

The word of the Lord.

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 shrewd enwrapping all nations, he will destroy Death for ever.

The Lord will wipe away the tears from every cheek; he will take away the  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 whom we hoped.  We exult  and we rejoice   that he  has saved us.

The word of the Lord.

A reading from the book of Lamentations 3:17-26

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.

Shorter Form

A reading from the book of Lamentations 3:22-26

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.

A reading from the prophet Daniel 12:1-3

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.

A reading from the second book of Maccabees 12:43-45

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.

A reading from the book of Ecclesiastes 3:1-11

There is a season for everything, a time for every occupation under heaven:

A time for giving birth, a time for dying; a time for planting, a time for  uprooting what has been planted.

A time for killing, a time for healing; a time for knocking down, a time for  building.

A time for tears, a time for laughter; a time for mourning, a time for

dancing.

A time for throwing stones away, a time for gathering them up; a time for  embracing, a time to refrain from embracing.

A time for searching, a time for losing; a time for keeping, a time for throwing away.

A time for tearing, a time for sewing; 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 does a man gain for the efforts that he makes?  I contemplate the task  that God gives mankind to labour at.  All that he does is apt for its time; but  though he has permitted man to consider time in its wholeness, man cannot  comprehend the work of God from beginning to end.

The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalms (only if there is no music at the funeral)

Ps: 26:1.4.7-9.13-14

Response: The Lord is my light and my help

The Lord is my light and my help; whom shall I fear?

The Lord is the stronghold of my life; Before whom shall I shrink?  (Response)

There is one thing I ask of the Lord, for this I long, to live in the house of the  Lord, all the days of my life, to savour the sweetness of the Lord, to behold  his temple. (Response)

O, Lord, hear my voice when I call; have mercy and answer.

It is your face, O Lord, that I seek; hide not your face. (Response)

I am sure I shall see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living.  Hope in him, hold firm and take heart.

Hope in the Lord! (Response)

Ps. 11:4:5-6; 115:10-11. 15-16

Response: I will walk in the presence of the Lord in the land of the living.

How gracious is the Lord and just; our God has compassion.

The Lord protects the simple hearts; I was helpless so he saved me.  (Response)

I trusted, even when I said:

‘I am sorely afflicted,’  

and when I said in my alarm:

‘No man can be trusted ’.  (Response)

O precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his faithful.

Your servant, Lord, your servant am I; You have loosened my bonds.  (Response)

Ps. 22

Response: If I should walk in the valley of darkness no evil would I fear, for  you are there with me.

The Lord id my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. 

Fresh and green are the pastures where he gives me repose.

Near restful waters he leads me, to revive my drooping spirit. (Response)

He guides me along the right path, he is true to his name.

If I should walk in the valley of darkness no evil would I fear.

You are there with your crook and your staff, with these you give me  comfort.  (Response)

You have prepared a banquet for me in the sight of my foes.

My head you have anointed with oil, my cup is overflowing.  (Response)

Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me all the days of my life.    In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell for ever and ever.  (Response)

Ps. 22

Response: The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Fresh and green are the pastures where he gives me repose.

Near restful waters he leads me to revive my drooping spirit. (Response)

He guides me along the right path, he is true to his name.

If I should walk in the valley of darkness no evil would I fear.

You are there with your crook and your staff; with these you give me  comfort. (Response)

You have prepared a banquet for me in the sight of my foes.

My head you have anointed with oil; my cup is overflowing. (Response)

Surely goodness and kindness will follow me all the days of my life.  In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell forever and ever.  (Response)

Ps.24:6-7.17-18.20-21.

Response: To you, O Lord I lift up my soul.

Remember your mercy, Lord, and the love you have shown from old.

In your love remember me, because of your goodness, O Lord.  (Response) 

Relieve the anguish of my heart and set me free from distress.

See my affliction and my toil and take all my sins away.  (Response)

Preserve my life and rescue me.  

Do not disappoint me, you are my refuge. 

May innocence and uprightness protect me: for my hope is in you, O Lord.   (Response) 

Ps. 41:2.3.5

Response: My soul is thirsting for God, the God of my life.

Like the deer that yearns for running streams, so my soul  is yearning for  you, my God.  (Response)

My soul is thirsting for God, the God of my life; when can I enter and see the  face of God?   (Response)

These things will I remember as I pour out my soul:

how I would lead the rejoicing crowd into the house of God, amid cries of  gladness and thanksgiving, the throng wild with joy.  (Response)

Ps. 102:8.1013-8

Response: The Lord is compassion and love.  

The Lord is compassion and love, slow to anger and rich in mercy.

He does not treat us according to our sins nor repay us according to our  faults.   (Response)

As a father has compassion on his sons, the Lord has pity on those who fear  him; for he knows of what we are made, he remembers that we are dust.   (Response)

As for man, his days are like grass; he flowers like flowers of the field;

the wind blows and he is gone and his peace never sees him again.  (Response)

But the love of the Lord is everlasting upon those who hold him in fear;

his justice reaches out to children’s children when they keep his covenant in  truth.  (Response)

Ps. 62:2-6.8-9.

Response: For you my soul is thirsting, O Lord, my God. 

O God, you are my God, for you I long; for you my soul is thirsting.

My body pines for you like a dry, weary land without water. (Response)

So I gaze on you in the sanctuary to see your strength and your glory.

For your love is better than life, my lips will speak your praise. (Response)

So I will bless you all my life, in your name I will lift up my hands.

My soul shall be filled as with a banquet, my mouth shall praise with joy.  (Response)

You have been my help; in the shadows of your wings I rejoice.  My soul clings to you; your right hand holds me fast. (Response)

Ps.129.

