Gospel Readings at Funerals/Memorials

Gospel Readings

 

  1. A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 5:1–12

Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.

Seeing the crowds, Jesus went up the hill. There he sat down and was

joined by his disciples. Then he began to speak. This is what he taught

them:

‘How happy are the poor in spirit;

theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Happy the gentle:

they shall have the earth for their heritage.

Happy those who mourn:

they shall be comforted.

Happy those who hunger and thirst for what is right:

they shall be satisfied.

Happy the merciful:

they shall have mercy shown them.

Happy the pure in heart:

they shall see God.

Happy the peacemakers:

they shall be called sons of God.

Happy those who are persecuted in the cause of right:

theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

‘Happy are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all

kinds of calumny against you on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for

your reward will be great in heaven.’

 

  1. A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 11:25–30

Come to me, and I will give you rest.

Jesus exclaimed, ‘I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for

hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them

to mere children. Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do. Everything

has been entrusted to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son

except the Father, just as no one knows the Father except the Son and

those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

‘Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give

you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble

in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy

and my burden light.’

 

  1. A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 25:1–13

The bridegroom is here! Go out and meet him.

Jesus spoke this parable to his disciples:

‘The kingdom of heaven will be like this; Ten bridesmaids took their lamps

and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were

sensible: the foolish ones did take their lamps, but they brought no oil,

whereas the sensible ones took flasks of oil as well as their lamps. The

bridegroom was late and they all grew drowsy and fell asleep. But at midnight

there was a cry. “The bridegroom is here! Go out and meet him.” At

this, all those bridesmaids woke up and trimmed their lamps, and the foolish

ones said to the sensible ones, ”Give us some of your oil: our lamps are

going out”. But they replied, “There may not be enough for us and for you;

you had better go to those who sell it and buy some for yourselves”. They

had gone off to buy it when the bridegroom arrived. Those who were ready

went in with him to the wedding hall and the door was closed. The other

bridesmaids arrived later. “Lord, Lord,” they said, “open the door for us.”

But he replied, “I tell you solemnly, I do not know you”. So stay awake,

because you do not know either the day or the hour.’

 

  1. A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 25:31–46

Come, you whom my Father has blessed.

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory,

escorted by all the angels, then he will take his seat on his throne of

glory. All the nations will be assembled before him and he will separate

men one from another as the shepherd separates sheep from goats. He

will place the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left. Then the

King will say to those on his right hand, “Come, you whom my Father

has blessed, take for your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since

the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food;

I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you made

me welcome; naked and you

clothed me, sick and you visited

me, in prison and you came

to see me.” Then the virtuous

will say to him in reply, “Lord,

when did we see you hungry

and feed you; or thirsty and

give you drink? When did we

see you a stranger and make

you welcome; naked and clothe

you; sick or in prison and go

to see you?” And the King will

answer, “I tell you solemnly,

in so far as you did this to one

of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.” Next he will say

to those on his left hand, “Go away from me, with your curse upon you,

to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry

and you never gave me food; I was thirsty and you never gave me anything

to drink; I was a stranger and you never made me welcome, naked

and you never clothed me, sick and in prison and you never visited me.”

Then it will be their turn to ask, “Lord when did we see you hungry or

thirsty, a stranger or naked, sick or in prison, and did not come to your

help?” Then he will answer, “I tell you solemnly, in so far as you neglected

to do this to one of the least of these, you neglected to do it to me.”

And they will go away to eternal punishment, and the virtuous to eternal

life.’

 

  1. A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark 15:33–39;16:1–6

Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last.

When the sixth hour came there was darkness over the whole land until

the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice,

‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’ which means, ‘My God, My God, why

have you deserted me?’ When some of those who stood by heard this,

they said, ‘Listen, he is calling on Elijah.’ Someone ran and soaked a

sponge in vinegar and, putting it on a reed, gave it him to drink saying,

‘Wait and see if Elijah will come to take him down.’ But Jesus gave a

loud cry and breathed his last. And the veil of the Temple was torn in two

from top to bottom. The centurion, who was standing in front of him, had

seen how he had died and he said, ‘In truth this man was a son of God.’

