Christian funeral readings are very significant, because the word of God is of great importance in the funeral ceremony. The funeral readings proclaim the meaning that Christ himself gave to death, teach us to remember the dead, nourish our hope of being gathered together again in God’s kingdom, and encourage us to live the Christian life. Above all, the readings tell of God’s design for a world in which suffering and death will be destroyed. In the Christian funeral readings all present have an opportunity to hear God speak to them in their needs, sorrows, fears and hopes.
At the funeral liturgy the biblical readings may not be replaced by non-biblical ones. But during prayer services with the family non-biblical readings may be used in addition to the Christian funeral readings from Scripture (see below). Members of the family may be invited to read the scripture readings.
Many people nowadays wish to include in the funeral readings or poems which are not from the bible. Please bear the following points in mind. In the celebration of the word of God at the funeral liturgy, the christian funeral readings from the bible may not be replaced. However, an additional funeral readings, inspired by faith, could be appropriate as a meditation after the homily. Alternatively, a non-biblical reading may be incorporated into the words of remembrance spoken by a member of the family or a friend later in the funeral liturgy. In a service at home or in hospital, non-biblical readings or poems can be used effectively, as these services are less formal than the funeral liturgy in church, though the Scriptures should not be entirely displaced.
Christian Funeral Readings / Prayer Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, refresh me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O good Jesus, hear me.
Within your wounds hide me.
Let me never be separated from you.
From the power of darkness defend me.
In the hour of my death, call me
and bid me come to you,
that with your saints I may praise you
for ever and ever.
What Christian Funeral Readings Do You Need at a Catholic Funeral?
Most masses have three readings. The first reading is generally one from the Old Testament of the Bible. The second reading is from the New Testament of the Bible. The family of the person who passed away may choose someone to read these readings, or the church can appoint someone to read if the family may have a hard time making it through the readings.
The purpose of these Christian funeral readings is to provide comfort and consolation to the people mourning the loss of a loved one.
The third reading is typically read by the Priest and is one of the Gospels of the New Testament. This is usually selected by the Priest, but you may be able to suggest one if you have a special preference that is important to you and the family, or the Priest may give you a choice between a few Christian funeral readings.