Service #1

Here is a simple graveside service.

This is a simple graveside committal service.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:

2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,

3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,

4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,

5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,

7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,

8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

We gather here today to lay to rest this body that has toiled through these last days, but lived a full life in the previous years, knowing that we commit to the earth only that which is of the earth. The Scriptures teach us that our bodies are made of the dust of the ground and to the dust of the ground we will return.

But we are more than dust, for when God breathed into man’s nostrils the breath of life, man became a living being.

Genesis 2:7 says, “…the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”

He breathed a spirit into these temporary bodies, and that is what lives on today. These bodies serve us only as the temporary dwelling place for our restless spirits.

II Corinthians 5:1-5 says, 1Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. 2Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, 3because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. 4For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”

(Name) has laid aside her temporary house. It was made of this earth and to the earth it shall return. But (his/her) spirit lives on with eternal life.

And now (his/her) spirit is in the hands of the same loving God who tenderly cared for (his/her) in life. He also has provided life everlasting for those who will call upon His name.

The Bible promises that one day death will be no more. How we long for that day to come! Until then, may we live in anticipation of the time when we, too, shall lay aside the cares of this life, as (name) has, and take up the joys of eternal life.

James Weldon Johnson wrote these words that I would like to share with you this morning:

Weep not, weep not,

She is not dead;

She’s resting in the bosom of Jesus.

Heart-broken husband—weep no more;

Grief stricken son—weep no more;

Left-lonesome daughter—weep no more;

She’s only just gone home…

Weep not—weep not,

She is not dead;

She’s resting in the bosom of Jesus.

Our hearts still cling to this body because it is so difficult for us to disassociate it from the one who lived in it. But really it is just a worn out garment waiting to be cast aside. It is all together fitting and proper that we just now turn it over to the One who designed it for His will to be accomplished. We therefore commit this body to the ground and this soul to the Lord. Earth to earth, ashes to ashes and dust to dust, knowing full well that Jesus is the resurrection and the life.


Almighty God, we gather beside this grave today to lay to rest the body of our friend and loved one, (name). We do so remembering another grave in another place—the tomb that received the body of our Lord Jesus. As Jesus came from the grave to live again, we know that all who die in Him shall never truly die. Thank you, Father, that (name) has finished the course, that (he/she) has kept the faith, and that (he/she) now has rest from her labors. As we commit (him/her) body to the ground, we do so in perfect trust, remembering Jesus’ victory over death and knowing, that because He lives, so too, shall we. Comfort our hearts through His words today; strengthen us now with His presence; and may Your grace and peace be ours both now and forever.

In Jesus’ name,


39 thoughts on “ Service #1

  1. Pingback: Top Posts of May «

  2. Brandon, Thank you for the committal service. I have been asked to do my uncle’s service and I love the message here.

    God Bless You..Lauren

  3. I thought you might like this quote from Ravi Zacharias:

    I know you already know that the way through grief is ‘through’ it. And I’ll be praying that you all have the Lord’s help and strength and guidance to walk through these many sadnesses and loss.

    It is a bitter and difficult way, this path of grief. But gathering with family, visiting the home, rehearsing memories and revisiting important places … all of this helps our hearts grieve. And God is with us every step of the difficult journey.

    I like this quote from W Graham Scroggie that encourages us to do the hard work of grieving.
    “Let grief do its work. Tramp every inch of the sorrowful way. Drink every drop of the bitter cup. Draw from memory and hope all that they can offer. To see the things our loved ones have left behind will give us daily pain – the clothes they wore, the letters they wrote, the books they read, the chairs in which they sat, the music they loved, the hymns they sang, the walks they took, the games they played, their seat in church, and much beside – but what would we be without these reminders? Would we like quickly to break with the past in order to assuage grief? Those who truly love will say that they have found in sorrow a new joy, a joy which only the broken-hearted can know.”

    In a way, the depth of grief corresponds to the depth of love. I find some comfort in that – though losing one deeply loved plunges us deeply into grief.

