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The Universal Life Church offers free ceremonies of a wide variety of types, online for your use. Wedding, funeral, baby naming ceremonies and more for your use.

Monday, August 17, 2015

My First Funeral

Hello Rev Long,.
My funeral was very unusual for me because it involved a ward/patient of mines.  I have been a licensed minister from a different denomination years ago but, I was never ordained.  Therefore I've never had the opportunity to officiate at any funerals, and had no preparation for any type of funeral services.  However, being an court appointed volunteer legal guardian for adults that have been adjudicated mentally incompetent by Probate Court had experience planning a funeral. Shortly after becoming an ordained ULC Seminary minister, one of my patient health started to deteriorate rapidly. I started to formulate a funeral plan and, select the funeral home and, I reach the part in the funeral planning process where I had to choose the officiating minister.
I left it blank.  I left it blank because it hadn't dawned on me that I was ordained and could now officiate the funeral myself.  However, after I had to get the patient's family involved with visitations and saying their "good-byes" I instantly remembered that I was ordained and, now providing Pastoral Care Services" to this family.  I filled in my name as the minister that would be officiating the funeral services.  I did all those things that you do with the family they try to come to grips with their family member that is either dying or deceased but, in this instance I was also part of the family because I was his guardian.
We put together a nice small dignified funeral with the limited funds that were available and, the agency that I volunteered through as a volunteer guardian was notified of our plans. This is where I said the miracle of God's hand @ work. Days before the funeral was to take place the funeral director called me and said, he was able to verify my former patient had actually been a US Marine.  This gave us extra money for a proper burial in our state's "National Veterans Cemetery" and, that we now had 2 choices of caskets.  I invited the family to go to the funeral home to choice the casket and finalize the update funeral plans.  I also told the agency about the update in funeral plans and, I said this will be my first funeral as an ordained minister.  The agency had never had a "Volunteer Guardian" Officiate at any of their wards/patients funeral before and, now the funeral was going to our state's cemetery too.  This became a big deal and, now they wanted to get a news reporter involved provided that the family were ok with this.  Suddenly the little dignified gravesite funeral became something else, a real funeral that was now going to have publicity.  Now we are going to have a wake at the funeral home and, then an official Marine Corp graveside services which included a 21 gun salute.
Fortunately the reporter wasn't available to cover the funeral so we had no press cover but, we had everything else.    I was happy to have been able to provide a message of hope and ask the family to let their reflections of their individual lives with this person, to speak a gift of God. To have been there to provide Pastoral Care Services to them during their loved one last days.  I gave a copy of my message to the agency which I volunteer but, I lost the written copy of the message.  However, I've not lost the message of the circumstance   It was a very powerful message to me and a confirmation of the ministry that I am called to do and, that is Pastoral Care Services to those that do not have a pastor.
Have you realized just how blessed you are right now?
Bishop C. T. Thonor-Kuykendall, ll,DD
Life's Ripples

Friday, November 28, 2014

Funeral Poem

Funeral Prayer #6 
Do Not Go Gently Into That Good Night
Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Funeral Eulogy

Eulogy for a Mother

Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult things we can possibly go through. And grieving is nothing but a normal reaction to this. But we have to take care of some important matters like funeral arrangements. And we have to prepare for the eulogy speech, probably the most important and last favor we can give to our lost loved ones. You could use this as a guide in creating a eulogy for your beloved mother.

Start off with a personal situation you and your mother shared together. Maybe you have one special memory of her that stayed in your mind or a recent activity you did together. Share something about that experience; tell people what makes you remember that moment and what made it very significant to you and what impact it has on your life now. You can also describe how you felt and how you remember her during those moments.
Then you could talk about your mother’s character, how other people saw her compared to who she actually was. Share what kind of a person she was, as a mother to you and as a friend. Tell the people how she was at her best, how you saw her when you were still with her. You could also share every sacrifice she made and all the help she gave you to get you where you are today. Share all the good things you can remember that she did for you and other people. Try also to remember all her achievements and passions. Try to share all her favorite things and her mannerisms. 

You can end your speech by sharing things that make you thankful for having had a mother like her. You could also share your last moments with her; what you talked about and what she asked you to do. Share the things that you would like to continue on her behalf, and thank all the people who together with your family shared your grief and have offered a helping hand to help you get through this sad moment.

Writing a eulogy could help you ease your pain if not get over the grief you’re feeling. Losing somebody is never easy; and it is only harder when losing our mother. Sharing what you feel and being able to let people know who your beloved mother really was will be one of the best last gifts you can give her. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Funeral Eulogy

How to write a funeral for a grandfather:

The essence of writing a eulogy for grandfather is to keep his memories alive and to make his legacy memorable, especially for those who know him well. A grandfather is someone who stands as the pillar of wisdom and strength in any family. For those who grew up with their grandfather, writing a eulogy for him may be something emotionally challenging.

