Choosing Meaningful Funeral Readings is a Snap with These Five Tips
Funeral readings provide a wonderful opportunity to remember a departed loved one.
They are meant to bring comfort to the grieving while celebrating the life of the one who passed on. Scripture, quotations, poems, and musical lyrics can all be suitable additions to a funeral or memorial service.
If you are tasked with selecting the readings for a loved one’s final farewell, here are five suggestions to guide you through the process.
Start by considering your loved one’s preferences and uniqueness.
Funeral readings can come from a wide variety of sources. Because these readings are available in so many forms and styles, deciding on the right ones can be overwhelming. To help narrow down your choices, consider the following questions:
Is the passage, poem, or quote a favorite of the departed?
- Will the reading illustrate a point about your loved one’s personality or philosophy of life?
- Does it prompt loving memories of the one who passed on?
- What would your loved one think about the reading?
- Is the material respectful and appropriate?
- Does it express how you feel?
- Will the reading offer comfort to other mourners in attendance?
In many funerals, religion plays a central role.
Scripture offers a rich collection of passages that can be used as funeral readings. While you have a great deal of flexibility in deciding what readings to choose, some denominations have preferred selections. Your clergyperson and the funeral director can also help with your selections. Choosing the right passage of scripture can be comforting for mourners, offering a confident reminder that the departed has gone to a better place. Some popular traditional prayers, psalms, and religious readings include Psalm 23; Romans 8:14-23; The Lord’s Prayer; The Serenity Prayer; and I Corinthians 15:51-57.
Secular funeral readings are not rooted in a religious context.
Excerpts from books or plays are often chosen for this type of reading. Shakespeare, in particular, had some thoughtful observations on the subject of death. Adages and words of wisdom are also popular choices for funeral readings. Poetry can be particularly moving and a powerful expression of grief, as well. There are hundreds of beautiful and appropriate poems that could be used for funeral readings, ranging from the sentimental to the humorous. What’s right for your loved one’s service will depend on their personality and your preferences.
Do you have a talent for writing?
If so, you might consider composing a narrative piece or a poem to honor the departed. Your original composition can be the perfect choice because it allows for such a matchless degree of personalization.
Don’t feel that you must limit your choices.
There are endless sources of readings that can be fitting as you honor your loved one.
You could select an excerpt from their favorite book, song, or film. If the departed enjoyed writing, you might share one of their essays, letters, or poems, especially if it reveals something about their personality, values, or views about life. A funeral or memorial service typically uses between two to four readings throughout the ceremony. The readings can also be used in printed materials, such as funeral programs, prayer cards, and acknowledgment cards. If you are having difficulty narrowing down your selections, don’t fret! There are many appropriate places to utilize them.
Whether you select a prayer, poem, or motto, funeral readings can represent powerful expressions of your love for the departed. For additional assistance choosing readings for your loved one’s service, please reach out to our caring team anytime.
About Vaughn Greene Funeral Services: For more than 20 years, Vaughn Greene Funeral Services has been providing a ministry of care to Baltimore’s African American community. As a leading local, minority- and family-owned provider, we promise to provide our highest level of service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved ones. For more information, please call us at 410.655.0015 or visit us online at https://vaughncgreene.com/.