Funeral and Memorial services are times for comfort and for remembrances of the one you loved and lost. The following is the twelfth of a number of funeral templates written such that you can conduct a meaningful service. It has, at its center, a crucial element – that of a eulogy. A eulogy cannot be a template. It must come from the heart. If you cannot compose a eulogy The Eulogy Writers exists to help.
A Baby’s Potential #12 Elderly Person For this meditation a “year you were born” website search is useful.
CalL Ecclesiastes 3:1-4; – “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: 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 be born, and a time to die;....”
INVOCATION O Lord, you know the length of days assigned to each one of us and you know how we have used them – to bring love and joy into the world, to lighten the burdens of others, to encourage and up build... On this day we trust your great knowledge of __________ and your wisdom and goodness to usher him/her into the eternal kingdom. Over the years he/she has touched many lives – may those times be a credit to your kingdom and ultimately bring you glory. For his/her life we give you thanks today. We thank you for the many years that he/she has lived and worked and brought joy to the world....In his/her death we recognize that our world is at loss. Bless us in these moments as we pay tribute to his/her life and as we remember... Amen.
SCRIPTURE Ecclesiastes 8:6,7 – For every matter has its time and way, although man's trouble lies heavy upon him. For he does not know what is to be, for who can tell him [what the future holds]? (NIV)
Psalm 144:3,4 – The Psalm writer asked of God, “O Lord, what is man that you take notice of him? Man is but a breath, his/her days are like a passing shadow. (NIV)
Psalm 90:1-6; 17 – Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations [again and again we must turn to you]. Before the mountains were brought forth, or even before you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God....You turn man back to the dust, and say, “Turn back, O children of men!” For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night. You sweep men away; they are like a dream, like grass which is renewed in the morning; in the morning it flourishes and is renewed; in the evening it fades and withers...Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish, O God, the work of our hands. Yes, establish the work of our hands. (NIV)
I Corinthians 15:12-26 – “Now if this is what we proclaim, that Christ was raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection, then Christ was not raised; and if Christ was not raised, then our gospel is null and void, and so is your faith; and we turn out to be lying witnesses for God, because we bore witness that He raised Christ to life...If it is for this life only that Christ has given us hope, we of all men are most to be pitied... But the truth is, Christ was raised to life – the first fruits of the harvest of the dead. For since it was a man who brought death into the world, a man also brought resurrection of the dead. As in Adam all men die, so in Christ all will be brought to life; but each in his/her own proper place: Christ the first fruits, and afterwards, at his/her coming, those who belong to Christ.... The scriptures say that ‘He has put all things in subjection under [Christ's] feet...’ He is destined to reign until God has put all enemies under his/her feet; and the last enemy to be abolished is death. (NIV)
MEDITATION Many years ago a baby was born whose parents named him/her _______ His/her parents had no inkling as to what would become of His/her life. They weren't wealthy nor were they poor – that didn't matter. They were simply parents with all the hopes and fears and questions about the future that parents have in every generation for their children. The years came and went and the young boy/girl eventually became a young adult and soon could fully claim the title “adult” in his/her own right. He/she had perhaps seen green hills and mountains and oceans...many things that people see over the course of their years – thrilling at the joy of simply being alive.... But his/her younger days were nothing at all like our world today. He/she rode, back then, on horses or in buggies... Back then the air was pure and the sky was the limit as far as ones potential was concerned. There were fanciful dreams of walking on the moon – no one actually expected that such a thing would ever truly be possible – it was science fiction. He/she would watch the birds in the sky flitting from tree to tree – flying to warmer climates in the winter – apparently free from the force of gravity that holds us so firmly to the ground. Wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to fly? Just another fanciful dream.... The world in the early years of _____’s life was filled with dreamers and few realized that dreams do come true. Most people believed that God’s world was certainly a wonderful place but that He had limited man and just about everything that could be known was already known... Little did they suspect… Little did they realize, that the knowledge and innovation and invention of the human mind was just getting started... But It was all marred by war. People hurting one another – trying to enslave – trying to rule. In _______ lifetime he/she saw too much of that... He/she saw two world wars and countless battles, skirmishes and smaller wars around the world – times of peace that seemed like punctuation in a long novel of discord... Just to give a perspective of ______’s long life, you might find it interesting to know that, back in ____, the year _______ was born, a postage stamp cost __ cents. The president was ________. The major events going on in the world at the time were ______, ______, and ______. And the life expectancy was determined to be ___ years. Clearly ______ beat the experts guesses on that one…
___ years makes a lot of memories – those years made a lot for _______ and a lot of ________. In these few minutes that we gather here today, I hope you will simply think over some of those that you have. Really, no one else can talk about _______ to you better than you can in your own mind. Those memories that you have are unlike those of anyone else. Think back on …
[Write a eulogy, including historical information from the year of birth - insert it here]
We could go on and talk for a long time about some of those memories.... There was an awfully lot more to this man’s/woman’s life than these past few years we have known him/her – decades of experience-filled life... In the hours left in this day and in the days to come as you gather together, I hope you will go back and think about some of the wonderful memories you have of _______. Your relationship with him/her was different than anyone else's. Think about the talks you had – the long discussions and the kidding around – think about some of the disagreements that were always under-girded with a genuine respect and love. Think about the things you did together and some of his/her special ways and his/her stories and the twinkle in his/her eye. Remember the feelings of love you have always had for him/her and the pride to say that he/she was your father or grandfather or great-grandfather ...or friend. (mother, grandmother, great-grandmother) Memories are the greatest inheritance any person can leave to his/her loved ones. They last life-times and give pleasure beyond almost anything else. Think about these and treasure them. Our own lives are filled with our own experiences, our own memories – the memories we create for others – filled with faith and good works – doubts and fears. Along with thinking about your relationship and memories of ________, think about your own life. God has put you here for a purpose – to love Him – to serve his/her creation – to be his/her family. Perhaps to live for ___ years.
