This long page contains not only prayerful
content but also a very large variety of semi & non religious texts, readings,
poems & quotes often used at funerals and memorial services, with many links to other useful online
resources, all of which are offered with
sympathy to comfort, support & peacefully inspire everyone who has
been bereaved, including by miscarriage and suicide.
Just scroll down - in no
particular order. Skip past any item not to your own taste or beliefs.
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"I am the
resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even
though he dies, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die." (John 11:25-26)
not be saddened this day, for rejoicing in the Lord must be your
strength!" (Nehemiah 8:10)
master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been
faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.
Come and share your master's happiness!" (Matthew
25:21 - NIV) | "May all those who
have died come to the fullness of the resurrection. May those who
mourn be comforted." |
"And God will wipe away every
tear from their eyes."
Revelation 7:17b more
Prayer After Death of Loved One
Saints of God, come to his/her aid! Come to meet
him/her, angels of the Lord!
R. Receive his/her soul and present him/her to God the Most High.
May Christ, Who called you, take you to Himself; may
angels lead you to Abraham's side.
R. Receive his/her soul and present him/her to God the Most High.
Give him/her eternal rest, O Lord, and may Your light
shine upon him/her forever.
R. Receive his/her soul and present him/her to God the Most High.
Let us pray: We commend our brother (sister) N. to you,
Now that he/she has passed from this life, may he/she live on in Your
In Your mercy and love, forgive whatever sins he/she may have committed
through human weakness.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
see also "The Song of Farewell" below
Prayers for the Deceased for Forgiveness and Peace and for Mourners
Lord Jesus, our Redeemer, You willingly gave Yourself up
to death so that all people might be saved and pass from death into a
new life. Listen to our prayers; look with love on Your people who mourn
and pray for their dead brother/sister.
Lord Jesus, You alone are holy
and compassionate; forgive our brother/sister his/her sins.
By dying You opened the gates of life for those who
believe in You; do not let Your brother/sister be parted from You, but
by Your glorious power give him/her light, joy, and peace in heaven
where You live for ever and ever. Amen.
My brother (sister) in faith, I entrust you to God Who
May you return to the One Who formed you from the dust of
May Mary, the angels, and all the saints come to meet you as
you go forth from this life.
May Christ Who was crucified for you bring
you freedom and peace.
May Christ, the Son of God, Who died for you take
you into His kingdom.
May Christ, the Good Shepherd, give you a place
within His flock.
May He forgive your sins and keep you among His
May you see your Redeemer face to face and enjoy the sight of
Psalm 129 (130)
Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.
Lord, hear my voice! O let your ears be
attentive To the voice of my pleading. If you, O Lord, should mark our
guilt, Lord, who would survive? But with you is found forgiveness: For
this we revere you. My soul is waiting for the Lord, I count on his
word. My soul is longing for the Lord More than watchman for daybreak.
Let the watchman count on daybreak And Israel on the Lord. Because with
the Lord there is mercy And fullness of redemption. Israel indeed he
will redeem From all its iniquity.
The psalmist was praying at a time of great sadness and despair for
himself and the Hebrew people. He could see no way in which the sadness
would end. That is why he calls to God 'out of the depths'. He was also
deeply conscious of his own sins and the people's sins, but knew he
could rely on God's promise of loving forgiveness. He hoped in God with
the confidence of someone who at the darkest hour of the night looks
forward to the light of dawn. This psalm has been one the Church's
favourite prayers for the dead. It applies to the whole Church. It
applies to the dead person, who returns to God as a sinner, trusting in
God's love and compassion, looking beyond dying to the morning light of
eternal life with God. It applies also to us who are left in the depths
of sorrow, repenting of our own sins too and confidently looking forward
to sharing the same everlasting light of heaven. I hope this will be of
some help to you. God bless! Monsignor Richard Rutt [RIP August 2011] (retired priest of Falmouth parish - contributed by
for the dead
A reading from the book of
Wisdom 4: 4-15
man, though he die before his time, will find rest.
Length of days is not what makes age honourable,
nor number of years the true measure of life;
understanding, this is man’s grey hairs,
untarnished life, this is ripe old age.
He has sought to please God, so God has loved him;
as he lived among sinners, he has been taken up.
He has been
so that evil may not warp his understanding
or treachery seduce his soul;
for the fascination of evil throws the good into the shade,
and the whirlwind of desire corrupts a simple heart.
perfection in so short a while,
he achieved long life;
his soul being pleasing to the Lord,
who has taken him quickly
from the wickedness around him.
look on, uncomprehending;
it does not enter their heads
that grace and mercy await the chosen of the Lord,
and protection, God’s holy ones. [This is
the Word of the Lord.]
