return to readings archive


Funeral Readings, Funeral Poetry, Memorial for the Dead

a few suggested books for Funerals

Hindu: Katha Upanishad

"In heaven there is no fear at all. Thou, O Death, art not there, nor in that  place does the thought of growing old make one tremble. There, free from hunger and from thirst, and far from the reach of sorrow, all rejoice and are glad."

Buddhist: from Gospel of Buddha

"As ripe fruits are early in danger of falling, so mortals when born are always in danger of death. As all earthen vessels made by the potter end in being broken, so is the life of mortals.
Both young and adult, both those who are fools and those who are wise, all fall into the power of death; all are subject to death."

Zoroastrian: Zend Avesta

"We follow the paths of the Stars,
The Moon, the Sun and the endless Light,
Moving around in their revolving circle forever.
And Truthfulness in Thought, Word and Deed
Will place the Soul of the faithful one
In the endless light of Eternal Life."

Goddess: from Starhawk

"I, who am the beauty of the green earth and the white moon among the stars and the mystery of the waters, I call upon your soul to arise and come unto Me. For I am the soul of nature that give life to the universe. From Me all things proceed and unto Me they must return. ... Let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you. ... For behold, I have been with you from the beginning, and I am that which is attained at the end of desire."

Native American: Sioux Prayer

O, our Father, the Sky, hear us and make us strong.
O, our Mother, the Earth, hear us and give us support.
O, Spirit of the East, send us your Wisdom.
O, Spirit of the South, may we tread your path of life.
O, Spirit of the West, may we always be ready for the long journey.
O, Spirit of the North, purify us with your cleansing winds.

Jewish: the 23rd Psalm


Christian: New Testament John 8: 50-51

"I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge. I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death,"

1 Corinthians 15: 50-55

"I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you  a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed--in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the
perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.
When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: 'Death has been swallowed up in victory.' 'Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?'"

Islamic: Quran

[3.185] "Every soul shall taste of death, and you shall only be paid fully your reward on the resurrection day; then whoever is removed far away from the fire and is made to enter the garden he indeed has attained the object; and the life of this world is nothing but a provision of vanities."
extra material added by Hamid

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there, I do not sleep
I am a thousand winds that blow
I am the diamond glint on snow
I am the sunLight on the ripened grain
I am the gently falling autumn rain

When you wake in the morning hush
I am the swift upLighting rush
of quiet birds in circling flight
I am the soft starLight at night
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there, I do not sleep

-- Hopi prayer

Searches for this page:
funeral, funeral poem, funeral services, funeral planning, funeral service, funeral poetry,  funeral prayer, funeral reading, funeral poem read, funeral verse, funeral message, funeral oration , funeral reading scripture, funeral song, death poem, life after death,

some other resources