76. Suggested Form for a Funeral

Because the funeral is a service of worship of the Lord Jesus Christ, eulogy of the deceased shall be given prior to the call to worship at the beginning of worship. Similarly, if the family and friends wish to share remembrances, these shall precede the worship service.

The following form is from The Book of Church Order of the Presbyterian Church in the United States (1933), modernized.

Scripture Readings

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?’”[1]

“‘Man, who is born of woman, is short-lived and full of turmoil. Like a flower he comes forth and withers. He also flees like a shadow and does not remain.’”[2]

“For we are sojourners before You, and tenants, as all our fathers were; our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no hope.”[3]

“For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either.”[4]

“‘The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD.’”[5]

Prayer of Invocation

Let us pray.

O God, who is our God, and our fathers’ God; You whose compassions fail not, but who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, grant us now Your presence, we beseech You, that our souls may be strengthened, and that we faint not under Your afflicting providence, but that through Your condescension may find all grace to help in this our time of need, which we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, to whom, with You and the Holy Spirit, we will ascribe all honor, majesty and might, world without end. Amen.

Song

Scripture Readings (for example, Psalm 39:4-13; Psalm 90:1-12; 1 Corinthians 15:20-58. Instead of the foregoing passage from 1 Corinthians 15, one or more of the following may be substituted as the occasion may require: Ecclesiastes 12; Psalm 27; Revelation 22:1-5.)

Preaching of God’s Word

Prayer

Let us pray.

Almighty and most merciful God, our heavenly Father, the consolation of the sorrowful and the support of the stricken, who does not willingly afflict the children of men, look in pity, we ask You, on all upon whom You have laid Your afflicting hand, and, in the multitude of Your tender mercies, be pleased to uphold and comfort them in the day of their trial and distress. Grant us all grace that we may lay to heart the lesson of this solemn providence, and work while the day lasts, knowing that the night comes, when no man can work; and that we may set our affections on things that are in heaven, and not on things that are on the earth. Enable us to live by faith on the Son of God, that when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, we also may appear with Him in glory.

O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world, to whom shall we go but to You? You have the words of eternal life. You who were a Man of Sorrows and acquainted with grief, have pity upon those who cry to You. When our eyes grow dim in the shadows of death, and we pass through the deep waters, by Your agony and bloody sweat, and by Your death on Calvary, we ask You to remember us. O You who saved us, do not forsake us in the trying hour; You who vanquished death, give us the victory, and bring us to Your own everlasting rest in the assembly of Your saints on high.

O God, the Holy Spirit, Author of light and life and truth, inspire our souls with hope through the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, imparting the benefits of His atonement, and the power of His all-sufficient grace. Release us from our sins; fill us with the fruits of Your own indwelling, and form us anew in the image of God. Help us now, O blessed Comforter; heal our wounded spirits and do not despise our broken and contrite hearts.

O God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, Triune Jehovah, have mercy upon us, Your servants, as we wait before You: and hear our prayer. Be pleased graciously to attend to our humble requests, and to do for us all that we need, glorifying Yourself by us both in this present world, and in that which is to come: all of which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Lord’s Prayer

Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

Benediction

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.”[6] Amen.


  1. John 11:25-26.
  2. Job 14:1-2.
  3. 1 Chronicles 29:15.
  4. 1 Timothy 6:7.
  5. Job 1:21b.
  6. 2 Corinthians 13:14.

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