Response:  Out of the depths, I cry to you O Lord 

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord, 

Lord, hear my voice!

O let you ears be attentive to the voice of my pleading. (Response)

If you, O Lord shall mark our guilt, Lord, who would you survive?

But with you is found forgiveness: for this we revere you. (Response)

My soul is waiting for the Lord, I count on his word.

My soul is longing for the Lord more than watchman for daybreak.  (Response)

Because with the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption,  Israel indeed he will redeem from all his iniquity. (Response) 

READINGS FROM THE NEW TESTAMENT (pick just 1 – it will be the second reading)

A reading from the Acts of the Apostles 10:34-43

Peter addressed Cornelius and his household:

‘The truth I have now come to realise,’ he said ‘is that God does not have  favourites, 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 afterwards 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.

Shorter Form

A reading from the Acts of the Apostles 10:34-36.  42-43

Peter addressed Cornelius and his household:  ‘The truth I have now come to  realise’ he said ‘is that God does not have favourites, 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, 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.

A reading from the book of Apocalypse 14:13

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.

A reading from the book of Apocalypse 20:11-21:1

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 every one 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.

A reading from the book of the Apocalypse 21:1-7

I, John,  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.  I saw the holy  city, and the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, as  beautiful as a bride all dressed for her husband.  Then I heard a loud voice  call from the throne, ‘You see this city? Here God lives among men. He will  make his home among them; they shall be his people, and he will be their  God; his name is God-with-them. He will wipe away all tears from their  eyes; there will be no more death, and no more mourning or sadness. The  world of the past has gone.’  Then the One sitting on the throne spoke: ‘Now  I am making the whole of creation new’ he said.  ‘I will give water from the  well of life free to anybody who is thirsty; it is the rightful inheritance of the  one who proves victorious; and I will be his God and he a son to me.’

The word of the Lord.

A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Romans 5:5-11

Hope is not deceptive, because the love of God has been poured into our  hea

rts by the Holy Spirit which has been given us.  We were still helpless  when at his appointed moment Christ died for sinful men.  It is not easy to  die even for a good man – though of course for someone really worthy, a  man might be prepared to die – but what proves that God loves us is that  Christ died for us while we were still sinners. Having died to make us  righteous, is it likely that he would now fail to save us from God’s anger?  When we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, we were still  enemies; now that we have been reconciled, surely we may count on being  saved by the life of his Son?  Not merely because we have been reconciled  but because we are filled with joyful trust in God, through our Lord Jesus  Christ, through whom we have already gained our reconciliation.

The word of the Lord.

A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Romans 8:14-23

Everyone moved by the Spirit is a son of God.  The spirit you received is not  the spirit of slaves bringing fear into your lives again; it is the spirit of sons,  and it makes us cry out, ‘Abba, Father!’ The Spirit himself and our spirit  bear united witness that we are children of God.

And if we are children we are heirs as well: heirs of God and coheirs with  Christ, sharing his sufferings so as to share his glory.  Glory as our destiny

I think that what we suffer in this life can never be compared to the glory, as  yet unrevealed, which is waiting for us.

The whole creation is eagerly waiting for God to reveal his sons.

It was not for any fault on the part of creation that it was made unable to  attain its purpose, it was made so by God; but creation still retains the hope

of being freed, like us, from its slavery to decadence, to enjoy the same  freedom and glory as the children of God.

From the beginning till now the entire creation, as we know, has been  groaning in one great act of giving birth; and not only creation, but all of us  who possess the first-fruits of the Spirit, we too groan inwardly as we wait  for our bodies to be set free.

The word of the Lord.

A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Romans 8:31-35.37-39

With God on our side who can be against us?  Since God did not spare his  own Son, but gave him up to benefit us all, we may be certain, after such a  gift, that he will not refuse anything he can give.  Could anyone accuse those  that God has chosen? When God acquits, could anyone condemn? Could  Christ Jesus? No! He not only died for us – he rose from the dead, and there  at God’s right hand he stands and pleads for us.  Nothing therefore can come  between us and the love of Christ, even if we are troubled or worried, or  being persecuted, or lacking food or clothes, or being threatened or even  attacked.  These are the trials through which we triumph, by the power of  him who loved us.  For I am certain of this: neither death nor life, no angel,  no prince, nothing that exists, nothing still to come, not any power, or height  or depth, nor any created thing, can ever come between us and the love of  God made visible in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The word of the Lord.

A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Romans 14:7-12

The life and death of each of us has its influence on others; if we live, we live  for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord, so that alive or dead we  belong to the Lord.  This explains why Christ both died and came to life, it  was so that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.  This is also  why you should never pass judgement on a brother or treat him with  contempt, as some of you have done. We shall all have to stand

 before the  judgement seat of God; as scripture says: By my life – it is the Lord who  speaks – every knee shall bend before me, and every tongue shall praise  God. It is to God, therefore, that each of us must give an account of himself.  The word of the Lord.

A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Romans 5:17-21

If it is certain that death reigned over everyone as the consequence of one  man’s fall, it is even more certain that one man, Jesus Christ, will cause  everyone to reign in life who receives the free gift that he does not deserve,  of being made righteous.  Again, as one man’s fall brought condemnation on  everyone, so the good act of one man brings everyone life and makes them  justified.  As by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one  man’s obedience many will be made righteous.  When law came, it was to  multiply the opportunities of failing, but however great the number of sins  committed, grace was even greater; and so, just as sin reigned wherever  there was death, so grace will reign to bring eternal life thanks to the  righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The word of the Lord.

