Friday, December 29, 2006


Funeral Poems and Pieces

Over the last two years I have probably preached at close to 300 funerals. I print off these poems on a sheet and give them to the grieving folk to select a poem that most suits their loved one.
These are the favourites folks have picked.

Let Me Go
When I come to the end of the road, And the sun has set on me;
I want no rites in a gloom filled room, Why cry for a soul set free?
Miss me little - but not for long, And not with your head bowed low.
Remember the love that we once shared, Miss me - but let me go.
For this is a journey we all must take, And each must go alone.
It’s all part of the Master’s plan, A step on the road to home.
When you are lonely and sick at heart, Go to the friends we know.
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds, Miss me - but let me go.

Sea Shore
I am standing on the sea shore, A ship sails in the morning breeze and starts for the ocean.
She is an object of beauty and I stand watching her Till at last she fades on the horizon and someone at my side says: "She is gone." Gone! Where? Gone from my sight - that is all. She is just as large in the masts, hull and spars as she was when I saw her And just as able to bear her load of living freight to its destination. The diminished size and total loss of sight is in me, not in her.
And just at the moment when someone at my side says, "She is gone", There are others who are watching her coming, and other voices take up a glad shout: "There she comes" - and that is dying. An horizon and just the limit of our sight. Lift us up, Oh Lord, that we may see further. Bishop Brent 1862 - 1926

All Is Well
Death is nothing at all, I have only slipped into the next room
I am I and you are you Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by my old familiar name,
Speak to me in the easy way which you always used
Put no difference in your tone, Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household world that it always was,
Let it be spoken without effect, without the trace of shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was, there is unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near,
Just around the corner. All is well.

Remember me when I am gone away, Gone far away into the silent land:
When you can no more hold me by the hand, Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day You tell me of our future that you planned:
Only remember me; you understand It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile Than that you should remember and be sad. Christina Rossetti 183094

A Weaving
My life is but a weaving between my Lord and me. I cannot see the colors; He worketh steadily.Oft times he weaveth sorrow, and I in foolish pride Forget He sees the upper, and I the underside.Not till the looms are silent and the shuttles cease to fly Shall God unroll the canvas and explain the reason whyThe dark threads are as needful in the Weaver's skillful hand As the threads of gold and silver in the pattern He has planned.

She is Gone
You can shed tears that she is gone, Or you can smile because she lived,
You can close your eyes and pray that she will come back,
Or you can open your eyes and see all that she has left.
Your heart can be empty because you can't see her
Or you can be full of the love that you shared,
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember her and only that she is gone
Or you can cherish her memory and let it live on,
You can cry and close your mind be empty and turn your back,
Or you can do what she would want: Smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

Forget And Remember
When I come to the end of my journey And I travel my last weary mileJust forget if you can, that I ever frowned And remember only the smileForget unkind words I have spoken Remember some good I have doneForget that I ever had heartache And remember I've had loads of funForget that I've stumbled and blundered And sometimes fell by the wayRemember I have fought some hard battles And won, ere the close of the dayThen forget to grieve for my going I would not have you sad for a dayBut in summer just gather some flowers And remember the place where I layAnd come in the shade of evening When the sun paints the sky in the westStand for a few moments beside me And remember only my best

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