The Funeral Service

The congregation is invited to read this before the service begins.

The service we use today expresses our close relationship with God and with one another. The minister and family have selected what is suitable for this occasion.

Christians have always believed that there is hope in death as in life, and that there is renewed life, in Christ, after death.

God’s love and power extend over all creation. Every life, including our own, is precious to God.

Even those who share this faith find that there is a real feeling of loss at the death of a loved one. The living need our support and consolation. The whole congregation has an important part in giving this help; one way in which we can do this is by joining in those parts printed in bold type.


In the Service

We begin by remembering the person who has died, and offering comfort to those who mourn.

We say the Lord’s Prayer.

We hear God’s word of hope and consolation.

We give thanks for Christ’s victory over death.

We pray for a deeper faith, for ourselves and all who mourn.

We make our farewells to the deceased in a commendation to God’s mercy and love, and conclude with The Blessing of Peace.

The committal of the body may take place at the graveside or the crematorium or during the service, before The Blessing of Peace.

The Greeting

All standing, the minister may greet the people.

The minister then says

We have come together
to remember before God the life of N,
to commend her/him to God’s keeping,
to commit her/his body to be buried/cremated,
and to comfort those who mourn
with our sympathy and with our love;
in the hope we share
through the death and resurrection
of Jesus Christ.

The following may be said.

The Lord be with you.
Kia noho a Ihowā ki a koutou.
The Lord bless you.
Mā Ihowā koe e manaaki.

The Love of God

The minister says some or all of the following.

Hear the words of Jesus Christ our Saviour:

Ko ahau te aranga, me te ora: ko ia e whakapono ana ki ahau,
ahakoa kua mate, e ora anō: e kore anō hoki e mate
ake ake ake ngā tāngata katoa e ora ana,
ā e whakapono ana ki ahau. Hoani 11:25

I am the resurrection and the life;
even in death,
anyone who believes in me, will live. John 11:25

Set your troubled hearts at rest.
Trust in God always;
trust also in me. John 14:1

Come to me all who labour and are heavy laden
and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

Haere mai ki ahau, e koutou katoa e māuiui ana, e taimaha
ana, ā māku koutou e whakaokioki. Matiu 11:28

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son
that whoever believes in him should not perish
but have eternal life. John 3:16

Koia anō te aroha o te Atua ki te ao, hōmai ana e ia tāna
Tama kotahi, kia kāhore ai e mate te tangata e whakapono
ana ki a ia, engari kia whiwhi ai ki te oranga tonutanga. Hoani 3:16


The minister continues

Therefore, although we have been parted from N
none of us need ever be separated
from the love of God.

Ahakoa, nā te mate tātou i wehe i a Ingoa
kia mahara, e kore tātou e motuhia
i te aroha noa o te Atua.

The people may kneel.

The minister says

Let us pray (saying together)

God our Comforter,
you are a refuge and a strength for us,
a helper close at hand in times of distress.
Help us so to hear the words of our faith
that our fear is dispelled,
our loneliness eased and our hope reawakened.
May your Holy Spirit lift us
above our natural sorrow,
to the peace and light of your constant love;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

The Remembrance

The minister continues

In a time of silence,
let us make our personal thanksgiving to God
for all that N has meant to us.

Silence is kept, concluded by one of the following

For her/his life and our memories
we give thanks.

Or

God our Father,
we thank you that you have made each of us
in your own image,
and given us gifts and talents
with which to serve you.
We thank you for N,
the years we shared with her/him,
the good we saw in her/him,
the love we received from her/him.
Now give us strength and courage,
to leave her/him in your care,
confident in your promise of eternal life
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

One of the following prayers is used.

Almighty God,
you judge us with infinite mercy and justice
and love everything you have made.
We rejoice in your promises of pardon, joy and peace
to all who love you.
In your mercy turn the darkness of death
into the dawn of new life,
and the sorrow of parting into the joy of heaven;
through our Saviour Jesus Christ
who died, who rose again,
and lives for evermore.
Amen.

Or

FOR A CHILD

Lord Jesus Christ,
you took children into your arms
and blessed them.
Keep this child in your loving care
and bring us all to the heavenly kingdom,
where you live and reign
with the Father and the Holy Spirit now and for ever.
Amen.

The minister says

With faith and hope, we pray

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
now and for ever.    Amen.

