Worship – Funeral

Committal Service after a Death During a Pandemic

Dearly beloved:
We are gathered here today in the sight of God,
under this spring sky, to lay (name) to rest.
For everything there is a season,
and a time for every purpose under heaven.
There’s a time to be born and a time to die;
a time to plant and a time to pick up what is planted,
a time to laugh and a time to weep.
Today is a time to say good-bye.

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Prayer after Death During a Pandemic

Almighty God,
we come to you filled to the brim with sorrow
because our loved one, (name), has died.
We can hardly absorb this fact.
This time of quarantine and social distancing
has meant that not everyone was here
who wanted to be here.
We may have different feelings about
the care that was given
or was unable to be given in the hospital.

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Suicide: Five Prayers from Those Left Behind

1.  Dear God,
this grief for our loved one has hit us like a truck.
Our lives have not been the same since we heard.
You know the exact weight of our heavy hearts,
you know the volume of tears we shed,
you know the temperature of the places inside of us
that are frozen and numb.
Thank you God that you were with us before we knew this news,
and that you are journeying with us now.

2. God of our minds,
you know the thoughts that knock about our brains.

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After the Funeral

The tears are shed
and the words are spoken
and the body, blessed,
is laid under six feet of cold ground.
We walk away reeling, at least inside,
holding each other together
all the way to the church auditorium
where we collapse
in front of tables filled with food….

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Final Goodbyes (for Mimi)

thank you that you are God with us
even in our final good-byes.
Thank you for the ebbing of life,
which is as holy as its birth,
even with all the indignities
that infirmities bring.
Thank you for loved ones gathered,
for memories shared and savoured,
and for quiet vigils,
sweeter than all words,
where all we do is breathe.

And at the stillest moment of all,

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Good Friday Service: A Funeral for Jesus

:  In this service, we put ourselves into the shoes of Jesus’ family and closest friends as they mourned his death.  They did not have a funeral for Jesus, but they saw his body and knew that he died.  In our culture, we have a funeral for people who have died, when we perform that ritual, it is clear that someone has passed away.  Having a service that is funeral-like  on Good Friday can hammer home to us in a very deep, visceral way that Jesus really died.  Most people have been to many Good Friday services where it is explained that Jesus died for our sins.  That is an important message, but  not one that this service talks about.   This service doesn’t talk about that since we are putting ourselves into the shoes of the disciples and Jesus’ family; just after he died they were in a time of shock, of wondering and not understanding. 

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About Carol Penner

I am a Mennonite pastor currently teaching theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. I’ve served congregations in Ontario and most recently, Alberta.

I love to write and to lead worship! If you are finding my writing helpful, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to use or adapt the material here, it is all written by me. If printing material, please credit “Copyright Carol Penner www.leadinginworship.com” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at carol@leadinginworship.com

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