The best way that you can start a eulogy for grandfather is to recall the memories you shared with him. Think about the special moments you had together or simply the everyday recollections that you have with your grandfather. Relate these with your audience and share with them the wisdom and lessons that your grandfather imparted to you. Make a picture of your grandfather as you know him. Express your love when delivering your funeral speech for him.
To help you, here is a short sample eulogy for grandfather:
"It was my grandfather who would always go with me to Sunday school. When I was a young kid, he wouldn’t read me tales about prince and princesses but he would read to me the stories of Noah and other heroes of the Bible. It was my grandfather who kept me strong when my dad died when I was eleven. Then on, he became my second father and loved me dearly everyday of my life. Today, as I stand before his funeral, I am not miserable or sad. I am happy that I have (his name) for a grandfather. Who I am and what you see today was a product of his love and hard work. He is a man of practical wisdom. Once, I remember him say to me …" (start relating memories and experiences with your grandfather here).
You can end your eulogy with one of your grandfather's favorite bible verse or a personal poem you made for him. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Funeral Ceremonies

The Traditional Irish Wake
Universal Life Church
The term “wake” is interesting. Usually, when we “wake,” it’s morning, and we’re ready to start the day, but used in this context, it means to keep a vigil over the dead the night before the burial. It’s synonymous with the term “viewing” used in the modern funeral parlor industry. The wake is that period of time from death until the body is transported to the church for the funeral rites.

In the not-too-distant past, (and even today among some true die-hards, no pun intended) the Irish wake was generally held in the family home. The elder women of the neighborhood would arrive to wash, dress, and lay out the body. The body would be washed and dressed in a shroud or the best outfit. The deceased’s rosary was placed in the hands and a crucifix was placed at the head or on the breast. The body was laid on the bed, board, or table and a candle was lit.

People would come from near and far, and even though there were few telephones (Imagine that, if you can!) the “Irish telegraph,” was extremely efficient, and the news traveled very fast over long distances. This, of course, was in a time before television kept people at home. Before the TV took over, the Irish were extremely social, and visited each other often, just a short visit with not even a cup of tea taken, but with all the necessary news spread.

When the people come into the house they kneel by the body and say a prayer. Close relatives kiss the cheek of the deceased. Then the visitors greet the family and offer some comforting words. This part of the wake is very solemn and respectful.

The women, and sometimes some of the men, keen at the wake. Keening is a form of wailing that is interspersed with endearments, usually in Gaelic, addressed to the deceased. Keening is most intense if the wake is for a child. Keening is not like any other kind of crying. It is very difficult for me to describe. It’s loud and goes on for a long time. When one keener loses volume, another takes up the cant.

In the past, there was always snuff and tobacco, tea, food, and spirits (of the drinking kind), offered to all who attended the wake. Few people “take snuff” anymore, and tobacco, even the fragrant kind used in pipes, is falling out of favor, but they were definitely an important feature at wakes, as important as the tea, food, and spirits. The eldest boy in the house or the son of a close neighbor was given the honor of cutting the tobacco and filling the pipes.

The mourners move on to another part of the house to congregate, eat, drink, and talk. Even the most sorrowful mourner is inspired to raise a glass and remember the happiest of times in the life of the person who has passed. The company stays until late in the night with the recitation of the Rosary as the signal that the evening is over.

After the funeral, all the friends and relations drop by the house and partake of the vast quantities of food and drink that have appeared, as if by magic, into the house. Often, the family will arrive home and find that the house has been cleaned from top to bottom and every surface of the kitchen and beyond is weighed down with the best of food and drink. This is where the “Irish wake” stereotype comes from. The people gathered remember the life of the deceased, and the taller the story the better. A stranger would think there was a real hoolie going on, and in a sense there is: it’s a way to celebrate the life departed. There may be tears, but there’s plenty of laughter as well, as all the funny stories, happy times, and triumphs of the dead are shared and recorded in the memories of the living.

The tradition of the Irish wake is changing. Most people aren’t waked from home. A funeral parlor takes care of the arrangements. But still, the formula remains. People come from near and far to share the sorrow of those who are left behind, to celebrate the life of the departed, and faith in the life ahead.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Funeral Ceremony

Elizabeth Anne (Beth) Galloway Sanders     
performed by her step-son Rev. William C. Sanders, Minister ULC.
Friends, I welcome you today to a service of celebration as we reflect upon the life of Beth Galloway Sanders. We remember her as a kind and spiritual friend who loved and lived for Jesus Christ and for making others smile with faces full of joy. To my father, she was a loving wife and shared with him her beautiful spirit, kindness, and deepest love. others knew her as a loving family member and friend always ready and willing to show her love for us all. often for no other reason but to see us smile, and because quite simply that's just the way she liked it.
 Beth shared her heart and love with each of us in her own unique way. We all new beth in different ways but we all new her as a kind, giving and special person. We will all take with us our memories of Beth as it is her way of living on in our lives.
in Rev. 22 , the Lord speaks to us " I am the alpha and the Omega" "The beginning and the end". As we are born into a life with christ and he is there to accept us at the beginning, so to is christ there to accept us at the end of our lives and to lead us on to an eternal life in the kingdom of heaven. we have lost a dear friend, wife, and family member who will be truly missed, but let us remain joyful and find comfort in knowing that she has left us safely in the arms of her Lord Jesus Christ whom she loved so much, and through whom she became the loving Beth that we all knew.
Let us pray : Lord we give unto you our hearts and pray for your healing grace in our lives.we pray for the spirit of our loved one whom has passed on to your care. we thank you for the gift of having your faithful servant in our lives, as we ask for strength and comfort for the things which we do not understand. this we pray...Amen
Rev. William C. Sanders "Pastor Will" San Antonio, TX

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Funeral Poem

Funeral Prayer
On Death
Kahlil Gibran

You would know the secret of death.
But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?
The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.
If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.
For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.
In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;
And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.
Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honor.
Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king?
Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?
For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

Universal Life Church 


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