THEOSOPHICAL FUNERAL SERVICES Conducting the Funeral by lmv20934


									                    ТНEOSOPНICAL FUNERAL SERVICES

Conducting the Funeral
The following pages contain suggestions for funeral services that will convey the
theosophical attitude about death to those who attend the services and that will aid the
deceased in his or her departure from this plane.

These may be used as written or combined and adapted to suit the needs of the
relatives or in accordance with special requests left by the deceased. Additional
readings which may be substituted are included at the end of the section.

Regardless of the type of ceremony used, beauty, simplicity and peace should be
integral parts of it and those who attend the service should leave with hope and spirits

The officiate should use discrimination in selecting the type of service to be used, for
what may seem common-place understandings to a Theosophist, may be shockingly
unorthodox to the family of the deceased if they are not members of the Society or
acquainted with the theosophical teachings concerning life and death.

If the deceased and his nearest relatives are Theosophists, then the service can well be
used as an opportunity to show how beauty and peace can pervade even in a funeral
parlor when those who understand death’s place in the scheme of things have charge of
the arrangements. A few basic suggestions for conducting the service may be helpful:

   1. The setting of the theosophical funeral service should include nothing in the
      nature of mourning.
   2. The room should have plenty of light and fresh air.
   3. Unless the deceased left a request that there be no flowers, or the family has
      made such a request, there should be flowers and green boughs in abundance to
      add to the sense of peace and beauty. Plants and cut flowers are more in
      keeping with the theosophical funeral than sprays, blankets or wreaths.
   4. There is a growing preference for a closed coffin, or no coffin, in the service
      room, many people desiring to be remembered as vital and active in the physical
      body rather than as lying in the coffin. Determine what the wishes of the
      deceased were, or the wishes of the family.
   5. The officiate should not be in mourning garb.
   6. The closest relatives should be nearest the coffin, or if they prefer, they may sit in
      an adjoining room.
   7. When the music ceases the officiate should go forward near the head of the
      coffin to conduct the service.
   8. At dismissal of the guests, music should be played softly while the friends and
      relatives walk past the coffin.
   9. The officiate is at liberty to add to or omit any part of the funeral service as he
      may see fit, or as is necessary to fill the requests of the deceased or the

   10. For any of the “Readings” suggested here, substitute or add poems, scripture, or
       readings especially meaningful to the deceased.
   11. Some subjects that may be treated in a funeral address:
          • The purpose of a life just closed.
          • Relation of the soul to the body.
          • Ties that extend beyond the grave.
          • Effect of thought and prayer on the departed.
          • The life resurrected in finer worlds.
          • Invisible Helpers.
          • The purpose of sojourn in the spiritual world.
          • The progress of the soul after death.
          • The all pervading law and life.

Suggested Musical Selections
(Instrumental music or symphonic recordings to be played as friends gather in the

Handel:    “Largo” from “Xerxes”
Schubert:  “Ave Maria”
Gounod:    “Ave Maria”
Chopin:    “Prelude, Opus 20”
Chopin:    “Funeral March”
Grieg:     “Death of Ase” from “Peer Gynt” Suite
Handel:    “Come Unto Me” from “Messiah”
Dvorak:    “Indian Lament”
Mendelssohn-Bartholdy: “Nocturne” from “Midsummer Night’s Dream”
Mendelssohn-Bartholdy: “Duet” in E-Flat from “Song Without Words”

(Vocal or instrumental solo music which may be used after the opening remarks or
before the closing remarks.)

Reichhardt: “In the Time of Roses”
Bach: “Come Sweet Death”
Bach: “Air on G String”
Handel: “Come Unto Me” from “Messiah”
Massenet: “Meditation” from “Thais”
Edward Alden: “When Death Knocks at Your Door”
Carpenter: “On the Seashore of Endless Worlds”
              “Light My Light”, words from Tagore’s “Gitanjali”
Mendelssohn- “I Waited for the Lord”
Bartholdy:    “But the Lord is Mindful of His Own”

 (Instrumental music or symphonic recordings to be played as friends leave the room,
passing the coffin.)