A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Romans 6:3-9

When we were baptised in Christ Jesus we were baptised in his death; in  other words, when we were baptised we went into the tomb with him and  joined him in death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the  Father’s glory, we too might live a new life.  If in union with Christ we have  imitated his death, we shall also imitate him in his resurrection.  We must  realise that our former selves have been crucified with him to destroy this  sinful body and to free us from the slavery of sin. When a man dies, of  course, he has finished with sin.  But we believe that having died with Christ  we shall return to life with him: Christ, as we know, having been raised from  the dead will never die again. Death has no power over him any more.

The word of the Lord.

Shorter Form

When we were baptised in Christ Jesus we were baptised in his death; in  other words, when we were baptised we went into the tomb with him and  joined him in death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the  Father’s glory, we too might live a new life. But we believe that having died  with Christ we shall return to life with him:  Christ, as we know, having been  raised from the dead will never die again. Death has no power over him any  more.

The word of the Lord.

A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians 15:20-28

Christ has been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of all who have fallen  asleep.  Death came through one man and in the same way the resurrection  of the dead has come through one man.  Just as all men die in Adam, so all  men will be brought to life in Christ; but all of them in their proper order;  Christ as the first-fruits and then, after the coming of Christ, those

 who  belong to him. After that will come the end, when he hands over the  kingdom to God the Father. For he must be king until he has put all his  enemies under his feet and the last of the enemies to be destroyed is death,  for everything is to be put under his feet. Though when it is said that  everything is subjected, this clearly cannot include the One who subjected  everything to him.  And when everything is subjected to him, then the Son  himself will be subject in his turn to the One who subjected all things to him,  so that God may be all in all.  

The word of the Lord.

Shorter Form

A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians 15:20-23

Christ has been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of all who have fallen  asleep.  Death came through one man and in the same way the resurrection  of the dead has come through one man.  Just as all men die in Adam, so all  men will be brought to life in Christ; but all of them in their proper order:  Christ as the first-fruits and then, after the coming of Christ, those who  belong to him.

The word of the Lord 

A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians 15:51-57

I will tell you something that has been secret: that we are not all going to  die

, but we shall all be changed.  This will be instantaneous, in the twinkling  of an eye, when the last trumpet sounds. It will sound, and the dead will be  raised, imperishable, and we shall be changed as well, because our present  perishable nature must put on imperishability and this mortal nature must  put on immortality.  When this perishable nature has put on imperishability,  and when this mortal nature has put on immortality, then the words of  scripture will come true: Death is swallowed up in victory. Death, where is  your victory? Death, where is your sting?  Now the sting of death is sin, and  sin gets its power from the Law. So let us thank God for giving us the  victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

The word of the Lord 

A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians: 4: 14-51

We know that he who raised the Lord Jesus to life will raise us with Jesus in  our turn, and put us by his side and you with us.  You see, all this is for your  benefit, so that the more grace is multiplied among people, the more  thanksgiving there will be, to the glory of God. That is why there is no  weakening on our part, and instead, though this outer man of ours may be  falling into decay, the inner man is renewed day by day.  Yes, the troubles  which are soon over, though they weigh little, train us for the carrying of a  weight of eternal glory which is out of all proportion to them.  And so we  have no eyes for things that are visible, but only for things that are invisible;  for visible things last only for a time, and the invisible things are eternal.  For  we know that when the tent that we live in on earth is folded up, there is a  house built by God for us, an everlasting home not made by human hands,  in the heavens.

The word of the Lord 

A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians 5:1.6-10

We know that when the tent that we live in on earth is folded up, there is a  house built by God for us, an everlasting home not made by human hands,  in the heavens.  We are always full of confidence, then, when we remember  that to live in the body means to be exiled from the Lord, going as we do by  faith and not by sight – we are full of confidence, I say, and actually want to  be exiled from the body and make our home with the Lord.  Whether we are  living in the body or exiled from it, we are intent on pleasing him.  For all the  truth about us will be brought out in the law court of Christ, and each of us  will get what he deserves for the things he did in the body, good or bad.

The word of the Lord.

A reading from St. Paul to the Philippians  3:20-21 

For us, our homeland is in heaven, and from heaven comes the saviour we  are waiting for, the Lord Jesus Christ, and he will transfigure these wretched  bodies of ours into copies of his glorious body.  He will do that by the same  power with which he can subdue the whole universe.

The word of the Lord 

A reading from St, Paul to the Thessalonians  4:13-18

We want you to be quite certain, brothers, about those who have died, to  make sure that you do not grieve about them, like the other people who  have no hope.  We believe that Jesus died and rose again, and that it will be  the same for those who have died in Jesus: God will bring them with him.   We can tell you this from the Lord’s own teaching, that any of us who are left  alive until the Lord’s coming will not have any advantage over those who  have died.  At the trumpet of God, the voice of the archangel will call out the  command and the Lord himself will come down from heaven; those who have  died in Christ will be the first to rise, and then those of us who are still alive  will be taken up in the clouds, together with them; to meet the Lord in the  air. So we shall stay with the Lord for ever.  With such thoughts as these you  should comfort one another.

The word of the Lord.

Gospel Readings (the priest can pick the gospel, unless you want to)

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 5:1-12

Seeing the crowds, he went up the hill. There he sat down and was  joined by his disciples.  Then he began to speak. This is what he taught  them:

‘How happy are the poor in spirit; theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Happy the gentle: they shall have the earth for their heritage.

Happy those who mourn: they shall be comforted.

