The Bible verses 1 Corinthians 13:4–7 on love have been a popular reading at weddings for years, but these verses also work surprisingly well at a funeral. Looking for verses or readings to include at your loved one's funeral, or at your own funeral if you are planning in advance? Here's a look at why you should consider these iconic verses on the power and beauty of love.
1. A message of love can be healing at a funeral.
While mourners may be feeling a range of emotions, from anger, to sadness, to despair, it can be a positive thing to remind them of love. These verses describe love as patient, kind and forgiving. After a death, many people take a moment to reevaluate multiple aspects of their lives, and a reading like this can push the reevaluation in a positive direction.
2. The reader can ask the mourners to substitute the deceased names for love.
If applicable, the funeral director, clergy member or whoever is reading the verses can ask the mourners to substitute the name of the deceased person in for love. As a result, when the person reads the verses, the mourners contemplate on things like how that person was loving, forgiving, not quick to anger and other positive attributes.
This creates a beautiful portrait of the lost person, and in verse seven, which states, "love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres," it helps to remind the mourners that the deceased will always endure. Depending on the beliefs of the mourner, that could mean always endure in heaven or in their memories. It's very open to interpretation which is another great aspect of this reading.
3. This reading can appeal to people of all religious persuasions.
In many cases, you may have people of multiple faiths at the funeral you are planning. Some may be Christians, while others identify as atheists or agnostics, or a range of other belief systems. This verse does not invoke any gods, and as a result, it can appeal to someone who is not of the Christian faith. However, as it comes from the Bible, it definitely appeals to most Christians. Finding readings that bridge the gap between different belief systems can help create the feeling of community and family at a funeral.
Essentially, these verses work well at funerals because they encourage reflection, hope and love. However, if you want other ideas, you may want to speak with a funeral director like Caring Funerals.