Choosing Meaningful Funeral Readings is a Snap with These Five Tips

By: VGFS
Friday, September 17, 2021

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/.

 

Leave a comment
Name*:
Email:
Comment*:
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.

Comments

Please wait

Previous Posts

Understanding Who Has the Legal Authority to Make Funeral Arrangements

When a loved one passes away, there are many details to attend to and choices to be made. The planning for funeral arrangements alone usually requires more than 100 decisions, such as: · &nbs...

What Does a Pallbearer Do? The Complete Guide to Duties and Etiquette

The role of a pallbearer at a funeral comes with both honor and responsibility. Pallbearer duties primarily consist of helping to carry the casket during a traditional funeral or burial. Below, ...

Visiting a Terminally Ill Loved One: How to Handle this Difficult but Important Act of Love

Watching once-vibrant friends or family members decline due to age or illness is never easy. If you have a terminally ill loved one in your life, it can be difficult to know how to act in their p...

Simplify Your Life with These Clever Senior-Friendly Downsizing Tips

Downsizing in your golden years comes with many benefits. Lower energy bills, less cleaning and maintenance, more time for fun, and possibly even moving closer to loved ones. It’s a wonderful way...

Hosting a Memorable Repast: Answer These Six Questions to Create a Loving, Remarkable Event

Saying the final goodbye to a departed loved one is undeniably difficult. On top of all of the emotions involved, many details must be attended to and the planning can seem burdensome. Fortunately...

Headstone Etiquette: Yes, Grave Markers Come with Some Important Rules

Most people are familiar with headstones to some degree. While you may not have purchased one, you have probably seen these grave markers in cemeteries and other burial places. However, you may be...

Seven Keys to Writing a Headstone Inscription that Honors Your Loved One

A headstone is an expensive, permanent, and important monument so it’s essential that you get it right. Once you’ve chosen the grave marker, it’s time to think about the words you want to inscribe...

Extending Condolences: Eight Tips for Sharing Your Heartfelt Sympathies

Most people find it hard to put their deepest sympathies into words. Whether you are posting to a funeral home’s online sympathy board or sending condolences by mail, knowing what to say and how ...

The Protocol for Funeral Processions: Ten Important Things You Need to Know

Good funeral etiquette also involves following the protocols for the procession. Even if you’ve never participated in one, chances are you have seen a funeral procession and may have wondered abo...

Eight Important Considerations for Young Children at Funerals

Losing a loved one impacts everyone who cherished the departed. If you are planning a funeral or memorial service, you may need to decide whether or not young children should attend. Grieving fam...