Saint Saens: “The Swan”
Beethoven: “Moonlight Sonata”

Rubinstein: “Melody in F”
Mendelssohn: “On Wings of Song”
Tschaikowsky: “Andante Cantabile”
Mendelssohn-Bartholdy: “Nocturne” from “Midsummer Night’s Dream”
Grieg: “Morning” from “Peer Gynt” Suite

(Music of a lighter nature for the funeral of a child,)


Gluck:                “Andante” from “Orfio”
Humperdinck:          “Prayer” from “Hansel and Gretel”
Schumann:             “Traumerei”

After opening remarks:

McDowell:             “To a Wild Rose”
Nevin:                “Mighty Lak a Rose”
Nevin:                “Narcissus”


Humperdinck:          “Prayer” from “Hansel and Gretel”
Massenet:             “Elegy”
Saint Saens:          “The Swan”

Longer Selections which may be used at a Memorial Service
Cesar Franck:         “Symphony in D Мinor”
Tchaikovsky:          “Fifth Symphony” or “Sixth Symphony”
Schubert:             “Symphony in В. Minor” (The “Unfinished”)
R. Strauss:           “Death and Transfiguration” (Tone Poem)
J. Sibelius:          “Swan of Tuonela” (Tone Poem)
Rachmaninoff:         “Isle of the Dead” (Symphonic Poem)
Wagner:               “Tristan and Isolde” (Symphonic Synthesis—arranged by Leopold

                    Suggested Services for the Departed - 1

       1. Music
       2. Opening Remarks
       3. Reading from Scriptures of the World
       4. Music
       5. Address
       6. Reading
       7. Closing Words or Benediction
       8 . Music



Friends: We have met together today to celebrate the passing of our dear friend (name)
into a higher, freer life; into a wider, fuller consciousness.

It is but natural at a time like this that we who knew and loved (name) should be
sorrowful at this separation, but it is our duty to lay aside the selfish sense of our own
loss and to think only of (name)‘s gain, the release from the densest of the soul’s
vestures—the physical body.

Let us not, my friends, look upon death with hearts wrung with anguish—with eyes
blinded with tears; let us rather view death as a friend who sets free the soul from the
heaviest of its chains, who opens the door to a wider freedom. Death is but the passing
of a soul from the prison house of a dense physical body into the greater freedom of an
ethereal body. Death is the greatest of earth’s illusions. There is no death, only
continuous changes in life. Let us read in the scriptures of the world the witness borne
by the divine revelators in all ages—the messengers of hope and peace.


Glory to That which dwells in the heart of all beings!
Adoration to Thee, Thou Cause of all existence!
Soul of the Universe, Thou alone are exempt from change!
                 Vishnu Purana - Hindu Scriptures.


Let us adore the supremacy of the Divine-One - the Godhead. Who creates all; who
sustains and illuminates all. From whom all proceed and to whom all must return and
whom we invoke to guide our understandings aright in our progress towards that Holy
              - The Rig Veda - Hindu Scriptures.

The soul lives after the body dies
The soul passes through the Great Gate,
And makes a way in the darkness to its Source.
It pierces the heart of evil in order to know Truth.
Let this soul pass on.
               - Egyptian Book of the Dead.

Death is to Life as going away is to coming.
After blossoming for awhile everything dies down to its own root,
This going back to one’s origin is called Peace.
It is the giving of oneself to the Inevitable.
This giving of oneself to the Inevitable is called Preservation.
He who knows this Preservation is called Luminous
He who knows it not perpetuates his own misery.
                - Tao-teh-king - Chinese Scriptures.

By the noonday brightness and by the sun when it darkeneth
Thy Lord hath not forsaken thee. Thy future shall be well;
And in the end—thou shalt be satisfied!
             - The Koran - Mohammedan Scriptures.

The wise grieve neither for the living nor for the dead. Nor at any time verily was I not,
nor thou, nor these princes of men, nor verily shall we ever cease to be, hereafter. As
the dweller in the body experienceth in the body childhood, youth, old age, so passeth
he on to another body; the steadfast one grieveth not thereat. The contacts of matter,
giving cold and heat, pleasure and pain, they come and go, impermanent; endure them
bravely. The man whom these torment not, balanced in pain and pleasure, steadfast, he
is fitted for immortality. The unreal hath no being; the real never ceaseth to be; the truth
about both hath been perceived by the seers of the Essence of things. Know THAT to
be indestructible by whom all this is pervaded. Nor can any work the destruction of that
imperishable One. These bodies of the embodied One, who is eternal, indestructible
and immeasurable, are known as finite. As a man casting off worn-out garments, taketh
new ones, so the dweller in the body, casting off worn-out bodies, entereth into others
that are new.
             The Bhagavad Gita - Translated by Annie Besant

O Lord, How manifold are Thy Works!
In wisdom hast Thou made them all.
Thou sendest forth Thy Spirit and all is created.
Thou renewest the fасe of the world!
            - Psalm CIV - Hebrew Scriptures

Like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father,
Even so we also should walk in newness of life.
For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death,
We shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.
              - Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, VI:4-5

Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be
called the Sons of God! Beloved, now are we the Sons of God, and it doth not yet
appear what we shall be; but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him;
for we shall see Him as Не is. And every man that has this hope in him purifies himself,
even as he is pure.
              - First Epistle of John, III:1-2

If any men have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.
The Spirit is Life because of righteousness.
But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised
up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth
in you.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the Sons of God.
               -Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, VIII:9-14



Friends: We are gathered together today to bestow our blessing and good wishes, in
this the last earthly address to our friend (name).

