Positive new testament scripture for funeral

I lost my mother last week who was deeply devoted to social justice and was an incredibly compassionate and caring individual. She passed after a struggle with cancer in which she never lost hope.

I am challenged in finding a new testament scripture that is positive and less reflective of redemption and sin than the positive forces of the empathetic and progressive social justice teachings of the church.

I am a lifelong catholic as was my mother but am not a regular reader of the bible… are there any suggestions for scripture and for appropriate music for the service?

many thanks and blessings for your help

I’m so sorry for your loss.

Your parish should have guidelines for readings and music, so give a call to the office and see if you may speak with the music director and/or the priest who will celebrate the funeral.

In the meantime, here is a list of readings from the Old and New Testaments that are used for funerals. Perhaps you can find something that appeals to you in here.


I’m sorry for your loss and I know all of our prayers are with you and your family.

Consider Matthew 5:1-16

"Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down his disciples came to him. 2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: 3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 5 "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. 6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. 7 "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. 8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 10 "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 "Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you. 13 "You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. 15 Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven”

I am also sorry for your loss.

One passage from Scripture that falls under the guidelines you suggest is Matthew 25:31 - 40

When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. Then the King will say to those at his right hand, “Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.” The the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink? And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee? And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?” And the King will answer them, “Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of my brethren, you did it to me.”

Proverbs 31:10-31 is beautiful. It is fairly long, and perhaps the priest will allow you to omit some verses. If so, you could choose those verses which would best apply to your mother.

31:10 A good wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.
31:11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.
31:12 She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.
31:13 She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands.
31:14 She is like the ships of the merchant, she brings her food from afar.
31:15 She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and tasks for her maidens.
31:16 She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
31:17 She girds her loins with strength and makes her arms strong.
31:18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night.
31:19 She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle.
31:20 She opens her hand to the poor, and reaches out her hands to the needy.
31:21 She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
31:22 She makes herself coverings; her clothing is fine linen and purple.
31:23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land.
31:24 She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers girdles to the merchant.
31:25 Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.
31:26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
31:27 She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.
31:28 Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
31:29 “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.”
31:30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31:31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.

That came to my mind too

You should also be able to find material in the book of James, which emphasised there is no faith without works.

I’m not much help on the music side of things. You might find it worthwhile to browse on the net, or go into a Christian bookshop and skim a few of their music books. You might find something. But I suspect time is in short supply.

Maybe Luke 14:7-14

Not that there’s no faith…but that faith is dead.

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