Other readings suggestions: Wisdom
3:1-6,9 | 1 Peter 1:3-9 |
| Romans 14: 7-12 | Apocalypse/Revelations 14: 13
Readings for funerals
| 1Thessalonians 4:13-18
listen - click
here and select from list |
Gospel acclamation: 'Happy are those who have died in the Lord; Let
them rest from their labours for their good deeds go before them'
An alternative Hymn to Psalm 23 "The king
of love my Shepherd is" | organ | alternative
more 'prayerful suggestions' can be found via
the external links below
is nothing at all' ~ Canon Henry Scott Holland of St. Paul's Cathedral | info
Death is nothing at all. I have only slipped
away into the next room.
I am I, and you are you. Whatever we were to each other that we still
Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me in the easy way which you
Put no difference in your tone, wear no forced air of solemnity or
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was,
let it be spoken without effect, without the trace of shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was; there
is unbroken continuity.
[There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is this
death but a negligible accident?]
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around
All is well.
[Page editor's note:
much comment is made about the opening words. Death really
is 'something' huge for most people but the remainder of this writing is still
encouraging, so my suggestion is don't be afraid to vary or leave off the
opening and/or substitute something else if desired]
is dying? ~ 'A Parable of Immortality' written by Henry van Dyke (1852 - 1933),
often misattributed to, though 'used' by Bishop Brent.
Also misattributed to Victor Hugo. The full version is below and also
two often used variations. [citation updated 09.2012 with thanks to Steve for correction]
I am standing upon that foreshore.
A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and
starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength and I
stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white
clouds just where the sea and sky come down to mingle with each other.
Then someone at my side says, "There! She's gone!"
"Gone from my sight, that's all". She is just as large in mast
and spar and hull as ever she was when she left my side; just as able to
bear her load of living freight to the place of her destination. Her
diminished size is in me, not in her. And just at that moment when
someone at my side says, "There! She's gone!" there are other
eyes watching her coming and other voices ready to take up the glad
she comes!" And that is dying.
A ship sails and I stand watching till she fades on
the horizon, and someone says, "she is gone".
Gone from my sight, that is all; she is just as large as when I saw
The diminished size and total loss of sight is in me, not in her, and
just at the moment when someone says "she is gone", there are
others who are watching her coming, and other voices take up a glad
shout, "there she comes!"...
and that is dying.
I am standing on the sea shore.
A ship sails to the morning breeze and starts for the ocean.
She is an object of beauty and I stand watching her till at last
she fades on the horizon, and someone at my side says, "she is
Gone where? Gone
from my sight, that is all: she is just as large in the masts, hull and
spars as she was when I saw her, and just as able to bear her load of
living freight to its destination.
The diminished size and total loss of sight is in me, not her:
and just at the moment when someone at my side says, "she is
gone," there are others who are watching her coming, and other
voices take up a glad shout, "there she comes" - and that
"She is gone"
~ a poem by David Harkins | alternate link
Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
erroneously referred to as "An Indian Prayer" and
attributed to several authors. see especially Mary Frye (1932) +
Wilbur Skeels -(lyrics ©1996) ~ also Gwydion Penderwen ~
Joyce Fossen ~ Albert Spengler
Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow;
I am the diamond glints on snow;
I am the sunlight on ripened grain;
I am the gentle Autumn's rain.
When you waken in the morning's hush;
I am the swift uplifting rush of quiet birds in circled
I am the soft star that shines at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there, I did not die.
It can't be shown here for copyright
reasons but you can see the version by Wilbur Skeels here
In those quiet moments in the still of the night
Remember to rejoice and celebrate life
Do not think of me gone and weep
I am not there, I do not sleep
I am a thousand winds that blow
I am the diamond glints on snow
I am the sunlight on the grain
I am the gentle autumn's rain
When you awaken in the morning hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in flight
I am the soft stars that shine
You will hear my gentle voice
and remember to rejoice
Never give up your fight
and remember always
to Celebrate Life.... ---- Author Unknown
Don't grieve for me for now I'm free,
I'm following the path God laid for me.
I took his hand when I heard him call,
I turned my back and left it all.
I could not stay another day
To laugh, to love, to work or play.
Tasks left undone will stay that way,
I found that peace at close of day.
If my parting has left a void
Then fill it with remembered joy
A friendship shared, a laugh a kiss,
Ah yes, these things I, too, will miss.
But not burdened with times of sorrow,
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life has been full, I've savoured much.
Good friends, good times, a loved ones touch.
Perhaps my time seemed all to brief
Don't lengthen it now with undue grief,
Lift up you hearts and share with me,
God wanted me now,
He set me free.
possibly by Augusto
de Leon ?
I'M NOT GONE
Don't cry for me ,
now that I am free.
Just look around anywhere,
and that is where I'll be.
For I am the daylight ,
when the sun starts to rise.
I'm the bright rainbow,
you see with your eyes.
I'm the tiny raindrops,
that sprinkle in the wind.
I'll always be here with you,
for there really is no end.
I'm the dew that's on the ground,
and the quietness all around.
Yes, I am so very happy,
with this new life I have found.
