Image of Funeral Mass Readings

Funeral Mass Readings


Funeral Mass Readings




picking the Readings


A careful selection and use of readings from Scripture for the funeral Mass or reception of the body will provide the family and the community with an opportunity to hear God speak to them in their needs, sorrows, fears and hopes.


Here is a suggested selection of readings from Scripture, from both the Old and New Testaments – other choices can also be made from the Bible.


The order of Readings at a Funeral Mass is as follows:
  1. 1st Reading
  2. Responsorial Psalm (Possibly Sung)
  3. 2nd Reading
  4. Gospel (Read by Priest/Deacon)
  5. Homily (Short reflection given by Priest/Deacon)
  6. Prayer of the Faithful (Intercessions - 5 max.)

For a Funeral Mass itself, you can choose the first reading from the Old Testament or in the Easter Season from the New Testament.
The Responsorial Psalm is normally sung. However, if it is not being sung you can choose a Psalm for reading from the Responsorial Psalm section. You may select one of the second readings. You may also suggest one of the Gospels from the list below.

(These resources may also be useful when choosing scripture readings for a funeral service when Mass is not celebrated)

Tips for the Reader

The following are a few tips which the reader may find helpful:

  • Ensure that you know which reading you are proclaiming
  • Practice the reading a number of times the night before the Mass
  • Read slowly and clearly - try not to rush
  • Make sure you have the reading with you when you come to the Church
  • Speak clearly into the microphone – your mouth should be six inches away from the microphone when you are using it


© from the Jerusalem Bible, by Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd.,

& Doubleday and Company, Inc.





A reading from the book of Job (19:1.23-27)      Lectionary III, p.849

Job said:
‘Ah, would that these words of mine were written down,
inscribed on some monument with iron chisel and engraving tool,
cut into the rock for ever.
This I know: that my Avenger lives,
and he, the Last, will take his stand on earth.
After my awaking, he will set me close to him,
and from my flesh I shall look on God.
He whom I shall see will take my part:
these eyes will gaze on him and find him not aloof.

The word of the Lord.



A reading from the book of Wisdom (3:1-6.9)   Lectionary III, p.851

The souls of the virtuous are in the hands of God,
no torment shall ever touch them.
In the eyes of the unwise, they did appear to die,
their going looked like a disaster,
their leaving us, like annihilation;
but they are in peace.
If they experienced punishment as men see it,
their hope was rich with immortality;
slight was their affliction, great will their blessing be.
God has put them to the test
and proved them worthy to be with him;
he has tested them like gold in a furnace,
and accepted them as a holocaust.
They who trust in him will understand the truth,
those who are faithful will live with him in love;
for grace and mercy await those he has chosen.

The word of the Lord.



A reading from the book of Wisdom (4:7-15)    Lectionary III, p.852

The virtuous man, though he die before his time, will find rest.
Length of days is not what makes age honourable,
nor number of years the true measure of life;
understanding, this is man’s grey hairs,
untarnished life, this is ripe old age.
He has sought to please God, so God has loved him;
as he was living among sinners, he has been taken up.
He has been carried off so that evil may not warp his understanding
or treachery seduce his soul;
for the fascination of evil throws good things into the shade,
and the whirlwind of desire corrupts a simple heart.
Coming to perfection in so short a while, he achieved long life;
His soul being pleasing to the Lord,
he has taken them quickly from the wickedness around him.
Yet people look on, uncomprehending;
it does not enter their heads that grace and mercy await the chosen of the Lord,
and protection, his holy ones.

The word of the Lord.



A reading from the prophet Isaiah (25:6-9)       Lectionary III, p.853

On this mountain, the Lord of hosts will prepare for all peoples
a banquet of rich food.
On this mountain he will remove
the mourning veil covering all peoples,
and the shroud enwrapping all nations,
he will destroy death for ever.
The Lord will wipe away the tears from every cheek;
he will take away his peoples shame
everywhere on earth, for the Lord has said so.
That day, it will be said: See, this is our God
in whom we hoped for salvation;
The Lord is the one in whom we hoped.
We exult and we rejoice that he has saved us.

The word of the Lord.



