Gathering of Funeral Ministry Teams

22 April 2015 – Prayer Moment One 

Sign of the Cross In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Greeting  May the God of hope give you the fullness of peace, and may the Lord of life be always with you.
And with your spirit.

Reading   Philippians 3:20
Our true home is in heaven, and Jesus Christ whose return we long for will come from heaven to save us.

Opening Song   Christ In Me Arise (Trevor Thomson)
All sing:   Christ in me arise and dispel all the darkness.
Christ in me arise with your power and your strength.
Christ in me pour out your blessing and healing.
Christ in me arise and I will rise with you.

Opening Prayer
All say: Tá mé ag filleadh arís ort,
I come back to you again
Is a Rí gheal ná daor sinn;
and, bright King,do not condemn us;
Tabhair dom deoch as tobar na daonnacht’,
give me a drink from the well of your humanity
Nó braon den uisce úd do shil as do thaobh deas,
or a drop of water that flowed from your right side,
A dhéanfadh sinn a ghlanadh, a ghealadh is a shaoradh,
which will be enough to clean us and wash us and free us,
Is go rachaidh ár n-anam go Flaithis i d’fhéachaint.
and may our souls rise up to Heaven in your sight.

Song   I Am The Bread Of Life (Suzanne Toolan)
All sing:  I am the bread of life You who come to me shall not hunger
You who believe in me shall not thirst No one can come to me Unless the father beckons
And I will raise you up(3) on the last day.

I am the resurrection, I am the life If you believe in me Even though you die You shall live forever.
And I will raise you up (3) on the last day.

Prayer of Intercession
Leader  God the almighty Father,
raised his Son Jesus Christ from the dead; with confidence we ask him to see all his people, living and dead.
For our relatives and friends who have gone before us, and await the kingdom, that they may have the reward of their goodness,
Lord, in your mercy. R. Hear our prayer.

For those who have fallen asleep in the hope of rising again, that they may see God face to face.
Lord, in your mercy. R. Hear our prayer.

For those whose faith was known to you alone, that they will have light, happiness and peace.
Lord, in your mercy. R. Hear our prayer.

For all who mourn for the loss of their loved ones, that they will find comfort in their sadness, certainty in their doubt, and courage in their
Lord, in your mercy. R. Hear our prayer.

For ourselves, who have assembled here to worship in faith, that we may be reunited one day with all whom we love, when every tear will be
wiped away.
Lord, in your mercy. R. Hear our prayer.

Leader   God, our shelter and our strength,
you listen in love to the cry of your people: hear the prayers we offer for our departed brothers and sisters. Cleanse them of their sins and grant them the fullness of redemption. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Reflection (D Burton-Peddle)
A loved one is a treasure of the heart and losing a loved one is like losing a piece of yourself, but the love that this person brought you did not leave, for the essence of the soul lingers.  It cannot escape your heart, for it has been there forever. Cling to the memories and let them find their way to heal you. The love and laughter, the joy in the togetherness you shared, will make you strong. You come to realise that your time together, no matter how long, was meant to be and you were blessed to have such a precious gift of love in your life. Keep your heart beating with the loving memories and trust in your faith to guide you through. Know that though life moves on the beauty of love stays behind to embrace you. Your loved one has left you that to hold in your heart forever.

Song   Take Me Home (David Haas)
All sing:   Take me home to your dwelling place in your sweet embrace
Ready to hold me in your arms.
Take me home to your loving eyes with you alone I’ll rise
singing forever in your arms, take me home.

Sign of the Cross  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Greeting  May the Father of mercies, the God of all consolation, be with you. And with your spirit.

Introduction As we gather this evening, we acknowledge the grief that we all feel when someone we love dies and to open our hearts to the hope that the Christian message offers us. In peace we entrust those who have died to the mercy of God.

Song  Quietly, Peacefully (Dvorak/Lori True)
All sing: Quietly, peacefully, may they rest in you
Quietly, peacefully, bring them home to you.

Reading   I Thess 4:13-14
We want you to be quite certain 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 died in Jesus: God will bring them with him.

Song  God Is (LaRue/ Stevens)
When all you see is here and now
When everything is crumbling, falling to the ground
This is just a moment, this is not forever
I know it seems impossible when all your hope is gone But God is, God is,
Greater than the fear your facing Greater than the storm that’s raging God is, God is,
With you when you cry, so cry out His name
‘Cause God is greater than the pain
He knows the trials His children face
He knows the tears that fall that we all have to taste
But don’t you dare let go now, don’t let the candle blow out
His love is strong, so just hold on
‘Cause He is with you through it all
But God is, God is …

Reflection Grief (John O’Donohue)
Though the silent weeping of your heart lessens, you get on, more or less, with your life; a place is kept within you for the one who is gone.  No other will ever be given the key to that door.  As the years go on you may not  remember the departed every day with your conscious mind. Yet below your surface mind, some part of you is always in their presence. From their side, our friends in the unseen world are always secretly embracing us in their new and bright belongings.  Though we may forget them, they can never forget us; their secret embrace unknowingly shelters and minds us.

The bright moment in grief is when the sore absence gradually changes into a well of presence.  You become aware of the subtle companionship of the departed one.  You know that when you are in trouble, you can turn to this presence beside you and draw on it for encouragement and blessing.

The departed is now no longer restricted to any one place and can be with you any place you are.  It is good to know the blessings of this presence.


Reflection  Guardian of the Grieving (Joyce Rupp)
Guardian of the Grieving,
You do much more than stand there
Being attentive to heart-sore spirits.
You lovingly embrace and closely guard
Those who feel bereft and lonely
You vigilantly attend to each one
Lest they be overtaken by their sadness.
Your protective gaze of compassion
Softens the blows of their sorrow.
Guardian of those who have lost much,
Watch devotedly over those who mourn.

Blessing   Celtic Blessing
May the God of gentleness be with you,
caressing you with sunlight and rain and wind.
May his tenderness shine through you to warm
all those who are hurt and lonely.
May the God of peace be with you,
taking away your fears and doubts.
May the mantle of your peace cover those who are troubled and anxious.
May the blessing of peace be upon you.
The guarding of the God of life be on you,
the guarding of the Loving Christ be on you,
the guarding of the Holy Spirit be on you to aid
and uphold you each day and night of your lives. Amen.

 Lay Leadership

Welcoming and Co-ordinating

Part of Gathering

Welcome Group

Distributor of Roles


Attention to all

Vehicle for the presence of God

Opening and Closing

Establishes presidency

In between duty delegated to others

Leading Prayer

Person of prayer

Audible and appropriate tone


Choosing texts

Coordinating music

Conscious of Assembly

Balance in Style



At Home



Sense of occasion

Tone of Voice
‘One should avoid, on the one hand, a monotonous, uninflected style of speech, and, on the other, a manner of speaking and gesturing which are too personal and dramatic.’ (Eucharistiae Participationem – 1973)

Leading the Prayer of God’s People – Liturgical Presiding for Priests and Laity
A Document of the Association of National Liturgy Secretaries of Europe (1991)
Lay Presiding: The Art of Leading Prayer (American Essays in Liturgy) – Kathleen Hughes
Lay Leaders of Worship – Practical and Spiritual Guide – Kathleen Hope Brown  – the Liturgical Press (2004)