I'm the peaceful summer breeze,
that flows softly through the trees.
I'm the bluebird in the sky,
that sings with such ease.
Yes, I am so very happy,
so happy to be free.
Understand my family and friends
and don't you cry for me.
~ Sheila Pearce
'Farewell My Friends'
By Gitanjali Ghei (1961- 1977)
It was beautiful as long as it
lasted, the journey of my life, I have no regrets whatsoever,
save the pain I'll leave behind.
Those dear hearts who love and care, and the heavy with sleep
ever moist eyes, the smile in spite of a lump in the throat
and the strings pulling at the heart and soul,
The strong arms that held me up when my own strength let me
down, each morsel that I was fed with was full of love.
At every turning of my life I came across good friends,
friends who stood by me, even when the time raced me by.
Farewell farewell my friends, I smile and bid you goodbye.
No, shed no tears, for I need them not, all I need is your
smile, If you feel sad, do think of me, for that's what I'll
like, when you live in the hearts of those you love, remember
then...... you never die. From - Poems of
previously mis-attributed and now included here again with kind
permission. Also to be found here
| Read about the author here.
A girl who died of cancer at the age of 16, wrote some of
the most beautiful poems on death, compassion and faith in God. Poems
link | Buy 'Poems of Gitanjali' Oriel Press
( Routledge & Kegan Paul) ISBN 0 85362
Other resources from 'Funeral Helper'
To Those I Love And Those Who Love Me
When I am gone, release me let me go
I have so many things to see and do
You mustn’t tie yourself to me with tears
Be happy that we had so many years
I gave you my love, you can only guess
How much you gave to me in happiness
I thank you for the love you have shown
But now it’s time I traveled alone
So grieve a while for me if grieve you must
Then let your grief be comforted by trust
It’s only for a while that we must part
So bless the memories within your heart
I won’t be far away. For life goes on
So if you need me call and I will come
Though you can’t see or touch me I’ll be there
And if you listen with your heart you’ll hear
All of my love around you soft and clear
And then when you must come this way alone
I’ll greet you with a smile and welcome you home ~ (Author
"Crossing The Bar"
Alfred Lord Tennyson. info
Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.
Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;
For tho’ from out our bourne of Time
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.
By John Masefield
(1878-1967) (English Poet Laureate, 1930-1967.)
must down to the 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 the wind's song and the white sail's
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.
I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not 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 down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.
listen ~ spoken
| listen ~
set to music - #2 - #3
Read at funeral of an old sailing friend, 'M.T.' - R.I.P. 6th
Miss Me But Let Me Go
When I come to the end of
and the sun has set on me,
I want no rites in a gloom filled room,
Why cry for a soul set free.
Miss me a little--but not too long,
and not with your head bowed low,
Remember the love that we once shared,
Miss me--but let me go.
For this is a journey that we all must take,
And each must go alone.
It's all a part of the Master's plan,
A step on the road to home.
When you are lonely and sick of heart,
Go to the friends we know.
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds,
Miss me--but let me go. ~ Edgar A. Guest
"When Day is Done" download link
Remember me when I am gone away.
me when I am gone away.
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand.
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you planned:
Only remember me:
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had.
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than you should remember and be sad.
Daddy please don't look so sad,
Momma please don't cry.
Cause I'm in the arms of Jesus,
And He sings me lullabies.
Please try not to question God,
Don't think He is unkind.
Don't think He sent me to you
And then changed his mind.
You see I'm a special child,
I am needed up above.
I'm the special gift you gave Him,
A product of your love.
I'll always be there with you,
So watch the sky at night.
Look for the brightest star
And know that's my halo's brilliant light.
You'll see me in the morning frost
That mists your window pane.
That's me in the summer showers,
I'll be dancing in the rain.
When you feel a gentle breeze
From a gentle wind that blows.
Know that it is me
Planting a kiss upon your nose.
When you see a child playing
And your heart feels a tug,
Don't be sad mommy,
That's just me giving your heart a hug.
So daddy don't look so sad
And momma please don't cry.
I'm in the arms of Jesus
And He sings me lullabies! - Anon
see: 'A child of mine'
- Help for parents and families after the death of a child. -
'there to hold your hand through the difficult days ahead with information
guidance and support from people who do understand'.
A Child of Mine (often cited as 'God's Lent Child')
lend you for a little while, a child of mine, God said
For you to love the while he lives and mourn for when he’s dead.
It may be six or seven years, or forty-two or three
But will you, till I call him back, take care of him for me?
He’ll bring his charms to gladden you and should his stay be
You’ll always have his memories as a solace in your grief.
I cannot promise he will stay, since all from earth return,
But there are lessons taught below I want this child to learn.
I’ve looked this whole world over in my search for teachers true
And from the folk that crowd Life’s lane I have chosen you.
Now will you give him all your love and not think the labour vain,
Nor hate me when I come to take this lent child back again?