Happy those who hunger and thirst for what is right: they shall be  satisfied.

Happy the merciful: they shall have mercy shown them.

Happy the pure in heart: they shall see God.

Happy the peacemakers: they shall be called sons of God.

Happy those who are persecuted in the cause of right: theirs is the  kingdom of heaven.

‘Happy are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak  all kinds of calumny against you on my account.

Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven’.

The Gospel of the Lord.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 11:25-30

Jesus exclaimed, ‘I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for  hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them  to mere children.  Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do.   Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father; and no one knows  the Son except the Father, just as no one knows the Father except the  Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.  

‘Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give  you rest.  Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and  humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is  easy and my burden light.’

The Gospel of the Lord.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew.  25:1-13

Jesus spoke this parable to his disciples:

‘Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this: Ten bridesmaids took  their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were  foolish and five were sensible: the foolish ones did take their lamps,  but they brought no oil,

whereas the sensible ones took flasks of oil as well as their lamps.  The  bridegroom was late, and they all grew drowsy and fell asleep.  But at  midnight there was a cry, “The bridegroom is here! Go out and meet  him.”

At this, all those bridesmaids woke up and trimmed their lamps, and  the foolish ones said to the sensible ones, “Give us some of your oil:  our lamps are going out”.  But they replied, “There may not be enough  for us and for you; you had better go to those who sell it and buy  some for yourselves”.

They had gone off to buy it when the bridegroom arrived.  Those who  were ready went in with him to the wedding hall and the door was  closed.

The other bridesmaids arrived later. “Lord, Lord,” they said “open the  door for us.”  But he replied, “I tell you solemnly, I do not know you”.  So stay awake, because you do not know either the day or the hour.

The Gospel of the Lord.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew. 25:31-46

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, escorted by all the angels,  the

n he will take his seat on his throne of glory.  All the nations will be  assembled before him and he will separate men one from another as  the shepherd separates sheep from goats.  He will place the sheep on  his right hand and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to  those on his right hand, “Come, you whom my Father has blessed,  take for your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the  foundation of the world.  For I was hungry and you gave me food; I  was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you made me  welcome; naked and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison  and you came to see me.”  Then the virtuous will say to him in reply,  “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you; or thirsty and give  you drink?   When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome;  naked and clothe you; sick or in prison and go to see you?”

And the King will answer, “I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this  to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me”.

Next he will say to those on his left hand, “Go away from me, with  your curse upon you, to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his  angels.

For I was hungry and you never gave me food; I was thirsty and you  never gave me anything to drink; I was a stranger and you never  made me welcome, naked and you never clothed me, sick and in  prison and you never visited me.”

Then it will be their turn to ask, “Lord, when did we see you hungry or  thirsty, a stranger or naked, sick or in prison, and did not come to your  help?” Then he will answer, “I tell you solemnly, in so far as you  neglected to do this to one of the least of these, you neglected to do it  to me”.

And they will go away to eternal punishment, and the virtuous to  eternal life.’

The Gospel of the Lord.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark 15:33-39 16:1-6. 

When the sixth hour came there was darkness over the whole land  until the ninth hour.  And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud  voice, ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?’ which means, ‘My God, my God, why  have you deserted me?  When some of those who stood by heard this,  they said, ‘Listen, he is calling on Elijah’.

Someone ran and soaked a sponge in vinegar and, putting it on a reed,  gave it him to drink saying; ‘Wait and see if Elijah will come to take  him down’.

But Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last.  And the veil of the  Temple was torn in two from top to bottom.  The centurion, who was  standing in front of him, had seen how he had died, and he said, ‘In  truth this man was a son of God’.

When the sabbath was over, Mary of Magdala, Mary the mother of  James, and Salome, bought spices with which to go and anoint him.   And very early in the morning on the first day of the week they went to  the tomb, just as the sun was rising.

They had been saying to one another, ‘Who will roll away the stone for  us from the entrance to the tomb?’  But when they looked they could  see that the stone – which was very big – had already been rolled back.   On entering the tomb they saw a young man in a white robe seated on  the right-hand side, and they were struck with amazement. But he  said to them, ‘There is no need for alarm. You are looking for Jesus of  Nazareth, who was crucified: he has risen, he is not here. See, here is  the place where they laid him.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Shorter Form

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark.

When the sixth hour came there was darkness over the whole land  until t

he ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud  voice, ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?’ which means, ‘My God, my God, why  have you deserted me?’  When some of those who stood by heard this,  they said, ‘Listen, he is calling on Elijah’.

Someone ran and soaked a sponge in vinegar and, putting it on a reed,  gave it him to drink saying; ‘Wait and see if Elijah will come to take  him down’.

But Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last.  And the veil of the  Temple was torn in two from top to bottom.  The centurion, who was  standing in front of him, had seen how he had died, and he said, ‘In  truth this man was a son of God’.  The Gospel of the Lord.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke. 7:11-17

Jesus went to a town called Nain, accompanied by his disciples and a  great number of people.  When he was near the gate of the town it  happened that a dead man was being carried out for burial, the only  son of his mother, and she was a widow.  And a considerable number  of the townspeople were with her.  When the Lord saw her he felt sorry  for her. ‘Do not cry’ he said.

Then he went up and put his hand on the bier and the bearers stood  still, and he said, ‘Young man, I tell you to get up’.  And the dead man  sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him to his mother.  Everyone  was filled with awe and praised God saying, ‘A great prophet has  appeared among us; God has visited his people’.  And this opinion of  him spread throughout Judaea and all over the countryside.

