The Scripture Readings

 

For a Funeral Service: 

  • 1st Reading – please choose the First Reading from the Old or New Testaments.
  • The Psalm – please choose only one Psalm - to be spoken or to be sung. The response or the whole psalm can be sung.  If the whole psalm is being sung, then please choose from “Choosing the Music” on Pages 4 - 5.
  • Gospel – please choose only one Gospel Reading

 

For a Requiem Mass:

  • Readings: First and/or Second
  • If only The First Reading is decided upon, then this can be chosen from the Old & New Testaments (pages 7 – 10)
  • The Second Reading is optional.

If both First and Second Readings are chosen – then the First Reading should be from the Old Testament (pages 7 – 9) and the Second Reading should be from the New Testament (pages 9 – 10).

 

 THE FIRST READING

 

CHOICES FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT

 

CHOICE R1

 

Isaiah 25:6-9   The Lord God will destroy death for ever.

 

A reading from the prophet Isaiah:

On this mountain,

the Lord of hosts will prepare for all peoples

a banquet of rich food.

On this mountain he will remove

the mourning veil covering all peoples,

and the shroud enwrapping all nations,

he will destroy Death for ever.

The Lord God will wipe away

the tears from every cheek;

he will take away his people's shame

everywhere on earth,

for the Lord has said so.

That day, it will be said: See, this is our God

in whom we hoped for salvation;

the Lord is the one in whom we hoped.

We exult and we rejoice

that he has saved us.

The Word of the Lord

 

 

CHOICE R2

 

Wisdom 3:1-9   He accepted them as a holocaust.

A reading from the book of Wisdom:

The souls of the virtuous are in the hands of God,

no torment shall ever touch them.

In the eyes of the unwise, they did appear to die,

their going looked like a disaster,

their leaving us, like annihilation;

but they are in peace.

If they experienced punishment as men see it,

their hope was rich with immortality;

slight was their affliction, great will their blessings be.

God has put them to the test

and proved them worthy to be with him;

he has tested them like gold in a furnace,

and accepted them as a holocaust.

When the time comes for his visitation they will shine out;

as sparks run through the stubble, so will they.

They shall judge nations, rule over peoples,

and the Lord will be their king for ever.

They who trust in him will understand the truth,

those who are faithful will live with him in love;

for grace and mercy await those he has chosen.

The Word of the Lord

 

 

CHOICE R3

            Wisdom 4:7-15   A blameless life is a ripe old age.

            A reading from the book of Wisdom:

            The virtuous man, though he die before his time, will find rest.

            Length of days is not what makes age honourable,

            nor number of years the true measure of life;

            understanding, this is man's grey hairs,

            untarnished life, this is ripe old age.

            He has sought to please God, so God has loved him;

            as he was living among sinners, he has been taken up.

            He has been carried off so that evil may not warp his understanding

            or treachery seduce his soul;

            for the fascination of evil throws good things into the shade,

            and the whirlwind of desire corrupts a simple heart.

            Coming to perfection in so short a while, he achieved long life;

            his soul being pleasing to the Lord,

            he has taken him quickly from the wickedness around him.

            Yet people look on, uncomprehending;

            it does not enter their heads

            that grace and mercy await the chosen of the Lord,

            and protection, his holy ones.

     The Word of the Lord

CHOICE R4

            Ecclesiastes 3:1-10 (NRSV)   A time for everything

           

                  A reading from the book of Ecclesiastes:

            For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

            a time to be born, and a time to die;
            a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
            a time to kill, and a time to heal;
            a time to break down, and a time to build up;
            a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
            a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

            a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
            a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
            a time to seek, and a time to lose;
            a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
            a time to tear, and a time to sew;
            a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
            a time to love, and a time to hate;
            a time for war, and a time for peace.

     The Word of the Lord

 

 

CHOICES FROM THE NEW TESTAMENT:

 

CHOICE R5

 

Revelation 14:13   Happy are those who die in the Lord!

 

A reading from the book of Revelation

I, John, heard a voice from heaven say to me, 'Write down: Happy are those who die in the Lord! Happy indeed, the Spirit says; now they can rest for ever after their work, since their good deeds go with them.'

The Word of the Lord

  

CHOICE R6

            2 Timothy 4:7-8 (NRSV)   There is reserved for me the crown of righteousness

              A reading of the second letter of St Paul to Timothy

            I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness,            which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

     The Word of the Lord

 

 CHOICE R7

            Ephesians 1:3-5 (NRSV)   Spiritual Blessings in Christ

            A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Ephesians:

            Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he   chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love.  He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will.

