Just as you may choose particular hymns for a funeral service, the pastor may ask if there are any Scripture verses you want included. Of course, there are suggestions included along with whatever guide the pastor is using to lead the service. I checked out my husband’s copy of “Ministerial Acts.” The service is intended to lead us through what the bible teaches about sin, death and judgement; the need to be prepared for death; the truth of resurrection and eternal life; and what can give us comfort. Here are some of the citations if you would like to look them up:
Psalm 90:2-6; 12
Romans 5:12 and Hebrews 9:27
1 Corinthians 15:51-57
However, you may choose other verses that are special to you or your loved one. Here are the readings I would like at my funeral and why I chose them.
Old Testament Reading Job 19:23-27 – I have confidence in God and look forward to seeing Him face to face)
3 “Oh, that my words were recorded,
that they were written on a scroll,
24 that they were inscribed with an iron tool on[b] lead,
or engraved in rock forever!
25 I know that my redeemer[c] lives,
and that in the end he will stand on the earth.[d]
26 And after my skin has been destroyed,
yet[e] in[f] my flesh I will see God;
27 I myself will see him
with my own eyes—I, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!
New Testament Reading (this is my life verse, like the hymn it inspires and motivates me. I have had so many faithful witnesses in my life and I give thanks for them) Hebrews 12:1-3 Please use this verse in preaching the funeral sermon.
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Psalm 16 (like David, I have had a blessed life and I praise and thank God for all of it)
A miktam[a] of David.
1 Keep me safe, my God,
for in you I take refuge.
2 I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
apart from you I have no good thing.”
3 I say of the holy people who are in the land,
“They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.”
4 Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more.
I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods
or take up their names on my lips.
5 Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
you make my lot secure.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
7 I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
8 I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithful[b] one see decay.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Gospel Reading John 3: -8 ( I always identified with Nicodemus. I think I would have wanted to learn more about this Jesus, but I would have been cautious and not made up my mind quickly)
1 Now there came a man of the Pharisees whose name was Nicodemus, a member of the council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could do the miraculous signs that you do unless God were with him.”
3 Jesus replied, “I tell you the solemn truth, unless a person is born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter his mother’s womb and be born a second time, can he?”
5 Jesus answered, “I tell you the solemn truth, unless a person is born of water and spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
This has been a rather long post, but I hope readers will find it helpful. Remember your funeral is the last opportunity you have to influence others for Christ. Use it wisely!