I runga i te whakapono me te tūmanako,
ka īnoi tātou

E tō mātou Matua i te rangi
Kia tapu tōu Ingoa.
Kia tae mai tōu rangatiratanga.
Kia meatia tāu e pai ai
ki runga ki te whenua,
kia rite anō ki tō te rangi.
Hōmai ki a mātou āianei
he taro mā mātou mō tēnei rā.

Murua ō mātou hara,
Me mātou hoki e muru nei
i ō te hunga e hara ana ki a mātou.
Āua hoki mātou e kawea kia whakawaia;
Engari whakaorangia mātou i te kino:
Nōu hoki te rangatiratanga, te kaha,
me te korōria,
Āke ake ake.    Āmine.


The Ministry of the Word

The Psalms

One or more psalms may be said or sung.

Particularly suitable Psalms are to be found on pages 841-846

The Readings

A reading or readings, including one from the New Testament, follows.

The minister may pray

Lord, help us to accept and understand your gospel,

so that we may find light in our darkness,
faith in our doubts
and comfort for one another. Amen.

The Address

A minister may speak to the people.

The Prayers

The minister may use some of the prayers on pages 855-863, or other prayers,
in addition to the following.

The minister invites the people to pray.

FIRST FORM

The minister says

Let us pray that God
will grant comfort
and strength to all who mourn.

God our loving Father,
draw near to (N and ) all who mourn today.
Make your love known to them,
that they may turn to you
and receive comfort and strength.

Help them
to put their trust in you,
and their hope in your grace and compassion.

The people respond

Use us, Father,
as bearers of your love
to support them in their grief;
this we ask through Christ our Lord.   Amen.

Let us pray for a growing faith in Jesus Christ.

God,
the strength of all who believe in you,
increase our faith and trust
in your Son,
that we may live victoriously
now and for ever.   Amen.

Let us pray for that hope which only God can give.

Almighty God,
give us such a vision of your purpose,
and such an assurance of your love and power,
that we may ever hold fast the hope
which is in Jesus Christ.   Amen.

Additional prayers may be said and may conclude as on page 835.

SECOND FORM

The minister prays

God our Father,
we pray for the family and friends of N,
that they may know the comfort of your love.
Lord, hear our prayer.

We pray that you will use us
as bearers of your love,
to support them in their grief.
We also remember before you
all who mourn and all who suffer.
Lord, hear our prayer.

Give us patience and faith
in this time of our loss,
so that we may come to understand
the wonder of your mercy,
and the mystery of your love.
Lord, hear our prayer.

Increase our faith and trust
in your Son, Jesus Christ,
that we may live victoriously.
Lord, hear our prayer.

Give us such a vision of your purpose,
and such an assurance of your love and power,
that we may ever hold fast the hope
which is in Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Lord, hear our prayer.

FURTHER PRAYERS

One of these prayers of thanksgiving for Christ’s victory over death may be used.

God of grace,
we thank you for sending your Son, Jesus Christ,
who by his death has destroyed the power of death,
and by his glorious resurrection
has opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
Grant us to know that because Christ lives,
we shall live also,
and that neither death nor life
shall be able to separate us from your love.
Amen.

God of all that lives and dies,
we thank you that Jesus is risen from the dead,
offering us the hope of new life.
Because Jesus lives, nothing can separate us from your love,
which unites us now with those we mourn.
Amen.

We thank you, God of life and death:
Christ facing death on the cross gives us courage;
Christ rising from the dead brings us hope.
The dawn breaks and gives us light for the new day.
Amen.

God,
you sent Jesus to share our earthly life.
We thank you for Christ’s victory over death.
Help us to share that victory,
and give us the hope to look forward again.
Amen.

Other prayers may be added, concluding with the following.

Now to God who is able to do immeasurably more
than all we can ask or conceive,
by the power which is at work among us,
be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus
throughout all ages.
Amen.

The Commendation

The minister may ask the congregation to stand.

The minister says one or both of the following sentences.

