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Supacase's avatar

Do you know any Bible verses that are appropriate for a funeral but do not mention God or Jesus?

Asked by Supacase (14543points) March 1st, 2011

I know it is a weird question.

I went to a funeral this weekend and was uncomfortable with the fact that there will likely be many references made to Jesus or God during my own funeral, whenever that may be. I don’t mind my family having a Christian funeral because I feel the service is more for them than for me and that is what most of them will want. My family will want readings from the Bible and I noticed during this service that they all specifically mentioned God or Jesus.

On the other hand, I do not want to be remembered as a devout Christian since those are not the beliefs I held in life. I am looking for a compromise. I already know I want it held in a funeral home rather than a church. I would like to have some verses selected ahead of time that will satisfy everyone. I don’t mind references to Jesus as a person or regarding his good deeds, but not as a religious entity who died for my sins.

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16 Answers

iamthemob's avatar

Why don’t you take a look at The Jefferson Bible – it’s a bowlderized version where the references to Jesus have been removed.

But in all honesty, the Sermon on the Mount is always profound – divorced from any religious considerations, it contains some great lessons about how we should live.

Facade's avatar

Maybe these come close?

Psalm 30:5
Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

Matthew 11:25–30
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Most others will mention God/ the Lord/ Jesus…

marinelife's avatar

Proverbs 14:32
When calamity comes, the wicked are brought down, but even in death the righteous have a refuge.

Matthew 5:4
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

There is a time for everything,
And a season for every activity under heaven:
A time to be born and a time to die
A time to plant and a time to uproot,
A time to kill and a time to heal,
A time to tear down and a time to build,
A time to weep and a time to laugh,
A time to mourn and a time to dance,
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
A time to embrace and a time to refrain,
A time to search and a time to give up,
A time to keep and a time to throw away,
A time to tear and a time to mend,
A time to be silent and a time to speak,
A time to love and a time to hate,
A time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1–8

zenvelo's avatar

Ecclesiastes 12 mentions Creator, but nothing more except in verse 7, which you can edit:

:Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;

2 While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain:

3 In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened,

4 And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low;

5 Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the Almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:

6 Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.

7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

8 Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity.

josie's avatar

Your funeral is not for you. You will be dead and clueless. Funerals are for the living that survive you. Why not make it the way they feel comfortable.

iamthemob's avatar

Although we’re dead, we still arguably leave a legacy.

I wouldn’t want my legacy to be misrepresented.

choreplay's avatar

You can take an except from the book of common prayer, with only with only this part, “we commit his body to the ground; earth to earth; ashes to ashes, dust to dust.”

janbb's avatar

I was going with the time thing from Ecclesiastes too.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; for lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.
Song of Solomon 2: 10–13

Hibernate's avatar

This made me laugh .. :

” On the other hand, I do not want to be remembered as a devout Christian since those are not the beliefs I held in life. ”

Why do you want BIBLE quotes / verses for the funeral if you do not believe in the christianity ? I find this strange, I don’t know about others but it’s a bit strange.
Anyway after all it won’t matter because you won’t be able to say STOP.
But if you want to do something for your family at least tell them to pick quotes about joy. I could point some out but in the end they will decide.

Cheers ^^

Supacase's avatar

@iamthemob Exactly.

@josie and @Hibernate I think I made those points fairly clear. My family is Christian and they will want a Christian service and since I said I believe it is mostly for them I would like for them to find their peace in their way. However, I do not want to have a service that shows me leaving this world as a hypocrite by going with an all-out religious ceremony. The service is for their sake, but I would prefer them to remember the real me.

I do not disagree with all of the teachings of the Bible – I think there are many valuable lessons that are relevant to non-Christians as well. I have no problem using the Bible, especially if it will comfort them, and I am sure there can be a compromise that satisfies everyone.

Also, in the end, my family will honor my requests because the love and respect me.

Supacase's avatar

@iamthemob Thank you for mentioning The Jefferson Bible. I had not heard of it before. It could very well be a realistic answer… then I think about how pissed off I am about the revised Huckleberry Finn and I’m right back to feeling like a hypocrite.

choreplay's avatar

@Supacase, I think the key would be for you to have your funeral all planned and paid for before it happens. Then their only responsibility is to show up and celebrate their memories of you, without having choices on the matter. If you leave it to them, your done in, but your power here lies in planning and payment.

My mother died just over a year ago and I took on a majority of the cost just for the power of making sure her wishes were played out like she wanted them. Some of my brothers wanted to make decisions about where she would be burried and so on, but that was all truncated when I paid for most of it. I laid her to rest right beside her daddy, where she wanted to be not next to her ex husband.

iamthemob's avatar

@Supacase – well, we’re all hypocrites at times.

But I think you’re safe on this one – you can say you like it in one case and not the other as long as you reasonably back up and think through the information.

Supacase's avatar

@Season_of_Fall Having it all taken care of is exactly what I want to do. I intend to have it paid for, but if I don’t get that far then at least having my wishes written down will make things easier. They won’t intentionally do anything I would not like, and I wouldn’t be upset with them if the did (I’d be dead anyway), but there is no way I can expect them to figure out what is appropriate for me while they are in the midst of grieving when I’m having trouble doing it while I’m perfectly healthy.

@iamthemob I see your point. You may have the answer I have been looking for. Thanks!

Hibernate's avatar

Dear Supacase ^^

One thing you should remember about funerals. Whoever thinks that you are a hypocrite [ or was ] IS WRONG. You can’t choose what sort of funeral or what people will do/say then .. it’s up to them.

Cheers.

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