I fancy that I heard them say “Dear God, thy will be done.
For all the joys this child will bring the risk of grief we’ll
We will shelter him with tenderness, we’ll love him while we may
And for all the happiness we’ve ever known, we’ll ever
But should the angels call him much sooner than we’d planned
We will brave the bitter grief that comes and try to understand.”
~ Edgar A. Guest
(1881-1959) written in 1930? published in 1949 in 'Living The
Years', publisher: Chicago, Reilly & Lee Co. [often misstated as 'author unknown' - This
08.2008 with thanks to t s for correction] | more
Heaven's Rocking Chair
by Ron Tranmer ©
Are there rocking chairs in Heaven
where little babies go?
Do the angels hold you closely
and rock you to and fro?
Do they talk silly baby talk
to get a smile or two,
and sing the sleepy lullabies
I used to sing to you?
My heart is aching for you,
my angel child so dear.
You brought such joy into my life,
the short time you were here.
I know you're in a happy place,
and in God's loving care.
I dream each night I'm rocking you
in Heaven's rocking chair.
by the author, August 2011
visit his website for more
wider, encouraging, supportive poems contributed in 2012 by their author Ron Tranmer click
now moved to a new page for our visitors who will enjoy their
poems below contributed
by the author Ron Tranmer, in 2012 - visit his website for
by Ron Tranmer ©
When sorrow comes into our lives
and tears of sadness fall,
they never go unnoticed,
God sees them one and all.
Our tears are very precious
In the eyes of our dear Lord,
He calls them up to special clouds
where they are safely stored.
When these clouds are heavy laden
from the weight which they contain,
moisture falls upon to the earth,
and our tears come down as rain.
Then when the rain has ended,
look to the sky above.
and when you see a rainbow
God is sending us His love.
He knows we all face sorrow,
and He knows we all feel pain.
That's why He sends a rainbow
after every tear filled rain.
Moments by Ron Tranmer ©
I treasure every moment
you spent in life with me.
I hoped to have you longer,
but it's not meant to be.
You left this world so suddenly.
I think my heart went too.
I feel so lost and lonely,
and I cry from missing you.
I know you're in a better place.
I know you're happy there.
I know one day I'll join you,
but the wait is hard to bear.
My heart feels like it's breaking
as I try to carry on.
You were my life, my everything,
but now sweetheart, you've gone.
I pray that God will give me strength
until He calls me too.
Then what joy will fill my heart
when I'm again with you.
Hearts by Ron Tranmer ©
With heavy hearts and tear filled eyes
family and friends bid you goodbye.
Gathered this day united in sorrow,
yet sure in faith of a brighter tomorrow.
Although you've gone, we feel you near.
You are so loved by everyone here.
You touched our lives in numerous ways.
and brightened many of our days.
Sharing memories of time with you
is something that we love to do.
We laugh, we cry, with joy and pain.
Goodbye for now, until we meet again.
My Hand by Ron Tranmer ©
Beyond Earth's veil I cannot see
but my faith is strong, I trust in Thee.
I know in time I'll understand.
Until then Lord, please take my hand.
My purpose here, may I fulfill,
and in all things do Thy will.
The trials of life may I withstand.
Walk with me Lord and take my hand.
Then when I breathe my final breath
and close my eyes in earthly death,
may I not leave this world alone.
Lord, take my hand and walk me home.
When you feel Lonely
When You feel Lonely
When a person you love passes away
Look to the night sky on a clear day.
The star that to you, appears to be bright,
Will be your loved one,
Looking upon you during the night.
The lights of heaven are what shows through
As your loved one watches all that you do.
When you feel lonely for the one that you love,
Look to the Heavens in the night sky above.
~ (Author unknown)
Remembrance is a golden chain
Death tries to break,
but all in vain.
To have, to love, and then to part
Is the greatest sorrow of one's heart.
The years may wipe out many things
But some they wipe out never.
Like memories of those happy times
When we were all together.
~ (Author unknown)
The Rose Beyond the Wall
Near shady wall a rose once grew,
Budded and blossomed in God’s free
Watered and fed by morning dew,
Shedding its sweetness day and night.
As it grew and blossomed fair and tall,
Slowly rising to loftier height,
It came to a crevice in the wall
Through which there shone a beam of
Onward it crept with added strength
With never a thought of fear or pride,
It followed the light through the
And unfolded itself on the other side.
The light, the dew, the broadening view
Were found the same as they were
And it lost itself in beauties new,
Breathing its fragrance more and more.
Shall claim of death cause us to grieve
And make our courage faint and fall?
Nay! Let us faith and hope receive—
The rose still grows beyond the wall,
Scattering fragrance far and wide
Just as it did in days of yore,
Just as it did on the other side,
Just as it will forevermore. ~ A. L.
Leaving a dear one
The family is not destroyed,
A part of it enters the invisible.
We believe that dying leads to absence,
when it really is a hidden presence.
