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A SERVICE OF COMMITTAL

This order is intended primarily for burial in the ground. However, it can be adapted for cremation or the interment of ashes, for burial above ground or at sea, or for donation of the body for medical purposes.

 If the family requests that there be military, fraternal, or other rites in addition to the Service of Committal, the pastor should approve such rites and plan carefully the sequence and interrelationship of these services so that the service is not interrupted.

The pastor will preside.

Prayers and lessons appropriate for a service for a child or youth, or for other distinctive occasions, may be used instead of the following. See 158-66.

When the people have gathered, one or more of the following are said:

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)

The following prayer is offered:

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)

 

Standing at the head of the coffin and facing it (preferably casting earth upon it as it is lowered into the grave) the pastor says:

Almighty God,
   into your hands we commend your son/daughter Name,
   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 Name,
   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 Name.
Before he/she was ours, he/she is yours.
For all that Name 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 Name 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.)

 

 

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Copyright: “A Service of Committal” Copyright © 1979, 1985, 1992 UMPH.

Categories: Services of Death and Resurrection