Service of death and resurrection call to worship

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Dying, Christ destroyed our death. Rising, Christ restored our life. Christ will come again in glory. As in baptism **** put on Christ, so in Christ may **** be clothed with glory. Here and now, dear friends, we are God's children. What we shall be has not yet been revealed; but we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Those who have this hope purify themselves as Christ is pure.


Jesus said, I am the resurrection and I am life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, yet shall they live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. I died, and behold I am alive for evermore, and I hold the keys of hell and death. Because I live, you shall live also.


Friends, we have gathered here to praise God and to witness to our faith as we celebrate the life of **** . We come together in grief, acknowledging our human loss. May God grant us grace, that in pain we may find comfort, in sorrow hope, in death resurrection.



The Lord be with you.

Let us pray.

O God, who gave us birth, you are ever more ready to hear than we are to pray. You know our needs before we ask, and our ignorance in asking. Give to us now your grace, that as we shrink before the mystery of death, we may see the light of eternity. Speak to us once more your solemn message of life and of death. Help us to live as those who are prepared to die. And when our days here are accomplished, enable us to die as those who go forth to live, so that living or dying, our life may be in you, and that nothing in life or in death will be able to separate us from your great love in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.


Eternal God, we praise you for the great company of all those who have finished their course in faith and now rest from their labor. We praise you for those dear to us whom we name in our hearts before you. Especially we praise you for Name, whom you have graciously received into your presence. To all of these, grant your peace. Let perpetual light shine upon them; and help us so to believe where we have not seen, that your presence may lead us through our years, and bring us at last with them into the joy of your home not made with hands but eternal in the heavens; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Holy God, before you our hearts are open, and from you no secrets are hidden. We bring to you now our shame and sorrow for our sins. We have forgotten that our life is from you and unto you. We have neither sought nor done your will. We have not been truthful in our hearts, in our speech, in our lives. We have not loved as we ought to love. Help us and heal us, raising us from our sins into a better life, that we may end our days in peace, trusting in your kindness unto the end; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Who is in a position to condemn?

Only Christ, Christ who died for us, who rose for us,

who reigns at God's right hand and prays for us.

Thanks be to God who gives us the victory

through our Lord Jesus Christ.

This or another version of Psalm 130 ( UMH 515, 516, or 848) may be sung or spoken:

Lord, hear my cry. Let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication. If thou, Lord, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou may be feared. I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word do I hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning. O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord is great mercy. With him is plenteous redemption, and he will redeem Israel from all their sins. (RSV, ALT.)
Genesis 15:15 Abraham's death

Genesis 49:1, 29–33; 50:1–2, 12–14Jacob's death and Joseph's response

Exodus 14:5 –14, 19–31Israel's deliverance

Exodus 15 (UMH 135) Canticle of Moses and Miriam

Joshua 3:14 –4:7Crossing over Jordan

Job 1:21 Job's faith

Job 14:1 –12aWe are of few days.

Job 19:25 –27My Redeemer lives.

Proverbs 31:10 –13, 19–20, 30–31A good woman

Isaiah 25:1, 6–9God will swallow up death.

Isaiah 26:1 –4, 19Your dead shall live.

Isaiah 35:1 –6, 10Zion restored

ISAIAH 40:28–31 they shall walk and not faint.

Isaiah 41:8 –10, 13Do not fear.

Isaiah 43:1 –3a, 5–7, 13,15, 18–19, 25; 44:6, 8aGod will deliver.

Isaiah 55:1 –3, 6–13Hymn of joy

Isaiah 57:14 –19Poem of consolation

Isaiah 61:1 –4, 10–11The Spirit of the Lord is upon me.

Isaiah 66:10 –13As a mother comforts, so does God.

Ezekiel 34:11 –16Shepherd of Israel

Ezekiel 37:1 –14, 21–28These bones can live.

Micah 6:6 –8What does the Lord require?