     The Word of the Lord

 

 

 THE PSALM

SINGING THE PSALM OPTIONS

  • The Psalm can be sung. Please refer to ‘Choosing the Music’ (pages 4 - 5)

 

 

READ/SPOKEN OPTIONS (the response marked ‘R’ can be sung by choir)

OPTION P1

Psalm 23

  1. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

The Lord is my shepherd;

there is nothing I shall want.

Fresh and green are the pastures

where he gives me repose.

Near restful waters he leads me,

to revive my drooping spirit. R.

He guides me along the right path;

he is true to his name.

If I should walk in the valley of darkness

no evil would I fear.

You are there with your crook and your staff;

with these you give me comfort. R.

You have prepared a banquet for me

in the sight of my foes.

My head you have anointed with oil;

my cup is overflowing. R.

Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me

all the days of my life.

In the Lord's own house shall I dwell

for ever and ever. R.

 

OPTION P2

Psalm 24

  1. To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.

Or R. No one who waits for you, O Lord, will every be put to shame.

Remember your mercy, Lord,

and the love you have shown from of old.

In your love remember me,

because of your goodness, O Lord. R.

Relieve the anguish of my heart

and set me free from my distress.

See my affliction and my toil

and take all my sins away. R.

Preserve my life and rescue me.

Do not disappoint me, you are my refuge.

May innocence and uprightness protect me:

for my hope is in you, O Lord. R.

 

OPTION P3   

Psalm 26

  1. The Lord is my light and my salvation.

Or R. I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.

The Lord is my light and my help;

whom shall I fear?

The Lord is the stronghold of my life;

before whom shall I shrink? R.

There is one thing I ask of the Lord,

for this I long,

to live in the house of the Lord,

all the days of my life,

to savour the sweetness of the Lord,

to behold his temple. R.

O Lord, hear my voice when I call;

have mercy and answer.

It is your face, O Lord, that I seek;

hide not your face. R.

I am sure I shall see the Lord's goodness

in the land of the living.

Hope in him, hold firm and take heart.

Hope in the Lord! R.

  

OPTION P4

Psalm 41

  1. My soul is thirsting for the living God: when shall I see him face to face?

Like the deer that yearns

for running streams,

so my soul is yearning

for you, my God. R.

My soul is thirsting for God,

the God of my life;

when can I enter and see

the face of God? R.

These things will I remember

as I pour out my soul:

how I would lead the rejoicing crowd

into the house of God,

amid cries of gladness and thanksgiving,

the throng wild with joy. R.

 

OPTION P5

Psalm 62

  1. My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.

O God, you are my God, for you I long;

for you my soul is thirsting.

My body pines for you

like a dry, weary land without water. R.

So I gaze on you in the sanctuary

to see your strength and your glory.

For your love is better than life,

my lips will speak your praise. R.

So I will bless you all my life,

in your name I will lift up my hands.

My soul shall be filled as with a banquet,

my mouth shall praise you with joy. R.

You have been my help;

in the shadow of your wings I rejoice.

My soul clings to you;

your right hand holds me fast. R.

OPTION P6

Psalm 102

  1. The Lord is kind and merciful.

Or  R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.

The Lord is compassion and love,

slow to anger and rich in mercy.

He does not treat us according to our sins

nor repay us according to our faults. R.

As a father has compassion on his sons,

the Lord has pity on those who fear him;

for he knows of what we are made,

he remembers that we are dust. R.

As for man, his days are like grass;

he flowers like the flower of the field

the wind blows and he is gone

and his place never sees him again. R.

But the love of the Lord is everlasting

upon those who hold him in fear;

his justice reaches out to children's children

when they keep his covenant in truth. R.

 

OPTION P7

Psalms 114 & 115

  1. I will walk in the presence of the Lord in the land of the living

Or  R. Alleluia!

How gracious is the Lord, and just;

Our God has compassion.

The Lord protects the simple hearts;

I was helpless so he saved me. R.

I trusted, even when I said:

‘I am sorely afflicted,’

and when I said in my alarm:

‘No man can be trusted’. R.

O precious in the eyes of the Lord

Is the death of his faithful.

Your servant, Lord, your servant am I;

You have loosened my bonds. R.

SECOND READING from The New Testament

OPTION E

Philippians 3:20-21  Jesus will transfigure these wretched bodies of ours to be like his glorious body.