We believe that it creates infinite distance,
when it does away with all distance
it returns to the spirit
what was for a time found in the flesh.
Every time someone leaves home and passes away
those left behind gain a link in heaven.
is no longer home to angels,
unknown saints and a mysterious God,
but it becomes familiar.
It is the family house,
the house up above, so to speak.
From up there to down here,
memory, helping hands, calls
Traditional American Indian Prayer
A Native American poem, possibly by Ishi, the last
living member of the Yahi Native American tribe / people of The Pacific
Northwest - [attribution contributed and amended
When I am dead
Cry for me a little
Think of me sometimes
But not too much.
Think of me now and again
As I was in life
At some moments it's pleasant to recall
But not for long.
Leave me in peace
And I shall leave you in peace
And while you live
Let your thoughts be with the living.
He put his arms around you, and
lifted you to rest. God’s garden must be beautiful, He always
takes the best. He saw the road was getting rough, and the hills
were hard to climb. So He closed your weary eyelids, and
whispered "Peace be thine". It broke our hearts to
lose you, but you didn’t go alone. For part of us went with
you, the day God called you home. Irish funeral prayer
God saw you getting tired and a cure
was not to be. So He put His arms around you and whispered
“come to me.” With tearful eyes we watched you, and saw you
pass away. Although we loved you dearly, we could not make you
stay. A golden heart stopped beating, hard working hands at
rest. God broke our hearts to prove to us, He only takes the
best. God looked around His garden, and found an
empty place. He then looked down upon the earth, and saw your
tired face. Irish funeral prayer
[Loved one’s name] Longing For One
More Day. When we lose someone we love it seems that time stands
still. What moves through us is a silence... a quiet sadness...
A longing for one more day... one more word... one more touch...
We may not understand why you left this earth so soon, or why
you left before we were ready to say good-bye, but little by
little, we begin to remember not just that you died, but that
you lived. And that your life gave us memories too beautiful to
forget. We will see you again some day, in a heavenly place
where there is no parting. A place where there are no words that
mean good-bye. Irish funeral prayer
Irish Bereavement blessings
If I should go before the rest of you.
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.
Prayer for Bereavement
Dearest Jesus, who wept at the death of your friend
and taught that they who mourn shall be comforted,
grant us the comfort of your presence in our loss.
Send Your Holy Spirit to direct us
lest we make hasty or foolish decisions.
Send Your Spirit to give us courage
lest through fear we recoil from living.
Send Your Spirit to bring us your peace
lest bitterness, false guilt, or regret take root in our hearts.
The Lord has given.
The Lord has taken away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.
For All of You Waiting in Heaven
I thought of you today, but that is nothing new.
I thought about you yesterday, and days before that too.
I think of you in silence, I often speak your name.
All I have are memories and a picture in a frame.
Your memory is a keepsake, from which I'll never part.
God has you in his arms. I have you in my heart.
Homilies for All
Saints Day 2011 - click here
'Perhaps they are not stars but rather
openings in Heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through' ~ Eskimo proverb
When Tomorrow Starts Without Me.
When tomorrow starts without me, and I’m not there to see,
If the sun should rise and find your eyes, all filled with tears for me,
I wish so much you wouldn’t cry, the way you did today,
While thinking of the many things we didn’t get to say.
I know how much you love me, as much as I love you,
And each time that you think of me, I know you’ll miss me too.
But when tomorrow starts without me, please try to understand,
That an angel came and called my name and took me by the hand.
And said my place was ready in Heaven far above,
And that I’d have to leave behind,
all those things I dearly love.
But as I turned to walk away, a tear fell from my eye,
For all my life, I’d always thought, I didn’t want to die.
I had so much to live for, so much yet to do,
It seemed almost impossible, that I was leaving you.
I thought of all the yesterdays, the good ones and the bad,
I thought of all the love we shared, and all the fun we had.
If I could relive yesterday, just even for a while,
I’d say goodbye and kiss you,
and maybe see you smile.
But then I fully realized, that could never be,
For emptiness and memories, would take the place of me.
And when I thought of worldly things, I might miss come tomorrow,
I thought of you, and when I did, my heart was filled with sorrow.
But when I walked through Heaven’s gates, I felt so much at home.
When God looked down and smiled at me, from his great golden throne.
He said, “This is eternity, and all I’ve promised you.
Today your life on Earth is past, and here it starts anew”.
“I promise no tomorrow, but today will always last,
And since each day’s the same day, there’s no longing for the past”.
“But you have been so faithful, so trusting and so true,
Though there were times you did some things, you know you shouldn’t do”.
“But you have been forgiven, and now at last you’re free,
So won’t you take my hand now and share My life with Me”.
So when tomorrow starts without me, don’t think we’re far apart,
For every time you think of me, I’m right here in your heart.
possibly by Erica Shea Liupaeter?? but see also attribution
to David Romano on websites: If
Tomorrow starts without me and
"Funeral Blues" or "Stop
all the clocks"
is a poem by W. H. Auden, published in its final,
familiar form in 1938.