Zephaniah 3:16 –20Restoration of Israel

PSALM 23 *

Psalm 27 (UMH 758)Devotion and deliverance

Psalm 34 (UMH 769)Thanksgiving for deliverance

Psalm 40 (UMH 774)Thanksgiving for deliverance

Psalm 71 (UMH 794)Deliverance from evil

Psalm 77 (UMH 798)Deliverance from trouble

Psalm 84 (UMH 804)How lovely is your dwelling place.

Psalm 118 (UMH 839)Thanksgiving for deliverance

Psalm 126 (UMH 847)Prayer for deliverance

PSALM 130 Out of the depths I cry unto thee, O Lord!

Psalm 143 (UMH 856)Prayer for deliverance

Matthew 5:1 –12The Beatitudes

Matthew 6:19 –21Do not lay up treasures on earth.

Matthew 11:25 –30Come to me all who labor.

Matthew 25:31 –46As you did it to one of the least

Matthew 28:1 –10, 16–20Jesus' resurrection: Go make disciples.

Mark 16:1 –8The open tomb: Jesus goes before you.

Luke 1:67 –75 (UMH 208)Canticle of Zechariah

Luke 12:22 –40Do not be anxious; be ready.

Luke 24:1 –12The empty tomb

Luke 24:13 –35Jesus at Emmaus

John 3:13 –17God's gift of eternal life

John 5:19 –29Whoever hears and believes has life.

John 6:30 –40, 47–51Jesus the bread of life

John 10:1 –18, 27–30Jesus the Good Shepherd

John 11:1 –4, 20–27, 32–35, 38–44The raising of Lazarus

John 12:20 –36Unless a grain of wheat dies

JOHN 14:1–4, 18–19, 25–27 [Jesus said,] "Do not let your hearts be troubled.
John 15:1 –17The vine and the branches

John 16:12 –22, 33Sorrow becomes joy.

John 20Jesus' resurrection

Acts 10:34 –43Peter's sermon on Jesus' resurrection

Romans 5:1 –11, 17–21Peace with God through faith

Romans 6:3 –11Dying and rising with Christ

ROMANS 8:1–2, 11, 14, 17–18, 28, 31–32, 35–39

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Romans 14:7 –9Christ, Lord of the dead and the living

1 CORINTHIANS 15:1–2a, 12, 16–18, 20, 35–38 a, 42b –44, 54–55, 57)For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised.

2 Corinthians 5:1 –11a, 14–20Away from the body, at home in the Lord

2 Corinthians 4:5 –18Glory in God

Ephesians 3:14 –21Bow before God; know the love of Christ.

Ephesians 1:15 –23; 2:1–10Alive in Christ

Philippians 3:7 –21The power of Christ's resurrection

Colossians 3:1 –17Raised with Christ

1 Thessalonians 4:13 –5:11Concerning those who sleep

2 Timothy 4:6 –8, 17–18I have fought the good fight.

Hebrews 11–12The saints of God

1 John 3:1 –3We shall be like God.

1 Peter 1:3 –9, 13, 21–25Blessed by God

Revelation 7:2 –3, 9–17The multitude of the redeemed

Revelation 14:1 –3, 6–7, 12–13Blessed are the dead in the Lord.

REVELATION 21:1–7Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth;


Recommended, either here or after the Old Testament Lesson:

Psalm 42 (UMH 777)As a deer longs for flowing streams

Psalm 43 (UMH 778)You are the God in whom I take refuge.

Psalm 46 (UMH 780)God is our refuge and strength.

Psalm 90 (UMH 809)From everlasting to everlasting

Psalm 91 (UMH 810)My God in whom I trust

Psalm 103 (UMH 824)Bless the Lord, O my soul.

Psalm 116 (UMH 837)I will lift up the cup of salvation.

Psalm 121 (UMH 844)I lift up my eyes to the hills.

Psalm 139 (UMH 854)O Lord, you have searched me.

Psalm 145 (UMH 857)The Lord is gracious and merciful.

Psalm 146 (UMH 858)Praise the Lord, O my soul.

Canticle of Hope (UMH 734)God shall wipe away all our tears.

Canticle of Remembrance (UMH 652)The souls of the righteous


The life and death of the deceased may be gathered up in the reading of a memorial or appropriate statement, or in other ways, by the pastor or others.

