Funeral homilies

NOTE: Most of these funeral homilies are very personal. You won’t find much here that you can use “as is,” but you will find lots of sparks to spark your imagination.

The Rev. Charles Hoffacker is the author of A Matter of Life and Death: Preaching at Funerals, a book devoted to helping clergy prepare funeral homilies that are faithful, pastoral, and personal. You can find it on


For a suicide
Psalm 23 and Matthew 11:28-30, A Letter to the Deceased (Molin)

For a man who died suddenly and tragically
Ecclesiastes 8 & Romans 8, Four Necessary Tasks (Molin)

For a father who died suddenly and too young
Isaiah 25, Death Never Has the Last Word (Hoffacker)

For the death of a child
Mark 5:21-43 Why Do You Make a Tumult and Weep (McLarty)

Psalm 121, The Faith of a Child (Brettell)

For victims of Hurricane Katrina
Luke 21:25-33, Katrina Victims Memorial Service (Wigmore)

For a tragic death
John 11, Jesus Meets Us Here (Hoffacker)

For a sudden and tragic accidental death
1 Corinthians 15, For a Tragic Accidental Death (Kelley)

For the tragic death of a woman’s child and parents
Myths, Truths, and Observations” (Molin)


For a woman who lived by the water
Job 19, The Infinite Ocean of Being (Hoffacker)

For an elderly woman who lived actively until she died
Job 19, She Lived Until She Died (Hoffacker)

For a man who served in the Navy and loved boating
Psalm 139, A Sailor Twice Over (Hoffacker)

For a kind and hospitable woman
Isaiah 25, Her Generous Life (Hoffacker)

For a woman named Eunice
Isaiah 61, A Rumor of Resurrection (Hoffacker)

For a man whose life was characterized by work and love
Isaiah 61, Work and Love (Hoffacker)

For an elderly woman who had the gift of joy
Lamentations 3, She Kept Us from Taking Ourselves Too Seriously (Hoffacker)

For the death of an elderly but accomplished, active man
Luke 12:32-34, On Losing a Giant (Molin)

For a woman who loved funny hats, animals, and gardening
John 6, A Life Lived Intensively (Hoffacker)

For a man who received and gave blessings
John 6:37-40 Blessings! (Hoffacker)

For a stand-up guy and servant-leader
John 10, A Salty Saint (Hoffacker)

Jesus assures us that he is the resurrection and the life
John 11:32-45, A Voice You Can Be Sure Of (Wagner)

For a man whose life was characterized by honesty and wit
John 14, The Start of Something New (Hoffacker)

For a woman whose life was characterized by small kindnesses
Acts 9, The Small, the Local, the Particular (Hoffacker)

For a very elderly man who drank of life deeply
1 Corinthians 15, All the Room of Eternity (Hoffacker)

For an elderly man who lived an active life
1 Corinthians 15, The Man Who Kept Moving (Hoffacker)

For an elderly man who loved mechanical things
1 Corinthians 15, The Spirit’s One Persistent Demand (Hoffacker)

For a woman who possessed faith, intelligence, and wit
2 Corinthians 4- 5, A Free Spirit (Hoffacker)

For an artist
2 Corinthians 4- 5, An Artist in His Own Life (Hoffacker)

For a hospitable woman who loved nature
2 Corinthians 4-5, Pay Attention! (Hoffacker)

For a man who worked in building construction
2 Corinthians 4- 5, That Even Better Builder (Hoffacker)

For an elderly woman who traveled, taught, and lived wisely
Revelation 21, Fearless Girl (Hoffacker)

For a devoted family man who was involved in many local organizations
Revelation 21, He Loved What Was Local (Hoffacker)

For an actor
Revelation 21, The Grand Production (Hoffacker)

For a woman who worked for the Nuclear Regulatory Agency
Revelation 21, The Ultimate Radiation Therapy (Hoffacker)

For a woman whose death left an empty place
Daniel 12:1-3 No Empty Places (Hoffacker)


A Memorial Service for Army Chaplains (Donovan)