Readings for the Funeral Mass

Readings for the Funeral Mass

For the Funeral Mass, the family is encouraged to select appropriate Scripture readings that reflect the life of the deceased person. One reading is selected from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament. During the Season of Easter, however, the first reading from the Old Testament is replaced with one from the New Testament.

Please note, in some parishes, the Priest prefers to select the readings, but the family is still encouraged to participate in their proclamation.

Selections from the Old Testament

Job 19:1, 23-27a

A reading from the Book of Job

Job answered Bildad the Shuhite and said:

Oh, would that my words were written down!
Would that they were inscribed in a record:

That with an iron chisel and with lead
they were cut in the rock forever!

But as for me, I know that my Vindicator lives,
and that he will at last stand forth upon the dust;

Whom I myself shall see:
my own eyes, not another's, shall behold him;

And from my flesh I shall see God;
my inmost being is consumed with longing.

The word of the Lord.

Wisdom 3:1-9

Reading from the Book of Wisdom

The souls of the just are in the hand of God,
and no torment shall touch them.

They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be
and their passing away was thought an affliction
and their going forth from us, utter destruction.
But they are in peace.

For if before men, indeed, they be punished,
yet is their hope full of immortality;
chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed,
because God tried them.
and found them worthy of himself.

As gold in the furnace, he proved them,
and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.

In the time of their judgment they shall shine
and dart about as sparks through stubble
they shall judge nations and rule over peoples,
and the LORD shall be their King forever.

Those who trust in him shall understand truth,
and the faithful shall abide with him in love:
because grace and mercy are with his holy ones,
and his care is with his elect.

The word of the Lord.

Isaiah 25:6a, 7-9

A Reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah

On this mountain the LORD of hosts
will provide for all peoples.

On this mountain he will destroy
the veil that veils all peoples,
the web that is woven over all nations.

He will destroy death forever.
The Lord GOD will wipe away
the tears from all faces;
the reproach of his people he will remove
from the whole earth
for the LORD has spoken.

On that day it will be said:
“Indeed, this is our God;
we looked to him, and he saved us!

This is the LORD to whom we looked;
alet us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!”

The word of the Lord.

Daniel 12:1-3

A Reading from the Book of the Prophet Daniel

In those days, I, Daniel, mourned,
and heard this word of the Lord:

At that time there shall arise Michael,
the great prince, guardian of your people;
it shall be a time unsurpassed in distress
since the nation began until that time.

At that time your people shall escape,
everyone who is found written in the book.

Many of those who sleep
in the dust of the earth shall awake;
some to everlasting life,
others to reproach and everlasting disgrace.

But those with insight shall shine brightly
like the splendor of the firmament,
and those who lead the many to justice
shall be like the stars forever.

The word of the Lord.

Selections from the New Testament

Romans 6:3-9

A Reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans

Brothers and Sisters:

Are you unaware that we
who were baptized into Christ Jesus
were baptized into his death?

We were indeed buried with him
through baptism into death,
so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead
so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead
we too might live in newness of life.

For if we have grown into union with him
through a death like his,
we shall also be united with him in the resurrection.

We know that our old self was crucified with him,
so that our sinful body might be done away with,
that we might no longer be in slavery to sin.

For a dead person has been absolved from sin.
If, then, we have died with Christ,
we believe that we shall also live with him.

We know that Christ
raised from the dead, dies no more;
death no longer has power over him.

The word of the Lord.

2 Corinthians 5:1, 6-10

A Reading from the Second Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians

Brothers and Sisters:

We know that if our earthly dwelling, a tent,
should be destroyed, we have a building from God,
a dwelling not made with hands, eternal in heaven.

So we are always courageous, although we know
that while we are at home in the body
we are away from the Lord,
for we walk by faith, not by sight.

Yet we are courageous,
and we would rather leave the body
and go home to the Lord.

Therefore, we aspire to please him,
whether we are at home or away.

For we must all appear before
the judgment seat of Christ,
so that each one may receive recompense,
according to what he did in the body,
whether good or evil.

The word of the Lord.

Philippians 3:20-21

A Reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Philippians

Brothers and sisters:

Our citizenship is in heaven,
and from it we also await a savior,
the Lord Jesus Christ.

He will change our lowly body
to conform with his glorified body
by the power that enables him also
to bring all things into subjection to himself.

The word of the Lord.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

A Reading from the First Letter of St. Paul to the Thessalonians

We do not want you to be unaware, brothers,
about those who have fallen asleep,
so that you may not grieve like the rest,
who have no hope.

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose,
so too will God, through Jesus,
bring with him those who have fallen asleep.

Indeed, we tell you this, on the word of the Lord,
that we who are alive, who are left
until the coming of the Lord,
will surely not precede those who have fallen asleep.

For the Lord himself, with a word of command,
with the voice of an archangel
and with the trumpet of God,
will come down from heaven,
and the dead in Christ will rise first.

Then we who are alive, who are left,
will be caught up together with them in the clouds
to meet the Lord in the air.

Thus we shall always be with the Lord.
Therefore, console one another with these words.

The word of the Lord.

Selection from the New Testament to replace the First Reading during the Season of Easter

Romans 6:3-9

A Reading from the Book of Revelation

I, John, saw a new heaven and a new earth
The former heaven and the former earth
had passed away, and the sea was no more.

I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem,
coming down out of heaven from God,
prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,

“Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race.
He will dwell with them and they will be his people and
God himself will always be with them
as their God.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes,
and there shall be no more death or mourning,
wailing or pain, for the old order has passed away.”

The one who sat on the throne said,
“Behold, I make all things new.”

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.
To the thirsty
I will give a gift from the spring of life-giving water.

The victor will inherit these gifts,
and I shall be his God, and he will be my son.

The word of the Lord.

Gospel Passage

The Gospel Passage is ordinarily selected by the Priest. He uses this, along with the scripture passages that you’ve selected, to prepare his homily for the funeral. Please note that the homily is not a eulogy. It is the policy of the Archdiocese of Newark that a eulogy is not to take place during the context of the Catholic Funeral Mass. If there is to be a eulogy, it is suggested to take place at the funeral home during visiting hours, at the cemetery after the committal service, or at the repast luncheon.

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