Orders of Worship: Funerals
I am the resurrection and the life; He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me, shall never die (John 11.25).
O God, You who are our God, and our fathers' God; You whose compassions fail not, but who are the same yesterday, today, and forever, grant us now your presence, we beseech You, that our souls may be strengthened, and that we faint not under Your afflicting providence, but that throught Your condescension we may find all grace to help in this our time of need, which we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, to whom, with You and the Holy ghost, we will ascribe all honor, majesty and might, world without end. Amen.
SCRIPTURE READING (in whole or in part, as appropriate):
4 "Lord, make me to know my end, And what is the extent of my days, Let me know how transient I am. 5 "Behold, Thou hast made my days [as] handbreadths, And my lifetime as nothing in Thy sight, Surely every man at his best is a mere breath. Selah. 6 "Surely every man walks about as a phantom; Surely they make an uproar for nothing; He amasses [riches], and does not know who will gather them. 7 "And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in Thee. 8 "Deliver me from all my transgressions; Make me not the reproach of the foolish. 9 "I have become dumb, I do not open my mouth, Because it is Thou who hast done [it.] 10 "Remove Thy plague from me; Because of the opposition of Thy hand, I am perishing. 11 "With reproofs Thou dost chasten a man for iniquity; Thou dost consume as a moth what is precious to him; Surely every man is a mere breath. Selah. 12 "Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry; Do not be silent at my tears; For I am a stranger with Thee, A sojourner like all my fathers. 13 "Turn Thy gaze away from me, that I may smile [again], Before I depart and am no more."
1 (A Prayer of Moses the man of God.) Lord, Thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. 2 Before the mountains were born, Or Thou didst give birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God. 3 Thou dost turn man back into dust, And dost say, "Return, O children of men." 4 For a thousand years in Thy sight Are like yesterday when it passes by, Or [as] a watch in the night. 5 Thou hast swept them away like a flood, they fall asleep; In the morning they are like grass which sprouts anew. 6 In the morning it flourishes, and sprouts anew; Toward evening it fades, and withers away. 7 For we have been consumed by Thine anger, And by Thy wrath we have been dismayed. 8 Thou hast placed our iniquities before Thee, Our secret [sins] in the light of Thy presence. 9 For all our days have declined in Thy fury; We have finished our years like a sigh. 10 As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, Or if due to strength, eighty years, Yet their pride is [but] labor and sorrow; For soon it is gone and we fly away. 11 Who understands the power of Thine anger, And Thy fury, according to the fear that is due Thee? 12 So teach us to number our days, That we may present to Thee a heart of wisdom.
Choose one of the following passages.
1 Corinthians 15:20-58
20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.21 For since by a man [came] death, by a man also [came] the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at His coming, 24 then [comes] the end, when He delivers up the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death. 27 For He has put all things in subjection under His feet. But when He says, "All things are put in subjection," it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. 28 And when all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, that God may be all in all. 29 Otherwise, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why then are they baptized for them? 30 Why are we also in danger every hour? 31 I protest, brethren, by the boasting in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. 32 If from human motives I fought with wild beasts at Ephesus, what does it profit me? If the dead are not raised, let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die. 33 Do not be deceived: "Bad company corrupts good morals." 34 Become sober-minded as you ought, and stop sinning; for some have no knowledge of God. I speak [this] to your shame. 35 But someone will say, "How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?" 36 You fool! That which you sow does not come to life unless it dies; 37 and that which you sow, you do not sow the body which is to be, but a bare grain, perhaps of wheat or of something else. 38 But God gives it a body just as He wished, and to each of the seeds a body of its own. 39 All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one [flesh] of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another flesh of birds, and another of fish. 40 There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one, and the [glory] of the earthly is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory. 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable [body], it is raised an imperishable [body]; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual [body.] 45 So also it is written, "The first man, Adam, became a living soul." The last Adam [became] a life-giving spirit. 46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. 47 The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. 48 As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. 50 Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, "Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 "O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; 57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not [in] vain in the Lord.
12:1 Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near when you will say, "I have no delight in them"; 2 before the sun, the light, the moon, and the stars are darkened, and clouds return after the rain; 3 in the day that the watchmen of the house tremble, and mighty men stoop, the grinding ones stand idle because they are few, and those who look through windows grow dim; 4 and the doors on the street are shut as the sound of the grinding mill is low, and one will arise at the sound of the bird, and all the daughters of song will sing softly. 5 Furthermore, men are afraid of a high place and of terrors on the road; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags himself along, and the caperberry is ineffective. For man goes to his eternal home while mourners go about in the street. 6 [Remember Him] before the silver cord is broken and the golden bowl is crushed, the pitcher by the well is shattered and the wheel at the cistern is crushed; 7 then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.