When the sabbath was over, Mary of Magdala, Mary the mother of

James, and Salome, bought spices with which to go and anoint him. And

very early in the morning on the first day of the week they went to the

tomb, just as the sun was rising.

They had been saying to one another, ‘Who will roll away the stone for

us from the entrance to the tomb?’ But when they looked they could see

that the stone — which was very big —

had already been rolled back.

On entering the tomb they saw a young man in a white robe seated on

the right-hand side, and they were struck with amazement. But he said

to them, ‘There is no need for alarm. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth,

who was crucified: he has risen, he is not here. See, here is the place

where they laid him.’

 

A shorter form of this reading is also permitted

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark 15:33–39

Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last.

When the sixth hour came there was darkness over the whole land

until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud

voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’ which means, ‘My God, My

God, why have you deserted me?’ When some of those who stood

by heard this, they said, ‘Listen, he is calling on Elijah.’ Someone

ran and soaked a sponge in vinegar and putting it on a reed, gave

it him to drink saying, ‘Wait and see if Elijah will come to take

him down.’ But Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. And

the veil of the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The

centurion, who was standing in front of him, had seen how he had

died and he said, ‘In truth this man was a son of God.’

 

  1. A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 7:11–17

Young man, I tell you to get up.

Jesus went to a town called Nain, accompanied by his disciples and a great

number of people. When he was near the gate of the town it happened that

a dead man was being carried out for burial, the only son of his mother,

and she was a widow. And a considerable number of the townspeople were

with her. When the Lord saw her he felt sorry for her. ‘Do not cry,’ he said.

Then he went up and put his hand on the bier and the bearers stood still,

and he said, ‘Young man, I tell you to get up’. And the dead man sat up and

began to talk, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Everyone was filled with

awe and praised God saying, ‘A great prophet has appeared among us; God

has visited his people’. And this opinion of him spread throughout Judaea

and all over the countryside.

 

  1. A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 12:35–40

Stand ready.

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘See that you are dressed for action and have

your lamps lit. Be like men waiting for their master to return from the

wedding feast, ready to open the door as soon as he comes and knocks.

Happy those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. I tell

you solemnly, he will put on an apron, sit them down at table and wait on

them. It may be in the second watch he comes, or in the third, but happy

those servants if he finds them ready. You may be quite sure of this, that

if the householder had known at what hour the burglar would come, he

would not have let anyone break through the wall of his house. You too

must stand ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do

not expect.’

 

  1. A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 23:33. 39–43

Today you will be with me in paradise.

When the soldiers reached the place called The Skull, they crucified Jesus

there and the two criminals also, one on the right, the other on the left.

One of the criminals hanging there abused him. ‘Are you not the Christ?’

he said. ‘Save yourself and us as

well.’ But the other spoke up and

rebuked him. ‘Have you no fear of

God at all?’ he said. ‘You got the

same sentence as he did, but in our

case we deserved it: we are paying

for what we did. But this man has

done nothing wrong. Jesus,’ he said,

‘remember me when you come into

your kingdom.’ ‘Indeed, I promise

you,’ he replied, ‘today you will be

with me in paradise.’

 

  1. A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 23:44-46. 50. 52-53. 24:1-6

Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.

It was about the sixth hour and, with the sun eclipsed, a darkness came

over the whole land until the ninth hour. The veil of the Temple was torn

right down the middle; and when Jesus had cried out in a loud voice, he

said, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit’. With these words he

breathed his last.

Then a member of the council arrived, an upright and virtuous man

named Joseph. This man went

to Pilate and asked for the

body of Jesus. He then took it

down, wrapped it in a shroud

and put him in a tomb which

was hewn in stone in which

no one had yet been laid.

On the first day of the week,

at the first sign of dawn, the

women went to the tomb with

the spices they had prepared.

They found that the stone had

been rolled away from the

tomb, but on entering discovered

that the body of the Lord

Jesus was not there. As they

stood there not knowing what

to think, two men in brilliant

clothes suddenly appeared

at their side. Terrified, the

women lowered their eyes. But the two men said to them, ‘Why look

among the dead for someone who is alive? He is not here; he has risen.’

 

A shorter form of this reading is also permitted

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 23:44–46 50. 52–53

Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.