We cannot include it here for copyright reasons but you can read
it here (the first one) or here
and watch the performance from the film, 'Four Weddings and a
YouTube. (suggested by J.L. 03/13 thank you)
Prayer Attributed to St. Augustine:
Lord, with those who wake or watch or weep tonight, and give your angels
charge over those who sleep. Tend your sick ones, O Lord Jesus Christ,
rest your weary ones, bless your dying ones, soothe your suffering ones,
shield your joyous ones, and all for your love’s sake. Amen.
A travelling man sat down to rest from his
journey by the side of the road. As he rested, another man passed by. This
other man, the traveller observed, walked very slow and was bent forward,
his expression was troubled and pain reflected in his eyes.
"What ails you fellow?" called up the wise, but simple man.
"Come and join me and take a rest, for your form is such that I see a
need in you to share the burden that you carry."
The other man sat down, stared far into the distance for a while and then
"I have lost the very dearest person known to me." Tears welled
up in his eyes as he spoke, he then fell silent for a short time before
continuing. "I feel that I am constantly walking up a hill and that
the wind is always against me, my feet are as heavy as clay and in my
stomach I carry hot coals. I say to myself now that I must turn back to
ease this pain. If I walk back down the hill then maybe I will find that
all of this is not true and that my loved one will be waiting to greet
The traveller sat listening to the other man's story, and replied.
"You must not go back down the hill. You need to reach the top, for
thereafter you will find the path will level, the wind will soften, your
feet grow lighter and the hot coals will cool. To go back down the hill
will prolong your pain, for the path to your healing is forward and up the
As the traveller got up to continue his journey, he said to the other man,
"The one you have lost is not at the bottom of the hill but with you
all the time, for you carry their spirit in your heart." Anonymous [contributed by CS march '05 - thank you]
A Prayer for Difficult Moments
God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion
inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in
difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with
great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and
Mercy itself. [Amen.] (Diary of St. Faustina, 950).
"One day we will meet beside the river and our Lord will dry every tear. For now, we must live in the joy of that promise and recall that for every generation life is hard, but God is faithful."
~ Bodie Thoene
not extinguishing the light. It is putting out the lamp because the dawn
has come.' ~
Rabindranath Tagore ~ Nobel
Prize winner 1913 ~ more below More link links
of the stars, I shall be living. In one of them, I shall be laughing.
And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing when you look at the
sky at night.'
~ The Little Prince ~ Antoine
has gone, so we but cherish his memory, abides with us, more potent,
nay, more present than the living man.' ~ Antoine
eternal and love is immortal; And death is only a horizon, And a horizon
is nothing save the limit of our sight.' ~ Rossiter W.
is God's last and greatest gift to the living" ~ Margaret
good cheer about death and know this as a truth - that no evil can
happen to a good man,
either in life or after death.' ~ Socrates
which we fear as our last is but the birthday of eternity.' ~ Seneca
died many a death in love, and yet, had I not loved I would never have
lived at all.' ~ David Lasater
the last sleep? No - it is the last and final awakening.' ~ Sir Walter Scott
are mourning the loss of our friend, others are rejoicing to meet him
behind the veil.' ~ John Taylor
is it to die, But to stand in the sun and melt into the wind? And when
the Earth has claimed our limbs, Then we shall truly dance.' ~ Kahlil Gibran
not die of a cold. I shall die of having lived.' ~ Willa Cather
If we really think that home is elsewhere, and that
this life is a 'wandering to find home,' why should I not look forward
to the arrival?
~ C. S. Lewis
the man who served his almighty Creator, his country, his community, and
most of all, his family. He has achieved success who has lived well,
laughed often, and loved much; who has enjoyed the trust of pure women,
the respect of intelligent men, and the love of little children; who has
filled his niche and accomplished his task; who has left the world
better than he found it, whether an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a
rescued soul; who has always looked for the best in others and given
them the best he had; whose life was an inspiration; whose memory a
Anderson Stanley ??
all understand that death is not an eraser. It does not remove the deeds
or the meanings that existed in anyone's life. It does not make poor men
rich or great men fallible. And when death comes, let us not romanticize
its presence nor the person it takes from us. Let us see death for what
it really is: a border that we all must cross; a border that, more than
any other, defines the lives we are able to lead. Do not mourn for those
who cross over. Rather, reflect on the definition they've left behind.
It is the only truth we are able to know here on earth. When the
definition is great, then celebrate it. When it is lacking, then learn
from it and improve on it. And use it to make your own definition more
truthful and loving and miraculous.' ~ from 'Gideon'
by Russell Andrews
back on the memory of the dance we shared, beneath the stars above, for
a moment all the world was right. How was I to know that you'd ever say
And now I'm glad I didn't know the way it all would end, the way it all
Our lives are better left to chance.
