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poems & readings

girl with book

There are many poems and readings which may be suitable for a Funeral or Memorial Service and your choices will be entirely personal. Some are specific to different cultures and faiths and the following selection are some of the most popular.

Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn’s rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight,
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there I did not die.

Mary Elizabeth Fyre

 

Funeral Blues

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

WH Auden

If Roses Grow in Heaven

If roses grow in heaven,
Lord please pick a bunch for me,
Place them in my Mother’s arms
And tell her they’re from me.

Tell her I love her and miss her,
And when she turns to smile,
Place a kiss upon her cheek
And hold her for awhile.

Because remembering her is easy,
I do it every day,
But there’s an ache within my heart
That will never go away.

Anon

Miss Me But Let Me Go

When I come to the end of the road,
And the sun has set for me,
I want no rites in a gloom filled room
Why cry for a soul set free?
Miss me a little – but not for long.
And not with your head bowed low.
Remember the love that once we shared.
Miss me, but let me go.
For this is a journey we must all take,
And each must go alone.
It’s all part of the master plan,
A step on the road to home.
When you are lonely and sick at heart,
Go to the friends we know,
Laugh at all the things we used to do.
Miss me, but let me go.

Anon

She Is Gone

You can shed tears that she is gone
Or you can smile because she has lived
You can close your eyes and pray that she will come back
Or you can open your eyes and see all that she has left
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her
Or you can be full of the love that you shared
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday
You can remember her and only that she is gone
Or you can cherish her memory and let it live on
You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back
Or you can do what she would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

David Harkins

Footprints in the Sand

One night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord.

Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand. One belonging to him and the other to the Lord.

When the last scene of his left flashed before him, He looked back at the footprints in the sand and noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it  happened at the very lowest and saddest times of his life. This really bothered him and he questioned the Lord about it.

‘Lord, you said that once I decided to follow You, You’d walk with me all the way but I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life there is only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why, when I needed You most You would leave me.’

The Lord replied, ‘My precious, precious child, I love you and I would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering when you see only one set of footprints it was then that I carried you.’

Carolyn Carty

When Tomorrow Starts Without Me

When tomorrow starts without me, and I am not here to see
If the sun should rise and find your eyes all filled with tears for me,
I know how much you love me as much as I love you,
And each time you think of me I know you’ll miss me too.
But when tomorrow starts without me please try to understand,
That Jesus came and called my name and took me by the hand.
He said that my place is ready in heaven far above,
And that I have to leave behind all those I dearly love.
But as I turned to walk away a tear fell from my eye,
For all my life I’d always thought it wasn’t my time to die.
I had so much to live for and so much yet to do,
It seems almost impossible that I was leaving you.
I thought of all the yesterdays the good ones and the bad,
I thought of all the love we shared and all the fun we had.
If I could have stayed for just a while,
I’d say goodbye and kiss you and maybe see you smile.
But then I fully realise that this could never be,
For emptiness and memories would take the place of me.
And when I thought of wordly things that I would miss tomorrow,
I thought of you and when I did my heart was filled with sorrow.
But when I walked through heaven’s gate and felt so much at home,
As God looked down and smiled at me from his great golden throne.
He said “This is eternity, and all I’ve promised you,
Today your life on earth is past, but here it starts anew.”
“I promise no tomorrow but today will always last,
And since each day’s the same here there’s no longing for the past.”
So when tomorrow starts without me don’t think we’re far apart,
For every time you think of me I’m right here in your heart.

Anon

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