 

A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Philippians

For us, our homeland is in heaven, and from heaven comes the saviour we are waiting for, the Lord Jesus Christ, and he will transfigure these wretched bodies of ours into copies of his glorious body. He will do that by the same power with which he can subdue the whole universe.

The Word of the Lord

 

OPTION F

1 John 3:1-2  We shall see God as he really is.

 

A reading from the first letter of St John

Think of the love that the Father has lavished on us,

by letting us be called God's children;

and that is what we are.

Because the world refused to acknowledge him,

therefore it does not acknowledge us.

My dear people, we are already the children of God

but what we are to be in the future has not yet been revealed;

all we know is, that when it is revealed

we shall be like him

because we shall see him as he really is.

The Word of the Lord

 

OPTION G

            Romans 6:3-9   Let us walk in newness of life.

 

            A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Romans

            When we were baptised in Christ Jesus we were baptised in his death; in   other words, when we were baptised we went into the tomb with him and joined him in death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the Father's glory, we too might live a new life.

            But we believe that having died with Christ we shall return to life with him: Christ, as we know, having been raised from the dead will never die again. Death has no power over him any more.

     The Word of the Lord

GOSPEL READING

CHOICE G1

Matthew 5:1-12   Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.

 

A reading from the holy gospel according to Matthew

Seeing the crowds, Jesus went up the hill. There he sat down and was joined by his disciples. Then he began to speak. This is what he taught them:

'How happy are the poor in spirit;

theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Happy the gentle:

they shall have the earth for their heritage.

Happy those who mourn:

they shall be comforted.

Happy those who hunger and thirst for what is right:

they shall be satisfied.

Happy the merciful:

they shall have mercy shown them.

Happy the pure in heart:

they shall see God.

Happy the peacemakers:

they shall be called sons of God.

Happy those who are persecuted in the cause of right:

theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

'Happy are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.'

The Gospel of the Lord.

 

CHOICE G2

Matthew 11:25-30   You have hidden these things from the learned and have revealed them to children.

 

A reading from the holy gospel according to Matthew

Jesus exclaimed, 'I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children. Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do. Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, just as no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

'Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.'

The Gospel of the Lord.

 

 CHOICE G3

John 6:37-40   All who believe in Jesus have eternal life and I will raise them up on the last day.

 

A reading from the holy gospel according to John

Jesus said to the crowd:

'All that the Father gives me will come to me,

and whoever comes to me

I shall not turn him away;

because I have come from heaven,

not to do my own will,

but to do the will of the one who sent me.

Now the will of him who sent me

is that I should lose nothing

of all that he has given to me,

and that I should raise it up on the last day.

Yes, it is my Father's will

that whoever sees the Son and believes in him

shall have eternal life,

and that I shall raise him up on the last day.'

The Gospel of the Lord.

 

CHOICE G4

John 11:17-27   I am the resurrection and the life.

 

A reading from the holy gospel according to John

On arriving at Bethany, Jesus found that Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days already. Bethany is only about two miles from Jerusalem, and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to sympathise with them over their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus had come she went to meet him. Mary remained sitting in the house. Martha said to Jesus, 'If you had been here, my brother would not have died, but I know that, even now, whatever you ask of God, he will grant you.' 'Your brother' said Jesus to her 'will rise again.' Martha said, 'I know he will rise again at the resurrection on the last day.' Jesus said:

'I am the resurrection and the life.

If anyone believes in me, even though he dies he will live,

and whoever lives and believes in me

will never die.

Do you believe this?'

'Yes, Lord,' she said 'I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who was to come into this world.'

The Gospel of the Lord.

 

CHOICE G5

John 14:1-6   There are many rooms in my Father's house.

 

A reading from the holy gospel according to John

Jesus said to the disciples:

'Do not let your hearts be troubled.

Trust in God still, and trust in me.

There are many rooms in my Father's house;

if there were not, I should have told you.

I am going now to prepare a place for you,

and after I have gone and prepared you a place,

I shall return to take you with me;

so that where I am

you may be too.

You know the way to the place where I am going.'

Thomas said, 'Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way?' Jesus said:

I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.

No one can come to the Father except through me.'

The Gospel of the Lord.

 

CHOICE G6

John 17:24-26   Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am.

 

A reading from the holy gospel according to John

Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said:

'Father,

I want those you have given me

to be with me where I am,

so that they may always see the glory

you have given me

because you loved me

before the foundation of the world.

Father, Righteous One,

the world has not known you,

but I have known you,

and these have known

that you have sent me.

I have made your name known to them

and will continue to make it known,

so that the love with which you loved me may be in them,

and so that I may be in them.'

The Gospel of the Lord.