How To Officiate A Funeral - Resources - Officiant Phrases
How To Officiate A Funeral - Resources - Officiant Phrases - Welcome
Welcome to our collection of useful phrases, short sentences and wording, all of which are from many different sources including our own resources, and are provided here to help anyone who has taken on the privileged and very responsible task of acting as officiant at a funeral.
This particular collection is aimed specifically at the funeral officiant but you may also find this collection of eulogy phrases useful to, please feel free to mix and match any of these in any way if you think it will fit in better with your particular plans or ideas for the order of service.
You will find that there are a lot of similar phrases which are just worded slightly different to each other, and some that have been blended with others to form a longer phrase, we have included both these types as examples in order for you to see how easy it would be for you to alter the wording in order to get a more personal feel to the proceedings or just to suit your own particular requirements.
Reading the scenario scripts here will also give you a good idea of how and where the phrases fit in with the service, indeed we have used many of the phrases and wording presented here, in the scenario scripts for that reason.
How To Act As Officiant At A Funeral Service - Resources - A Collection Of Phrases To Assist The Officiant
In no particular order:
Also to try to bring some comfort to those of his/her family and friends who are here and have been deeply hurt by his/her sudden death.
Name wasn't a particularly religious person, so it's befitting that his/her funeral ceremony should reflect what he/she was, ...... a gentle, .....kind, ......loving person; devoted to his/her family
Name wasn't a particularly religious person but it was thought that his/her funeral service should include some form of religious content and prayers.
Its only natural that we should be sad today, because in a practical sense, Name is no longer a part of our lives, "we must die, we know" said a character in Shakespeare, " tis but the time and drawing days out that men stand upon", and so we all come to ponder the life and death of a truly wonderful/lovely man/lady aged 67; with confused and mixed feelings.
Today is also a day for memories, today will be remembered for many reasons, but mainly I hope it will be remembered by you all; as a very special day, a special day in which you shared some time with others; in order to pay your last respects; and to say both mentally and physically; a sad and fond farewell to a wonderful/lovely man/lady, ....a man/lady whom we were all so very privileged to have known.
Maya Angelou recently wrote;
We have come together from different places, and we are all at different stages on our journey through life.
We are here this morning/afternoon in order to pay our last respects and bid a sad but fond farewell to Name, we are here also, so that in our own way we can celebrate, honour and pay tribute to his/her life, and in doing so we express our sincere love and admiration for him/her.
And so this morning/afternoon we've put aside our usual daily activities for a while, and gathered here to give expression to the thoughts and feelings that well up in us at this time of loss.
This reading is from POEMS OF GITANJALI by Gitanjali Ghei
You are all very welcome, my name is Name, and it's a great privilege and honour for me to be here this morning/afternoon to officiate at the funeral of such a well liked and respected gentleman/lady.
Name had some very specific wishes regarding the proceedings here this morning/afternoon, I hope his/her family will gain some form of comfort from knowing they were able to carry them out, as I'm sure Name gained comfort from knowing that they would.
Our ceremony for Name will not be religious as that would be against his/her wishes and out of keeping with his/her character, I know there may be those among you who for whom religious faith is a central part of life, and who are more familiar with a different form of service, but I hope we can agree that the human values we all share are of far more lasting importance than those matters that may divide us in this respect.
I never had the privilege of knowing Name, but I have spent some time with his/her family over the last few days, however I'm not going to use that as a platform to talk to you about Name.
Despite the obvious difficulty of the situation I know that Name would like to come up and say a few words.
Name has asked me to read this. I know he/she would really have liked to read it himself/herself but is understandably, unable to.
Before we continue, I wonder if there is anyone else here this morning/afternoon who might like to say a few words.
‘We must die we know' said a character in Shakespeare,'tis but the time and drawing days out that men stand upon', it is something to be thankful for that Name was spared any "drawing of days out".
Name has gone and it's only natural that we should be sad because in a practical sense he's no longer part of our lives, and the comfort of having a father, a grandfather, a brother and a friend may indeed be lost, but the comfort of having had that friend is never lost. To match the grief of losing him, we have the joy of having known him.
Name, had some very specific wishes regarding his/her funeral arrangements, it was his/her wish that his/her parting should be simple, sincere and dignified, unmarked by religious ceremony or formal tribute.
And so we meet then, to say goodbye, and to reflect in a simple, private way on Name's life,..........so lets now spend a few moments in silence, and you can each remember name in your own special way, and if you do have a religious belief, you might like to use this time for your own private prayer.
The death of someone we dearly love, someone we have shared the best part of our lives with, can sometimes seem like too much to bear, the pain of grief and the sense of loss is immense and often overwhelming.
Name had a good and varied life, in the short time we have here today, we can barely scratch the surface, but I hope when you leave here this morning/afternoon that you will do so with a real sense of having shared in something special, for a very special and unique gentleman/lady.I would like to read that great message of hope and comfort which was written by Henry Scott Holland for his wife just before he died.
Death is nothing at all,
Hold on to some of these memories now as we spend a few minutes in silence and you can each remember Name in your own special way, and those of you that do have a religious faith might like to use this time for your own private prayer.
As you all know, Name wasn't one to make a fuss, and it was her wish that the proceedings here today should be short, simple and sincere, its my privilege to play a small part in honouring that request.
Name wasn't a religious person, so it's befitting that his/her funeral ceremony should reflect what he/she was, ..a gentle, kind, ...loving person, totally devoted to his/her family.The following reading is from the gospels, John 14. 1 - 6, 27.
Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me.
All that has life has its beginning and its end.
At 90 years old Name had a long and varied life, we could sit here all morning/afternoon talking and reminiscing about his/her long life's journey, and we would still only just barely scratch the surface.
Please stand for the committal.
As part of the words of committal, I would like to read a short poem by Leo Marks,
The life that I have,
Now is but a moment in time, I dedicate the next few moments to every single precious memory associated with Name.
Name died peacefully in the early hours of last Monday morning in the bosom of his/her family and friends, surrounded by their love and warmth.
Please raise your glasses as we drink a toast to the memory of a good man no longer with us, Name.
Should you return here, as you may, I hope some positive memories of our short and simple ceremony for Name, perhaps with the sharing of thoughts, feelings and memories will bring you comfort.
Before we take our leave, and to help send us on our way we have Mozart's violin concerto, which was a particular favourite of Name and he/she requested that it should be played on this occasion.
The separateness, the uniqueness of each human life is the basis of our grief in bereavement.
When you leave here in a short while, I hope; that like me, you will leave with a feeling of having shared in something special, for a very special man/lady.
Lets remind ourselves; that the dead reside not in the grave or an urn, but in the hearts and minds of the living.
I know there may be those among you, who for whom religious faith is a central part of life, and who are more familiar with a different form of service, but I hope we can agree that the human values we all share; are of far more lasting importance than those matters which may divide us.
Love doesn't die, ever. Not real love. So you don't have to say: "I loved name" you can still say: "I love name"
I will not insult you by trying to tell you that one day you will forget. I know as well as you that you will not. But, at least, in time you will not remember as fiercely as you do now - and I pray that that time may be soon.
It's at such times; when we are at our lowest ebb that we need the bosom of our friends and family, we help and support each other, and in time, the veil of mist and numbness gradually disappears, we see a light at the end of the tunnel, we step out, and we look back, thankful that despite their own grief and sorrow, we had someone to lean on; when our own strength failed us.
I know Name would be very proud; to see how his/her family are supporting each other; at this very difficult time.
The catastrophe of death cannot be altered, but it can be transformed by love.
And isn't it an awesome thought that our particular species has been around for at least 100,000 years, and will probably be around for 100,000 more at least, and he/she choose this especial part of time to be here with you?
Would you rather you had not known name? Of course not. Aren't you lucky - because you did know him/her.
The way we respond to the prospect of death is an expression or our own being. The way Name died was characteristic of the kind of person she was. She faced death without fear, and made it a fitting end to her long, full and fruitful life.
So now lets spend a few moments in silence and remember Name in our own way, and those of you that do have a religious belief may like to use this time for your own private prayer, and at this time our thoughts also go out to Name's family who have unselfishly devoted themselves to supporting Name through all of his illness, and also in turn the dear friends who have supported them.
Before we take our leave from here and to help send us on our way we are going to finish this ceremony with the last of name's special requests.
I once read " that in every adversity there is the seed of an equal or greater benefit", I have always believed that statement, but 49 is no age to die, the only saving grace I can extract from that statement and Name's death is that he/she has left you all with so many happy, special memories.
Our ceremony will be a short and simple one, which is what Name wanted. It will not be religious because that would be out of keeping with his character and what he believed.
We are now going to listen to My Way sung of course by Frank Sinatra, this was a particular favourite of Name's and I suspect he shared the sentiments expressed in the lyrics.
Thank you for being here today for Name, but now it's time for us to leave to the words of the hymn ‘ Holy Father Cheer our Way'.
