Leading a commital service

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Depends. Sometimes the urn is just left and placed in the grave by the cemetery workers after the family has left. Sometimes the funeral directors do it, sometimes a member of the family. On occasion I've been asked to do it. Make sure you know the plan beforehand.

My usual words are, "Eternal God, the spirit of your precious child (insert name) now dwells with you. To the ground we now commit that which remains of his/her body: earth to earth, ashes to ashes and dust to dust, in sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. May God bless him/her and keep him/her. May God look upon him/her with kindness. May God be gracious to him/her and grant him/her peace, both now and forever through all eternity. Amen."


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Thanks everybody. I'll store this information for the time being. I received word from my friend today that the lady who initiated the quest for someone to do a service for her friend is now lingering in palliative care. Her daughter has decided to postpone all plans for the time being. There may be a double committal at some time later in the summer, and maybe I'll be asked to do it. Maybe the daughter will have other plans. It's not something I was looking forward to, so I won't be disappointed. On the other hand, I was honored to be asked, and I would be willing if that is in the works.


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Hi Seeler,

Here is the committal service I used for my father-in-law: instead of lowering the urn into a hole in the ground, we scattered his ashes.

It was longer than most of my committal services. I added "love's creating to love's receiving" about 20 years ago to my committal services.

We meet here today to show in one more way our love and appreciation for Norm. A man of the land, we return his ashes to the earth to go where the wind and water carry them. As we do so, we remember the many ways in which the earth has been important to him and how, through the earth, his love has been expressed and shared: in vegetables from the garden; in the beauty of flowers; and in glad journeys across this land and to other lands.
As we prepare to make a final good bye to his physical presence, take comfort in these words:
As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem. Isaiah 66:13
They shall hunger no more neither thirst any more. The sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb in the midst of the throne shall be their shepherd, & guide them to springs of living water; & God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Revelation 7:16,17
If anyone has any final words to say, please say them now.
Eternal God, who breathed into lifeless dust, & from the first fashioned us in your image, male & female, we return _____________ to your care, earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust, love's creating to love's receiving, believing that, as you raised Jesus, your Chosen One, from death, you breathe life into us again, that we may live with you forever. Amen.
Almighty God, by the death of Jesus, you have taken away the sting of death, by his rest in the tomb you have sanctified the graves of the saints, & by his resurrection you opened the door to immortality for all your children. We thank you for the victory of life over death. Keep us in everlasting communion with all who wait for you on earth, & all who are with you in heaven, where Jesus reigns with you & the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever & ever. Amen.
May the God of hope fill you with all peace in believing, so that by power of the Holy Spirit, you may abide in hope. Amen.
Go in the peace of Christ. Amen.