There is nothing in death or life,
in the world as it is,
or the world as it shall be,
nothing in all creation,
that can separate us
from the love of God
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 8:38,39

E kore te mate, e kore te ora,
e kore ngā anahera, e kore ngā rangatira,
e kore ngā kaha, e kore ngā mea onāianei,
e kore ngā mea e puta mai a mua,
e kore te tiketike, e kore te hōhonu,
e kore tētahi atu mea hanga,
e kaha ki te momotu i a tātou i te aroha o te Atua,
i tērā i roto nei i a Karaiti Īhu i tō tātou Ariki. Roma 8:38,39

Blessèd be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
by whose great mercy
we have been born anew into a living hope
by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. 1 Peter 1:3

Kia whakapaingia te Atua,
te Matua o tō tātou Ariki, o Īhu Karaiti.
Nā tāna mahi tohu tātou i whānau hou ai,
ki te tūmanako ora,
i a Īhu Karaiti
ka ara ake nei i te hunga mate. 1 Pita 1:3

The minister says one of the following commendations.
A form of commendation in Māori is found on pages 840-841.

God alone is holy and just and good.
In that confidence, therefore,
we commend you, N,
to God’s judgment and mercy,
to God’s forgiveness and love.
Blessed be God the Father,
who has caused the light of Christ
to shine upon you.

Go forth from this world:
in the love of God the Father
who created you,
in the mercy of Jesus Christ
who redeemed you,
in the power of the Holy Spirit
who strengthens you.
In communion with all the faithful,
may you dwell this day in peace.
Amen.

Or

Gracious God,
by your mighty power you gave us life,
and in your love you have given us new life in Christ.
We now entrust N to your keeping,
in the faith of Jesus Christ
who died and rose again,
and now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit
in glory for ever.
Amen.

The service continues with The Committal or The Blessing of Peace
(page 838).

The Committal

If The Committal takes place immediately, the minister says one of the following.

Now therefore, N,
we commit your body to be buried / cremated,
earth to earth,
ashes to ashes,
dust to dust;
in the sure and certain hope
of the resurrection to eternal life
in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Or

Since the earthly life of N
has come to an end,
we commit her/his body to be buried / turned to ashes;
[earth to earth,
ashes to ashes,
dust to dust;]
in the sure and certain hope
of the resurrection to eternal life
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

The minister may then say

Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord,
for they rest from their labours.

The minister says

We have been parted from N,
but none of us need ever be separated
from the love of God.

The minister may say

Heavenly Father,
you have given us a true faith and a sure hope
in your Son Jesus Christ;
help us to live as those who believe and trust
in the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
and the resurrection to eternal life.

Strengthen this faith and hope in us
as long as we live;
so that we in turn
may not be afraid to die.
You are Lord of heaven and earth;
your goodness never fails.
Have mercy on your people who need your strength
and bless us now and evermore.
Amen.


The Blessing of Peace

The minister may say

Go forth into the world in peace,
be strong and of good courage,
hold fast that which is good.
Love and serve the Lord with singleness of heart,
rejoicing in the power of the Spirit;
and the peace of the Lord
be always with you.
Amen.

Or

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ
and the love of God and the fellowship
of the Holy Spirit be with us all.
Amen.

Or

A priest may give a blessing.

If a separate committal takes place at the crematorium or at the graveside, the following form is used.


A Form of Committal at a Graveside
or Crematorium

The following sentences may be read.

Blessed be the God and Father
of our Lord Jesus Christ,
a gentle Father,
and the God of all consolation,
who comforts us in our sorrows,
so that we can offer others, in their sorrows,
the consolation that we ourselves have received from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4


The eternal God is your refuge,
and underneath are the everlasting arms. Deuteronomy 33:27

Further sentences are to be found on pages 853-855.

The minister says one of the following forms of committal.

God alone is holy and just and good.
In that confidence we have commended you, N,
to God’s judgment and mercy,
God’s forgiveness and love.
Now therefore, we commit your body
to the ground / to be cremated,
earth to earth,
ashes to ashes,
dust to dust;
in the sure and certain hope
of the resurrection to eternal life
in Jesus Christ our Redeemer.
Amen.

Or

We have entrusted our brother/sister, N,
into the hands of God;
we now commit her/his body to the ground / to be turned to ashes
[earth to earth,
ashes to ashes,
dust to dust;]
having our whole trust and confidence
in the mercy of our heavenly Father
and in the victory of Jesus Christ,
who himself died, was buried and rose again for us,
and is alive and reigns for ever and ever.
Amen.

Further prayers may be added.

The minister may conclude with The Grace or a priest may give a Blessing.


Alternative Commendation and Committal

The following form in Māori may be used in place of The Commendation and
The Committal.

