Written by Kim Wilhelm
Last Updated 26 Mar 2023
When the Good Lord calls home one of your cherished family members or friends, the grief can feel insurmountable. As a Godfearing American, you want to honor your loved one with a heartfelt and moving service, filled with customs and traditions that are meaningful and lead them into the gates of Heaven.
When you are overcome with grief, even the simplest tasks can feel impossible, let alone planning the best prayers for funerals, poems for funerals, and bible verses for funerals and memorials.
These 25 prayers, poems, and bible verses for memorials and funerals were compiled to help you through what may be the most difficult time in your life. We hope these poems, prayers, and bible verses for funerals and memorials will help process your grief and extend compassion and comfort to those left behind.
Uplifting Prayers and Blessings for Funerals & Memorial Services
Opening Prayer for Joy
Father God, we open this funeral service with sorrow, yet sincere rejoicing.
Our departed loved one is now free.
He/she is in a better place.
That is a truth we can have joy for.
As we speak with one another, sing, listen to your Word,
and hear eulogies, focus our mind on your goodness.
And direct our thoughts to fond memories of our departed friend and family member.
Let people speak of the ways our loved one has impacted their lives.
And let us rejoice over every testimony, knowing that his/her life was a life well-lived.
Non-Religious Funeral Blessing
Be free, be strong,
be proud of who you have been,
know that you will be mourned and missed,
that no one can replace you,
that you have loved and are beloved.
Move beyond form, flowing like water,
feeding on sunlight and moonlight,
radiant as the stars in the night sky.
Pass the gates, enter the dark without fear,
returning to the womb of life to steep in the cauldron of rebirth.
Rest, heal, grow young again.
Religious Funeral Prayer
God has blessed and enriched our lives in giving us
(Name) to know and love here on earth.
Though our time together was not nearly enough,
in committing his/her body to the earth,
we give over to God the care of his/her spirit,
and we acknowledge that we will one day reunite
with him/her in God's house where Jesus has prepared a room for us.
The Lord bless him/her and keep him/her;
the Lord make his face shine upon him/her and be gracious to him/her;
the Lord look upon him/her with favor and give him/her peace.
Compare and buy
The Deep Love of Jesus Prayer
God, we thank you for your deep, immeasurable love.
We thank you that your love covers us in its fullness,
leading us homeward to our glorious rest above.
Bless this assembly, precious Lord,
and may you be honored as we celebrate a life that glorified you.
Bless those who have suffered this great loss,
and may they find comfort in your arms of love.
And now, dear Savior, may our loved one reach heaven’s glories
and see you face to face.
Memorial Prayer of Thanks
Lord, we thank you for giving us the life of [name].
Today, we do not mourn but celebrate all
they achieved and the legacy they leave behind.
We will remain ever grateful for being blessed
with their presence and the light they shone
into so many lives and hearts.
We will treasure them and all they stood for,
cherishing the memories we have that shall never fade.
Heartfelt Religious Funeral Prayer
You are our Creator. You are the author of life.
Life is a precious gift.
We come today to commemorate and honor a life that is precious to us.
As we mourn this life that is no longer with us,
we are aching from a void that has been created in our heart.
We lift up our sadness and grief to you.
Lord, we ask that you would comfort us in our pain,
and bring us an abundance of your gentle healing mercies.
In Jesus name we pray,
Eternity is a Restful Place Prayer
We remember our loved one whose memory
is a comforting embrace to us today.
A life fulfilled, no longer caught up in the
Eternity is a restful place.
Joy is theirs.
We pray that until the day comes and we
are joined in the great beyond, that there
will only be gladness in the memories we
hold dear of this deserving soul.
Comforting Closing Prayer for Funeral
Good and wonderful God,
we say goodbye to our departed loved one for one last time.
We grieve because we will not see them any longer.
But we also celebrate because we know that our loved one
is enjoying your presence right now and without sickness or pain.