The scriptures we read a moment ago tell us that there is a time for everything. Now is the time for examination of what life is all about – what it means; how to cope; how to live; what to believe... And they tell us of Christ and the hope of everlasting life as we trust in him. God’s love is something that we cannot comprehend. It is full and complete and thorough. God wants the very best for our lives. God wants us to see life and death as part of the wonderful process that He initiated and wants us to understand that this life is only the beginning – that there is MUCH more to come – and in the next segment there will be no more sickness or suffering or sorrow or death. And this comes because of our Lord Jesus Christ and our faith in Him.... And when we have that kind of understanding about life and death, we can see death as an amazing thing... ______ 's life was one which touched a lot of people in his/her __ years. Our own lives will continue to touch others in positive or destructive ways all of our days as well. Let us follow the example that has been set by our Lord and live lives of faith and love. Let us let the long and good life of ______ inspire us to live a life filled with purpose and goodness. Now _______ is gone – Let the memories of his/her life bring joy and pleasure into your own lives...Always remember…
The Bible teaches – and Jesus demonstrated – that death is not final. It is the gateway to something more permanent and real than any of us have ever experienced or even imagined. The grave is not to be feared but to be found awe inspiring. Ben Franklin died back in 1790. He wrote an epitaph for his own monument before he died. It reads like this, “The body of B. Franklin, Printer (Like the Cover of an Old Book Its Contents torn Out And Stript of its Lettering and Gilding) Lies Here, Food for Worms. But the Work shall not be Lost; For it will (as he Believ'd) Appear once More In a New and More Elegant Edition Revised and Corrected By the Author.
So for _______ , the book is ended...but the story has just begun.... The author just now begins volume two… _______ has come to the sunset of his/her life. Each sunset, in our world, is somewhere else, a sunrise – not later, not someday, but at that same instant. All of our doubts and sad nesses are destined to become, ultimately, the joy and wonder of a new day.
ENDING SCRIPTURES John 11:25, 26 – Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord. I believe.” (NIV) (Jesus would say the same to us today. He would say that He IS the resurrection and the life and that death need not be for all time if we believe – if we trust in Him… Then he would ask us that all important question, just as he asked the woman – “Do you believe this?” And in our response to that question is our hope for eternity.)
Psalm 43 selections “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy one of Israel, your Savior...Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life. Fear not, for I am with you...every one who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made...[I will be with him].” (NIV)
I Thessalonians 4:13-18 – We would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel's call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. (NIV)
Add 23rd Psalm if not going to cemetery The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and [then] I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. (NIV)
Ending Prayer Most gracious God, we thank you for long life. You assign our days and we rejoice when you give one we have loved ___ years. It is nonetheless with sorrow that we say good-bye. Parting causes grief for we know that love has been here and with _________’s death we know that there is a little less love in the world and in our lives. Give comfort to those here today who grieve. Give peace and healing as only you are able, in the name of Jesus Christ. If not going to cemetery, add: …Now forasmuch as the spirit has departed the body, we do now commit the body of _______ to its final resting place in the earth, as it was in the beginning: earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust… But the spirit, which is the true person, we commit into the care of Almighty God, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, in whom is the hope of everlasting life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.] Amen.
Benediction The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you His peace. Amen.
The Eulogy Writers 4100 Old Dominion Dr. West Bloomfield, MI 48323