Funeral Call To Worship

Do y’all use a Call to Worship in your funeral and memorial services?  I do about 50% of the time.  On the one hand, I think people have a tough time speaking when they are emotional – but on the other hand, a funeral or memorial is still a service of worship and we are invoking the spirit of God to come into our midst during that time.

I’ve done a lot of googling, but haven’t really come across many liturgies that I like.  Even the UCC Book of Worship doesn’t have a lot of stuff – mostly opening prayers and welcomes.  Nothing with a call and response that could unite everyone’s voices together.

I have a memorial service this weekend and the go-to Call to Worship that I have just didn’t seem to fit.  There is a lot of exposed and raw grief surrounding this person’s death – he was young and it was very unexpected and (so far) somewhat unexplained.  So as I sat down earlier in the week to put the bulletin together, I wrote this.  Feel free to use it (or adapt it for your use!) if you come across this page while doing the same google search I was doing earlier in the week.


Call to Worship | Funeral or Memorial Service
Sarah E. Weaver (c) 2015

Gracious is our God
who hears our cries.
We come here today to cry out
with confident hope that God is listening to us.
Loving is our God
who comes to us in our grief and in our sadness.
We come here today to feel God
wrap us in a loving embrace,
wipe away our tears
and assure us that we are not alone.
Holy is our God
who never lets death have the final word.
We come here today to bear witness to the resurrection-
in Christ and in us.
Transformative is our God
who can turn grief into hope and sadness into joy.
We come here today to release our grief,
to allow ourselves to be transformed
and to begin to find joy in the midst of heartache.

18 thoughts on “Funeral Call To Worship

    1. Really beautiful. Thank you for affirming that memorial services are places of worship where God is present.

      1. Thank you! I always try to remember that it is, first and foremost, a witness to the resurrection.

  1. Thank you. This is just beautiful. I’m going to use at a funeral today and also for our Service of the Longest Night later this month.

    You are generous to share!

    Dawn Anderson
    Associate Pastor at Highland Park United Methodist in Dallas

  2. Sarah,
    I was looking for a Call to Worship for a funeral and I came across your blog. There are two things that impressed me. First – thank you for writing – y’all! I’m pretty sure we will hear that in heaven. Second, you’ve written a beautiful piece for worship. Thanks for sharing it.

    Peace to you –
    Rev. Dr. Mark A Hutton

  3. Sarah,

    Thanks for sharing this meaningful call to worship. I have given you credit in our funeral bulletin

    Dave Phaneuf, Pastor
    Goshen United Methodist Church

  4. Thanks, Rev Sarah for sharing this call to worship. I too add my voice to others and say that I appreciate the depth of your theology. this is a wonderful addition to my tool box.

    Be well,,
    Rev Philomena

  5. Sarah,
    Blessings and thanks for the incredibly heartfelt words put forth in this Funeral Call to Worship. Anytime we celebrate the Resurrection of Christ, merged with the lives of those folks that certainly seem too young to meet death, I find words of hope both prescriptive and at times a challenge to write.

    Thank you for your time and spirit to write these words.
    Rev. Greg Cartwright

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