© Rev Rex A E Hunt, MSc(Hons)


(Life dates)



Presiding Minister:

Gathering Music

To our friends and loved ones
we shall give the most worthy honour and tribute
if we never say nor remember that they are dead
but rather that they have lived…

The sorrow and joy of life weave a tapestry of our individual lives
as death gathers us once again into a caring and remembering community.

Thus it is that we have come together
because we knew and loved (NNN)
as (husband/wife, brother/sister, uncle, family, sporting colleague, comrade, friend).

It is good - right and fitting - that we have come together.
          We all breathe the same air.
          Our bodies are nurtured by the same resources.
          Our successes and failures are of common stuff,
                         for both arise from our common humanity.

Here in this place, made sacred by our presence,
we will face (N’s) death, celebrate his/her life,
and show our support for his/her extended family.

For (N’s) life has touched and affected many people.

So in our remembrances this day let our lives be wide and full of grace.

Silent Reflection/Prayer
A period of silence, then spoken prayer

Each morning brings a newness
that we need but step into.
It can wash us, lift us, heal us, hold us
just as each of us has need.

May we be open to the power that lies dormant within us.
May we be full with a confidence in our own strength
that we might see the hope in this day.
May we move from the routines that we follow
to the fullness of life that we might live.
May it be so.

Good morning/afternoon, I am (NN0,
(personal details as necessary).

Welcome to this Service of Celebration and Thanksgiving for (NN).
Some months ago (N )approached me and asked that I prepare
and conduct this celebration of his life.

I was honoured to accept.

Now, on behalf of his/her extended family I thank you all for attending
and sharing in this important event with them.

Following this service the family has asked
that I invite you to move to (place) for a time
of light refreshments and conversation.


When we pay close attention to what is going on in our bodies,
we know that we are going through the annual process of death and rebirth,
leaving behind some dregs of the self
to awaken to an energising sense of new potentials.

Today, it is death - (N’s) death - that has gathered us here.
So let us be honest about death.
          It is separation.  It is sorrow.  It is grief.

But let us neither pretend that death is more than it is.
          It is not annihilation.  As long as memory endures, one’s influence will be felt.

Though we mourn because we have suffered a loss,
let us also remember it is a life which has brought us here.
          A life that was lived in all its uniqueness.

Each of us lives between two eternities.
Each birth causes us to wonder  where the spark of life comes from.

Every death makes us wonder what of that life survives.

What we do know is the pulse of life surrounds us.
Each moment continues what has gone on
since before people even began counting time.
Yet it also does more than that.

Every moment is, in itself, a new beginning.

Together we affirm the unfailing renewal of life,
enriched by the awe and wonder of all those things greater than we are.
And to nurture that wonder and wondering
in our children, our grand children, our nieces and nephews.

So let us now affirm and celebrate the life of NN


(Following Tributes offered, move to coffin and touch)
(N) all these things and more you have given to us.
We respect your journey through life, with all its realities.

We are glad that you have lived.
That your life filled our lives and help create our common world,
making it a better place to live and love.

Now friend, in this your xx year, rest in peace.

A Personal Moment
We pause to gather our individual feelings and thoughts,
as we remember (N) in silence:
• the person who lived and whose life touched ours,
• the many and varied ways he/she contributed to making each of us the person we are,
• and the naming and releasing of any personal regret and ‘if onlys’...

This is the time to reflect, to meditate,
and perhaps if it is your tradition, to offer your simple prayer.

We give thanks for the life of (N).
We remember him/her for the person he/she was,
though we can only know a portion of his/her world.

He/she lives on through all he touched - the common life
of which we are all a part.

He/she lives on, especially through those whose lives
were intertwined with his life:
(immediate family named).

May they be granted the gifts of wisdom, courage, and thanksgiving
that will give them forgiveness, acceptance, and peace.
We are all connected and our strength is the strength of many.

May we walk in support of each other’s needs,
and always, in the spirit of love.

A Life Lived… Music & Slides

Candle of Thanksgiving
We light this candle in thanksgiving for (N’s) life…

We are thankful for the gifts of life.
We are thankful for the love that never dies.
As an anonymous poet has written:
“Love doesn’t die, people do
So when all that’s left of me is love
Give me away”

The ‘Abba’ Prayer (Optional, Traditional)
And now we are bold to pray together:
All   Our Father in heaven hallowed be your name
your kingdom come
your will be done
on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours,
now and for ever.

Placement of Flower Petals

The Committal
People stand as they are able

For billions of years this good earth has yielded its fruits
and brought forth countless creative individuals
who have been conscious of their existence
and have added something to the world's storehouse of meaning and purpose.

(NNN) has been one such person who has
journeyed with us and added to our values.
He/she has helped create our common world,
making it a better place in which to live and love.

Now his/her mortal remains are once again
to be absorbed into the elements and returned to the earth.
          Ashes to ashes, star dust to star dust.

In the cycle of life and death the earth is replenished
and life is eternally renewed.

Earth brings us into life and nourishes us.
Earth takes us back again.
          Birth and death are present in every moment.

His/her life has now passed into the ultimate community of human existence.

Words of Release
Into the freedom of wind and sunshine…
We let you go.
All   We let you go.

Into the dance of the stars and the planets…
We let you go.
All   We let you go.

Into the wind’s breath and the hands of the star maker…
We let you go.
All   We let you go.

Fly in freedom into your next journey, (N)
Join the eternal drama of the future with delight.
          And may your passion for justice stream towards the world,
          and the sound of your laughter sing with joy into the universe.

We pray:
In caring for one another, may we be untiring.
In sheltering one another, may we be strong.
In holding one another, may we be tender.
In the expectation we have of one another, may we be realistic.

And in loving one another, may we be all these things, and more.

Parting Words
(Reminder about gathering at xxx…)

Though death extinguishes a life, it paradoxically can lead us
- like a light - into a deeper reality

As we leave this chapel/place,
let us leave more tenderly joined to one another and to life
          than when we came in.

This is (N’s) final gift: in his/her death we have found one another.

And so we go forth in wonder at the miracle of our very existence,
and the number-less different forms
of connection between human spirits.

May enlightenment accompany us from the mystery of our past
into the mystery of our future.
          Peace. Shalom. Salaam.

Processional Music