The Gospel of the Lord.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke.12:35-40

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘See that you are dressed for action and have your lamps lit.  Be like  men waiting for their master to return from the wedding feast, ready  to open the door as soon as he comes and knocks. Happy those  servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. I tell you  solemnly, he will put on an apron, sit them down at table and wait on  them.  It may be in the second watch he comes, or in the third, but  happy those servants if he finds them ready.  You may be quite sure of  this, that if the householder had known at what hour the burglar would  come, he would not have let anyone break through the wall of his  house.  You too must stand ready, because the Son of Man is coming  at an hour you do not expect.’

The Gospel of the Lord.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke.23:33. 39-43

When they reached the place called The Skull, they crucified him there  and the two criminals also, one on the right, the other on the left.

One of the criminals hanging there abused him. ‘Are you not the  Christ?

‘ he said. ‘Save yourself and us as well.’  But the other spoke up  and rebuked him. ‘Have you no fear of God at all?’ he said. ‘You got  the same sentence as he did, but in our case we deserved it: we are  paying for what we did. But this man has done nothing wrong.  Jesus,’  he said ‘remember me when you come into your kingdom.’  ‘Indeed, I  promise you,’ he replied ‘today you will be with me in paradise.’

The Gospel of the Lord.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke.  23:44-49 24:1-6

It was now about the sixth hour and, with the sun eclipsed, a darkness  came over the whole land until the ninth hour.  The veil of the Temple  was torn right down the middle; and when Jesus had cried out in a  loud voice, he said, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit’ With  these words he breathed his last.

When the centurion saw what had taken place, he gave praise to God  and said, ‘This was a great and good man’.  And when all the people  who had gathered for the spectacle saw what had happened, they went  home beating their breasts.

All his friends stood at a distance; so also did the women who had  accompanied him from Galilee, and they saw all this happen.  

On the first day of the week, at the first sign of dawn, they went to the  tomb with the spices they had prepared.  They found that the stone  had been rolled away from the tomb, but on entering discovered that  the body of the Lord Jesus was not there. As they stood there not  knowing what to think, two men in brilliant clothes suddenly appeared  at their side. Terrified, the women lowered their eyes. But the two  men said to them, ‘Why look among the dead for someone who is  alive?  He is not here; he has risen’. 

The Gospel of the Lord.

Shorter Form

A reading form the holy Gospel according to Luke 23:44-49

It was now about the sixth hour and, with the sun eclipsed, a darkness  came

over the whole land until the ninth hour.  The veil of the Temple  was torn right down the middle; and when Jesus had cried out in a  loud voice, he said, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit’.  With  these words he breathed his last.  When the centurion saw what had  taken place, he gave praise to God and said, ‘This was a great and  good man’. And when all the people who had gathered for the  spectacle saw what had happened, they went home beating their  breasts.

All his friends stood at a distance; so also did the women who had  accompanied him from Galilee, and they saw all this happen.  

The Gospel of the Lord

A reading form the holy Gospel according to Luke  24:13-35

That very same day, two of them were on their way to a village called  Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking together  about all that had happened. Now as they talked this over, Jesus  himself came up and walked by their side; but something prevented  them from recognising him.

He said to them, ‘What matters are you discussing as you walk along?’  They stopped short, their faces downcast.

Then one of them, called Cleopas, answered him, ‘You must be the  only is person staying in Jerusalem who does not know the things that  have been happening there these last few days’. ‘What things?’ he  asked. ‘All about Jesus of Nazareth’ they answered ‘who proved he was  a great prophet by the things he said and did in the sight of God and of  the whole people; and how our chief priests and our leaders handed  him over to be sentenced to death, and had him crucified.  Our own  hope had been that he would be the one to set Israel free. And this is  not all: two whole days have gone by since it all happened; and some  women from our group have astounded us: they went to the tomb in  the early morning, and when they did not find the body, they came  back to tell us they had seen a vision of angels who declared he was  alive. Some of our friends went to the tomb and found everything  exactly as the women had reported, but of him they saw nothing.’

Then he said to them, ‘You foolish men! So slow to believe the full  message of the prophets!  Was it not ordained that the Christ should  suffer and so enter into his glory?’ Then, starting with Moses and  going through all the prophets, he explained to them the passages  throughout the scriptures that were about himself.  

When they drew near to the village to which they were going, he made  as if to go on; but they pressed him to stay with them. ‘It is nearly  evening’ they said ‘and the day is almost over.’ So he went in to stay  with them.  Now while he was with them at table, he took the bread  and said the blessing; then he broke it and handed it to them.  And  their eyes were opened and they recognised him; but he had vanished  from their sight. Then they said to each other, ‘Did not our hearts  burn within us as he talked to us on the road and explained the  scriptures to us?’  They set out that instant and returned to Jerusalem.  There they found the Eleven assembled together with their  companions, who said to them, ‘Yes, it is true. The Lord has risen and  has appeared to Simon.’ Then they told their story of what had  happened on the road and how they had recognised him at the  breaking of bread.  The Gospel of the Lord.

Shorter Form

A reading form the holy Gospel according to Luke  24:13-16. 28-35

On the first day of the week, two of the dis

ciples were on their way to  a village called Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were  talking together about all that had happened.  Now as they talked this  over, Jesus himself came up and walked by their side; but something  prevented them from recognising him.  

When they drew near to the village to which they were going, he made  as if to go on; but they pressed him to stay with them. ‘It is nearly  evening’ they said ‘and the day is almost over.’ So he went in to stay  with them.  Now while he was with them at table, he took the bread  and said the blessing; then he broke it and handed it to them.  And  their eyes were opened and they recognised him; but he had vanished  from their sight. Then they said to each other, ‘Did not our hearts  burn within us as he talked to us on the road and explained the  scriptures to us?’ 