It was about the sixth hour and with the sun eclipsed, a darkness

came over the whole land until the ninth hour. The veil of the

temple was torn right down the middle, and when Jesus had cried

out in a loud voice, he said, ‘Father into your hands I commit my

spirit”. With these words he breathed his last.

Then a member of the council arrived, an upright and virtuous

man named Joseph. This man went to Pilate and asked for the

body of Jesus.

He then took it down, wrapped it in a shroud and put him in a

tomb which was hewn in stone in which no one had yet been laid.

 

  1. A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 24:13–35

Was it not ordained that the Christ should suffer and enter into his glory?

On the first day of the week, two of the disciples were on their way to a

village called Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking

together about all that had happened. Now as they talked this over, Jesus

himself came up and walked by their side; but something prevented them

from recognising him. He said to them, ‘What matters are you discussing

as you walk along?’ They stopped short, their faces downcast.

Then one of them, called Cleopas, answered him, ‘You must be the only

person staying in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have been

happening there these last few days.’ ‘What things?” he asked. ‘All about

Jesus of Nazareth,’ they answered, ‘who proved he was a great prophet

by the things he said and did in the sight of God and of the whole people;

and how our chief priests and our leaders handed him over to be sentenced

to death, and had him crucified. Our own hope had been that he would be

the one to set Israel free. And this is not all: two whole days have gone by

since it all happened: and some women from our group have astounded

us; they went to the tomb in the early morning, and when they did not find

the body, they came back to tell us they had seen a vision of angels who

declared he was alive. Some of our friends went to the tomb and found everything

exactly as the women had reported, but of him they saw nothing.’

Then he said to them, ‘You foolish men! So slow to believe the full message

of the prophets! Was it not ordained that the Christ should suffer and

so enter into his glory?’ Then, starting with Moses and going through all

the prophets, he explained to

them the passages throughout

the scriptures that were about

himself.

When they drew near to the village

to which they were going,

he made as if to go on; but they

pressed him to stay with them.

‘It is nearly evening,’ they said,

‘and the day is almost over.’ So

he went in to stay with them.

Now while he was with them

at table, he took the bread and

said the blessing; then he broke

it and handed it to them. And

their eyes were opened and they

recognised him; but he had vanished from their sight. Then they said to

each other, ‘Did not our hearts burn within us as he talked to us on the

road and explained the scriptures to us?’

They set out that instant and returned to Jerusalem. There they found

the eleven assembled together with their companions, who said to them,

‘Yes, it is true. The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.’ Then

they told their story of what had happened on the road and how they had

recognised him at the breaking of bread.

 

 

A shorter form of this reading is also permitted

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 24:13–16. 28–35

Was it not ordained that the Christ should suffer and so enter into his glory

On the first day of the week, two of the disciples were on their

way to a village called Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem, and

they were talking together about all that had happened. Now as

they talked this over, Jesus himself came up and walked by their

side; but something prevented them from recognising him.

When they drew near to the village to which they were going, he

made as if to go on; but they pressed him to stay with them. ‘It

is nearly evening,’ they said, ‘and the day is almost over.’ So he

went in to stay with them. Now while he was with them at table,

he took the bread and said the blessing; then he broke it and

handed it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognised

him; but he had vanished from their sight. Then they said

to each other, ‘Did not our hearts burn within us as he talked to us

on the road and explained the scriptures to us?’

They set out that instant and returned to Jerusalem. There they

found the eleven assembled together with their companions, who

said to them, ‘Yes it is true. The Lord has risen and has appeared

to Simon.’ Then they told their story of what had happened on the

road and how they had recognised him at the breaking of bread.

 

  1. A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 5:24–29

Whoever listens to my words and believes has passed from death to life.

Jesus said to the Jews:

I tell you most solemnly,

whoever listens to my words,

and believes in the one who sent me has eternal life;

without being brought to judgement

he has passed from death to life.

I tell you most solemnly,

the hour will come — in fact it is here

already —

when the dead will hear the voice of

the Son of God,

and all who hear it will live.

For the Father, who is the source of

life,

has made the Son the source of life;

and, because he is the Son of Man,

has appointed him supreme judge.

Do not be surprised at this,

for the hour is coming

when the dead will leave their graves

at the sound of his voice;

those who did good will rise again to life;

and those who did evil, to condemnation.

