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Recommended Readings for Your Pre-Planned Funeral

Funeral planning is often done on an at-need basis, but the Catholic Church does allow parishioners to make pre-need funeral arrangements in San Jose. A prearranged funeral relieves your loved ones of the burden of making difficult decisions during their time of grief. One of the many decisions you might make during the pre-planning process is to identify your preferred readings. The Catholic Church has approved a select group of readings for funeral services.

First Reading

The Liturgy of the Word includes the First Reading, which is usually taken from the Old Testament, but may be taken from the New Testament during the Easter season. The First Reading may feature the second Book of Maccabees 12:43-46 or perhaps Wisdom 3:1-9. A short form of this latter reading may be used, which would be 3:1-6, 9. This reading describes the salvation of souls before God. Other appropriate readings include Lamentations 3:17-26, Daniel 12:1-3, and Isaiah 25:6a, 7-9. If the readings are to be taken from the New Testament during the Easter season, they might include a reading from the Acts of the Apostles 10:34-43 or the short form of this reading, 10:34-36, 42-43. Certain readings from Revelations are also appropriate selections.

Responsorial Psalm

It is customary to sing the Responsorial Psalm. It expresses the keen emotions of the congregation, from the sorrow of loss to the hope in the Lord. The selected Psalm may be Psalm 23:1-6, Psalm 25:6, 7b, 17-18, and 20-21, or Psalm 63:2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9.

Second Reading

The Second Reading is taken from the New Testament. These selections might also be used for the First Reading if the Old Testament readings are not used. The Second Reading might feature Romans 5:5-11 or Romans 5:17-21, which are from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans. Romans 6:3-9, Romans 8:14-23, and Romans 14:7-9, 10c-12 are also appropriate selections for the Second Reading. Alternatively, certain selections from Corinthians, Thessalonians, Philippians, Timothy, or John may be read during a Catholic funeral. Before finalizing your pre-arranged funeral, refresh your memory of these readings and reflect upon what you wish your loved ones to hear during the service.

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