An order of readings for a funeral service

Psalm 130

Wisdom 1:12-15

Wisdom 3:1-9

Psalm 23

Romans 5:5-11 (or Romans 6:3-9)

Psalm 121

John 6:37-40

1 Corinthians 15:5-55

Notes – BibleGateway is an excellent website for copying Bible verses. They have many translations, including the “New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition” which will have the readings from Wisdom, a book from the Apocrypha and thus not in a Protestant Bible. All of these readings (except for Psalm 121) come from the Catholic daily readings appointed for All Soul’s Day.

Note that I don’t say “Celebration of Life” as some people will. While it is important to be positive and celebrate the person who we were fortunate enough to know, it is also important to acknowledge that they have died. There is too much white-washing of death going on these days. “Cemeteries” are now called “memorial parks”. Prominent and visible headstones are now out of favor for discrete in-set bronze plaques. Even coffins which have the shape of a person have now been transformed into caskets, which are simple rectangular boxes to intentionally obscure the fact of the contents. Funeral directors are no longer called morticians or undertakers. Embalmers are “derma surgeons”. The more we cover over the reality of death, the harder it will be for us to accept its inevitability. Death comes to us all. The sooner we accept that, the sooner we can go on with living our lives mindfully, knowing that they are finite.

Funeral or memorial service template

(Feel free to use this as a template to construct your funeral or memorial service. You can add too or delete parts.)

Full Baptismal Name
Name as you would like it on the Program:
Date of Birth Date of Death
Time & Place of Funeral
Location of Visitation & Hrs.
Casket ______ or Cremains _______in Church
Main Celebrant Concelebrating Clergy
Processional Hymn
Scripture Reading I Reader
(From Old Testament)
Psalm (to be sung):
Scripture Reading II Reader
(From New Testament)
Gospel Reading
General Intercessions (Reader)
Preparation of Gifts Hymn
Gift Bearers
Communion Hymn
Communion Meditation Hymn
Family Comments
Recessional Hymn
Special Requests and Arrangements
Contact Person & Tele. No.
Brief Biography both factual and personal for Priests information: