Choosing Readings For a Funeral

When a loved one dies, family or a close friend will often help arrange the funeral or memorial service. Having a preplanned funeral service at Beinhauer Funeral Home will help to ease the decision making process, with preparations being done in advance.  However, those who know the deceased the best often prefer to select reading for the services, even if a service has been planned in advance. Readings help survivors cope with the reality of their grief, putting into words what they otherwise cannot.

Bible and RosaryWhen choosing a reading, there are many different options.  Religious selections (namely bible verses or prayers), poems, song lyrics, and even movie quotes, are all wonderful choices for a funeral reading. The choice should be based on what makes the deceased special and what they loved. Quotes from favorite books can easily portray your loved one’s personality. A commissioned poem is a special way to capture the personality of someone and to make a memorial service extra personalized and intimate.

Poems capture grief and those left behind in beautiful ways and are a popular choice.  Over the ages, since Medieval times, poems have been used at funerals to express the feelings we have a hard time expressing.  Looking to celebrities and famous funerals may be inspiring as well; two poems, “Turn Again to Life” by Mary Lee Hall and “For Katrina’s Sun Dial” by Henry Van Dyke, were read at Princess Diana’s funeral and are now used widely today. Click here for an alphabetical listing of poems that are appropriate for a funeral or memorial service.

Religious readings include prayers such choices as the Serenity Prayer, The Lord’s Prayer, and Psalm 23. The Bible is full of appropriate readings to help say goodbye to a loved-one. Ask your family, religious leader, or your preplanned service professional at Beinhauer Funeral Home for inspiration. All members of our team will be able to give input for an appropriate verse or section to read.

Other places of inspiring readings can include movies and television, books and songs. Think of the deceased and what they loved: what is it that would best convey their personality? Is it “In My Life” from the Beatles? “Always Look at the Bright Side of Life” from Monty Python? Or is it one of the many sonnets from Shakespeare, observing loss, death, and grief? Nothing is out of bounds! This is the last goodbye and anything can be chosen to express the uniqueness and love felt for and by the deceased.