Pastor, family, friends, and members of the congregation may briefly voice their thankfulness to God for the grace they have received in the life of the deceased and their Christian faith and joy.

A poem or other reading such as If Death My Friend and Me Divide ( UMH 656) may be read as a witness. Signs of faith, hope, and love may be exchanged.

See hymns suggested and under Eternal Life and Funerals and Memorial Services in UMH.


See UMH 880–89. A hymn or musical response may either follow or precede the Creed or Affirmation of Faith.


God of us all, your love never ends. When all else fails, you still are God. We pray to you for one another in our need, and for all, anywhere, who mourn with us this day. To those who doubt, give light; to those who are weak, strength; to all who have sinned, mercy; to all who sorrow, your peace. Keep true in us the love with which we hold one another. In all our ways we trust you. And to you, with your Church on earth and in heaven, we offer honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

O God, all that you have given us is yours. As first you gave **** to us, now we give **** back to you. Receive **** into the arms of your mercy. Raise **** up with all your people. Receive us also, and raise us into a new life. Help us so to love and serve you in this world that we may enter into your joy in the world to come. Amen.
Into your hands, O merciful Savior, we commend your servant **** . Acknowledge, we humbly beseech you, a sheep of your own fold, a lamb of your own flock, a sinner of your own redeeming. Receive **** into the arms of your mercy, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the glorious company of the saints of light. Amen.

God of love, we thank you for all with which you have blessed us even to this day: for the gift of joy in days of health and strength and for the gifts of your abiding presence and promise in days of pain and grief. We praise you for home and friends, and for our baptism and place in your Church with all who have faithfully lived and died. Above all else we thank you for Jesus, who knew our griefs, who died our death and rose for our sake, and who lives and prays for us. And as he taught us, so now we pray.


Our Father, who art in heaven,

Hallowed be thy Name.

Thy kingdom come.

Thy will be done,

On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

As we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation,

But deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

and the power, and the glory,

for ever and ever.


Now may the God of peace who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, make you complete in everything good so that you may do his will, working among us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.

(HEBREWS 13:20–21)


The peace of God which passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always. Amen.

Now may the Father from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, according to the riches of God's glory, grant you to be strengthened with might through God's Spirit in your inner being, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Amen.


In the midst of life, we are in death; from whom can we seek help? (NINTH CENTURY)

Our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth. (PSALM 124:8, UMH 846)

God who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through the Spirit that dwells in you. (ROMANS 8:11, ALT.)
Listen, I will tell you a mystery! We will not all die, but we will all be changed. For this perishable body must put on imperishability, and this mortal body must put on immortality. Then the saying that is written will be fulfilled: "Death has been swallowed up in victory." "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 CORINTHIANS 15:51, 53, 54 b–55, 57)

Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices; my body also dwells secure. You, [Lord,] show me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy, in your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (PSALM 16:9, 11, UMH 748)


Let us pray.

O God, you have ordered this wonderful world and know all things in earth and in heaven. Give us such faith that by day and by night, at all times and in all places, we may without fear commit ourselves and those dear to us to your never–failing love, in this life and in the life to come. Amen. One of the following or other scriptures may be read: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and to an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled and unfading, kept in heaven for you. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while you suffer trials so that the genuineness of your faith may prove itself worthy at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Without having seen him, yet you love him; though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with unutterable and exalted joy. As the harvest of your faith you reap the salvation of your souls. (ADAPTED FROM 1 PETER 1:3–9)

Jesus said: "Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor." (JOHN 12:24–26)


Almighty God, into your hands we commend your son/daughter ****, in sure and certain hope of resurrection to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. This body we commit to the ground (to the elements, to its resting place ), earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. (TRADITIONAL)

Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. Yes, says the Spirit, they will rest from their labors for their deeds follow them. (REVELATION 14:13, ALT.)
One or more of the following or other prayers is offered:
Gracious God, we thank you for those we love but see no more. Receive into your arms your servant ****, and grant that increasing in knowledge and love of you, he/she may go from strength to strength in service to your heavenly kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Almighty God, look with pity upon the sorrow of your servants, for whom we pray. Amidst things they cannot understand, help them to trust in your care. Bless them and keep them. Make your face to shine upon them, and give them peace. Amen.
O Lord, support us all the day long of our troubled life, until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over and our work is done. Then in your mercy grant us a safe lodging, and a holy rest, and peace at the last; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Eternal God, you have shared with us the life of **** . Before he/she was ours, he/she is yours. For all that **** has given us to make us what we are, for that of him/her which lives and grows in each of us, and for his/her life that in your love will never end, we give you thanks. As now we offer **** back into your arms, comfort us in our loneliness, strengthen us in our weakness, and give us courage to face the future unafraid. Draw those of us who remain in this life closer to one another, make us faithful to serve one another, and give us to know that peace and joy which is eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Lord's Prayer may follow. A hymn or song may be sung. The pastor dismisses the people with the following or another blessing:
Now to the One who is able to keep you from falling, and to make you stand without blemish in the presence of God's glory with rejoicing, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (JUDE 24–25, ALT.) WORDS OF GRACE AND SENTENCES The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (PSALM 27:1, UMH 758) Blessed be the Lord, who has heard the voice of my supplications! The Lord is my strength and shield, in whom my heart trusts. (PSALM 28:6–7a, UMH 760) The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to the faithful. For the Lord knows our frame, and remembers that we are dust. The steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon the faithful, and the righteousness of the Lord to children's children. (PSALM 103:8, 13–14, 17, UMH 824) PRAYERS O Jesus Christ our risen Lord, you have gone before us in death. Grant us the assurance of your presence, that we who are anxious and fearful in the face of death may confidently face the future, in the knowledge that you have prepared a place for all who love you. Amen. O God, giver of life and conqueror of death, our help in every time of trouble, we trust that you do not willingly grieve or afflict us. Comfort us who mourn; and give us grace, in the presence of death, to worship you, that we may have sure hope of eternal life and be enabled to put our whole trust in your goodness and mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Almighty God, our Father, from whom we come, and to whom our spirits return: You have been our dwelling place in all generations. You are our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Grant us your blessing in this hour, and enable us so to put our trust in you that our spirits may grow calm and our hearts be comforted. Lift our eyes beyond the shadows of earth, and help us to see the light of eternity. So may we find grace and strength for this and every time of need; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Suggested Hymns from UMH See hymns 700–707 Death and Eternal Life and 708–712 Communion of the Saints. Also see suggestions under Eternal Life and Funerals and Memorial Services in UMH and the following: 163Ask Ye What Great Thing I Know 557Blest Be the Tie That Binds 141Children of the Heavenly Father 318Christ Is Alive 407Close to Thee 709Come, Let Us Join Our Friends Above 510Come, Ye Disconsolate 315Come, Ye Faithful, Raise the Strain 710Faith of Our Fathers 129Give to the Winds Thy Fears 654How Blest Are They (for an older adult) 77How Great Thou Art 103Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise 314In the Garden 488Jesus, Remember Me 133Leaning on the Everlasting Arms 59Mil Voces Para Celebrar 520Nobody Knows the Trouble I See 57O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing 143On Eagle's Wings 733Marching to Zion 368My Hope Is Built 356Pues Si Vivimos (When We Are Living) 66Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven (stanzas 3, 4) 491Remember Me 523Saranam, Saranam (Refuge) 666Shalom to You 512Stand By Me 704Steal Away to Jesus 496Sweet Hour of Prayer 703Swing Low, Sweet Chariot 395Take Time to Be Holy 545The Church's One Foundation (stanzas 1, 5) 546The Church's One Foundation (stanzas 1, 5) 303The Day of Resurrection 116The God of Abraham Praise 504The Old Rugged Cross 480O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go 247O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright (stanza 3) 518O Thou, in Whose Presence 184Of the Father's Love Begotten 308Thine Be the Glory 383This Is a Day of New Beginnings 153Thou Hidden Source of Calm Repose 322Up from the Grave He Arose 526What a Friend We Have in Jesus See also: Beloved, Now We Are the Saints of God (Hymn 219).

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