Parish of Balbriggan

New Testament Readings for Funeral Mass

1.

A Reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Thessalonians (4: 4-9)

(A reminder to us all that because Jesus died and rose to save us, we his follows can share in this wonderful moment – this should be a great source of comfort to us)

We want you to be quite certain, sisters and brothers, about those who have died, to make sure that you do not grieve about them, like the other people who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again, and that it will be the same for those who have died in Jesus; God will bring them with him. We can tell you this from the Lord’s own teaching that any of us who are left alive until the Lord’s coming will not have any advantage over those who have died. With thoughts such as these you should comfort one another.

The word of the Lord.

 

2.

 

 

A reading from the Acts of the Apostles ( 1:1-11)

(This reading tells us that Jesus who rose from the dead and returned to the Father in heaven will return at the moment of death and bring his loved ones home to heaven.)

In my earlier work, Theophilus, I dealt with everything Jesus had done and I taught from the beginning until the day he gave his instructions to the apostles he had chosen through the Holy Spirit, and was taken up to heaven. He had shown himself alive to them after his Passion by many demonstrations: for forty days he had continued to appear to them and tell them about the kingdom of God. When he had been at table with them, he had told them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for what the Father had promised. ‘It is’ he had said ‘what you have heard me speak about: John baptized with water but you, not many days from now, will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’

Now having met together, they asked him, ‘Lord, has the time come? Are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He replied, ‘It is not for you to know times or dates that the Father has decided by his own authority, but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and then you will be my witnesses not only in Jerusalem but throughout Judaea and Samaria, and indeed to the ends of the earth’.

As he said this he was lifted up while they looked on, and a cloud took him from their sight. They were still staring into the sky when suddenly two men in white were standing near them and they said, ‘Why are you men from Galilee standing here looking into the sky? Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven, this same Jesus will come back in the same way as you have seen him go there.’

The Word of the Lord.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.

 

A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Romans (8:22-27)

(This reading reminds us that many people suffer in this life but as most mothers would say after giving birth it was worth it – so the Spirit of hope and positivity helps us through life.)

From the beginning till now the entire creation, as we know, has been groaning in one great act of giving birth; and not only creation, but all of us who possess the first-fruits of the Spirit, we too groan inwardly as we wait for our bodies to be set free. For we must be content to hope that we shall be saved – our salvation is not in sight, we should not have to be hoping for it if it were – but, as I say, we must hope to be saved since we are not saved yet – it is something we must wait for with patience.

The Spirit too comes to help us in our weakness. For when we cannot choose words in order to pray properly, the Spirit himself expresses our plea in a way that could never be put into words, and God who knows everything in our hearts knows perfectly well what he means, and that the pleas of the saints expressed by the Spirit are according to the mind of God.

The word of the Lord.

 

4. (a)

 

A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Romans (8..3I-35, 37-39)

(It’s great to believe that not even death can separate us from the love of God and our dear departed loved ones are with God and so they are still close to us – we can all triumph over adversity.)

With God on our side, who can be against us? Since God did not spare his only Son, but gave him up to benefit all, we may be certain after such a gift, that He will not refuse anything he can give. Could anyone accuse those that God has chosen? When God acquits could anyone condemn?

Could Christ Jesus? No! He not only died for us – he rose from the dead, and there at God’s right hand he stands and pleads for us. Nothing therefore can come between us and the love of Christ even if we are troubled or worried, or being persecuted, or lacking food or clothes, or being threatened or even attacked. These are the trials through which we triumph, by the power of him who loves us. For I am certain of this; neither death nor life, no angel, no prince, nothing that exists, nothing still to come, not any power, nor heights, nor depth, nor any created thing, can ever come between us and the love of God made visible through Christ Jesus our Lord.

The word of the Lord.

4. (b)

(Same reading, slightly different translation)

 

A reading from the letter of Saint Paul to the Romans 8:31-35, 37-39)

We know that for those who love God, and are called to his plan, everything works out for the good.

With God on our side who can be against us? Since God did not spare his own son but gave him up to benefit us all, we may be certain that after such a gift he will not refuse anything he can give.

When God acquits can anyone condemn?

Nothing therefore can come between us and the love of God even if we are troubled or worried. These are the trials through which we triumph, by the power of him who loved us.

For I am certain of this: neither death nor life, no angel, no prince, nothing that exists, nothing still to come, not any power nor any created thing can ever come between us and the love of God made visible in Jesus Christ our Lord.

The word of the Lord.

 

 

 

5.

 

A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Romans (I4:7-9)

The life and death of each of us has its influence on others; if we live, we live for the Lord; so that alive or dead, we belong to the Lord. This explains why Christ both died and came to life. It is so that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

The word of the Lord.

 

 

6.

A Reading from the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians (1: 4-9)

(For someone who was strong to the end, God will reward them with an invitation to the Banquet of Life in heaven)

I always thank God for you because of his grace given to you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way – in all your speaking and in all your knowledge, because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you. Therefore do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly await our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ – God who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord is faithful.

