English | Español | Português

Funeral Readings

You are here

Readings I from the Old Testament

1.  He acted in an excellent and noble way as he had the resurrection of the dead in view.  (2 Mac 12:43-46) 

A reading from the second Book of Maccabees

Judas, the ruler of Israel, took up a collection among all his soldiers, amounting to two thousand silver drachmas, which he sent to Jerusalem to provide for an expiatory sacrifice. In doing this he acted in a very excellent and noble way, inasmuch as he had the resurrection of the dead in view; for if he were not expecting the fallen to rise again, it would have been useless and foolish to pray for them in death. But if he did this with a view to the splendid reward that awaits those who had gone to rest in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be freed from this sin. 

The word of the Lord. 

 2.  I know that my Vindicator lives.  (Job 19:1, 23-27a) 

A reading from the Book of Job

Job answered Bildad the Shuhite and said: Oh, would that my words were written down! Would that they were inscribed in a record:

That with an iron chisel and with lead they were cut in the rock forever! But as for me, I know that my Vindicator lives, and what he will at last stand forth upon the dust; Whom I myself shall see:  my own eyes, not another’s, shall behold him; And from my flesh I shall see God; my inmost being is consumed with longing.

The word of the Lord.  

3.  As sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.  (Wisdom 3:1-9) 

A reading from the Book of Wisdom

The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them. They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction. But they are in peace. For it before men, indeed they be punished, yet is their hope full of immortality. 

Chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed, because God tried them and found them worthy of himself. As gold in the furnace, he proved them, and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself. In the time of their visitation they shall shine, and shall dart about as sparks through stubble. They shall judge nations and rule over peoples, and the Lord shall be their King forever.  Those who trust in him shall understand truth, and the faithful shall abide with him in love.  Because grace and mercy are with his holy ones, and his care is with his elect.

The word of the Lord. 

4.  An unsullied life, the attainment of old age.  (Wisdom 4:7-15) 

A reading from the Book of Wisdom

The just man, though he dies early, shall be at rest. For the age that is honorable comes not with the passing of time, nor can it be measured in terms of years. Rather, understanding is the hoary crown for men, and an unsullied life, the attainment of old age. He who pleased God was loved; he who lived among sinners was transported-snatched away, lest wickedness perverts his mind or deceit beguile his soul; for the witchery of paltry things obscures what is right and the whirl of desire transforms the innocent mind. Having become perfect in a short while, he reached the fullness of a long career; for his soul was pleasing to the Lord, therefore he sped him out of the midst of wickedness. But the people saw and did not understand, nor did they take this into account.

The word of the Lord.   

5.  He will destroy death forever.  (Isaiah 25:6a, 7-9) 

 A reading from the Book of the prophet Isaiah

On this mountain the Lord of hosts will provide for all peoples. On this mountain he will destroy the veil that veils all peoples, the web that is woven over all nations; he will destroy death forever.

The Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces. The reproach of his people will be removed from the whole earth; for the Lord has spoken. On that day it will be said:  “Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us! This is the Lord for whom we looked; let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!”

The word of the Lord.  

6.  It is good to hope in silence for the saving help of the Lord.  (Lam 3:17-26) 

A reading from the Book of Lamentations

My soul is deprived of peace, I have forgotten what happiness is; I tell myself my future is lost, all that I hoped for from the Lord. The thought of my homeless poverty is wormwood and gall;
Remembering it over and over leaves my soul downcast within me. But I will call this to mind, as my reason to have hope: The favors of the Lord are not exhausted, his mercies are not spent; they are renewed each morning, so great is his faithfulness. My portion is the Lord, says my soul; therefore will I hope in him. Good is the Lord to one who waits for him, to the soul that seeks him; It is good to hope in silence for the saving help of the Lord. 

The word of the Lord.  

 7.  Who Shall Find A Valiant Woman?  (Prov. 31:10-31) 

A reading from the Book of Proverbs

Who shall find a valiant woman? She is worth more than precious gems. She is a woman of strength and dignity and has no fear of old age. When she speaks, her words are wise and kindness is the rule of everything she says. She watches carefully all that goes on throughout her household and is never lazy. She puts her back into her work and shows how strong her arms can be. She holds out her hands to the poor, she opens her arms to the needy. Her children stand and bless her; she is praised with these words. “There are many fine women in the world, but you are the best of them all.” Charm can be deceptive, and beauty does not last, but a woman who fears and reverences God shall be greatly praised. Praise her for the many fine things she does. Give her a share in what her hands have worked for, and let her works tell her praises at the city gates. 

