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Bible Readings for funerals

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Bible readings for funerals can form an important part of a Christian funeral service, but even non-religious funerals may include a favourite verse or psalm.

For a religious funeral funeral scripture readings can express faith in someone’s journey on to a new life in Heaven, while many Bible readings for funeral and verses also acknowledge how difficult it is to grieve and offer words of comfort.

Whether you are looking for a Bible verse to read in a eulogy, or to write on a sympathy letter or funeral flowers card, these 20 Bible readings for funerals may inspire or comfort you.

What are the most popular Bible verses for funerals?

New Testament verses for funerals are among the most popular for reading aloud, with a focus on reconciliation, peace, healing and eternal new life in heaven. Many readings from the New Testament are uplifting Bible verses, but they can also be reflective and mournful.

The passages below are examples of New Testament readings for funerals that many people have traditionally drawn comfort from.

My Father’s house has many rooms

Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.

My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am – John 14:1-3

Blessed are those who mourn

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted – Matthew 5:4

Whoever believes shall not perish

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life – John 3:16

I am the resurrection and the life

I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die – John 11:25-26

You will find rest for your souls Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light – Matthew 11:28-30

Follow me

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.

My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand – John 10:27-29

Old Testament scriptures for funerals

The Old Testament of the Bible also contains many sources of readings for funerals. The Book of Psalms is a source for many verses for funerals. The best known is Psalm 23, or the Song of David, familiar to so many people as the funeral hymn The Lord is My Shepherd.

The Lord is my Shepherd

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever – Psalm 23

Comforting the brokenhearted

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit – Psalm 34:18

A psalm for the mourning

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit – Psalm 34:18

Funeral verses for family

Many Bible readings for funerals express how God the Father comforts those who die and go to live with him in Heaven. These can make inspiring funeral readings for a father, mother, grandmother or grandfather; reflecting on how they cared for you and are now healed, rested, protected and reborn in Paradise.

Do not grieve

Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.

For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him – Thessalonians 4:13-14

New life

We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life – Romans 6:4

A time for everything

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

A time to be born and a time to die,

A time to plant and a time to uproot,

A time to kill and a time to heal,

A time to tear down and a time to build,

A time to weep and a time to laugh,

A time to mourn and a time to dance Ecclesiastes 3:1-4

Do not fear, for I am with you

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand – Isaiah 41:10

Our strength

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea – Psalm 46:1-2

Uplifting Bible readings for funerals

The following Bible scriptures for funerals are more uplifting, and reflect on the hope and happiness of a life that ends with a journey on to a new, eternal life.

Many Bible verses for funerals reflect on the love of God and Jesus, for those they welcome into Heaven and the families who are left behind.

Oh Death, where is thy sting?

When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

“Oh Death, where is thy victory? Oh Death, where is thy sting?” – Corinthians 15:54-56

Commonwealth in Heaven

Our commonwealth is in Heaven, and from it we await a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ who will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body – Philippians 3:20-21

The love of God

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 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 8:38-39

An eternal house

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in Heaven, not built by human hands – Corinthians 5:1

We are the Lord’s

For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s – Romans 14:8

The Lord answered me

I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed – Psalm 34:4-5

In the path of righteousness is life

In the path of righteousness is life, and in its pathway there is no death – Proverbs 12:28

– Read more about funeral hymns and poems to read at a loved one’s funeral .

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