The word of the Lord.

 

7.

 

A Reading from the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians (13: 4-14)

(Often used at weddings, for some one who was a very loving person, also perhaps for someone whose memory or mind was slipping in this world, when they open their eyes in heaven, they will see things as they really are and all confusion will be gone)

Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. Love never gives up; and its faith, hope and patience never fail. Love is eternal. There are inspired messages, but they are temporary; there are gifts of speaking in strange tongues, but they will cease; there is knowledge, but it will pass. For our gifts of knowledge and of inspired messages are only partial; but when what is perfect comes, then what is partial will disappear. When I was a child, my speech, feelings and thinking were all those of a child; now that I am an adult, I have no more use for childish ways. What we see now is like a dim image in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. What I know now is only partial; then it will be complete as God’s knowledge of me. Meanwhile these three remain: faith, hope and love; and the greatest of these is love.

The Word of the Lord.

 

 

8.

A reading from the second letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians (4:5-I0)

(Lovely for an ordinary person (clay jar) who lives a really good life allowing God to work through them , also for someone who never gave up or despaired.)

We do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.

For it is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’ who has shone in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us.

We are affected in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies.

The word of the Lord.

 

 

9.

A reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians 3: 14-19

(Our hidden self built on the foundation of love becomes perfect when we go to God and to know God is the greatest gift of all.)

This is what I pray, kneeling before the Father, from whom every family, whether spiritual or natural takes its name.

Out of his infinite glory, may he give you the power through his Spirit for your hidden self to grow strong, so that Christ may live in your hearts through faith, and then, planted in love and built on love, you will with all the saints have strength to grasp the breadth and the length, the height and the depth, until knowing the love of Christ which is beyond all knowledge, you are filled with the utter fullness of God.

The word of the Lord.

 

10.

 

A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Ephesians 1:17-23

(For a wise and honourable person, who allows God to work through their human talents)

May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you a spirit of wisdom and perception of what is revealed, to bring you to full knowledge of him.

May he enlighten the eyes of your mind so that you can see what hope his call holds for you, what rich glories he has promised the saints will inherit and how infinitely great is the power that he has exercised for us believers. This you can tell from the strength of his power at work in Christ, when he used it to raise him from the dead and to make him sit at his right hand, in heaven, far above every Sovereignty, Authority, Power, or Domination, or any other name that can be named not only in this age but also in the age to come. He has put all things under his feet and made him, as the ruler of everything, the head of the Church; which is his body, the fullness of him who fills the whole creation.

The Word of the Lord.

 

 

12.

A Reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians (1:15:12, 16-20)

(St Paul was so convinced about the resurrection of Jesus that he sees it as the most important aspect of our faith)

Brothers and sisters: If Christ is preached as raised from the dead, how can some among you say there is no resurrection of the dead?

If the dead are not raised, neither has Christ been raised, and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins.

Then those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are the most pitiable people of all. But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

The word of the Lord.

 

13.

A reading from St Paul’s letter to the Philippians (3:8-14)

(To meet God is heaven is our ultimate destiny and our journey there is like race and when we finish the race, God is there to give us the Garland (medal) of victory.)

I believe that nothing can happen that will outweigh the supreme advantage of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For him I have accepted the loss of everything and I look on everything as so much rubbish if only I can have Christ and be given a place in him. I am no longer trying for perfection by my own efforts, the perfection that comes from the Law, but I want only the perfection that comes through faith. All I want to know is Christ and the power of his resurrection and to share his sufferings by reproducing the pattern of his death. That is the way I can hope to take my place in the resurrection of the dead. Not that I have become perfect yet, I have not yet won but I am still running trying to capture the prize for which Christ Jesus captured me. I can assure you, my brothers and sisters, I am far from thinking that I have already won. All I can say is that I forget the past and I strain ahead for what is still to come. I am racing for the finish, for the prize to which God calls us upwards to receive in Christ Jesus.

The word of the Lord.

 

 

14.

A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Philippians (3:20-21)

(Our homeland is in heaven)

For us, our homeland is in heaven, and from heaven comes the saviour we are waiting for, the Lord Jesus Christ, and he will transfigure these bodies of ours into copies of his glorious body. He will do that by the same power with which he can subdue the whole universe.

The word of the Lord.

 

 

15.

A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Philippians (3:17-4:1)

(Our True Homeland is in heaven and even though we miss our loved ones we trust they are in heaven and perfectly happy)

My brothers, be united in following my rule of life. Take as your models everybody who is already doing this and study them as you used to study us.

For us, our homeland is in heaven, and from heaven comes the saviour we are waiting for, the Lord Jesus Christ, and he will transfigure these bodies of ours into copies of his glorious body. He will do that by the same power with which he can subdue the whole universe.

So then, my brothers and dear friends, do not give way but remain faithful in the Lord. I miss you very much, dear friends; you are my joy and my crown.

The word of the Lord.

 

 

16.

