Examples of Funeral readings

On the wings of prayer our burdens take flight

And our load of care becomes bearably light,

And our heavy hearts are lifted above

To be healed by the balm of God’s wonderful love,

And the tears in our eyes are dried by the hands

Of a loving Father who understands.

All of our problems, our fears and despair,

When we take them to Him on the wings of prayer

Helen Steiner Rice


Turn Again to Life

If I should die and leave you here a while,

be not like others sore undone,

Who keep long vigil by the silent dust.

For my sake turn again to life and smile,

Nerving thy heart and trembling hand to do

Something to comfort other hearts than thine.

Complete these dear unfinished tasks of mine

 and I perchance may therein comfort you.



The woman is a success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much;

Who has gained the respect of intelligent men and women and the love of children;

Who has filled her niche and accomplished her task;

Who leaves the world better than she found it,

Who never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty or failed to express it;

Who looked for the best in other and gave the best she had

Whose life was an inspiration, whose memory is a benediction

Adapted from Robert Louis Stevenson


He is Gone

You can shed tears that he is gone

Or you can smile because he has lived. 

You can close your eyes and pray that he’ll come back

Or you can open your eyes and see all that he has left.

Your heart can be empty because you can’t see him

Or you can be full of the love you shared. 

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday

Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

You can remember him and only that he’s gone

Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on.

You can cry and close your mind,

Be empty and turn your back

Or you can do what he’d want;

Smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

 David Harkins


 Break not a flower nor inscribe a stone

Nor when I’m gone speak in a Sunday voice

But be the usual selves that I have known

Weep if you must

Parting is hell

But life goes on

So sing as well

 Joyce Grenfell



I’d like the memory of me

To be a happy one,

I’d like to leave an afterglow

Of smiles when life is done.

I’d like to leave and echo

Whispering down the ways

Of happy times and laughing

Times and bright sunny days.

I’d like the tears of those who grieve, to dry before the sun

Of happy memories that I leave

When life is done.


Sea Fever

I must go down to seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,

And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by; and the

Wheel’s kick and wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,

And a grey mist on the sea’s face and the grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide is

A wild call and a clear call that cannot be denied; and all I ask is

A windy day with the white clouds flying, and the flung spray and

The blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gipsy life, to the

Gull’s way and whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife.

And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover

And a quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick is over.

 John Masefield

When I must leave you for a little while,

Please do not grieve and shed wild tears

And hug your sorrows t you through the years,

But start our bravely with a gallant smile;

And for my sake and in my name

Live on and do all things the same,

Feed not your loneliness on empty days,

But fill each waking hour in useful ways,

Rach out your hand in comfort and in cheer

And I in turn will comfort you and hold you near;

And never, never be afraid to die,

For I am waiting for you  in the sky.

Helen Steiner Rice