We have come to the end of this ceremony for name, and now to help send us on our way, as we continue our life's journey, we will listen to Andrea Bocelli and Sara Brightman sing Con Te Partiro' for it is indeed Time To Say Goodbye.
Sadly I never had the privilege of knowing Name, but I have had the pleasure of spending some time with his family over the last week, and that has left me with a very clear impression of the kind of person that he/she was.
Today we have gathered here to pay our last respects and to say our final farewells to Name
It's only natural that we should be sad today, because in a practical sense Name is no longer a part of our lives. But we should not grieve ---- to live a good and fulfilling life for one hundred and two years and then to gently pass away in one's sleep without pain or discomfort is truly something to be thankful for.
All living things are subject to death: it is the basis of growth. Through evolution, in the course of millions upon millions of deaths, humanity has evolved.
Bertrand Russell wrote: an individual human existence should be like a river-small at first, narrowly contained within its banks, and rushing passionately past boulders and over waterfalls. Gradually the river grows wider, the banks recede, the waters flow more quietly, and-in the end--- without any visible break, they become merged in the sea, and painlessly lose their individual being.
I know that some of you have travelled some distances to be here today for Name. You're all very welcome.
When someone is taken from us, as Name was, in the prime of their life, understandably we are not as comfortable with words and phrases that point towards a celebration of their life.
The catastrophe of death cannot be altered, but it can be transformed by love.
Death is a very personal matter for those who know it in someone close to them, but we are all concerned, directly or indirectly, with the death of any individual, because we are all members of one human community.
Before we take our leave, and to help send us on our way I'm going to read a short poem called "Smile For You" after which there will be a short piece of music by Enya.
Smile For You
Smiling is infectious; you catch it like the flu,
Thank you for being here today for Name.
Name always enjoyed a wide variety of music and Name of spouse had great difficulty in choosing something appropriate for the end of today's proceedings, I think what she did choose will go some of the way to salute the life of a very special man/lady
Name died last Friday in the bosom of his family, I know he will be greatly missed by everyone who knew and loved him.
and at this time our thoughts also go out to Name's family who have unselfishly devoted themselves to supporting Name through all of his/her illness, and also in turn the dear friends who have supported them.
Name was a very special man/lady, but you already know that, which is why some of you have travelled some considerable distances to be here today for him/her.
Name never gave up the fight but the last six months were a losing battle, his/her family and friends had to helplessly watch, as his/her illness progressively took over his/her body
As always he/she was completely aware of what was happening around him/her, and despite this knowledge was able to laugh and joke with his/her visitors and on occasion's offer comfort to them.
We are now going to listen to the last four minutes or so of Rodrigo's Adagio
Name was a bit of a loner, a private person. He/She always kept himself/herself to himself/herself, consequently we know very little about his/her life. We do know Name had his/her problems, but we don't want to elaborate or dwell on that side of his/her life.
Name died with quiet dignity last Friday. He/She was 80 years old.
Perhaps you can conjure up a picture of Name in your mind, picture his/her image in happier times.
And though we are few, it doesn't mean that his/her leave taking should be any the less significant
Name wasn't one to stand too much on ceremony, so without further ado we commit his/her body.
Here and now we dedicate this simple plot in these natural surroundings to the memory of Name, and we say to him/her, Rest In Peace.
We know very little about Name, perhaps that was the way he/she preferred it.
I am standing upon that foreshore, a ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean.
Lets remind ourselves that the dead reside not in the grave or an urn but in the hearts and minds of the living and also that the best of all answers to death is the whole-hearted and continuing affirmation of life.
(Suicide)No one who encountered Name failed to be warmed by his/her zest for the adventures in life, and his/her capacity for affection and friendship, and no one who knows of his/her tragic death will remain untouched by it, nor fail to ask themselves if they could have done anything to prevent it.
For anyone who knew Name, it should come as no surprise to find yourself here today, standing around his coffin, with a glass in your hand, I can see we have all got a drink so I'll take this opportunity to propose a simple and sincere toast to name's memory, so ladies and gentlemen please raise your glasses and salute a good man no longer with us. Name.
Whilst writing these words last week I was reminded of a short poem that was written by John Dryden called ‘Happy the Man' which I would like to share with you now.
Happy the man, and happy he alone,
When you leave here shortly I hope that, like me, you will do so with a real sense of having shared in something special, for a very special man/lady. But for the moment please remain seated whilst we listen to a few minutes of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata
And so we meet then, to say goodbye, and to reflect in a simple, private way on Name's life,