Of Joy and Sorrow

A beautiful poem by Khalil Gibran on the relationship between joy and sorrow, ideal for reading at a funeral service.

Of Joy and Sorrow

Then a woman said, ―Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow.‖
And he answered:
Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that hold your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter‘s oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with
knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which
has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you
are weeping for that which has been your delight.
Some of you say, ―Joy is greater than sorrow,‖ and others say, ―Nay, sorrow is the
greater.‖ But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that
the other is asleep upon your bed.
Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your
joy or your sorrow rise or fall.

 

Not what you’re looking for? Browse more funeral hymns to find the right song for your loved one’s funeral