I can do nothing by myself;

I can only judge as I am told to judge,

and my judging is just,

because my aim is to do not my own will,

but the will of him who sent me.’

 

  1. A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 6:37–40

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life,

and I shall raise him up on the last day.

Jesus said to the crowd:

‘All that the Father gives me will come to me,

and whoever comes to me

I shall not turn him away;

because I have come from heaven,

not to do my own will,

but to do the will of the one who sent me.

Now the will of him who sent me

is that I should lose nothing

of all that he has given to me,

and that I should raise it up on the last day.

Yes, it is my Father’s will

that whoever sees the Son and believes

in him shall have eternal life,

and that I shall raise him up on the last day.’

 

  1. A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 6:51–58

Anyone who eats this bread has eternal life,

and I shall raise him up on the last day.

Jesus said to the crowd:

‘I am the living bread which has come down from heaven. Anyone who

eats this bread will live for ever;

and the bread that I shall give

is my flesh, for the life of the world.’

Then the Jews started arguing with one another: ‘How can this man give

us his flesh to eat?’ they said. Jesus replied:

‘I tell you most solemnly,

if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man

and drink his blood,

you will not have life in you.

Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood

has eternal life,

and I shall raise him up on the last day.

For my flesh is real food

and my blood is real drink.

He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood

lives in me

and I live in him.

As I, who am sent by the living Father,

myself draw life from the Father,

so whoever eats me will draw life from me.

This is the bread come down from heaven;

not like the bread our ancestors ate:

they are dead,

but anyone who eats this bread will live for ever.’

 

  1. A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 11:17–27

I am the resurrection and the life.

On arriving at Bethany, Jesus found that Lazarus had been in the tomb for

four days already. Bethany is only about two miles from Jerusalem, and

many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to sympathise with them over

their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus had come she went to meet

him. Mary remained sitting in the house. Martha said to Jesus, ‘If you had

been here, my brother would not have died, but I know that, even now,

whatever you ask of God, he will grant you’. ‘Your brother,’ said Jesus to

her, ‘will rise again.’ Martha said, ‘I know he will rise again at the resurrection

on the last day’. Jesus said:

‘I am the resurrection and the life.

If anyone believes in me, even though he dies he will live,

and whoever lives and believes in me

will never die.

Do you believe this?’

‘Yes, Lord,’ she said, ‘I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God,

the one who was to come into this world.’

 

A shorter form of this reading is also permitted

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 11:21–27

I am the resurrection and the life.

Martha said to Jesus, ‘If you had been here, my brother would not

have died, but I know that, even now, whatever you ask of God,

he will grant you’. ‘Your brother,’ said Jesus to her, ‘will rise

again.’ Martha said, ‘I know he will rise again at the resurrection

on the last day’.

Jesus said:

‘I am the resurrection and

the life.

If anyone believes in me,

even though he dies he

will live,

and whoever lives and believes

in me will never die.

Do you believe this?’

‘Yes, Lord,’ she said, ‘I

believe that you are the

Christ, the Son of God, the

one who was to come into

this world.’

 

  1. A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 11:32–45

Lazarus, come out.

Mary the sister of Lazarus went to Jesus, and as soon as she saw him she

threw herself at his feet, saying, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother

would not have died.’ At the sight of her tears, and those of the Jews who

followed her, Jesus said in great distress, with a sigh that came straight

from the heart, ‘Where have you put him?’ They said, ‘Lord, come and

see’. Jesus wept; and the Jews said, ‘See how much he loved him!’

But there were some who remarked, ‘He opened the eyes of the blind

man, could he not have prevented this man’s death?’ Still sighing, Jesus

reached the tomb: it was a cave with a stone to close the opening. Jesus

said, ‘Take the stone away.’ Martha said to him, ‘Lord, by now he will

smell; this is the fourth day.’ Jesus replied, ‘Have I not told you that if

you believe you will see the glory of God?’ So they took away the stone.

Then Jesus lifted up his eyes and said:

‘Father, I thank you for hearing my prayer.

I knew indeed that you always hear me,

but I speak

for the sake of all these who stand round me,

so that they may believe it was you who sent me.’

