Choosing Funeral Readings explained by MW Funeral Directors
When you lose a loved one as well as dealing with your devastating grief you also have the overwhelming task of arranging a personal funeral or memorial service for them. Many people choose Funeral Readings as part of their loved one’s eulogy or service which can be a religious or non-religious reading. There are so many things to think about and organise when you have lost someone you love and you need people around you that will support and guide you through this time in your life. Choosing funeral readings is something that your family, friends or funeral director can support you with.
Funeral readings offer us a way to express our feelings about the loss of a loved one. They are used during funerals, memorials services, and other celebrations to honour and remember the deceased, talk about memories and offer comfort to those who are attending the funeral.
What is a Eulogy?
A Eulogy is a speech or piece of writing that praises someone and is a tribute to someone who has just died. A Eulogy can be written by a loved one and include religious or non-religious readings, poems, music and photos and incorporate a religious or non-religious reading.
Anyone can conduct a non-religious service, including family or friends, or you can choose to use a non-religious celebrant. A funeral celebrant will meet with you to learn about your loved one, their loves, their life and memorable stories. They can support you choose the music, poetry and readings which will help to personalise their funeral service. Non-religious funerals are often referred to as a secular service. They are a personal ceremony, remembering and celebrating the life of the person who has passed without any reference to any religion. The service can include readings, quotes from a book, film or song they loved or music that may have been chosen by loved ones or specified in the deceased’s final wishes, People often share something that their loved one wrote, such as a letter or email.
Religious Funerals celebrate the deceased in a way that their beliefs and religion depicts. Every religions funeral traditions are different and celebrate and remember the life of a loved one in their own special way. Readings, Psalms and passages can be helpful for mourners and offer hope that the deceased has gone to a better place. Your clergy and funeral director can assist you with ideas to shape the funeral service. A religious funeral is about remembering and celebrating the life of the person who has passed away using readings, quotes from a book, film or song they loved, or music that has been chosen by loved ones, or that was specified in the deceased’s final wishes. You can also share something that your loved one wrote, maybe a letter, email or message.
Funeral readings are something that is read out at a funeral that may remember the person who has passed away or they can be religious readings.
Choosing meaningful funeral readings and reflections is the final way to remember a loved one, through celebrating the things they most loved in life while providing solace to the grieving family.
It is really difficult to find the right words to express your feelings of loss and to remember your loved one at such a difficult time in your life.
Start by thinking about what they loved doing, their family, their personality, their career, their strengths and the special qualities that they showed during their life. Write things down as you remember them and take some quiet time to reflect and remember their life and your time together. This is difficult at a time when you are grieving and busy with organising everything. Ask friends and family to sit with you and talk about them together. As you start writing it will get easier but don’t put too much pressure on yourself as this will prevent you from thinking about the good things you want to include in the reading.
Don’t feel you have to be the one that reads your eulogy, poems or readings that you have chosen as this is a really difficult thing to do. Ask family and friends to support you with these things or if you want to do it yourself then always have someone prepared and ready to take over if you need them to.
Look on the internet for funeral readings, poems and examples of eulogy’s as this will help you as you start this overwhelming process.
It will be painful but look through photos and it will help you with the grief you are feeling and help you to think and remember the good times you had together.
There can be several types of readings at your loved one’s funeral and they can all be equally special and fitting. Writing something personal allows you to express your feelings about them and can be a wonderful way of conveying your love and admiration for them.
Here are some popular non-religious readings taken from various sources on the internet:
Remember me with smiles not tears,
For all the joy through all the years.
Recall the closeness that was ours,
A love as “sweet” as fragrant flowers.
Don’t dwell on thoughts that cause you pain,
We’ll see each other once again.
I am at peace…try to believe,
It was my time…I had to leave.
But “what a view”, I have from here,
I see your face, I feel you near,
I follow you throughout the day,
You’re not alone along the way.
And when God calls you…you will be,
Right by my side…right here with me.
Till then, I’ll wait by heaven’s door,
We’ll be united…evermore!
To the living I am gone
To the sorrowful I will never return
To the angry I was cheated
But to the happy, I am at peace
And to the faithful I have never left.
I cannot speak but I can listen,
I cannot be seen but I can be heard.
So as you stand in a vast forest,
Gazing at the stars,
Remember me in your heart and in your thoughts
The memories of the times we loved
The memories of the time we shared.
For if you always think of me, I will have never gone.
We gather to remember the little things that made a special place in our heart.
To remember those happy times when we laughed
and those times when our hearts broke as one.
For who could put a price on memory?
We gather to share the pain
To hurt when you hurt without presuming that our pain is the same.
To cry when you cry and not try to hide or avoid our tears.
For who can ever take away the pain?
We gather to give the gift of grief
To stand beside you in silence and not be uncomfortable with your tears.
To allow you the gift of mourning this loss and not lose patience
For grief is God’s way of healing a broken heart.
The cares of the world concern me no longer
I have completed this life
My work is done,
My family is happy and healthy in their pursuits
I have loved much and well
To those I leave behind
I hope I will remain in their hearts as they will in mine
Thank you for taking such good care of me
And all of you who have been my friends, thank you for teaching me about life and about love.
They are not dead,
Who leave us this great heritage of remembering joy.
They still live in our hearts,
In the happiness we knew, in the dreams we shared.
They still breathe,
In the lingering fragrance, windblown, from their favourite flowers.
They still smile in the moonlight’s silver,
And laugh in the sunlight’s sparking gold.
They still speak in the echoes of the words we’ve heard them say again and again.
They still move,
In the rhythm of waving grasses, in the dance of the tossing branches.
They are not dead;
Their memory is warm in our hearts, comfort in our sorrow.
They are not apart from us, but part of us,
For love is eternal,
And those we love shall be with us throughout all eternity.
MW Funeral Directors
We have over 25 years of experience in the funeral industry and our focus is always providing you with a compassionate and caring service guiding you through the process and the difficult decisions to make when arranging a funeral for a loved one.
As a small, independent Funeral Directors we are able to spend as much time with you as you need, and we will be with you throughout the planning process. We know from experience that it is the bond of trust between family and funeral director that helps deliver a personal funeral that best befits the departed. On the day of the funeral, we will be dedicated to your family alone.
We help to plan and direct funerals for people of all faiths and beliefs or no religion at all, and we organise traditional burials and cremations, humanist funerals, and natural and green burials.
Please contact one of our compassionate and experienced team on 0117 950 4100 and they will be able to answer any questions you may have.
Martyn Lenthall is the content writer for MW Funeral Directors and updates our blog regularly with helpful advice and new information.