A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Philippians (4:4-9)

(For someone who was gentle and good humoured. Someone who trusted in God and was grateful for any help.)

May you always be joyful in your unity with the Lord. Rejoice! Show a gentle attitude towards everyone. The Lord is coming soon. Do not worry about anything but in all your prayers, ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. And God’s peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus. In conclusion, my brothers and sisters, fill your minds with those things that are good and deserve praise, things that are true, noble, right, pure and lovely and honourable. Put into practice what you learned and received from me, both from my words and from my actions. And the God who gives us peace will be with you.

The word of the Lord.

 

 

17.

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

Be careful always to choose the right course; be brave under trials; make the preaching of the Good News your life’s work, in thoroughgoing service.

As for me, my life is already being poured away as a libation, and the time has come for me to be gone. I have fought the good fight to the end; I have run the race to the finish; I have kept the faith; all there is to come now is the crown of righteousness reserved for me, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that Day; and not only to me but to all those who have longed for his Appearing.

The Word of the Lord.

 

18.

A reading the second Letter of St. Paul to Timothy (4:6-8)

As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

The word of the Lord.

 

19.

 

A Reading from the First Letter of St. Peter

Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy has given us a new birth as his sons, by raising Jesus Christ from the dead, so that we have a sure hope and the promise of an inheritance that can never be spoilt or soiled and never fade away, because it is being kept for you in the heavens. Through your faith, God’s power will guard you until the salvation which has been prepared is revealed at the end of time.

This is a cause of great joy for you, even though you may for a short time have to bear being plagued by all sorts of trials; so that, when Jesus Christ is revealed, your faith will have been tested and proved like gold-only it is more precious than gold, which is corruptible even though it bears testing by fire-and then you will have praise and glory and honour.

You did not see him, yet you love him; and still without seeing him, you are already filled with a joy so glorious that it cannot be described, because you believe; and you are sure of the end to which your faith looks forward, that is , the salvation of your souls.

The Word of the Lord.

 

 

20.

A reading from the letter of St Peter (1:16-19)

It was not any cleverly invented myths that we were repeating when we brought you the knowledge of the power and the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ; we had seen his majesty for ourselves. He was honoured and glorified by God the Father, when the Sublime Glory itself spoke to him and said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; he enjoys my favour’. We heard this ourselves, spoken from heaven, when we were with him on the holy mountain.

So we have confirmation of what was said in prophecies; and you will be right to depend on prophecy and take it as a lamp for lighting a way through the dark until the dawn comes and the morning star rises in your minds.

The Word of the Lord.

 

 

 

21.

A Reading from the First Letter of St. Peter

We have a sure hope and the promise of an inheritance that can never fade away

Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy has given us a new birth as his sons, by raising Jesus Christ from the dead, so that we have a sure hope and the promise of an inheritance that can never be spoilt or soiled and never fade away, because it is being kept for you in the heavens. Through your faith, God’s power will guard you until the salvation which has been prepared is revealed at the end of time.

This is a cause of great joy for you, even though you may for a short time have to bear being plagued by all sorts of trials; so that, when Jesus Christ is revealed, your faith will have been tested and proved like gold-only it is more precious than gold, which is corruptible even though it bears testing by fire-and then you will have praise and glory and honour.

You did not see him, yet you love him; and still without seeing him, you are already filled with a joy so glorious that it cannot be described, because you believe; and you are sure of the end to which your faith looks forward, that is , the salvation of your souls.

The Word of the Lord.

 

 

22.

A reading from the first letter of St John (4:7-12)

God is love

 

My dear people,

let us love one another

since love comes from God

and everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God.

Anyone who fails to love can never have known God,

because God is love.

God’s love for us was revealed

when God sent into the world his only Son

so that we could have life through him;

this is the love I mean:

not our love for God,

but God’s love for us when he sent his Son

to be the sacrifice that takes our sins away.

My dear people,

since God has loved us so much,

we too should love one another.

No one has ever seen God;

but as long as we love one another

God will live in us

and his love will be complete in us.

The word of the Lord.

 

 

23.

A reading from the first letter to St. John (I In. 3:I-3)

Think of the love that the Father has shown us by betting us be called God’s children and that is what we are. Because the world refused to acknowledge him, therefore it does not acknowledge us. My dear people, we are already the children of God but what we are to be in the future has not yet been revealed; all we know is, that when it is revealed, we shall be like him because we shall see him as he really is.

The word of the Lord.

 

 

24.

A reading from the Book of Revelations (2 I:I -5)

Then I saw a new earth and a new sky, for the present earth and sky had disappeared. And I, John, saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven. It was a glorious sight, beautiful as a bride at her wedding. I heard a loud shout from the throne, ‘Look, the home of God is now among men, and he will live with them, and they Will be his people; yes, God himself will be among them. He Will Wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, or sorrow, or crying, or pain. All of that is gone forever”.

And the one sitting on the throne said, ‘See, I am making all things new!’ And then he said to me, “Write of the knowledge of the glory of God, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true”.

The word of the Lord.