They set out that instant and returned to Jerusalem. There they found  the Eleven assembled together with their companions, who said to  them, ‘Yes, it is true. The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.’  Then they told their story of what had happened on the road and how  they had recognised him at the breaking of bread.

The Gospel of the Lord.

A reading form the holy Gospel according to John 6:37-40

Jesus said to the crowd:

‘All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to  me I shall not turn him away; because I have come from heaven, not  to do my own will, but to do the will of the one who sent me.  Now the  will of him who sent me is that I should lose nothing of all that he has  given to me, and that I should raise it up on the last day.  Yes, it is my  Father’s will that whoever sees the Son and believes in him shall have  eternal life, and that I shall raise him up on the last day.’ 

The Gospel of the Lord

A reading form the holy Gospel according to John 6:51-58

Jesus said to the crowd:

‘I am the living bread which has come down from heaven. Anyone who  eats this bread will live for ever; and the bread that I shall give is my  flesh, for the life of the world.’

Then the Jews started arguing with one another: ‘How can this man  give us his flesh to eat?’ they said.

Jesus replied:

‘I tell you most solemnly, if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man  and drink his blood, you will not have life in you.

Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood has eternal life, and  I shall raise him up on the last day.  

For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.

He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in  him.

As I, who am sent by the living Father, myself draw life from the  Father, so whoever eats me will draw life from me.

This is the bread come down from heaven; not like the bread our  ancestors ate: they are dead, but anyone who eats this bread will live  for ever.’

The Gospel of the Lord

A reading form the holy Gospel according to John 11:17-27

On arriving at Bethany, Jesus found that Lazarus had been in

 the tomb  for four days already. Bethany is only about two miles from  Jerusalem, and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to  sympathise with them over their brother. When Martha heard that  Jesus had come she went to meet him. Mary remained sitting in the  house.  Martha said to Jesus, ‘If you had been here, my brother would  not have died, but I know that, even now, whatever you ask of God, he  will grant you’. ‘Your brother’ said Jesus to her ‘will rise again.’  Martha said, ‘1 know he will rise again at the resurrection on the last  day’.  Jesus said:

‘I am the resurrection. If anyone believes in me, even though he dies  he will live, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do  you believe this?’

‘Yes, Lord,’ she said ‘I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God,  the one who was to come into this world.’

The Gospel of the Lord

Shorter Form

A reading form the holy Gospel according to John  11:21-27

Martha said to Jesus, ‘If you had been here, my brother would not  have died, but I know that, even now, whatever you ask of God, he will  grant you’.

‘Your brother’ said Jesus to her ‘will rise again.’  Martha said, ‘I know  he will rise again at the resurrection on the last day’.  Jesus said:

‘I am the resurrection. If anyone believes in me, even though he dies  he will live, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do  you believe this?’

‘Yes, Lord,’ she said ‘I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God,  the one who was to come into this world.’

The Gospel of the Lord

A reading form the holy Gospel according to John 11:32-45

Mary the sister of Lazarus went to Jesus, and as soon as she saw him  she threw herself at his feet, saying, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my  brother would not have died’.  At the sight of her tears, and those of  the Jews who followed her, Jesus said in great distress, with a sigh that  came straight from the heart, ‘Where have you put him?’ They said,  ‘Lord, come and see’.  Jesus wept; and the Jews said, ‘See how much  he loved him!’  But there were some who remarked, ‘He opened the  eyes of the blind man, could he not have prevented this man’s death?’   Still sighing, Jesus reached the tomb: it was a cave with a stone to  close the opening.  Jesus said, ‘Take the stone away’. Martha said to  him, ‘Lord, by now he will smell; this is the fourth day’.

Jesus replied, ‘Have I not told you that if you believe you will see the  glory of God?’  So they took away the stone. Then Jesus lifted up his  eyes and said: ‘Father, I thank you for hearing my prayer.

I knew indeed that you always hear me, but I speak for the sake of all  these who stand round me, so that they may believe it was you who  sent me.’

When he had said this, he cried in a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, here! Come  out!’

The dead man came out, his feet and hands bound with bands of stuff  and a cloth round his face. Jesus said to them, ‘Unbind him, let him go  free’.

Many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary and had seen what he  did believed in him,

The Gospel of the Lord

A reading form the holy Gospel according to John 12:23-28

Jesus said to his disciples: 

‘Now the hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

I tell you, most solemnly, unless a wheat grain falls on the ground and  dies, it remains only a single grain; but if it dies, it yields a rich  harvest.

Anyone who loves his life loses it; anyone who hates his life in this  world will keep it for the eternal life.

If a man serves me, he must follow me, wherever I am, my servant  will be there too.  If anyone serves me, my Father will honour him.

Now my soul is troubled.  What shall I say: Father, save me from this  hour? But it was for this very reason that I have come to this hour.  Father, glorify your name!’

A voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and I will glorify it  again.’

The Gospel of the Lord

Shorter Form

A reading form the holy Gospel according to John 12:23-26

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Now the hour has come for the Son of Man  to be glorified.

I tell you, most solemnly, unless a wheat grain falls on the ground and  dies, it remains only a single grain; but if it dies, it yields a rich  harvest.

Anyone who loves his life loses it; anyone who hates his life in this  world will keep it for the eternal life.

If a man serves me, he must follow me, wherever I am, my servant  will be there too. If anyone serves me, my Father will honour him.

