We gather today in love, to celebrate the life of our (brother/sister), (name of deceased).

We meet with sorrow in our hearts because one we have loved is no longer with us. Yet, we also meet in thankfulness for the gift of (name’s) life, which touched us all.

We come in sorrow, confronting the fact that life ends. Yet we also know that there is a power stronger than death—the transformative power of love. Love has joined us together as husbands and wives, as fathers and mothers, as parents and children, as brothers and sisters, and as friends and neighbors. To be touched by love is to have experienced the transforming power of God on earth.

The anguish of parting cannot destroy this most real of all realities. A love that was once born can never die, for it has become part of our life, woven into the fabric of our being. Among those who are here today, love has joined our lives together, friendship has bonded us, and shared joys and sorrows have shaped our history with one another. The relationships of love and friendship that knit us all together in life do not unravel at death.

So this day we bear witness to (name’s) life—who, now in death, blesses us with the spirit in which (he/she) lived (his/her) life.

In the beatitudes of Matthew’s gospel, Jesus described those of us who are gathered here in the words, “Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

Blessed are we who mourn for we have been privileged to walk alongside (name) through life’s journey.

Blessed are we who mourn for we have been graced with the precious gift of (name’s) love and friendship.

Blessed are we who mourn for although (name’s) living spirit is gone, we know that the love he/she shared will never die. For that love now lives in each of us.

Let us pray:

Lord of all kindliness, Lord of all grace,
your hands swift to welcome, your arms to embrace,
be there at our homing, and give us, we pray,
your love in our hearts, Lord, at the eve of the day.

Lord of all gentleness, Lord of all calm,
whose voice is contentment, whose presence is balm,
be there at our sleeping, and give us, we pray,
your peace in our hearts, Lord, at the end of the day.

Amen.

We now commend (name) into the rest of everlasting peace.

May we hold the memory of (his/her) life and (his/her) love forever in our hearts and minds.

Amen.