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A FUNERAL SERVICE.*
What is our life? It is even as a vapor, which appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof as the flower of the field, which in the morning is green and groweth up, but in the evening is cut down and withereth. Man fleeth as a shadow, and continueth not; he fadeth away even as a dream. He returneth no more to his house : neither shall his place know him any more. His days are as a span long; he walketh in a vain shadow. Verily every man living is altogether vanity.
And now, Lord, what is our hope? Truly our hope is even in thee. For thou, O Lord, art from everlasting to everlasting. Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure; yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and
* If this service should be thought too long, a selection only may be read.
they shall be changed. But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end. Thou art our strong habitation; thou art our refuge from one generation to another. We will trust in thee for ever; for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.
Why art thou cast down, O my soul, and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God. For He will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Him. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should be removed and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea. Yea, though I pass through the valley and shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and I say unto you, that not one of them shall fall to the ground without our Father. Fear not, therefore; are ye
not of more value than many sparrows? Verily I say
hairs of your head are all numbered.
Let not your heart be troubled. Ye believe in God; believe also in me. In
my father's house are many mansions.
If it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also. I am the resurrection and the life; he who believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live, and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.
My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord; neither faint when thou art rebuked of him. For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth. And the Lord doth not afflict willingly the children of men, but for our good, that we may be partakers of his holiness. I was dumb, I opened not my mouth, because it was thy doing. The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away, and blessed be the name of the Lord. Father, thy will be done.
Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead. For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised. And if Christ be not raised, then is your faith vain, and then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? Thou fool! that which thou sowest is not quickened except it die : and that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain : but God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.
So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption : it is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy ; and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
I heard a voice from heaven, saying unto me, “ Write, From henceforth blessed are the dead who die in the Lord: Even so, saith the Spirit; for they rest from their labors and their works do follow them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; for the Lamb, which is in the midst of the throne, shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters; and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.”
Then may follow a prayer. After which, or at the grave, the Minister may say :
Forasmuch as it hath pleased Almighty God to take unto himself the soul of our deceased brother, we would therefore commit his body to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust; in sure and certain hope of a resurrection of the dead; when this corruptible shall put on incorruption, and this mortal immortality, and death shall be swal
up in victory, through the power of God in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.