Ko Ihowā anake e tapu ana, e tika ana,
e mārama ana.
I runga i tēnei whakapono
ka tukua atu koe e Ingoa,
ki tāna whakawā me āna mahi tohu;
ki tāna murunga hara, me tōna aroha.
Kia whakapaingia te Atua, te Matua,
nāna nei i mea kia tīaho te māramatanga
o te Karaiti ki a koe.

Whakangaro i te ao,
i runga i te aroha o te Atua Matua,
nāna nei koe i hanga;
i runga i ngā mahi tohu a Īhu Karaiti,
nāna nei koe i hoko;
i runga i te mana o te Wairua Tapu,
e whakakaha nei i a koe.
Whakauru atu ki te kāhui o te hunga pono;
noho mai i runga i te rangimārie.

Waihoki, ka tukua tō tinana ki te oneone/kia tahuna
he oneone ki te oneone,
he pungarehu ki te pungarehu,
he puehu ki te puehu;
me te tino tūmanako atu ki te
aranga ake ki te ora tonu;
Ko Īhu Karaiti hoki tō mātou Ariki.
Āmine.


Psalms

Psalm 23

1 The Lord is my shepherd:
therefore can I lack nothing.
2 You Lord make me lie down in green pastures:
and lead me beside the waters of peace.
3 You revive my spirit:
and guide me in right pathways
for your name’s sake.
4 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 are my comfort.
5 You spread a table for me
in the sight of my enemies:
you have anointed my head with oil,
and my cup is overflowing.
6 Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
  Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and shall be for ever.   Amen.

Waiata 23

1 Ko Ihowā tōku hēpara:
e kore ahau e hapa.
2 Ko ia hei mea kia takoto ahau i ngā wāhi tarutaru hou:
e ārahi ana ia i ahau i te taha o ngā wai āta rere.
3 Ko ia hei whakahoki ake i tōku wairua:
e ārahi ana ia i ahau i ngā ara o te tika,
he whakaaro hoki ki tōna ingoa.
4 Āe, ahakoa haere ahau i te awaawa o te ātārangi o te mate,
kāhore he kino e wehi ai ahau:
nō te mea kei tōku taha koe; ko tāu rākau, ko tāu tokotoko,
ko ēnā hei oranga ngākau mōku.
5 E takā ana e koe he tēpara ki tōku aroaro
i te tirohanga ano o ōku hoa-riri:
e whakawahia ana e koe tōku mātenga ki te hinu,
pūrena tonu tāku kapa.
6 He pono, e aru i ahau te pai me te atawhai i ngā rā katoa
e ora ai ahau:
ā ka noho ahau ki te whare o Ihowā ake tonu atu.
  Korōria ki a koe, e te Ariki.

Psalm 121

1 I lift up my eyes to the hills:
but where shall I look for help?
2 My help comes from the Lord:
who has made heaven and earth.
3 The Lord will not let your foot stumble:
the one who guards you will not sleep.
4 The one who keeps watch over this people:
shall neither doze nor sleep.
5 The Lord is the one who will guard you:
the Lord at your right hand will be your defence,
6 so that the sun shall not strike you by day:
nor yet the moon by night.
7 The Lord shall preserve you from all evil:
yes it is the Lord who will keep you safe.
8 The Lord shall take care of your going out,
and your coming in:
from this time forth and for ever.
  Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and shall be for ever.   Amen.

Waiata 121

1 Ka anga atu ōku kanohi ki ngā maunga:
kei hea hoki te āwhina mōku?
2 Nō Ihowā te āwhina mōku:
nō te Kai-hanga i te rangi, i te whenua.
3 E kore ia e tuku i tōu waewae kia nekehia:
e kore tōu Kai-tiaki e moe.
4 Inā, e kore te Kai-tiaki o Īharaira:
e parangia, e moe.
5 Ko Ihowā tōu Kai-tiaki:
ko Ihowā tōu whakamarumaru i tōu ringa matau.
6 E kore koe e pākia e te rā i te awatea:
e te marama rānei i te pō.
7 Mā Ihowā e tiaki tōu haerenga atu, me tōu haerenga mai:
āianei ā ake tonu atu.
Korōria ki a koe, e te Ariki.