The word of the Lord. 

8.  For everything there is a season (Eccl. 3:1-11) 

A reading from the Book of Ecclesiastes

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heave: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill; a time heal; at time to break down, and time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and time to dance; at time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and time to lose; a time to keep, and time to cast away; a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and time to hate; a time for war, and time for peace. What gain have workers from their toil? I have seen the business that God has given to the children of the earth to be busy with. God has made everything beautiful in his time.

The word of the Lord. 

 
Readings I from the New Testament | During the Easter Season
 

1.  He is the one appointed by God as judge of the Living and the dead.  (Acts 10:34-43)  

A reading from the Acts of the Apostles

Peter proceeded to speak, saying:  “In truth, I see that God shows no partiality. Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly is acceptable to him. You know the word that he sent to the children of Israel as he proclaimed peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all, what has happened all over Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached, how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. We are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by handing him on a tree. This man God raised on the third day and granted that he be visible, not to all the people, but to us, the witnesses chosen by God in advance, who ate and drank with Him after he rose from the dead. He commissioned us to preach to the people and testify that he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness, that everyone who believes in him will receive forgiveness of sins through his name.”

The word of the Lord.   
  
2.  Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.  (Rev 14:13) 

A reading from the Book of Revelation

I, John, heard a voice from heaven say, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.”  “Yes, “said the Spirit, “let them find rest from their labors, for their works accompany them.”

The word of the Lord.  

3.  The dead were judged according to their deeds.  (Rev 20:11-21:1)  

A reading from the Book of Revelation

I, John, saw a large white throne and the one who was sitting on it. The earth and the sky fled from his presence and there was no place for them. I saw the dead, the great and the lowly, standing before the throne, and scrolls were opened. Then another scroll was opened, the book of life. The dead were judged according to their deeds, by what was written in the scrolls. The sea gave up its dead; then Death and Hades gave up their dead. All the dead were judged according to their deeds. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the pool of fire. (This pool of fire is the second death.) Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the pool of fire. Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.

The word of the Lord.
  
 4.  There shall be no more death.  (Rev 21:1-5a, 6b-7)  

A reading from the Book of Revelation

I, John, saw a new heaven and a new earth. The former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. I also saw the holy city, a New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. I heard a loud voice form the throne saying, “Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them as their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, for the old order has passed away.”

The One who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give a gift from the spring of life-giving water. The victor will inherit these gifts, and I shall be his God, and he will be my son.”’

The word of the Lord.

Readings II from the New Testament

1. Since we are now justified by His Blood, we will be saved through Him from the wrath.  (Rom 5:5-11)

A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans

Brothers and sisters: Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. For Christ, while we were still helpless, died at the appointed time for the ungodly. Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person, though perhaps for a good person one might even find courage to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we were sinners Christ died for us. How much more then, since we are now justified by His Blood, will we be saved through Him from the wrath. Indeed, if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, once reconciled, will we be saved by his life? Not only that, but we also boast of God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

The word of the Lord.
 
 2.  Where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more.  (Rom 5:17-21)  

A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans

Brothers and sisters: If, by the transgression of the one, death came to reign through that one, how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of justification come to reign in life through the one Jesus Christ. In conclusion, just as through one transgression condemnation came upon all, so, through one righteous act, acquittal and life came to all. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so through the obedience of the one the many will be made righteous. The law entered in so that transgression might increase but, where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, race also might reign through justification for eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The word of the Lord.  

3.  We too might live in newness of life.   (Rom 6:3-9)  

A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans
Brothers and sisters: Are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life. For if we have grown into union with him through a death like his, we shall also be united with him in the resurrection. We know that our old self was crucified with him, so that our sinful body might be done away with, that we might no longer be in slavery to sin. For a dead person has been absolved from sin. If, then, we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has power over him. 

The word of the Lord. 
 
4.  We also groan within ourselves as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. (Rom 8:14-23)

A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans

Brothers and sisters: Those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, Abba, “Father!” The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and join heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.

I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us. For creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God; for creation was made subject to futility, not of its own accord but because of the one who subjected it, in hope that creation itself would be set free from slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now; and not only that, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, we also groan within ourselves as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.   

The word of the Lord. 