The purpose before us is twofold: First, to give God-speed to our departed one and
second, to gain comfort and strength for ourselves in the days that lie ahead.

It is quite natural that we who have known and loved him / her should grieve and feel a
sense of sorrow and loss. In the same way a sincere effort should be made to put aside
our feelings of grief for ourselves and think only of the happiness, freedom and peace
our loved one has been reborn into.

Let us therefore; surround him / her with thoughts that may help him / her in the wider
life of service to which he him / her been called. Think of him / her as being free at last
to accomplish his / her highest and noblest ideals. Keeping in mind that our thoughts
may become veritable angels of light to surround, sustain and carry (name) one forward
into higher worlds.

May we realize with the light and understanding of Theosophy, that this earthly life just
closed is meaningful in a longer journey towards perfection. This life on earth is the
training-ground of the true inner self who is eternal and awakens the soul to greater
activity. The birth into the body of flesh, which is a protecting shield, and vehicle through
which our inner self can manifest here, entering the school of physical life in order to
gain experience and knowledge which will be transformed into intellectual facilities and
moral tendencies in future lives.

This, when worked over and woven into wisdom, becomes the character of the soul,
which widens and develops in usefulness and beauty with each new life on earth. Only
a very brief period of man’s life is spent on earth. To us living here, earthly life seems to
be the only reality; but when the hand of death, in its time, has smitten down our

physical body too, we shall know the freedom, happiness, and potential to be of greater
good than we could ever accomplish within the chrysalises of the mortal body.

The gulf we see between life and death is only a thin veil that scarcely divides those
who have passed through it and those who remain behind. This veil may be lifted and
brushed aside or may be wholly transcended by those who live in larger measure the
spiritual life.

In hours of meditation and prayer, and uplift, the denizens of earth may come into close
and intimate communion with those who dwell beyond the veil. In truth the separation
we feel upon the death of our beloved is due entirely to our own limitations and does not
exist as a fact in Nature. Those thrown together in life by ties of blood or bonds of love
and sympathy are not strangers but friends, brothers and lovers from the past. If those
ties are deep and enduring, it is because the souls are united in the higher worlds and
the physical death does not in the least impair or endanger their union.

Death of the physical body is a harvest time of the soul, a period in which earthly
experiences can be wrought into greater faculty and a wider range of power. When this
building of experience into faculty and this transmuting of thought and feeling into
character is completed, then the ego is ready to return into incarnation to gather more
and more experience. For the purpose of life is to evolve perfect human beings. We
cannot exhaust all the experience that this wondrous and beautiful old world has to give
us in one brief life on earth. We cannot obey Christ’s command: “Be ye perfect” in fifty
or sixty years. For the final attainment of human perfection we need many lives on

And as we travel on this spiritual journey, rest assured that we do not travel alone. The
friends and relatives you now possess are friends and relatives only because you have
made links with them in other lives. We cannot lose our loved ones because the links of
love will inevitably draw us together in future lives, in accordance with nature’s law of
compensation and justice.

6. READING (If this is included, use either of the readings given below, or any other
suitable passage.)

“Through love to light O wonderful the way
That leads from darkness to the perfect day.
From darkness, and from sorrow of the night,
To morning, that comes singing o’er the sea.
Through love to light; Through light, O God, to Thee,
Who art the Love of Love, the Eternal Light of Light.”

Within yourselves deliverance must be sought;
Each man his prison makes.
Each hath such lordship as the loftiest ones;
Nay, for with Powers above, around, below,
As with all flesh and whatsoever lives,
Act maketh joy and woe.
Before beginning and without an end.