The Gospel of the Lord

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John

Jesus said to his disciples: 

‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God still, and trust in me.  There are many rooms in my Father’s house; if there were not, I  should have told you. I am going now to prepare a place for you, and  after I have gone and prepared you a place, I shall return to take you  with me; so that where I am you may be too.

You know the way to the place where I am going.’

Thomas said, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can  we know the way?’  Jesus said: 

‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father  except through me.

The Gospel of the Lord

 A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 17:24-26

Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said:

‘Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, so  that they may always see the glory you have given me because you  loved me before the foundation of the world.

Father, Righteous One, the world has not known you, but I have  known you, and these have known that you have sent me.

I have made your name known to them

 and will continue to make it  known, so that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and  so that I may be in them.’

The Gospel of the Lord

PRAYERS OF THE FAITHFUL

The following may help you in preparing appropriate prayers of the faithful.  You may use them as they  are or adapt them to your own particular circumstances and preferences. You may have as many  prayers of the faithful as you wish, usually there are 4, 5 or 6 prayers of the faithful at the Requiem  Mass.  

The Celebrant will introduce the prayers with these or similar words:

God almighty Father raised Christ his Son from the dead; with confidence we  ask him to save all his people, living and dead:

For N. who in baptism he was given the pledge of eternal life, that he/she  may now be admitted to the company of the saints.  Lord, hear us.

For all our deceased relatives and friends and for all who have helped us,  that they may have the reward of their goodness.  Lord, hear us.

For those who have fallen asleep in the hope of rising again that they may  see God face to face.  Lord, hear us.

For the family and friends of our brothers /sisters N. that they may be  consoled in their grief by the Lord who wept at the death of his friend  Lazarus.  Lord, hear us.

For all of us enabled here to worship in faith, that we may be gathered  together again in God’s kingdom.  Lord, hear us.

For N.’s friends, whose lives he/she enriched so deeply and who are gathered  here today in remembrance of his/her life.  Lord, hear us.

For our brother/sister who received the body of Christ, the bread of life, that  he/she may now be admitted to the company of saints.  Lord, hear us.

That those who bear the cross of pain in mind and body may never feel  forsaken by God.  Lord, hear us.

That God may call N. to happiness in the company of all the saints.   Lord, hear us.

That God may welcome into his glory those of our family and friends, who  have departed this life.  Lord, hear us.

That all of us who are grieving the loss of N. may be consoled and  strengthened at this time.  Lord, hear us.

For all who take c

are of the sick, especially those who looked after N. in  his/her illness; that they may be rewarded for their goodness to him/her.  Lord, hear us. 

The celebrant will conclude the Prayers of the Faithful.

The Prayers of the Faithful are followed by the Offertory Procession.  Members of the family may bring the bread and wine to the Altar. Usually  there are 2 or 4 people involved in the Offertory Procession. 

A member of the family or friend of the deceased, nominated by the family,  may address the congregation after the final prayer of the Mass. The address  should be carefully prepared and in its length, tone and delivery should be  respectful of the deceased, the bereaved and the Liturgical setting in which it  is delivered. It is strongly recommended that it should be written out and no  longer than 4 to 5 minutes.  Alternatively, such an address may be delivered  at the graveside after the burial. 

 

After-Communion Reflections for Funeral Mass

 

Find a Way to Peace

No one understands the anguish

No one knows the grief we share,

As the darkness falls around us,

No one seems to hear our prayer:

People smother us with kindness,

Then they walk away again:

Their compassion flawed by blindness

To our hurt, fear and pain.

 

Life will not revert to normal,

Cannot be the same again;

God, through anger, desolation,

Find a way to peace through pain;

Lift the veil to understanding,

Offer insight to our grief:

Held too close by love and sadness,

Help this isolation to cease.

 

Draw us back into the body

Of the ones who cannot face

All that we have seen together,

All that shatters time and space;

Frozen in the present moment,

Needing you in human form,

Hold us by their prayers and presence,

Fly with us beyond the storm.

 

 

1. Death is not the end

Death is nothing at all. I have only slipped away into the next room. Whatever we were to each other; that we still are. Call me by my old familiar name. Speak to me in the easy way which you always used. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without effort. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was; there is absolutely unbroken continuity. Why should I be out of your mind because I an out of your sight I am but waiting for you, for an interval somewhere very near, just around the corner. All is well. Nothing is past; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before – only better, infinitely happier and forever – we will all be one in Christ.

Henry Scott Holland

 

 

2. Death is only an Horizon

We give them back to you, O Lord, who first gave them to us; and as you did not lose them in the giving so we do not lose them in the return. Not as the world gives do you give O Lord. For what is yours is ours also, if we belong to you. Life is unending because love is undying and the boundaries of this life are but an horizon and an horizon is but the limit of our vision. Lift us up, strong Son of God, that we may see further. Strengthen our faith that we may see beyond the horizon. And while you prepare a place for us as you have promised, prepare us also for that happy place; that where you are we may be also, with those we have loved, forever.

Bede Jarett, O.P.

 

3. Stranger at our side

All through life’s day our risen Lord walks with us. Often, however, he is a stranger to us, for he never forces himself upon us. Before the day’s end, we will ask many questions, experience many failures, disappointments and heartaches. And then, suddenly, whether we are young, middle aged or old, we will find that the shadows are lengthening and night is fast approaching. In that moment we pray that, like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, our eyes will be opened and that we will recognise him – the stranger who walked at our side – as our risen Lord. And he will not vanish from our sight. Instead he will guide us through the dark valley of death to the safety of the Father’s house.