 5.  What will separate us from the love of Christ?  (Rom 8:31b-35, 37-39)

A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans

Brothers and sisters: If God is for us, who can be against us? He did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all, will he not also give us everything else along with him? Who will bring a charge against God’s chosen ones? It is God who acquits us. Who will condemn? It is Christ Jesus who died, rather, was raised, who also is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? No, in all things, we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The word of the Lord. 

6.  Whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.  (Rom 14:7-9, 10c-12)  

A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans

Brothers and sisters:  No one lives for oneself, and no one dies for oneself. For if we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord; so then, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For this is why Christ died and came to life, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living. Why then do you judge your brother? Or you, why do you look down on your brother?  For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written: As I live says the Lord, every knee shall bend before me, and every tongue shall give praise to God. So then each of us shall give an accounting of himself to God.

The word of the Lord. 
 
7.  So too is Christ shall all be brought to life. (1 Cor 15:20-28)  

A reading from the First Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians

Brothers and sisters: Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead came also through man. For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life, but each one in proper order:  Christ the first fruits; then, at his coming, those who belong to Christ; then comes the end, when he hands over the Kingdom to this God and Father. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death, for he subjected everything under his feet. But when it says that everything has been subjected, it is clear that it excludes the one who subjected everything to him. When everything is subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to the one who subjected everything to him, so that God may be all in all.

The word of the Lord.
 
 
8.  Death is swallowed up in victory.  (1 Cor 15:51-57)  

A reading from the First Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians

Brothers and sisters: Behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed, in an instant, in the blink of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For that which is corruptible must clothe itself with incorruptibility, and that which is mortal must clothe itself with immortality. And when this which is corruptible clothes itself with incorruptibility and this which is mortal clothes itself with immortality, then the word that is written shall come about: Death is swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

The word of the Lord. 
   
9.  What is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is Eternal.  (2 Cor 4:14-15:1)  

A reading from the Second Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians

Brothers and sisters: Knowing that the One who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and place us with you in his presence. Everything indeed is for you, so that the grace bestowed in abundance on more and more people may cause the thanksgiving to overflow for the glory of God. Therefore, we are not discouraged; rather, although our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal. For we know that if our earthly dwelling, a tent, should be destroyed, we have a building from God, a dwelling not made with hands, eternal in heaven.

The word of the Lord.
 
 10.  We have a building from God, eternal in heaven.  (2 Cor 5:1, 6-10)  

A reading from the Second Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians

Brothers and sisters: We know that if our earthly dwelling, a tent, should be destroyed, we have building from God, a dwelling not made with hands, eternal in heaven. We are always courageous, although we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yet we are courageous, and we would rather leave the body and go home to the Lord. Therefore, we aspire to please him, whether we are at home or away. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense, according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil.

The word of the Lord.

11.  He will change our lowly bodies to conform to his glory.  (Philippians 3:20-21)  

A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Philippians

Brothers and sisters: Our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will change our lowly body to conform with his glorified Body by the power that enables him also to bring all things into subjection to himself.  

The word of the Lord. 
 
 
12.  Thus we shall always be with the Lord.  (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)  

A reading from the First Letter of Saint Paul to the Thessalonians

We do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, about those who have fallen asleep, so that you may not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose, so too will God, through Jesus, bring with him those who have fallen asleep. Indeed, we tell you this, on the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will surely not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself, with a word of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God, will come down from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore, console one another with these words.

The word of the Lord. 
 
13.  If we have died with him we shall also live with him.  (2 Timothy 2:8-13)  

A reading from the Second Letter of Saint Paul to Timothy 

Beloved: Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David: such is my Gospel, for which I am suffering, even to the point of chains, like a criminal. But the word of God is not chained. Therefore, I bear with everything for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, together with eternal glory. This saying is trustworthy: If we have died with him we shall also live with him; if we persevere we shall also reign with him. But if we deny him he will deny us. If we are unfaithful he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself.

The word of the Lord
 
14.  We shall see him as he is.  (1 John 3:1-2)  

A reading from the First Letter of Saint John

Beloved: See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.  Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

The word of the Lord 
 
15.  We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers.          (1 John 3:12-16)  

A reading from the First Letter of Saint John

Beloved: We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers.  Whoever does not love remains in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life remaining in him. The way we came to know love was that he laid down his life for us; so we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

The word of the Lord.