For those who are members of the Christian faith, Bible readings for funerals are important for several reasons. Bible readings offer structure and present meaning to a religious service, helping to support the family and friends of the deceased. Choosing the right reading can be a challenge as there are so many to choose from. We have hand-chosen a selection that you may find suitable.
Bible readings and funeral prayers help recognise the loss of someone and bring comfort to those mourning the death of a loved one.
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Which are the most popular funeral Bible readings?
There is a wide range of funeral Bible readings to choose from, and which you choose should be the ones that mean the most to you. Below is a selection of ones that resonate with us and many others.
"Oh, that my words were written!
Oh, that they were inscribed in a book!
That they were engraved on a rock
With an iron pen and lead, forever!
For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall stand at last on the earth;
And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That is my flesh I shall see God,
Whom I shall see for myself,
And my eyes shall behold, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!"
1 Thessalonians 4:14-17
"For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this, we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.
For the Lord, himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. 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, and so we will always be with the Lord."
"Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."
"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance"
Romans 8:35, 37- 39
"Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."
"Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father's house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."
"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'"
Long Bible readings for funerals
Some may be looking for longer bible readings. The following readings may be more suited to what you are looking for:
"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 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 forever."
"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I 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 loud voice from the throne saying, “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away."
And the one who was seated on the throne said, "See, I am making all things new." Also, he said, "Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true." Then he said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty, I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life. Those who conquer will inherit these things, and I will be their God and they will be my children."
"The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul; He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 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 forever."
"God is our hope and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore will we not fear, though the earth be moved,
and though the hills are carried into the midst of the sea;
Though the waters thereof rage and swell,
and though the mountains shake at the tempest of the same.
There is a river, the streams whereof make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacle of the Most Highest.
God is in the midst of her, therefore shall she not be removed;
God shall help her, and that right early.
Be still then, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, and I will be exalted in the earth.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge."
Short Bible readings for funerals
When planning a funeral service that includes Bible readings for funerals you may find yourself in a situation where several people would like to read. You could even find that some people would like to contribute but do not feel like they can commit to a long reading. Therefore it makes sense to include some shorter bible readings in the funeral service. You could include the verses below:
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
"Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die."
"For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labour for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard-pressed between the two. I desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better."
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we are comforted by God."
"The righteous perish, and no one takes it to heart; the devout are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil.
Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death."
Psalm 90:1-6, 12
"You sweep people away in the sleep of death - they are like the new grass of the morning: In the morning it springs up new, but by the evening it is dry and withered." It concludes with the wise request to, "Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom."
"I lift up my eyes to the hills - From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth."
Psalm 139: 7-12, 23-24
"If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast."
Popular Funeral prayers
Alongside Bible readings for funerals, payers are also popular. We have listed a few of the most commonly used below:
The Lord’s Prayer
"Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on 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 yours is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
forever and ever.
Almighty God, In Your Great Love
"Almighty God, in your great love
Almighty God, in your great love
Almighty God, in your great love
you crafted us by your hand
and breathed life into us by your Spirit.
Although we became a rebellious people,
you did not abandon us to our sin.
In your tender mercy
you sent your Son
to restore in us your image.
In obedience to your will
he gave up his life for us,
bearing in his body our sins on the cross.
By your mighty power
you raised him from the grave
and exalted him to the throne of glory.
Rejoicing in his victory
and trusting in your promise
to make alive all who turn to Christ,
we commend N to your mercy
and we join with all your faithful people
and the whole company of heaven
in the one unending song of praise:
glory and wisdom and honour
be to our God forever and ever.
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