A Service of Witness to the Resurrection: My Own Funeral Plans

A Service of Witness to the Resurrection: My Own Funeral Plans August 9, 2018

As a church musician, I’ve done my share of denominational sojourning. Every time I join a new tradition, I make sure I have funeral plans ready following its liturgy, even though I hope to not be using them any time soon. This service follows the Presbyterian Book of Common Worship.

A Service of Witness to the Resurrection



Solemn Melody
H. Walford Davies


Grace and peace in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We gather today in the sure and certain hope of the resurrection,
to give thanks to God for the life of Jonathan Alan Aigner,
to receive the comfort of the Holy Spirit,
and to proclaim the good news of eternal life in Jesus Christ.

Thanksgiving for Baptism

For as many of you as were baptized into Christ
have clothed yourselves with Christ.
In his baptism Jonathan was clothed with Christ;
in the day of Christ’s coming,
he shall be clothed with glory.

Processional Hymn

Glory to God 275
A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

Opening Sentences

Our help is in the name of the Lord,
maker of heaven and earth.
Ps. 124:8

I am the resurrection and the life, says the Lord.
Those who believe in me, even though they die,
shall live,
and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.
John 11:25 – 26


The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Let us pray.

Eternal God,
maker of heaven and earth;
You formed us from the dust of the earth,
and by your breath you gave us life.
We glorify you.

Jesus Christ,
the resurrection and the life:
You tasted death for all humanity,
and by rising from the grave
you opened the way to eternal life.
We praise you.

Holy Spirit,
author and giver of life:
You are the comforter of all who sorrow,
our sure confidence
and everlasting hope.
We worship you.

To you, O blessed Trinity,
be glory and honor, forever and ever.



Glory to God 1
Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!

Confession and Pardon

Remember that our Lord Jesus
can sympathize with us in our weaknesses,
since in every respect he was tempted as we are,
yet without sin.
Let us then with boldness approach the throne of grace,
that we may receive mercy
and find grace to help in time of need.

Let us confess our sins
against God and our neighbor.
God of mercy,
whose loving-kindness endures forever:
we confess that often we have failed
to receive and give love;
to care for others as we care for ourselves;
to forgive and accept forgiveness.

We remember good intentions that were not put into actions;
harsh words that were hurtful;
selfish purposes that caused pain;
persistent pride that would not yield.

We acknowledge our fear in the face of death
and our failure to accept the hope you offer us in Christ.

Hear us, O Lord,
as in this silence, we make our confession to you.

A time of silence is kept.

Gracious God,
forgive us and help us to forgive others;
heal us from the pain of self-condemnation;
free us from the burden of failures that cannot be corrected;
renew us with your loving assurance
that our sins have been forgiven,
through Jesus Christ, our Redeemer.

The mercy of the Lord
is from everlasting to everlasting.
I declare to you, in the name of Jesus Christ,
you are forgiven.
Thanks be to God.

May the God of mercy,
who forgives you all your sins,
strengthen you in all goodness,
and by the power of the Holy Spirit,
keep you in eternal life.

Response of Praise 581

Glory Be to the Father


Prayer for Illumination

Source of all true wisdom,
calm the troubled waters of our hearts,
and still all other voices but your own,
that we may hear and obey
what you tell us in your word,
through the power of your Spirit.


Old Testament Reading

Comfort, O comfort my people,
says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and cry to her

that she has served her term,
that her penalty is paid,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
double for all her sins.

A voice cries out:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,

and all people shall see it together,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

A voice says, “Cry out!”

And I said, “What shall I cry?”
All people are grass,
their constancy is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades,

when the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades;
but the word of our God will stand forever.
Get you up to a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good tidings;
lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,
lift it up, do not fear;
say to the cities of Judah,
“Here is your God!”
See, the Lord God comes with might,
and his arm rules for him;
his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.
He will feed his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms,
and carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead the mother sheep.

Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
and strengthens the powerless.
Even youths will faint and be weary,

and the young will fall exhausted;
but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:1 – 11, 28 – 31



The LORD is my shepherd;
I shall not want.

You make me lie down in green pastures
     and lead me beside still waters.     R

You revive my soul
and guide me along right pathways for your name’s sake.

Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I shall fear no evil;
     for you are with me;
     your rod and your staff, they comfort me.     R

You spread a table before me in the presence of those who trouble me;
you have anointed my head with oil,
and my cup is running over.

Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.     R

Psalm 23

Lord Jesus Christ, our good shepherd,
in the waters of Baptism you give us birth,
and at your table you nourish us with heavenly food.
In your goodness and mercy,
lead us along safe paths,
beyond the terrors of evil and death,
to the house of the Lord
where we may rest securely in you forever.


New Testament Reading

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,

“See, the home of God is among mortals.
He will dwell with them;
they will be his peoples,
and God himself will be with them;
he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away.”

I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. Its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there.

Nothing accursed will be found there any more. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him; they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And there will be no more night; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
Revelation 21:1 – 4, 22 – 25; 22:3 – 5

Gospel Reading

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.”
John 11:17 – 27


Affirmation of Faith

The Apostles’ Creed

Let us confess the faith of our baptism, as we say:

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

O God,
before whom generations rise and pass away,
we praise you for all your servants
who, having lived this life in faith,
now live eternally with you.

Especially we thank you for your servant Jonathan,
whose baptism is now complete in death.
We praise you for the gift of his life,
for all in him that was good and kind and faithful,
for the grace you gave him,
that kindled in him the love of your dear name,
and enabled him to serve you faithfully …

We thank you that for him death is past and pain ended,
and that he has now entered the joy you have prepared;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.



Glory to God 645
Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above

Invitation to the Lord’s Table

Jesus said:
Come to me,
all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me;
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.

I am the bread of life.
Whoever comes to me will never be hungry,
and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.

Great Thanksgiving

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give our thanks and praise.

(The minister continues the thanksgiving:)

Therefore we praise you,
joining our voices with the heavenly choirs
and with all the faithful of every time and place,
who forever sing to the glory of your name.

(The minister continues🙂

Remembering your gracious acts in Jesus Christ,
we take from your creation this bread and this wine
and joyfully celebrate his death and resurrection,
as we await the day of his coming.
With thanksgiving, we offer our very selves to you
to be a living and holy sacrifice,
dedicated to your service.

Great is the mystery of faith:

(The minister continues:)

Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory and honor are yours, almighty God,
now and forever.

Lord’s Prayer

And now, with the confidence of the children of God, let us pray:

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed by thy name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory, forever.

Breaking of the Bread

The gifts of God for the people of God.

Thanks be to God.


Almighty God,
we thank you that in your great love
you have fed us with the spiritual food and drink
of the body and blood of your Son Jesus Christ,
and have given us a foretaste of the heavenly banquet.
Grant that this Sacrament may be to us
a comfort in affliction,
and a pledge of our inheritance
in that kingdom where there is no death,
neither sorrow nor crying,
but the fullness of joy with all your saints;
through Jesus Christ our Savior.



The Hymnbook 276
There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood


Into your hands, O merciful Savior,
we commend your servant Jonathan.
Acknowledge, we humbly pray,
a sheep of your own fold,
a lamb of your own flock,
a sinner of your own redeeming.
Receive him into the arms of your mercy,
into the blessed rest of everlasting peace,
and into the glorious company of the saints in light.



The peace of God,
which passes all understanding,
keep your hearts and minds
in the knowledge and love of God,
and of God’s Son, Jesus Christ our Lord;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
remain with you always.



Glory to God 238
Thine Is the Glory


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