I could have missed the pain, but I'd have had to miss the dance.' ~
Garth Brooks, The
that love beyond the world cannot be separated by it. Death cannot kill
what never dies.'
~ William Penn
"Death is not a period but a comma in the story of life."
''Besides, the ones that love us never really leave us. You can always find them... [puts hand over Harry's heart]... in here.''
~ Sirius Black - from 'Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban':
websites offering similar pages including material already on this page
and variations: 1 |
2 | 3 |
Hymns & Music
"The Song of Farewell"
a version of the traditional "In Paradisum" (see
below), is often played at funerals, usually Catholic. Words
and Music by Ernest Sands (b.1949).
pdf | excerpt
| [midi & YouTube links at end]
May the choirs of angels come to greet you.
May they speed you to paradise.
May the Lord enfold you in his mercy.
May you find eternal life.
The Lord is my light and my help; it is he who protects me from
The Lord is the strength of my days; before whom should I
tremble with fear?
There is one thing I ask of the Lord; that he grant me my
To dwell in the courts of our God every day of my life in his
O Lord, hear my voice when I cry; have mercy on me and give
Do not cast me away in your anger, for you are the God of my
4. I am sure I shall see the Lord's goodness; I shall dwell in the
land of the living.
Hope in God, stand firm and take heart, place all your trust in
of Farewell - Catholic Funeral Song. Vocal Solo, Piano,
String Quartet. Recorded on a pocket digital recorder.
external LINKS see
also many included above - will usually open in a new window
or tab automatically
TIP: websites constantly change. If you get a
'page not found' message, you may be able to find moved material by going
back to the root domain - the beginning of the url after http:// shown in
your web browser address pane, up to and including .org or .com or
.net or .co etc., ignoring the rest after the forward slash.
PDF files can be opened with software
such as Adobe
Reader (free) or try other
software & PDF advice
Age Concern England - www.ageconcern.org.uk
London Bereavement Network - www.bereavement.org.uk
Area Bereavement Forum - www.mabf.org.uk
Samaritans - www.samaritans.org.uk
bereavement care Offers
free information and advice to anyone who has been affected by a death
- Provides support and counselling one to one and in groups - Offers
education, support, information and publications to anyone supporting
bereaved people - Increases public awareness of the needs of bereaved
people through campaigning and information services
Winston's Wish - a charity which supports bereaved children and young people.
Care for the Family - giving
hope to the bereaved >> bereavement
support organisations an extensive list
resources are on the website of Funeral Helper
The Compassionate Friends (UK)
- (TCF) is an organisation of bereaved parents and their families
offering understanding, support and encouragement to others after the
death of a child or children. They also offer support, advice and
information to other relatives, friends and professionals who are
helping the family.
Child Death Helpline ~
for all those affected by the death of a child. also telephone (UK)
0800 282986. Volunteers are needed to work in this service. - www.childdeathhelpline.org.uk/
and Neonatal Death Society
- the Irish Stillbirth &
Neonatal Death Society
Child Bereavement Trust - www.childbereavement.org.uk
griefHaven - The Erica Whitmore
Goddard Foundation and griefHaven are dedicated to providing hope, love and support to parents whose children die, siblings who lose a brother or sister, grandparents, and all others impacted by the death of a child. [USA]
A child of
mine - Help for parents and families after the death of a child
- 'there to hold your hand through the difficult days ahead with information
guidance and support from people who do understand'.
Paul's Miscarriage & Infant Loss Support Group - Miscarriage & Infant Loss Memorial Book Ministry
For all who have lost a baby from conception to 1 year old. The Miscarriage & Infant Loss Memorial Book
is kept at Tintagel
Catholic Church and administered from Füssen, Bavaria,
Deutschland. It is placed on the altar at all Masses celebrated in
There is also an
(with broken links at present) Anyone wishing to include their babies and their families is welcome to fill in the online form.
An annual Mass
is celebrated in remembrance of all babies who have
died from conception to 1 year old and their families. (future dates not known - please contact them direct) at
Church of St Paul the Apostle, Tintagel, Cornwall, UK. Those who
cannot attend the Mass are invited to join them in prayer on that day
remembering the intentions they are praying for.
more | wikipedia
Morning Light Ministry is a Catholic ministry for bereaved mothers and fathers who have experienced the death of their baby through ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, stillbirth or infant death up to one year old. This Catholic ministry also welcomes bereaved parents of other Christian denominations, bereaved parents of other faiths and bereaved parents of no religious affiliation who are struggling with the very notion of faith.
Babyloss support groups
online memorial sites (links)
Should The Angels Call" ~ A poem, especially for those
mourning the loss of a child.
Matters coalition is encouraging people to talk about their
wishes towards the end of their lives. It’s in everyone’s interest
to talk about it, before it’s too late; see also their resources page.
