(Instructions to those conducting the Service: This prayer service is to be held at the home of the deceased when relatives, friends, neighbours & SCC members assemble around the mortal remains. It is meant to honour and respect the deceased and to express our solidarity with the grieving family. You may adapt this service as you think necessary.
Have it at a time when as many persons can be present, thus may be at an appropriate time in the evening or an hour before the funeral service.
Please make this service participatory by assigning the various roles to different people before you begin: P = Presider; I = Intercessor; SL = Song Leader; R = Two Readers)
A. Greetings and Introduction:
(P) Praised be God, the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Mercies and the God of all Consolations! He comforts us in all our afflictions and thus enables us to comfort those who are in trouble, with the same consolation we have received from him. (2 Cor. 1:3-4)
My dear brothers and sisters, we are gathered together, to pay our respects to N, to bid her/him farewell, as she/he goes to meet our Maker. It is time to commune with N, to thank her/him for all she/he has meant to us, to say sorry for the wrong done, to be reconciled and finally to say goodbye, Godspeed!
Please participate whole-heartedly in this service by joining in the prayers and singing.
(SL) Let us take the Hymn: “In the Lord is my Hope”
Let us Pray: Father, we entrust our sister/brother to your mercy. You loved her/him greatly in this life: Now that she/he is freed from all its cares, give her/him happiness and peace forever. The old order has passed away: welcome her/him now into paradise where there will be no sorrow, no more weeping or pain, but only peace and joy with Jesus, your Son, and the Holy Spirit forever and ever. All: AMEN
(P) Let us now listen to the Word of God and try to understand the meaning of life and death in the sight of God. Let us remember that the Word of God has the power to HEAL, to CONSOLE, to CONVERT, to ENLIGHTEN. After the reading we shall have a brief period of silence to reflect on the Word.
B. Scripture Readings
(R) Choose any one suitable reading
|1||Wis 3 : 1 – 6||The souls of the righteous are in the hands of God|
|2||2Mac 12 : 43 – 46||Value of praying for the dead|
|1||Rom 5 : 17 – 21||However great the number of sins committed, grace is even greater|
|2||Rom 8 : 31b–35,37–39||Nothing can really come between us and the Love of Christ|
|3||1Cor 15 : 20–24a,25–28||All men will be bought to life in Christ|
|4||1Cor 15 : 51 – 57||Death is swallowed up in victory|
|5||2Cor 5 : 1, 6 – 10||We have an everlasting home in heaven|
|6||1Thess 4 : 13 – 18||We shall stay with the Lord forever|
|7||2Tim 2 : 8 – 13||If we have died with Him, the we shall live with Him|
|8||Rev 14 : 13||Happy are those who die in the Lord|
|9||Rev 20 : 11 – 21 : 1||The dead have been judged according to their works|
(P) Reflection: Let us now pause for a while to reflect on the comforting words of Scripture and to speak from the heart with our compassionate God who reaches out to us in all our circumstances. (Pause)
Having received the Word of God we shall now respond with the Hymn ‘No one can give to me
(SL) Hymn: No One Can Give
C. Recalling Memories:
(Instruction to the one conducting the service: You may drop this part out if you think people will not share, but remember this part will be very helpful to all present as it helps recall living moments with the deceased and what he/she meant to each one. It is best if you already give 2 – 3 persons a few minutes advance notice so that they can help start off this sharing.)
(P) Let us now spend a few silent minutes with N, as we recall experiences with her/him, both sad and happy ones. It’s a time to say things left unsaid: express thanks, regrets, love, reconciliation; to come to terms with all that has happened. Let us become aware of what N, meant to us, how we have grown through our contact with her/him. (after an adequate time of silence). Any one may now share your thoughts, or some happy memory regarding N, You may also praise her/him for her/his edifying qualities and good deeds for which you will remember her/him. Let us be brief and to the point, so that others too may express their sentiments.
(SL) Thanksgiving Hymn “O Give Thanks to the Lord”
D. Intercessory Prayers:
(P) God, Our Almighty Father, You raised Christ your son from the dead; with confidence we know that You will save your people, living and dead.
Response : Your steadfast love O Lord, never ceases
(I) In Baptism our sister/brother, N died to sin and death and was born to eternal life in the risen Christ. Lord, we know you will give her/him company with your saints forever. R/- Your steadfast love O Lord, never ceases
(I) In Holy communion, N received the body of Christ, a pledge of her/his salvation; In his/her death he/she now is in total communion with You. R/-
(I) Lord, we know that in Your Mercy you have forgiven all the sins of N and thus prepared , him/her to enter into his/her heavenly kingdom: R/-
(I) We pray for all who have died in the hope of rising again; welcome them, Lord, into your holy presence. R/-
(I) Heavenly Father, we pray for _______________ (here name the immediate relatives of N) that you may give them the strength to bear this irreparable loss through the faith in knowing that N is already enjoying the happiest moments of his/her life in your company . May Jesus who consoled the widow and wept at the death of Lazarus be their consolation and their hope. R/-
(I) Finally, Lord, we pray for all those who have gathered here to pay our respects to N, and to thank you for giving him/her eternal rest,. We pray that one day we may all be united in your kingdom of Peace, Joy and Love: R/-
E. Concluding Prayer:
(P) Lord Jesus, Our Redeemer, You willingly gave yourself up in death so that by your death all people might be saved from sin and death. Listen to our prayers, look with love on your people who mourn and pray for our departed sister/brother. Lord Jesus, Holy and Compassionate, thank you for forgiving our sister/brother N all her/his sins.
For those who believe in you: death is not the end, but the beginning of a new life!
We are glad to know in faith that our brother / sister is now with you and experiencing the joy and peace of heaven where with the Father and the Holy Spirit You live and reign for ever and ever. All. AMEN
(P) Let us all recite together the ‘Our Father’.
(All) Our Father, in heaven .....
(SL) We shall end this service with the Hymn: Let us sing the Concluding hymn, “The Lord is my Shepherd”, not as a mournful song, but briskly, with faith and confidence in Christ: our good Shepherd.