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asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air : and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. -1 Thess. iv.
For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: if so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. Now he that hath wrought us for the self-same thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord : (for we walk by faith, not by sight :) we are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead : and that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.-2 Cor. v.
Let us pray.
TE humble ourselves, O Lord God, before
the face of thy Divine Majesty, acknowledging that we are guilty in thy sight; for we have sinned and done wickedly, both we and our fathers : and the wages of sin is death.
But we thank and praise thee, that of thy unspeakable compassion and grace, thou hast sent thy well-beloved Son into the world, to redeem and deliver us, that we, who by our sins lay in death, might be made heirs, according to the hope of everlasting life; that as sin hath reigned unto death, so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Almighty and everlasting God, who sendest forth thy spirit and we are created, and who takest away our breath, and we die and return to our dust, we bow in reverence before thy inscrutable judgments; remembering that thou, who orderest all things according to thine own will in heaven and earth, art also our merciful and loving Father, who dost not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men, but dost correct us, that we may be partakers of thy holiness. We would therefore be subject unto thee, saying, The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. Amen.
And now we follow to the house appointed for all living, the dust of our dear brother, whom thou hast been pleased to call out of this sinful and dying world :
We commit his body to the grave; dust to dust, ashes to ashes, earth to earth, till that great day of thy judgment, when earth and sea shall give up their dead :
Not sorrowing as others who have no hope ; but believing, that as Jesus died and rose again, so them that sleep in Jesus thou wilt bring with him ; that being cleansed from sin, and redeemed from the bondage of death, they may reign in immortal life, with Christ our Lord, who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to that working whereby he is able to subdue all things unto himself. Amen.
I heard a voice from heaven, saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord from hencefarth : yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours, and their works do follow them.-Rev. xiv.
Let us pray.
LORD, increase our faith.
Jesus Christ, we give thee humble and hearty thanks for all thy servants who are fallen asleep in the Lord, and have received the end of their faith, even the salvation of their souls.
For all thy goodness and mercy vouchsafed to them in their earthly pilgrimage, we give thee praise and glory.
It is of thy grace that they fought the good fight and kept the faith, and have obtained the unfading crown, being conquerors, yea, more than conquerors, through him that loved us.
We magnify thy name, O God, our Father and their Father, that their trials and temptations being ended, sickness and death being past, with all the dangers and miseries of this present life, they have entered into the joy of their Lord, and are in perfect peace and felicity in thy presence for ever: their spirits being glorified with thee, and their bodies resting in the grave until the resurrection of the just.
May we, animated by their good examples, run the race that is set before us; not being weary in well-doing, or fainting when we are rebuked of thee; that when this transitory world is passed away, we may again be joined with our dear friends, departed in the Lord, in a perfect union and communion for ever, in thy kingdom of glory, where there shall be no more sickness or sighing, pain, sorrow, or death,