Scripture for Funerals
"A time to weep and a time to laugh..."
Last weekend I had the privilege of officiating the funeral of a church member. (No, the picture to the right is not of me nor of the funeral at which I officiated.) As an assistant pastor, this isn’t something I do regularly, so in preparation for the funeral I compiled a list of Bible passages that seemed “funeral-related.” In other words, these passages of Scripture would be appropriate for one or more aspects of the funeral process—speaking a word of comfort to the family, preaching during the funeral service, or reading during the committal. I have listed them below with a brief summary of each passage so I can quickly remember it. Do you have any others to add to the list?
- Job 1:21: Lord gave and has taken away; blessed be name of Lord.
- Ps. 23: Duh!
- Ps. 46: God refuge, strength, very present help in trouble; is with us.
- Ps. 73:23–28: You guide me with your counsel and afterward receive me to glory. Flesh and heart fail, but God strength of my heart/portion forever.
- Ps. 90: God everlasting; life short; may God’s favor be upon us.
- Ps. 103:8–19: Lord merciful, gracious; removes sins from east to west; remembers that we are dust, grass.
- Ps. 116:15: Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.
- Ps. 121: My help comes from the Lord; He will keep from all evil.
- Lam. 3:22–26: Steadfast love, mercies never end; hope in Him.
- Matt. 11:28, 29: Come to Me and I will give you rest.
- John. 5:24–29: Believe in Jesus, have eternal life. Judgment, resurrection.
- John 6:35, 37–40: Jesus is the bread of life; those who believe will have eternal life and be raised on last day.
- John 11:17–27: I am the resurrection and the life.
- John 14:1-6: I will come again and take you to Myself.
- Rom. 8:18–39: Suffering not worthy to be compared with glory; all things work together for good; nothing separates us from God’s love.
- 1 Cor. 15:1–5, 51–58: Gospel; we will all be changed; victory over death.
- 2 Cor 1:3, 4a: God is the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, Who comforts us in all our affliction.
- 2 Cor. 4:16–18: We don’t lose heart when our outer nature is wasting away; affliction prepares us for glory.
- 1 Thes. 4:13–18: Don’t grieve as others who have no hope; dead and alive will meet the Lord in the air and will always be with Him.
- 2 Thes. 2:16, 17: Benediction—God loved us and gave us comfort and hope through grace, comfort and establish hearts in every good work and word.
- Jude 24, 25: Benediction—keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy.
- Rev. 1:17b, 18a: “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore. . . . ”
- Rev. 14:13: “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord . . . that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them.”
- Rev. 21:1–9: New heavens/earth; God with man; no death, crying, pain.