We rejoice because we know that our loved one is safe and at peace.
Please welcome this person into glory and free them from all
physical frailties and all mental and emotional struggles.
Thank you for this wonderful gift of eternal life.
As we close the service, may all these good thoughts be an encouragement
to every friend and family that have come here today.
Uplifting Poems for Funerals & Memorials
“Kinship” by Mamie Roehrig
“Then I look up, and silently,
The stars of heaven comfort me.
In all their awesome majesty
These symbols of eternity
Speak words of courage to my soul,
And suddenly, I am made whole.”
“Notes from the Other Side” by Jane Kenyon
“I divested myself of despair
And Fear when I came here.
Now there is no more catching
One’s own eye in the mirror,
There are no bad books, no plastic,
No insurance premiums, and of course
No illness. Contrition
Does not exist, nor gnashing
Of teeth. No one howls as the first
Clod of earth hits the casket.
The poor we no longer have with us.
Our calm hearts strike only the hour,
And God, as promised, proves
To be mercy clothed in light.”
But Not Forgotten” by Dorothy Parker
“I think, no matter where you stray,
That I shall go with you a way.
Though you may wander sweeter lands,
You will not soon forget my hands,
Nor yet the way I held my head,
Nor all the tremulous things I said.
You still will see me, small and white
And smiling, in the secret night,
And feel my arms about you when
The day comes fluttering back again.
I think, no matter where you be,
You'll hold me in your memory
And keep my image, there without me,
By telling later loves about me.”
Compare and buy
“Do Not Stand At My Grave and Weep” by Mary Elizabeth Frye
“Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.”
“Remember” by Christina Rossetti
“Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you plann'd:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.”
“Funeral” by Rupi Kaur
“when i go from this place
dress the porch with garlands
as you would for a wedding my dear
pull the people from their homes
and dance in the streets
when death arrives
like a bride at the aisle
send me off in my brightest clothing
serve ice cream with rose petals to our guests
there’s no reason to cry my dear
i have waited my whole life
for such a beauty to take
my breath away
when i go let it be a celebration
for i have been here
i have lived
i have won at this game called life”
“When Great Trees Fall” by Maya Angelou
“When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.
When great trees fall
small things recoil into silence,
eroded beyond fear.
When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
gnaws on kind words
Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
dependent upon their
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
radiance, fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance of
And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.”
“Memories Build A Special Bridge” by Emily Matthews
“Our memories build a special bridge
when loved ones have to part –
To help us feel we’re with them still
and soothe a grieving heart.
Our memories span the years we shared
preserving ties that bind –
They build a special bridge of love
and bring us peace of mind.
“Afterglow” by Helen Lowrie Marshall
“I’d like the memory of me to be a happy one.
I’d like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done.
I’d like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways,
Of happy times and laughing times and bright and sunny days.
I’d like the tears of those who grieve, to dry before the sun;
Of happy memories that I leave when life is done.”
Bible Verses for Funerals & Memorial Services
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,
4 who comforts us in all our troubles,
so that we can comfort those in any trouble
with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ,
so also our comfort abounds through Christ.
27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
“…For I will turn their mourning into joy,
and will comfort them,
and make them rejoice from their sorrow.”
4 “One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.
5 For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.”
1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth;
for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away,
and the sea was no more.
2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem,
coming down out of heaven from God,
prepared as a bride adorned for her husband;
3 and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
"Behold, the dwelling of God is with men.
He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people,
and God himself will be with them;
4 he will wipe away every tear from their eyes,
and death shall be no more,
neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more,
for the former things have passed away."
Whatever you think final expense costs...
It's probably less.
No money down • No medical exam
1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
because the LORD has anointed me to bring good tidings to the afflicted;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn;
3 to grant to those who mourn in Zion--to give them a garland instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the LORD,
that he may be glorified.
21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me.
22 Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell.
I am hard pressed between the two.
23 My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.
28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.