77. Suggested Form for a Child’s 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

May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble!
May the name of the God of Jacob set you securely on high!
May He send you help from the sanctuary
And support you from Zion![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]

“‘The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD.’”[3]

“‘Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.’”[4]

Prayer

Father of mercies, God of all grace, ever comforting us by the tender assurance of Your love for all those whom you chasten, be near to us now in this hour of sorrow, as we come to cast our care upon You, and seek the strength and consolation You only can impart.

As a father pities his children, so do You pity those who sit before You, smitten and afflicted. As one whom his mother comforts, do You comfort them, and so sanctify to them this sorrow that theirs may be everlasting consolation.

O You who leads Joseph like a flock, who knows Your own sheep by name as they follow You, carrying the lambs in Your arms and folding them in Your bosom, it is not Your will that one of these little ones should perish. When You do send your messenger, like a gentle shepherd, to lead them into the heavenly pastures, may bereaved parents hear the voice which says, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me.”[5] Fill them with resignation to Your will; give them the consolations of Your Spirit, and grant that, through Your grace, this chastening may be for their profit, that, being made partakers of Your holiness, they may be prepared for everlasting blessedness in that world where, after the separations and sorrows of this life, they may be forever with one another and with the Lord, through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Savior. Amen.

Song

Scripture Readings (for example, Psalm 23; 2 Samuel 12:16-23; Isaiah 51:12, 66:13; John 13:7; Hebrews 12:5-7, 11-12; Romans 8:15-18; John 14:1-2; Isaiah 40:1, 11; Mark 10:13-16; Matthew 18:10-14; Rev. 7:15-17)

Preaching of God’s Word

Prayer

O God, our heavenly Father, who through the blood of Your Son has provided redemption for all Your own, we would render to You most hearty thanks, in this our time of grief, for the hope we have that the soul of this dear child whose loss we mourn is at rest in You. Not a sparrow falls to the ground without our Father, and those who are of more value than many sparrows cannot die until You, who regards with tender compassion the weakest of Your creatures, call them to Yourself. We would not sorrow as those who have no hope, but bow in humble submission to Your sovereign decree, and by divine grace would say, Your will be done.

Grant to Your servants, we implore You, the consolations of Your Spirit, giving us beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. May this chastisement which now seems so grievous yield us the peaceable fruits of righteousness, by drawing us into closer fellowship with You, that we may not set our affections on the things of this world; but upon that blessed home above, where all who have departed in Christ await us beyond the reach of sorrow.

Shine upon our darkness, O Lord; pardon all our sins; build us up and strengthen us in our most holy faith; and at last give us the victory over death, bringing us in holiness and joy to Your own eternal rest.

Hear now our prayer, O God, and be pleased mercifully to bestow the blessings which we need, for the love of Jesus Christ, Your well-beloved Son, to whom, with You and the Holy Spirit, be all dominion, glory and praise, world without end. 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. Psalm 20:1-2.
  2. Job 14:1-2.
  3. Job 1:21b.
  4. Matthew 11:28.
  5. Matthew 19:14.
  6. 2 Corinthians 13:14.

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