When he had said this, he cried in a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, here! Come

out!’ The dead man came out, his feet and hands bound with bands of

stuff and a cloth round his face. Jesus said to them, ‘Unbind him, let him

go free.’

Many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary and had seen what he did

believed in him.

 

  1. A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 12:23–28

If a wheat grain dies, it yields a rich harvest.

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘Now the hour has come

for the Son of Man to be glorified.

I tell you, most solemnly,

unless a wheat grain falls on the ground and dies,

it remains only a single grain;

but if it dies,

it yields a rich harvest.

Anyone who loves his life loses it;

anyone who hates his life in this world

will keep it for the eternal life.

If a man serves me, he must follow me,

wherever I am my servant will he there too.

If anyone serves me, my Father will honour him.

Now my soul is troubled.

What shall I say:

Father, save me from this hour?

But it is for this very reason that I have come to this hour.

Father, glorify your name!’

A voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and I will glorify it

again.’

A shorter form of this reading is also permitted

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 12:23–26

If a wheat grain dies, it yields a rich harvest.

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘Now the hour has come

for the Son of Man to be glorified.

I tell you, most solemnly,

unless a wheat grain falls on the ground and dies,

it remains only a single grain;

but if it dies,

it yields a rich harvest.

Anyone who loves his life loses it;

anyone who hates his life in this world

will keep it for the eternal life.

If a man serves me, he must follow me,

wherever I am, my servant will be there too.

If anyone serves me, my Father will honour him.’

 

  1. A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 14:1–6

There are many rooms in my Father’s house.

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘Do not let your hearts be troubled.

Trust in God still, and trust in me.

There are many rooms in my Father’s house;

if there were not, I should have told you.

I am going now to prepare a place for you,

and after I have gone and prepared you a place,

I shall return to take you with me;

so that where I am

you may be too.

You know the way to the place where I am going.’

Thomas said, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can

we know the way?’

Jesus said:

‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.

No one can come to the Father except through me.’

 

  1. A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 17:24–26

I want them to be with me where I am.

Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said:

‘Father,

I want those you have given me

to be with me where I am,

so that they may always see the glory

you have given me

because you loved me

before the foundation of the world.

Father, Righteous One,

the world has not known you,

but I have known you,

and these have known

that you have sent me.

I have made your name known to them

and will continue to make it known

so that the love with which you loved me may be in them,

and so that I may be in them.’

 

  1. A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 19:17–18. 25–30

Bowing his head he gave up his spirit

Carrying his own cross, Jesus went out of the city to the place of the skull

or, as it was called in Hebrew, Golgotha, where they crucified him with

two others, one on either side with Jesus in the middle.

Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the

wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. Seeing his mother and the disciple

he loved standing near her, Jesus said to his mother, ‘Woman, this is your

son’. Then to the disciple he said, ‘This is your mother’

After this, Jesus knew that everything had now been completed, and to

fulfil the scripture perfectly he said:

‘I am thirsty’.

A jar full of vinegar stood there,

so putting a sponge soaked in the

vinegar on a hyssop stick they held

it up to his mouth. After Jesus had

taken the vinegar he said, ‘It is accomplished’;

and bowing his head

he gave up his spirit.

It was Preparation Day, and to

prevent the bodies remaining on

the cross during sabbath—since

that sabbath was a day of special

solemnity—the Jews asked Pilate

to have the legs broken and the bodies taken away. Consequently the

soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified

with him and then of the other. When they came to Jesus, they found he

was already dead, and so instead of breaking his legs one of the soldiers

pierced his side with a lance; and immediately there came out blood and

water. This is the evidence of one who saw it—trustworthy evidence, and

he knows he speaks the truth—and he gives it so that you may believe as

well. Because all this happened to fulfil the words of scripture:

Not one bone of his will be broken;

and again, in another place scripture says:

They will look on the one whom they have pierced.

After this, Joseph of Arimathaea, who was a disciple of Jesus—though

a secret one because he was afraid of the Jews – asked Pilate to let him

remove the body of Jesus. Pilate gave permission, so they came and took

it away. Nicodemus came as well — the same one who had first come

to Jesus at night-time — and he brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes

weighing about a hundred pounds.