Set up by The National
Council for Palliative Care
~ a young woman's survival guide
an excellent practical guide originally for women and now for
all needing clear, simple advice. Also link to her book ‘Death and How to
Survive it - Highly Commended award by the British Medical
Association, in their 2006 Annual Book Awards.
Lesson in Grief - by Judith MacNutt
Information" | "Key
facts" | from The Royal College of
'The End of Life' - American site resources,
Hearts - an
online healing place for anyone grieving
and Beginnings - A collection of poetry and quotes for
everyone who has had to say goodbye too soon.
Tomorrow starts without me
~ & more support links off this site at http://angel-on-my-shoulder.com
|memoriam verses |more
is gone" ~ a poem by David Harkins | alternate link
for RC funerals PDF | booklet
pdf | When
someone dies - a guide pdf | Burial
of ashes - a guide pdf |
and cremation | With faith and hope in the Resurrection: Cremation and
the Church pdf
suggestions for funerals pdf | A parish musician's guide to the
Order of Christian Funerals pdf
Requiem Mass, also known as Mass for the dead....
Prayers for the Deceased
- Christian & Jewish Prayers for the Deceased and Prayers for
A collection of prayers for the dead or dying
Ministration at the Time of Death
| Holy Souls Crusade
~ " It is a holy and wholesome thought to pray
for the dead that they may be loosed from their sins" (2 Mac
12:46) - more on this subject below
Readings for funerals
Living With Suicide for
link, many similar groups are now listed in search engines]
Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide
SOBS is a self-help, voluntary organisation.
Many of those helping have, themselves, been bereaved by suicide. It
exists to meet the needs and break the isolation of those bereaved by
the suicide of a close relative or friend.
is at Hand:
a PDF resource for people bereaved by suicide and other
sudden, traumatic death
Memorial websites, create your own: #1
[small donation] is a global website where you can write a permanent tribute to a
relative, friend, colleague, hero or pet, in fact, anyone who has
touched your life. It is an everlasting memorial. SEE ALSO: #2
'Gone Too soon'
(free to use) | #3 'Much Loved' (free to use) | #4 'Vacant Chair'
| #5 Our Memory of [fee paying] |
Candle in memory
Internal links: Remembrance of our war dead page | Our
homepage | Our Links index |
for 'Healing the Family Tree'
Please pray for the
Souls of all deceased parishioners in whose memory this page is
dedicated [and the needs
of all bereaved families and friends] Please
also pray for all those souls who have no one to pray for them. Into Your hands Lord we commend them. Eternal rest grant
unto them O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they
rest in peace - Requiescant in pace, Amen
for the dead | Prayer for 'Healing the Family Tree' | Homilies
for All Saints Day 2011 here
Catholic Teaching on Purgatory
| #3 | #4 Wikipedia | on EWTN |
Souls Crusade "It is a holy and wholesome thought to pray for
the dead that they may be loosed from their sins" (2 Mac 12:46)
'The Amazing Secret of the Souls in Purgatory'. An interview with Maria Simma written by Sister Emmanuel of
Medjugorje - Chapter 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | "Get us out of
here" by Nicky Eltz who documents the experiences of the Austrian mystic Maria Simma-
info | 'The Secret of the Poor Souls in Purgatory'
- An interview with Maria Simma of Austria
Medjugorje message November 6,
1986 "Dear children! Today I wish to call you to pray daily
for souls in purgatory. For every soul prayer and grace is necessary to
reach God and the love of God. By doing this, dear children, you obtain
new intercessors who will help you in life to realize that all the earthly
things are not important for you, that only Heaven is that for which it is
necessary to strive. Therefore, dear children, pray without ceasing that
you may be able to help yourselves and the others to whom your prayers
will bring joy. Thank you for having responded to my call."
"As we enter Heaven, we will see
them, so many of them, coming towards us and thanking us. We will ask who
they are and they will say: 'A poor soul you prayed for in Purgatory!'
" ~ Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
of St. Gertrude the Great. Our Lord told St. Gertrude the Great, that the following prayer would release 1,000 souls from Purgatory each time it is said. The prayer was extended to include living sinners which would alleviate the indebtedness accrued to them during their lives.
"Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious
Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the masses said throughout
the world today, for all the holy souls in Purgatory, for sinners
everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, those in my own home and
within my family. Amen." more info [St.
Gertrude's life was the mystic life of the Cloister – a Benedictine nun.
She meditated on the Passion of Christ, which many times brought a flood
of tears to her eyes. She did many penances and Our Lord appeared to her
many times. She had a tender love for the Blessed Virgin and was very
devoted to the suffering souls in Purgatory. She died in 1334. Her feast
day is November 16th.]
Circle of Prayer
- Intergenerational Healing |
Daily Pilgrimage to Purgatory
from Missionaries of the Sacred Heart link#2 pdf |
prayer 'For the Relief of the Poor Souls in Purgatory' as published in 1931
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