A reading from the book of Lamentations (3:17-26)   Lectionary III, p.854

It is good to wait in silence for the Lord to save
My soul is shut out from peace;
I have forgotten happiness.
And now I say, ‘My strength is gone,
that hope which came from the Lord’.
Brooding on my anguish and affliction
is gall and wormwood.
My spirit ponders it continually
and sinks within me
This is what I shall tell my heart,
and so recover hope:
the favours of the Lord are not all past,
his kindnesses are not exhausted;
every morning they are renewed;
great is his faithfulness.
‘My portion is the Lord’ says my soul
‘and so I will hope in him.’
The Lord is good to those who trust him,
to the soul that searches for him.
It is good to wait in silence for the Lord to save.

The word of the Lord.



A reading from the prophet Isaiah (49:13-16)    Lectionary III, p.821

Shout for joy, you heavens; exult, you earth!
You mountains, break into happy cries!
For the Lord consoles his people
and takes pity on those who are afflicted.
For Zion was saying, ‘the Lord has abandoned me,
the Lord has forgotten me’.
Does a woman forget her baby at the breast,
or fail to cherish the son of her womb?
Yet even if these forget, I will never forget you.
See I have carved you on the palm of my hands.

The word of the Lord.



A reading from the book of the Apocalypse 14:13      Lectionary III, p.859

I, John, heard a voice from heaven say to me, ‘Write down: Happy are those who die
in the Lord! Happy indeed, the Spirit says; now they can rest for ever after their work,
since their good deeds go with them.’

The word of the Lord.



A reading from the book of the Apocalypse (21:1-7) Lectionary III, p.861

I, John, saw a new heaven and a new earth; the first heaven and the first earth had
disappeared now, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the holy city, and the new
Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, as beautiful as a bride all dressed
for her husband. Then I heard a loud voice call from the throne, ‘You see this
city? Here God lives among men. He will make his home among them; they shall be
his people, and he will be their God; his name is God-with-them. He will wipe away
all tears from their eyes; there will be no more death, and no more mourning or
sadness. The world of the past has gone.’

Then the One sitting on the throne spoke: ‘Now I am making the whole of creation
new,’ he said. ‘I will give water from the well of life free to anybody who is thirsty; it
is the rightful inheritance of the one who proves victorious; and I will be his God and
he a son to me.’


The word of the Lord.



A reading from the book of Ecclesiastes (3:1-8)

There is a season for everything, a time for every occupation under heaven:
A time for giving birth,
a time for dying;
a time for planting;
a time for uprooting what has been planted.
A time for killing,
a time for healing;
a time for knocking down.
a time for building.
A time for tears,
a time for laughter;
a time for mourning,
a time for dancing.
A time for throwing stones away,
a time for gathering them up;
a time for embracing,
a time to refrain from embracing.
A time for searching,
a time for losing;
a time for keeping,
a time for throwing away.
A time for tearing,
a time for sewing;
a time for keeping silent,
a time for speaking.
A time for loving,
a time for hating;
a time for war,
a time for peace.
The word of the Lord.





PSALM 26          Lectionary III, p.849

Response   The Lord is my light and my help
The Lord is my light and my help;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
before whom shall I shrink? R.

There is one thing I ask of the Lord,
for this I long, to live in the house of the Lord,
all the days of my life,
to savour the sweetness of the Lord,
to behold his temple. R.

O Lord hear my voice when I call;
have mercy and answer.
It is your face, O Lord, that I seek;
hide not your face. R.

I am sure I shall see the Lord’s goodness
in the land of the living.
Hope in him, hold firm and take heart.
Hope in the Lord! R.


PSALM 22          Lectionary III, p.854

Response   The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want
The Lord is my shepherd;
There is nothing I shall want.
Fresh and green are the pastures
where he gives me repose.
Near restful waters he leads me
to revive my drooping spirit. R.

He guides me along the right path;
he is true to his name.
If I should walk in the valley of darkness.
no evil would I fear.
You are there with your crook and your staff;
with these you give me comfort. R.

You have prepared a banquet for me
in the sight of my foes.
My head you have anointed with oil;
my cup is overflowing. R.

Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me
all the days of my life.
In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell
for ever and ever. R.



PSALM 24          Lectionary III, p.855

Response   To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
Remember your mercy, Lord,
and the love you have shown from of old.
In your love remember me,
because of your goodness. R.

Relieve the anguish of my heart
and set me free from my distress.
See my affliction and my toil
and take all my sins away. R.

Preserve my life and rescue me.
Do not disappoint me, you are my refuge.
May innocence and uprightness protect me:
for my hope is in you, O Lord. R.



