6. Burial of the Dead

6. Burial of the Dead

¶ This burial service is for believers and the children of believers. When other persons are to be buried, the service should be modified accordingly.

¶ When the people have assembled, the minister shall begin the service with one or more of these passages from the Holy Scriptures.

“Our help is in the name of the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.” Ps. 124:8.

“As a father pities His children, So the Lord pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.” Ps. 103:13-14.

“For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.” 1 Tim. 6:7.

“The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21.

“For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth; And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God, Whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another.” Job 19:25-27.

“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in me shall never die.”

John 11:25-26.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and God of all comfort, Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Cor. 1:3-4.


Almighty and gracious God, our Father in heaven, You are our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble; lead us, we pray, to put our trust entirely in You. We come to You in the name of Your only begotten and well beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior, Who died for our sins and rose again. We beseech You to grant us peace and pardon through His precious blood, and joy in the Holy Ghost. And seeing that we have in Christ a High Priest Who can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, we come boldly to Your throne of grace to obtain mercy and find grace to help us in this time of need.

We thank You for the precious promises of Your Word. We praise You for the light of the gospel. And we acknowledge Your sovereign will and infinite compassion. Be pleased, therefore, to look upon our sorrow, and for the sake of Your dear Son, enable us to hear Your holy Word, so that through patience and comfort of the Scriptures we may have hope. Grant us the consolation and peace of the Holy Ghost. May we hold fast our confidence in Your forgiving mercy and the blessed assurance of eternal life; we pray through Jesus Christ Who bore our sins in His own body on the tree, Who rose from the dead and is exalted to Your right hand. Amen.

¶ The following elements of worship may then be used. The order is merely suggested.

¶ A hymn may be sun g.

¶ An obituary may be read, if desired.

¶ Scriptures of comfort shall be read. Appropriate Scriptures are these:

Psalms: 23; 39:4-13; 90; 103:13-17; 130; of the gospel message of salvation through Christ: John 3:16-17; 10:9-11 and 27-30; Rom. 5:1-11; 8:1-11; of a fruitful Christian life: Prov. 4:18; Dan. 12:3; Mal. 3:16-18; Matt. 25:34-40; Heb. 10:23-25; Jas. 5:19-20 ; of the gospel promise of resurrection and the life everlasting: Matt. 18:10; Mark 5:35-39; 10:13-16; John 14:1-3, 15-20 and 25-27; 1 Cor. 15:20-28 and 35-58; 2 Cor. 4:16-18; 1 Thess. 3:13; 4:13-18; 5:1-11; 1 Pet. 1:3-9; Rev. 7:13- 17; 21:1-4 and 22-27; 22:1-7.

¶ A sermon shall be preached.

¶ Another hymn may be sung.


Almighty and most merciful God, consolation of the sorrowful and support of the weary, Who does not delight in grieving or afflicting the children of men; we pray that You will look down in tender love and pity upon Your servants in this bereaved household whose joy has been turned into mourning. Be pleased to uphold, strengthen and comfort them according to the multitude of Your mercies, so that they may not faint under Your fatherly chastening, but may find in You their strength and refuge; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

¶ The Lord’s Prayer may be used, if desired.

¶ The burial service shall then continue at the grave, where the minister shall say:

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth; And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God, Whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another.” Job 19:25-27. “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.” 1 Thess. 4:13-14. “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21. PRAYER: Almighty God, You have destroyed death by the death of Your Son Jesus Christ; You have sanctified the graves of the saints by His rest in the tomb,

and You have brought life and immortality to light by His glorious resurrection, so that all who die in Him abide in hope concerning their bodies, and in joy in their souls. We pray that You will receive our sincere thanks for the victory over death and the grave which He has obtained for us and for all who sleep in Him. Now keep us who are still in the body, in everlasting fellowship with all that wait for You on earth and with all who are around You in heaven. And may we all remain in union with Christ, Who is the resurrection and the life, and Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.


Forasmuch as it has pleased Almighty God, in His wise providence, to take the soul of our deceased brother (sister) out of this world, we therefore commit his (her) body to the ground, looking for the general resurrection in the last day, and the life of the world to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

¶ Here shall the minister say:

“I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on. Yes, says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.” Rev. 14:13.

¶ Or in the case of a child:

“Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.” Mark 10:14.

¶ Then the minister shall close the service with this or another appropriate benediction:

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.

¶ Appropriate questions and answers from the Heidelberg catechism may be used in the service at the grave, if desired; such as questions 1, 42, 45, 57, 58, 60.

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