 

 

4. Builders of Eternity

Isn’t it strange that princes and kings

And clowns that caper in sawdust rings,

And ordinary folks, like you and me,

Are builders of eternity.

To each is given a bag of tools,

An hour-glass and a book of rules;

And each must build `ere time has flown,

A stumbling block or a stepping stone.

 

 

5. Peace at Last

May the Lord support us all the day long; till the shades lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over and our work is done. Then in his mercy, may he give us a safe lodging, a holy rest, and peace at last. Amen

 

 

6. Gone only from our sight

I am standing on the seashore. Suddenly a ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts out for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength, and I stand and watch her until at length she is only a ribbon of white cloud just above where the sea and sky mingle with each other. Then someone at my side says: “There! She’s gone!” Gone where?

Gone from my sight – that is all. She is just as large in mast and hull as she was when she left my side and just as able to bear her load of living freight to the place of destination. Her diminished size is in me, not in her and just at the moment when someone at my side says: “There! She’s gone!” there are other voices ready to greet her with a glad shout: “There! She comes!”And that is dying.

 

 

7. Footprints

One night a man had a dream. He dreamt that he was walking along a beach with the Lord. Across the sky flashed the scenes of his life. For each scene he noticed not one, but two sets of footprints in the sand. He understood immediately that one belonged to him and the other to the Lord. But then he noticed a curious thing. At the lowest and saddest times in his life there was only one set of footprints. This bothered him and so he asked the Lord: “How come that during the most difficult times in my life, the very times when I most needed you, you left me on my own?”

Then the Lord replied: “My friend, during your trials and sufferings when you see only one set of footprints, those footprints are mine. It was then that I carried you.

 

 

8. Dear Parents

I did not die young. I lived my span of life within your body and within your love. There are many that have lived long lives and not have been loved as me.

If you would honour me, then speak my name and number me among your family. If you would honour me, then strive to live in love, for in that love I now live. Never ever doubt that we will meet again. Until that happy day I will grow with God and wait for you.

 

 

9. Miss me but let me go

When I come to the end of the road

And the sun has set for me

I want no rites in a gloom filled room

Why cry for a soul set free?

Miss me a little, but not too long

And not with your head bowed low

Remember the love that we once shared

Miss me but let me go.

For this is a journey we all must take

And each must go alone

It’s all a part of the master plan

A step on the road to home.

When you are lonely and sick at heart

Go to the friends we know

And bury the sorrow in doing good deeds

Miss me but let me go.

We have loved them in life,

Let us not abandon them until we have conducted them

By our prayers into the house of the Lord

 

Let us pray,

Lord, give us the certainty that beyond death there is a life where broken things are mended and lost things are found; where there is rest for the weary and joy for the sad; where all that we have  loved and willed of good exists, and where we will meet again our loved ones.

 

We ask this through Christ, our Lord, Amen.

 

 

 

Reflection Grief (John O’Donohue)

 

Though the silent weeping of your heart lessens, you get on, more or less, with your life; a place is kept within you for the one who is gone. No other will ever be given the key to that door. As the years go on you may not remember the departed every day with your conscious mind. Yet below your surface mind, some part of you is always in their presence.

From their side, our friends in the unseen world are always secretly embracing us in their new and bright belongings. Though we may forget them, they can never forget us; their secret embrace unknowingly shelters and minds us.

The bright moment in grief is when the sore absence gradually changes into a well of presence. You become aware of the subtle companionship of the departed one. You know that when you are in trouble, you can turn to this presence beside you and draw on it for encouragement and blessing.

The departed is now no longer restricted to any one place and can be with you any place you are. It is good to know the blessings of this presence.

 

 

Concluding Prayer

All say: May the Lord support us all the day long ‘til the shades lengthen and the evening comes and the busy world is hushed and the fever of life is done.

Then in his mercy may He grant us a safe lodging, a holy rest and peace at the last. Amen. (Cardinal Newman)

 

 

A Shared Tear

As the sun goes down, we realize

that another day is coming to an end.

We feel for your family and close friends

at the loss of your loved one.

We wish you the peace and assurance

that the reasons are there.

They may be beyond our understanding

at this time, but they do exist.

We pray you are comforted during this

time of grief, through your friends and family.

We just want you to know, Loved one, that

our thoughts and prayers are with you.

-Kenneth G. Kirkpatrick

 

 

I’m Free

Don’t grieve for me, for now I am free.

I’m following the path God has laid, you see.

I took His hand when I heard Him call.

I turned my back and left it all.

I could not stay another day,

To laugh, to love, to work, or play.

Tasks left undone must stay that way.

I found peace at the close of the day.

If my parting has left a void,

Then fill it with remembered joys,

A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss,

Oh yes, these things I, too, will miss.

Be not burdened with times of sorrow.

I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.

My life’s been full, I savored much,

Good friends, good times, a loved one’s touch.

Perhaps my time seemed all to brief,

Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief.

Lift up your hearts and peace to thee.

God wanted me now; He set me free!

-Author Unknown

 

 

One day at a time–this is enough.

Do not look back and grieve over

the past, for it is gone;

and do not be troubled about the future,

for it has not yet come.

Live in the present and make it so beautiful

that it will be worth remembering.

–Ida Scott Taylor

 

 

God’s Secrets to Life

Take time to think…

It is the source of Power

Take time to play…

It is the secret of Youth

Take time to be friendly…

It is the source of Happiness

Take time to work…

It is the price of Success

Take time to Pray…

It is the greatest power on Earth

Take time to Love the Lord…

It is the Way of God

-Author Unknown