There are many poems suitable for use in a Civil Funeral Ceremony.
Here are some examples that I have been asked to use in past ceremonies.
A good web site for more is at www.lastingpost.com
After Glow by Helen Lowrie marshall
This piece was written 1500 years ago by the classical Sanskrit writer Kalidasa.
Look to this day for it is life,
The very life of life.
In its brief course lie all the realities
And truths of existence;
The joy of growth,
The splendour of action,
The glory of power.
For yesterday is but a memory,
And tomorrow is only a vision.
But today well lived makes every
Yesterday a memory of happiness.
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore, to this day.
A Code Poem for the
The life that I have,
Is all that I have,
And the life that I have,
The love that I have
Of the life that I have
Is yours and yours and yours.
A sleep I shall have
A rest I shall have
Yet death will be but a pause.
For the peace of my years
In the long green grass
Will be yours and yours and yours.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
What is Success?
To laugh often and love much, to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affections
to earn the approbation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate the beauty;
to find the best in others;
to give one’s self;
to leave the world a bit better, whether by healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed
to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation;
to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived,
this is to have succeeded.
You can shed tears
You can shed tears that he is gone
Or you can smile because he lived,
You can close your eyes and pray that he will come back
Or you can open your eyes and see all that he has left.
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see him
Or you can be full of the love that you shared,
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember him and only that he is gone,
Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on;
You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back
Or you can do what he would want:
smile, open your eyes, love and go on.
Every month I will be putting one of my favourite poems on a separate page.
Click here to view it.
Farewell my Friends by Gitanjali Ghei
It was beautiful as long as it lasted
The journey of my life.
I have no regrets whatsoever
Save the pain I’ll leave behind.
Those dear hearts who love and care
And the strings pulling at the heart and soul
The strong arms that held me up
When my own strength let me down.
At every turning of my life I came across good friends,
Friends who stood by me
Even when the time raced me by.
Farewell, farewell my friends
I smile and bid you goodbye.
No, shed no tears for I need them not
All I need is your smile.
If you feel sad do think of me
For that’s what I’ll like.
When you live in the hearts of those you love
Remember then you never die.
Epitaph to a Friend by Robert Burns
AN HONEST man here lies at rest
As e’er God with his image blest;
The friend of man, the friend of truth,
The friend of age, and guide of youth:
Few hearts like his, with virtue warm’d,
Few heads with knowledge so informed:
If there’s another world, he lives in bliss;
If there is none, he made the best of this.
I’d like the memory of me to be a happy one.
I’d like to leave an after glow of smiles when life is done.
I’d like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways,
Of happy times and laughing times and bright and sunny days.
I’d like the tears of those who grieve, to dry before the sun
Of happy memories that I leave when life is done.