Memorial services can be held in a range of settings, and can take place any time after someone's death: from a few day to months later. Even if families wish to "celebrate" the life of a loved one, memorial services are often occasions when the complexities of grief and family dynamics arise. Because these are tender and powerful dynamics, it's advisable to invite an experienced religious professional to help plan, and lead, memorial services.

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Displaying 1 - 20 of 35

  • In our lived lives, family comes in different shapes and sizes and constellations.It is in this variety—this diversity—that our lives are made fuller and our individual selves made more whole. It is in this variety, it is in this diversity, that we look back to the ancestors, recognizing no...
    Reading | By Karen G. Johnston | August 17, 2023 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: Family, Generations, Integrity, Love, Memorial Services, Truth, WorshipWeb, Worship
  • We scatter these remains to the earth returning creation unto itself.
    Ritual | By Marian Stewart | May 28, 2022 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: Death, Memorial Services, WorshipWeb, Worship
  • Out of mystery we are born, and mystery receives us when we die.
    Blessing | By Michelle Buhite | March 24, 2022 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: Character, Death, Ending, Memorial Services, Mystery, WorshipWeb, Worship
  • There was an audible gasp when they heard he* was gone A whoosh of air that sounded exactly like the bottom falling out of his mother’s** world the winds of mortality brushing his father’s** face the last breath of a kind soul All the years of struggle have settled into silence: Unsought,...
    Poetry | By Lindasusan Ulrich | January 14, 2022 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: Death, Grief, Love, Memorial Services
  • Sleep will come upon our eyelids and they will not ever be lifted again.
    Poetry | By Jacob Trapp | November 12, 2021 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: Death, Ending, Memorial Services, Mystery, WorshipWeb, Worship
  • The words we cast to fill the silence left by one we loved never are enough.
    Poetry | By David Breeden | June 2, 2021 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: Contemplation, Death, Grief, Meaning, Memorial Services, Silence
  • We gather because we need community to do all of this holy work.
    Affirmation | By Nicole McKay | January 23, 2021 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: Community, Grief, Interdependence, Memorial Day, Memorial Services, Relationships, Remembrance Day, Seven Principles, WorshipWeb, Worship
  • Let us honor our ancestors by doing the work of living boldly, loving mightily, and creating heaven on earth.
    Benediction | By Leia Durland-Jones | November 16, 2020 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: All Souls Day, Family, Generations, History, Memorial Services
  • May today bring forth transformation in ourselves—from grief, healing; from memory, wholeness; and from celebration, love.
    Chalice Lighting | By Mira Mickiewicz | November 10, 2020 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: Memorial Services, Remembrance Day, WorshipWeb, Worship
  • When we feel overwhelmed, we gather to find a path, to find new ways forward.
    Responsive Reading | By David Breeden | September 19, 2020 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: Community, Disaster or Crisis, Grief, Humanism, Memorial Services, Purpose, Searching, Secular, Strength, Stress, Unitarian Universalism, WorshipWeb, Worship
  • Spirit of Life, Spirit of Love, we come today carrying our grief, our memories, and our love. We gather around screens and devices, reaching out with our minds and hearts to join in this most ancient of human customs: honoring one whom we loved who has died....
    Prayer | By Laura Horton-Ludwig | July 1, 2020 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: #COVID19, Death, Grief, Love, Memorial Services
  • As my body begins to loose its hold On this life, this earth, this entirety, May I lay my past to rest And face the unknowable With courage and curiosity. May those to whom I am connected gather. May they recall me as I am and have been....
    Prayer | By Tess Baumberger | January 16, 2020 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: 1st Principle (Worth & Dignity), 3rd Principle (Acceptance & Spiritual Growth), Death, Direct Experience, Gratitude, Grief, Humanism, Meaning, Memorial Services, Mystery, Prophetic Words & Deeds, Remembrance Day, Secular
  • Spirit of Life and Love: Under the vast spiral of time and space, surrounded by the simple blessings of a community of care and love, we carry these memories of (our beloved) with us back to the community and life they* loved. We pray: Grant us strength, wisdom, and thanksgiving....
    Prayer | By Joel Miller | March 3, 2019 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: Death, Love, Memorial Services, Remembrance Day
  • And so I bury my cauldron today I fill it full of salt and place it in the warm earth. Cradle it Persephone! Hold and rock and heal this womb. Take my woes and transform them. I was supposed to be this perfect gateway, and hold the balance of life and death. Well I held life, for a brief moment.
    Prayer | By Rebecka Clement | January 22, 2019 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: Birth, Courage, Death, Grief, Healing, Letting Go, Love, Memorial Services, Mothers, Nature, Reverence
  • This has been published with "they/their" pronouns; please use the most fitting pronoun in your setting. Claimed by death, we remember [Name]'s life Blessings for a life well lived Blessings for their peaceful departure Blessings for their shared friendships Blessings for their humor and wisdom...
    Blessing | By Addae Ama Kraba | January 17, 2019 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: Acceptance, Death, Ending, Gratitude, Grief, Journey, Letting Go, Love, Memorial Services, Sacred, Transcendence
  • In my small-town congregation, our beloved dead seem to linger with us for a little while.
    Reflection | By Elea Kemler | October 31, 2018 | From Braver/Wiser
    Tagged as: 4th Principle (Truth & Meaning), All Souls Day, Awe, Death, Día de los Muertos, Direct Experience, Generations, Grief, Love, Memorial Services, Mystery, Remembrance Day, Sorrow
  • Holy One, on this day of remembrance we say aloud their names again: the names of those who died this year. Died — the word is jarring. So jarring that we hardly use the word, substituting euphemisms that are a bit more vague. Sometimes people say “lost” when what they mean is dead: “We lost...
    Prayer | By Lori Walke | January 4, 2018 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: 4th Principle (Truth & Meaning), All Souls Day, Death, Día de los Muertos, Direct Experience, Family, Generations, Grief, Honesty, Love, Memorial Day, Memorial Services, Remembrance Day
  • Remembering is the art of holding a memory and sharing it; it’s drawing upon that memory so it can help us to grow into people who live lives of meaning and service. As a practice, remembering connects us deeply to each other and to the love that sustains us.
    Reflection | By Elizabeth Harding | August 23, 2017 | From Braver/Wiser
    Tagged as: Community, Death, Direct Experience, Family, Friendship, Grief, Humanism, Love, Memorial Services, Remembrance Day, Secular, Unitarian Universalism
  • I do not know where we go when we die; And I do not know what the soul is Or what death is or when or why. What I know is that The song once sung cannot be unsung, And the life once lived cannot be unlived, And the love once loved cannot be unloved.
    Closing | By Kenneth W. Collier | April 27, 2017 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: Agnosticism, Animal Memorial, Death, Direct Experience, Faith, Humanism, Memorial Services, Purpose
  • We have come to share the loss we have felt in (Name) passing and some examples of the joy we carry from her/his/their* life. This we have done. But before we extinguish this chalice, let us acknowledge that we will not – that we cannot – extinguish the love she/he/they showed us; or the memory...
    Chalice Extinguishing | By Greg Ward | April 25, 2017 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: Community, Interdependence, Love, Memorial Services