PSALM 102         Lectionary III, p.857

Response   The Lord is compassion and love.
The Lord is compassion and love,
slow to anger and rich in mercy.
He does not treat us according to our sins
nor repay us according to our faults. R.

As a father has compassion on his sons,
the Lord has pity on those who fear him;
for he knows of what we are made,
he remembers that we are dust. R.

As for man, his days are like grass;
he flowers like the flower of the field;
the wind blows and he is gone
and his place never sees him again. R.

But the love of the Lord is everlasting
upon those who hold him in fear;
his justice reaches out to children’s children
when they keep his covenant in truth. R.





A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Romans (8:14-23)        Lectionary III, p.864

Everyone moved by the Spirit is a son of God. The spirit you received is not the spirit of slaves bringing fear into our lives again; it is the spirit of sons, and it makes us cry out Abba, Father! The spirit himself and our spirit bear united witness that we are children of God and if we are children we are heirs as well: heirs of God and coheirs with Christ, sharing his sufferings so as to share his glory. I think that what we suffer in this life can never be compared to the glory, as yet unrevealed, which is waiting for us.

The word of the Lord.



A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Romans (8:31-35. 37-39)       Lectionary III, p.865

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 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 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, or height or depth, not any created thing, can ever come between us and the love of God made visible in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The word of the Lord.



A reading from the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians (13:1-13)    Lectionary III, p.716

If I have all the eloquence of men or of angels, but speak without love, I am simply a gong booming or a cymbal clashing. If I have the gift of prophecy, understanding all the mysteries there are, and knowing everything, and if I have faith in all its fullness, to move mountains, but without love, then I am nothing at all. If I give away all that I possess, piece by piece, and if I even let them take my body to burn it, but am without love, it will do me no good whatever.

Love is always patient and kind; it is never jealous; love is never boastful or conceited;
it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offence, and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins but delights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse,
to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes.

Love does not come to an end. In short, there are three things that last: faith, hope and love; and the greatest of these is love.

The word of the Lord.



A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Philippians (3:20-21)  Lectionary III, p.868

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.



A reading from the first letter of St Paul to the Thessalonians (4:13-18)           Lectionary III, p.869

We want you to be quite certain, 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. At the trumpet of God, the voice of the archangel will call out the command and the Lord himself will come down from heaven; those who have died in Christ will be the first to rise, and then those of us who are still alive will be taken up in the clouds, together with them, to meet the Lord in the air. So we shall stay with the Lord forever. With such thoughts as these you should comfort one another.

The word of the Lord.



A reading from the second letter of St. Paul to Timothy (4:5-8)

I have fought the good fight to the end, I have run the race to the finish 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.



A reading from the first letter of St. Peter (1:3-9)       Lectionary III, p.230

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.



A reading from the first letter of St John (3:1-2)           Lectionary III, p.870

Think of the love that the Father has lavished on us, by letting us be called Gods 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.





A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (5:1-12)     Lectionary III, p.871

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 the right:
theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Happy are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all calumny against you on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.’

The Gospel of the Lord.



A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (11:25-30)         Lectionary III, p.872

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.’

The Gospel of the Lord.



A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark (15:33-39; 16:1-6)      Lectionary III, p.874

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.’
Some 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’.

The Gospel of the Lord.



A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (7:11-17)         Lectionary III, p.876

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.

The Gospel of the Lord.



A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (23:44-46. 50.52-53. 24:1-6)           Lectionary III, p.878

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 is risen.’

The Gospel of the Lord.



A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (24:13-16. 28-35)     Lectionary III, p.880

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 the 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.

The Gospel of the Lord.



A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (11:32-45)      Lectionary III, p.885

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 was someone 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.

The Gospel of the Lord.



A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (12:23-28)      Lectionary III, p.886

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 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.
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’.

The Gospel of the Lord.



A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (14:1-6)          Lectionary III, p.888

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.’

The Gospel of the Lord.

All rights reserved © 2024 | Web development by KL Studios

Scroll to Top

We use essential cookies to make our site work. With your consent, we may also use non-essential cookies to improve user experience and analyze website traffic. By clicking "Accept," you agree to our website's cookie use as described in our Cookie Policy. You can change your cookie settings at any time by using the controls available in our cookie policy.

Preferences Decline Accept