Burial Service at Penn Forest Natural Burial Park

November 2015

Overview: This burial service was written for a family who had both those of the Protestant faith and the Roman Catholic faith. The beloved had been cremated. A basket of stones was used to commemorate the beloved. The basket was passed from person to person, each selecting a stone. The gathering was then invited to lay their stone in the center of the circle and say a word or phrase that described what the beloved meant to them. In the end, the son took the container of ashes, pouring our the ashes onto the groud as he circled the stones.

GATHERING AND PROCESSION

Friends, we have gathered here to witness to our faith as we remember ________. We come together in grief, sharing our loss. May God grant you grace, that in pain you find comfort, in sorrow — hope, and in death — life.

PRAYER The Lord be with you.

             And also with you.

             Let us pray.

O God, who gave us birth, you know our needs before we ask.Give to us now your grace, as we shrink before the mystery of death, Help us to live as those who are prepared to die. And when our days here are accomplished, enable us to die as those who go forth to live, so that living or dying, our life may be in you, and nothing in life or in death will be able to separate us from your great love in Christ, Jesus Our Lord.

Amen

PSALM 23

ALL:  The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou are with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

GOSPEL LESSON John 14

[Jesus said,] Do not let your heart be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that 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 to Myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let them be afraid.

A TIME FOR REMEMBRANCES

Small and medium sized stones are distributed to those attending. They are invited to say a word aloud that describes ________and place the rock on the designated ground. The facilitator does so first to set an example.

Song:  Choice of family; instrumental plays in the background.

PRAYERS

God of us all, your loves never ends. When all else fails, you still are God.  We pray to you for one another in our need, And for all, anywhere, who mourn with us this day To those who doubt, give light; To those who are weak, strength; To all who sorrow, your peace. Amen.

O God, all that you have given us is yours. As first you gave ________ to us, So now we give _______ back to you.

RETURNING __________ TO THE EARTH

The ashes are poured upon the earth on the earth around the stones.

Into your hands we commend ___________________ .

Receive ___________ in the arms of your mercy, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the glorious company of the saints of light. Amen.

PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING

God of love, we thank you for all with which you have blessed us even to this day: Above all else we thank you for the one who taught us to pray…

ALL:  Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and power and the glory forever. Amen

DISMISSAL WITH BLESSING

May the blessings of God be with you all as you go in peace.