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Christian Memorial Service Script with Prayer

Published Wednesday, Feb. 2nd, 2022

A christian cross on a grave at sunset

Honor a loved one with this non denominational Christian funeral or memorial service script 

Performing a funeral ceremony or memorial service for a grieving family takes incredible empathy and understanding. Funeral services and memorials are emotional events, and everyone deals with loss in their own unique way.
As the officiant, you’re likely to encounter tears, laughter, and sometimes even anger, as people work through difficult feelings and memories.
If this is your first time serving as a celebrant, minister, or master of ceremony for a funeral service, read How to Officiate a Funeral or Memorial Service to learn the basics:

How to Officiate a Funeral or Memorial Service


Memorial service or funeral – Are they the same thing?

Memorial services and funerals honor the memory of a deceased loved one. However, bodies, caskets, and other forms of remains are not present at memorial services. When a casket or remains are present, the service is called a funeral. 
Christian memorial services are usually held at family homes or churches, and funerals often take place at churches, funeral homes, or at a gravesite or cemetery.
Anyone can perform these rites, but qualities like compassion, service-mindedness, public speaking, patience, and composure make ordained ministers uniquely qualified, and many families prefer working with one.
(Become an ordained minister online here.)
Christian funerals and memorial services include any elements a family wishes, and honor a person’s spirit and walk with God. 

Most follow a similar outline:


  • A welcome
  • The Invocation
  • Stories and memories about the deceased (Sometimes with a eulogy speech)
  • A ritual of remembrance for friends and family members to participate in (Such as a candle lighting ceremony, prayers and hymns) 
  • Closing comments (Sometimes with a blessing or prayer)
  • Funeral recessional (In a funeral, the officiant will lead the pallbearers who carry the casket out. Memorial services do not usually include a recessional.)



A minister comforts a woman at a funeral. The photo shows a close up view of a man's hand resting on a woman's shoulder, viewed from behind. The woman's hair is tied with a black lace ribbon, and she is wearing a black top.




Christian Memorial Service Script with Prayer


Wondering what to say at a funeral? This script will get you started.  
To customize it, add details and stories about the deceased's life gathered from their family and friends. Include a favorite hymn or prayer, ask a member of the congregation to share a reading, and include details about their favorite hobbies, music, sense of humor, friends, and travels.


Introduction / Opening Remarks


Welcome everyone, and thank you all for being here today as we take leave of our dear friend, and (brother/sister) in Christ, __________. We also want to remember the family and friends who could not be with us today in body, but are with us here in spirit. 


We gather here not just to mourn the absence of our dearly beloved __________, but also to celebrate in their life, and their legacy in witnessing to Christ and serving His holy cause. 


Although we are sad to see (him/her) leave us, we can be joyful in the knowledge that they are now finally at peace and their soul has finally gone home to be with God. Even though __________ is no longer living in the flesh, the memory of them lives on in our hearts.


Many of us are here because at one time or another, __________ touched our lives in a special way – whether they were powerful statements of love and friendship, or just a friendly greeting on the street. __________’s life and witness draw us together today, and point us forward after (he/she) is gone. 


__________ never wanted any extra praise or renown, but enjoyed doing the small things that made other people happy. These memories should encourage us to follow in this Christ-like path, of doing small acts of service to others. 


As Christ says in Matthew 25:40: “Whatever you did for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” 


I think we can all attest that this is how __________ truly lived their life. 




(Highlights from the deceased person’s life can be shared accompanied by slides or some form of graphics as desired by the family.)



Candle Lighting Ceremony


[Unlit candles are arranged before the service / funeral in the front of the room, with one larger candle lit and burning. This larger candle can be used to light the other candles by guests.]


Now, we have a few candles placed up here in the front, so if anyone here has a special memory of __________ which they would like to share, they should come up here, tell their memory, and then light a candle. 


Please give an opportunity for the family to share memories first. 


[After all candles are lit, and there is a small pause, continue with the ceremony.]


Thank you to those who shared all those beautiful memories. May __________ live on in all our hearts and minds. 



Closing Prayer


Heavenly Father, we thank you for the life of our brother/sister __________. We thank you for the gift of eternal life, and we live in the hope of this promise every day knowing that our days on this earth are numbered but that life with You is eternal. 


We pray that You especially uphold and strengthen those closest to  __________, that You may give them courage and strength to face the time ahead with courage and perseverance. 


May You keep us all steadfast in our love and faithfulness to you, Father, and may we follow the path that You have laid out before us. All this we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen. 




[If the burial is part of the ceremony, for a funeral rather than a memorial service, you will continue with the following lines.]


Now we will take the mortal remains of our brother/sister to their final resting place until the day of Resurrection. 

[If this is the end of the ceremony, you can end with the following remarks]


We thank every one of you for coming today to take leave of our brother/sister __________. 

May their life of service to God and to others encourage us to live with more faithfulness and dedication to our calling every single day. 





Why are we talking about memorial services on American Weddings?


We spend a lot of time talking about wedding ceremonies here on the American Weddings blog. This makes sense... Wedding ceremonies (and wedding officiants) are awesome! And they’re our primary focus and passion. 


But AMM Ministers don’t just marry people. When they choose to, their roles can extend much further, supporting their communities in important ways, and celebrating not just new beginnings, but endings, too. This deserves to be highlighted! 


Ordination through American Marriage Ministries gives our ministers all of the same rights and protections held by ministers ordained through traditional brick-and-mortar churches.


As an AMM Minister (or Reverend, Pastor, or Officiant, whatever title you choose), your right to conduct religious ceremonies of all forms is protected by the religious non-establishment clause of the first amendment.


While many of our ministers only conduct wedding ceremonies, others also conduct baptisms, funerals, baby blessings, and other meaningful rites. 


Learn more about what it means to be an AMM Minister by visiting our FAQ page



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Bernard King
Bernard King

Staff Writer

Bernard is known for his love of art and passion for music, especially when it comes to playing the bass guitar. He's dedicated to his community, family and friends, but also loves exploring new lifestyles, cultures and ideas.

Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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