Psalm 130

1 Out of the depths have I called to you O Lord:
give heed O Lord to my cry.
2 Let your ears consider well:
the plea I make for mercy.
3 If you should keep account of what is done amiss:
who then O Lord could stand?
4 But there is forgiveness with you:
therefore you shall be revered.
5 I wait for you Lord with all my soul:
and in your word is my hope.
6 My soul waits for you O Lord:
more than those who watch by night
long for the morning,
more I say than those who watch by night
long for the morning.
7 Wait in hope for the Lord,
for with the Lord there is love unfailing:
and with the Lord there is ample redemption.
8 The Lord will redeem you:
from all your many sins.
  Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and shall be for ever.   Amen.

Waiata 130

1 I karanga atu ahau ki a koe, e Ihowā:
i roto i ngā hōhonu.
2 E te Ariki, whakarongo mai ki tōku reo:
kia anga mai ōu taringa ki tōku reo īnoi.
3 Me i maharatia e koe ngā kino, e Ihowā:
ko wai, e te Ariki, e tū?
4 Otirā he muru hara tāu:
e wehingia ai koe.
5 E tatari ana ahau ki a Ihowā:
e tatari ana tōku wairua e tūmanako
atu hoki ahau ki tāna kupu.
6 Te taringa o tōku wairua ki te Ariki,
nui atu i tō te hunga e whanga ana ki te ata:
āe, i tō te hunga e whanga ana ki te ata.
7 Kia tūmanako a Īharaira ki a Ihowā,
kei a Ihowā hoki te mahi tohu:
kei a ia te hokonga nui.
8 Ā māna a Īharaira e hoko:
i roto i ōna hara katoa.
Korōria ki a koe, e te Ariki.

Psalm 139:1-11

1 Lord you have searched me out and known me:
you know when I sit down and when I stand up,
you discern my thoughts from afar.
2 You mark my path, and the places where I rest:
you are acquainted with all my ways.
3 Even before there is a word on my tongue:
you Lord know it altogether.
4 You guard me from behind and before:
and cover me with your hand.
5 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me:
so high that I cannot attain to it.
6 Where shall I go from your spirit:
or where shall I flee from your presence?
7 If I climb up to heaven you are there:
if I make my bed in the grave you are there also.
8 If I take the wings of the dawn:
and alight at the uttermost parts of the sea,
9 even there your hand will lead me:
and your right hand will hold me fast.
10 If I say, ‘Let the darkness cover me:
and my day be turned to night,’
11 the darkness is no darkness with you,
but the night is as clear as the day:
for darkness and light to you are both alike.
  Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and shall be for ever.   Amen.

Waiata 139: 1-11

1 E Ihowā kua tirotirohia mai ahau,
kua mōhiotia anō hoki e koe:
e mātau ana i ōku nohoanga iho,
ki ōku whakatikanga ake;
mōhio ana koe ki ōku whakaaro i tawhiti.
2 Tōku ara, me tāku takotoranga iho kitea pūtia e koe:
ōku huarahi katoa, mātau tonu i a koe.
3 Kāhore rawa hoki te kupu i tōku arero:
i toe i a koe te mōhio, e Ihowā.
4 Kua hangā ā muri, ā mua, ōku e koe:
kua pā mai anō tōu ringa ki ahau.
5 He mea whakamīharo rawa,
kei tawhiti atu hoki i ahau, tēnei mātauranga:
kei runga noa atu, e kore e taea atu e ahau.
6 Me haere ahau ki hea i tōu Wairua:
me oma rānei ki hea i tōu aroaro.
7 Ki te kake atu ahau ki te rangi, kei reira koe:
ki te whārikitia e ahau tōku moenga i roto i te rua
tūpāpaku, na, kei reira anō koe.
8 Ki te tango ahau i ngā pākau o te ata:
ā noho ana ki ngā wahi whakamutunga mai o te moana.
9 Kei reira anō hoki tōu ringaringa hei arataki i ahau:
tōu ringaringa matau, hei pupuri i ahau.
10 Ki te mea ahau, Tērā ahau e ngaro i te pōuri:
mārama noa te pō i tētahi taha ōku, i tētahi taha.
11 Āe, e kore te pōuri e pōuri ki a koe,
engari rite tahi te pō me te ao te mārama:
ki a koe, rite tahi te pōuri me te mārama.
Korōria ki a koe, e te Ariki.

A New Zealand Prayer Book | He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa

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