Find the perfect funeral reading or verse for a memorial service
On this page, we provide bible verses that can be read at a Christian or Catholic funeral or memorial service, as well as readings of poetry that are appropriate for any memorial service. There are many different styles, long and short, from funeral readings to sayings and quotes. All of them are appropriate for a celebration of life for a grandmother, mother or father, sister, brother or close friend.
A funeral reading can also be included in the funeral program. Or, a single reading can be used to set a theme for the service. The same reading can be used in the eulogy, on the service folder, on place cards, on bookmarks and on thank you notes. For more ideas, download our book, Planning a Celebration of Life.
I Am Making All Things New
From the Christian Bible
I, John, saw a new heaven and a new earth;
for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away,
ant 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.’
Finding You in Beauty
The rays of light filtered through
The sentinels of trees this morning.
I sat in the garden and contemplated.
The serenity and beauty
Of my feelings and surroundings
Completely captivated me.
I thought of you.
I discovered you tucked away
In the shadows of the trees.
Then, rediscovered you
In the smiles of the flowers
As the sun penetrated their petals
In the rhythm of the leaves
Falling in the garden
In the freedom of the birds
As they fly searching as you do.
I’m very happy to have found you,
Now you will never leave me
For I will always find you in the beauty of life.
A Time For All Things
From the Christian Bible
For everything there is a season,
And a time for every matter under heaven:
A Time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to throw away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and time to speak;
A time to live, and a time to hate,
A time for war, and a time for peace.
Have your guests fill out these memory cards to capture special memories of your loved one. These cards can be put in a pouch and taken out and shared at family gatherings for years to come.
More Funeral Bible Readings
The Lord is My Shepherd
From the Christian Bible
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
He restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Lord, We Turn to You
From the Jewish Funeral Service Prayer Book
Lord, we turn to you in our grief and bewilderment,
for a mystery surrounds the birth and death of man.
Your will summons us into this world an then calls us to depart,
but Your plan is so vast and Your purposes so deep
that our understanding fails, and our reason cannot follow.
Yet You have taught us that time and space are not the measure
of all things.
Beyond them is the life of eternity.
We do not die into the grave but into the love of God.
It has been Your will to receive the soul of him/her,
to bring him/her to the life everlasting,
and she/he is beyong the tragedies of this world.
We shall find our comfort in Your teaching.
Beyond the grave we shall meet together
in the life that has no end.
Look to This Day!
From the Sanskrit (Hindu and Buddhist texts)
Look to this day!
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course lie all the varieties and realities of your existence:
the bliss of growth,
the glory of action,
the splendour of beauty.
For yesterday is already a dream,
and tomorrow is only a vision,
But today, well-lived,
makes every yesterday a dream of happiness,
and every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore, to this day!
Such is the salutation of the dawn.
I Am the Bread of Life
From the Christian Bible
Jesus said to them,
‘I am the bread of life.
Whoever comes to me will never be hungry,
and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.
Everything that the Father gives me will come to me,
and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away;
For I have come down from heaven,
not to do my own will,
but the will of him who sent me.
And this is the will of him who sent me,
that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me,
but raise it up on the last day.
This is indeed the will of my Father,
that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life;
and I will raise them up on the last day.’
These Forget-Me-Not seed packets are ideal memorial favors to distribute to friends and family. They can then plant the seeds and beautiful blue Forget-Me-Not flowers will grow in their memory. View more plantable memorial gifts.
I am home in heaven, dear ones; oh, so happy and so bright!
There is a perfect joy and beauty in the everlasting light.
All the pain and grief is over, every restless tossing passed;
I am now at peace forever, safely home in heaven at last.
There is work still waiting for you, so you must not idly stand,
do it now, while life remaineth– you shall rest in God’s own land.
When that work is all completed, He will gently call you home;
oh, the rapture of that meeting oh, the joy to see you come!
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 thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
We little knew that morning that God was going to call your name.
In life we loved you dearly, in death we do the same.
It broke our hearts to lose you, you did not go alone;
for part of us went with you the day God called you home.
You left us peaceful memories, your love is still our guide,
and though we cannot see you, you are always by our side.
Our family chain is broken and nothing seems the same,
but as God calls us one by one, the chain will link again.
Those we love must someday pass beyond our present sight…
Must leave us and the world we know without their radiant light.
But we know that like a candle their lovely light will surely shine to brighten up another place more perfect… more divine. And in the realm of Heaven where they shine so warm and bright. Our loved ones live forevermore in God’s eternal light.
Short Funeral Readings
Since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus,
God will bring with him those who have died.
So we will be with the Lord for ever.
Therefore encourage one another with these words.
1 Thessalonians 4.14,17b,18
‘I am the resurrection and the life,’ says the Lord. ‘Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.’
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
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.