Beautiful, Well Chosen Readings For Funerals

When planning a funeral, the importance of funeral readings should not be overlooked. The idea of speaking about your loved one so soon after their passing may seem difficult, but this is an important time that will help friends and family come to terms with the death. What is an appropriate reading and who should be the one to deliver it? I hope this article will help you in this process.


Losing a loved one is devastating; all you want to do is hide away and give yourself time to grieve. What usually happens however is that you are inundated with well wishers, sympathy cards and phone calls, in-person visits from friends and family and of course then there is the funeral. Being such an emotional time you may wonder how is it possible to speak to those attending the ceremony. How does anyone get up in front of others, even if they are family, and speak about your loss, about the person you lost, without breaking down in tears. It is important to remember that what you are ultimately doing is celebrating their life and the time and memories they gave you in this life. It is memories you need to share, to celebrate the person they were and will always remain in your heart. Well chosen readings for funerals can be scripture readings or non religious and can certainly help you to find the right words.

Funeral readings non religiousThere is no hard fast rule as to who should do the actual funeral readings. Any family member or friend, who feels they are able, is quite alright. And if the tears do come that is OK as well. If no one is comfortable performing the funeral readings then the minister, or even funeral director, will be quite happy to assist. What are appropriate readings for funerals? That is an entirely personal choice; there is no right or wrong here.The following are some suggestions but feel free to choose whatever your heart speaks is appropriate for your situation.

Funeral Scripture Readings From The Christian Bible:

Corinthians (13, 15 42-57, 15), Thessalonians 4 13-17, Romans 8 31-39, and many more from Ecclesiastes, Revelation, John, Isaiah, Samuel and Job.


37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39

Here are some suggestions for funeral readings from some well known individuals:
Funeral readings non religious “Parable on Immortality” by Henry Van Dyke

I am standing upon the seashore.
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 until at last she hangs
like a speck of white cloud
just where the sea and sky come down to mingle with each other.
Then someone at my side says,
” There she goes! ”
Gone where?
Gone from my sight . . . that is all.
She is just as large in mast and hull and spar
as she was when she left my side
and just as able to bear her load of living freight
to the place of destination.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her.
And just at the moment
when someone at my side says,
” There she goes! ”
there are other eyes watching her coming…
and other voices ready to take up the glad shout…
” Here she comes! “

“There is no Night Without a Dawning” by Helen Steiner Rice 

There is no night without a dawning

No winter without a spring

And beyond the dark horizon

Our hearts will once more sing ….

For those who leave us for a while

Have only gone away

Out of a restless, care worn world

Into a brighter day.

William Wordsworth is often used in funeral quotes:

“What thought the radiance which was once so bright
Be now forever taken from my sight
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind”

And to help surviving children understand the passing of a friend or sibling there are many wonderful special stories like “Water-bugs and Dragonflies”, by Doris Stickney. If the loved one lost is a child there are beautiful non religious funeral readings for those souls including this excerpt from “somewhere over the rainbow”:

Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high
And the dreams that you dreamed of
Once in a lullaby

Somewhere over the rainbow
Blue birds fly
And the dreams that you dreamed of
Dreams really do come true ooh oh

Someday I’ll wish upon a star
Wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where trouble melts like lemon drops
High above the chimney tops
That’s where you’ll find me

Oh, somewhere over the rainbow bluebirds fly
And the dream that you dare to,
Oh why, oh why can’t I?

Eskimo Proverb

“Perhaps they are not stars,
but rather openings in heaven
where the love of our lost ones
pours through and shines down upon us
to let us know they’re happy.”

If your loved one has been cremated there are readings for those occasions but any reading will do so long as it is one that touches you:


Into the freedom of wind and sunshine
We let you go
Into the dance of the stars and the planets
We let you go
Into the wind’s breath and the hands of the star maker
We let you go
We love you, we miss you, we want you to be happy
Go safely, go dancing, go running home
Ruth Burgess

Beautiful, well chosen readings for funerals will help you grieve, remember and eventually smile once more as you remember all that was special about the loved one who has passed.

Funeral scripture readings