    Praise God that He is especially concerned for the broken-hearted and moved with compassion to care for us in these deep needs.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this and making it available online. We lost my 40 year old brother almost a year ago in a motorcycle accident. And now we are finally going to the bury his ashes – this is absolutely perfect for us. May God continue to bless you in your journey. This is the answer to my prayers to find something fitting for our needs. Many Hugs!

  5. Okay… I just read your ‘about’ page, and we are only separated by one degree. Matt Summers, formerly at Countryside, is the lead minister at the church I work for. Crazy I found while looking for a graveside service.

  6. I appreciate your effort for making this material available to young Ministers like myself and others who desire to get themselves familiar with officiations like this one. God bless you more.

  7. Thank you so much. This has given me a sense of ‘confidence’ to act like I know what I’m doing. Grateful that the Lord raises up individuals like you to help the rest of us…..Susan

  8. hi Brandon. Thanks so much for this invaluable resource. I just got text a few minutes ago to say that the minister who was supposed to officiate a funeral service this weekend can no longer, and i was asked to stand in. Having never officiated a funeral service before i quickly Googled it and came across your website.
    Bless you for making this available.
    God bless.

  9. Hi Brandon,
    I wanted to express my gratitude for this resource and for you.

    I was able to use your template above with some imagination and extend the eulogy for my friend.

    The family was moved…the audience was appreciative of hearing more about the good works the deceased performed while alive on earth.

    Thanks and God Bless You!
    Todd D. Lloyd
    Grand Rapids, Mi USA

  10. Hi Brandon,
    I am yet another who is gratful for you sharing this committal service. I am going to do my first one this weekend and googled this up. Thank you very much for sharing and helping so many of us newbies! I already feel so much better just knowing I can say something appropriate and caring and sensitive.
    In God’s grace,

  11. Thanks Brandon for the graveside commital service I may have to do my grandmother funeral next week. This has really been helpful this will be second commital service and the first one I did I was told at the funeral I had to do it with no clue o what to say but a prayer at the burial site. This has been a blessing although the internet can be a tool for a lot of sinful things it’s good to know it has helpful spritual things as well. Thanks again Brandon.

  12. I’m an OLD minister and I’m glad I stumbled onto this page. Very helpful indeed, Brandon. Great thoughts! And sensitive but not gushy. But what’s with all the facial expressions with the younger generation in social media these days?! did we bored with the posed portrait look? My nephews & Nieces Facebook portraits all look like poses Tim Burton would suggest! I suppose they are more creative than DMV poses. But as I said…..old, here. Blessings!!

  13. TY Brandon.. using parts of this for my mom’s committal service. (Much harder when this close to home). I’m her son but also a pastor. Wanted something better than what we use regularly. Thanks again and Blessings to you!

  14. Thanks for this template. It got me started and through my first funeral service. Family members were encouraged and hopeful by the close of the service. Of course I added my touch, and a subtle salvation call with invitation to see me after the service for those persuaded to. Again, many thanks for posting this. By the list of comments and the dates of them, this has been an effective tool for those seeking this type of resource. Every Blessing as you continue to be a blessing.
    Bob Parr

  15. An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a friend who
    had been doing a little research on this. And he in fact bought me lunch simply
    because I discovered it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this.
    … Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending some time
    to discuss this subject here on your site.

  16. Thanks for this! About to do a full funeral. Only 3rd time doing a committal. I felt like I didn’t have a solid, well rounded, long enough committal part. This hits it bang on. Blessings to you.

  17. Brandon,

    When the family asked me to do the service for my friend of 30 years, I struggled with putting the graveside together. Your words are perfect. I know Bud will think so too,

    Thank you.

  18. Thank you so much for this. I have to give you the credit for helping me with my committal service. I used a portion of the prayer. God bless you!

  19. Attractive component of content. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and
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  20. Thankyou Brandon for this I am not a pastor but have to do my dads committal with members of our family tomorrow 25/5/2015 Much appreciated Lynne

  21. Thank you for sharing this. I am planning my mother’s graveside service for this weekend and have been trying to figure out what to have in her service. Great insights.

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