27:1 ([A Psalm] of David.) The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread? 2 When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh, My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell. 3 Though a host encamp against me, My heart will not fear; Though war arise against me, In [spite of] this I shall be confident. 4 One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord, And to meditate in His temple. 5 For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; In the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock. 6 And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me; And I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord. 7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice, And be gracious to me and answer me. 8 [When Thou didst say,] "Seek My face," my heart said to Thee, "Thy face, O Lord, I shall seek." 9 Do not hide Thy face from me, Do not turn Thy servant away in anger; Thou hast been my help; Do not abandon me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation! 10 For my father and my mother have forsaken me, But the Lord will take me up. 11 Teach me Thy way, O Lord, And lead me in a level path, Because of my foes. 12 Do not deliver me over to the desire of my adversaries; For false witnesses have risen against me, And such as breathe out violence. 13 [I would have despaired] unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living. 14 Wait for the Lord; Be strong, and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.
Almighty and most merciful God, our heavenly Father, the consolation of the sorrowful and the support of the stricken, who does not willingly afflict the children of men, look in pity, we beseech you, on all upon whom You have laid Your afflicting hand, and. In the multitude of Your tender mercies, be pleased to uphold and comfort them in the day of their trial and distress. Grant us all grace that we may lay to heart the lesson of this solemn providence, and work while the day lasts, knowing that the night comes, when no man can work; and that we may set our affections on things that are in heaven, and not on things that are on the earth. Enable us to live by faith in the Son of God, that when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, we also may appear with Him in glory.
O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of god, Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world, to whom shall we go but to You? You have the words of eternal life. You who were a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, have pity upon those who cry unto You. When our eyes grown dim in the shadows of death, and we pass through the deep waters, by Your agony and bloody sweat, and by Your death on Calvary, we beseech You to remember us. O You who have saved us forsake us not in this trying hour; You who has vanquished death, give us the victory, and bring us to Your own everlasting rest in the assembly of Your saints on high.
O God, the Holy ghost, author of light and life and truth, inspire our souls with hope through the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, imparting the benefits of His atonement, and the power of His all-sufficient grace. Release us from our sins; fill us with the fruits of Your won indwelling, and form us anew in the image of God. Help us now, O blessed Comforter; heal our wounded spirits and do not despise our broken and contrite hearts.
O God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, Triune Jehovah, have mercy upon us, Your servants, as we wait before You: and hear our prayer. Be please graciously to attend to our humble requests, and to do for us all that we need, glorifying Yourself by us both in this present world, and in that which is to come: all of which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
All: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one: for Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, for ever. Amen.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.
From PCA, The Book of Church Order
Dearly beloved: we are gathered today to pay our final tribute of respect to that which was mortal of our deceased loved one and friend. To you members of the family who mourn your loss, we especially offer our deep and sincere sympathy. May we share with you the comfort afforded by God's Word for such a time as this: "Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also" (John 14.1-3). "I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die" (John 11.25,26).
Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, we come into this sanctuary of sorrow, realizing our utter dependence upon You. We know You love us and can turn even the shadow of death into the light of morning. Help us now to wait before You with reverent and submissive hearts.
You are our refuge and strength, O God-a very present help in time of trouble. Grant unto us Your abundant mercy. May those who mourn today find comfort and healing balm in Your sustaining grace. We humbly bring these petitions in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
SCRIPTURE READING (choose one):
Ps. 27.3 Though a host encamp against me, My heart will not fear; Though war arise against me, In [spite of] this I shall be confident. 4 One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord, And to meditate in His temple. 5 For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; In the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock. 11 Teach me Thy way, O Lord, And lead me in a level path, Because of my foes. 13 [I would have despaired] unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living. 14 Wait for the Lord; Be strong, and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.
Psalm 46:1-6,10,11; Matthew 5:3,4,6,8; 1 Peter 1:3-9
A Nazarene service
My days are in your hand
Great sorrow has come over me;
My cares would overpower me;
I know of no way out.
|All:||God be gracious and help me;|
Give me strength to bear what you have sent;
Let me not be overcome by fear;
Give fatherly care for my loved ones.
|Leader:||Merciful God, forgive my sins|
Against you and my fellow men.
I trust your grace, and give my life
Entirely into your hands;
|All:||Do with me as it pleases you,|
And as it is good for me.
Whether I live or die, I am with you
And you are with me, my God.
|Leader:||Lord, I look for your salvation|
And your kingdom.
Taken from Be Our Freedom, Lord prepared and edited by Terry C. Falla