As space eternal and as surety sure,
Is fixed a Power divine which moves to good;
Only its Laws endure.
This is its touch upon the blossomed rose.
The fashion of its hand shaped lotus leaves;
In dark soil and the silence of the seeds
The robe of Spring It weaves;
That is it painting on the glorious clouds,
And these its emeralds on the peacock’s train;
It hath its stations in the stars; its slaves
In lightning, wind and rain.
Out of the dark it wrought the heart of man,
Out of dull shells the pheasant’s penciled neck;
Ever at toil it brings to loveliness
All ancient wrath and wreck
The ordered music of the marching orbs
It makes in viewless canopy of sky;
In deep abyss of earth it hides up gold,
Sands, sapphires, lazuli.
Ever and ever fetching secrets forth,
It sitteth in the green of forest-glades
Nursing strange seedlings at the cedar’s root,
Devising leaves, blooms, blades.
It slayeth and it saveth, nowise moved
Except unto the working out of doom;
Its threads are Love and Life; and Death and Pain
The shuttles of its loom.
It maketh and unmaketh, mending all;
What it hath wrought is better than had been;
Slow grows the splendid pattern that it plans
Its wistful hands between.
This is its work upon the things ye sees:
The unseen things are more; men’s hearts and minds,
The thoughts of peoples and their ways and wills,
Those, too, the great Law binds.
Unseen it helpeth ye with faithful hands,
Unheard it speaketh stronger than the storm,
Pity and Love are man’s because long stress
Moulded blind mass to form.
It will not be contemned of any one;
Who thwarts it loses, and who serves it gains;
The hidden good it pays with peace and bliss,
The hidden ill with pains.
Such is the Law which moves to righteousness.
Which none at last can turn aside or stay;
The heart of it is Love, and the end of it
Is Peace and Consumation sweet. Obey!
                 - The Light of Asia, Sir Edwin Arnold.


       Let us then give cheerfully to the care of the Great Law the loved one who has
laid aside this earthly garment. May the divine life, light, blessing, and love be the light
to guide him / her to the heart of Divine Being,

                   Suggested Services for the Departed - 2

1. Music
2. Invocation
3. Responsive Reading
4. Twenty-third Psalm
5. Scriptural Reading from 15th Chapter, First Epistle of St. Paul, the Apostle, to the
6. Music
7. Address
8. Aspiration
9. Benediction
10. Music



Almighty God, Who hast dominion over both the living and the dead, and dost hold all
Thy creation in the everlasting arms of Thy love, we pray Thee for the peace and
repose of Thy servant that he, being dead unto this world, yet ever living unto Thee,
may find in Thy continued and unceasing service the perfect consummation of
happiness and peace.
Through Christ our Lord.

Likewise, O Lord, we pray Thee for those who love Thy servant, those whom Thou has
called to sacrifice the solace of his earthly presence; do Thou, O Lord, comfort them
with the balm of Thy Loving-kindness, that, strengthened by Thee and resting upon the
surety of Thy wisdom, they may put aside their thoughts of sorrow and grief, and pour
out upon him only such thoughts of love as may help him in the higher life of service to
which Thou hast now called him.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Officiate: Rest in the eternal grant unto him, O Lord.
   Congregation: And may light perpetual shine upon him.
Оfficiate: Come forth to meet him, ye Angels of the Lord.
   Congregation:. Receive him into your fellowship, O ye saints of God.
Officiate: May the choirs of Angels receive him.
   Congregation:. And guide him into eternal peace.
Оfficiate: Rest in the eternal grant unto him, O Lord.
. Congregation: And may light perpetual shine upon him.


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 art 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.


Actual Scriptural quote follows, the reference to parts of this scripture in the program did
not make any sense to me and are at the end of this quote. You got me.

There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body; 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? 0 grave, where is thy victory? But thanks be to God, which giveth us the
victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethern, be ye steadfast,
unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your
labor is not in vain in the Lord.
    From the fifteenth chapter of the First Epistle of St. Paul, the Apostle, to the


Brethren: We are met together here today to celebrate the passing into a higher life of
our dear friend (name). It is but natural that we who have known and loved him / her
should regret their departure from among us; yet on this occasion it is our duty to think
not of ourselves, but of him/her. Therefore; must we strenuously endeavor to lay aside
the thought of our personal loss, and dwell only upon his/her great and glorious gain.
For God created our inner selves to be immortal, and made him / her to be an image of
His own eternity. The Lord sitteth above the water-floods; the Lord remains a King
forever. The universe is His temple; wisdom, strength and beauty are the pillars about
His throne for, His wisdom is infinite, His strength is omnipotent, and His beauty shines
through the whole universe in order and symmetry. He has stretched the heavens out
as a canopy before us; He has planted the earth as His garden of life; His temple is
adorned with stars as a sign of His royalty, and from His hands flow all power and glory.
The sun and the moon are His messengers proclaiming His will, and all His law is a
song filled with harmonious tones sounding together as a symphony. Our friend has
entered into a new phase of life and is in the Lords almighty care, we may rest in perfect
peace, assured that in His care rests this our loved one, whom He has deigned to draw
nearer to the vision of His eternal beauty.


Let us draw near to that Eternal Life of which we are a part, and on which the whole
visible and invisible universe depends, yet from which we separate ourselves when we
live only for self and things of the earth, which perish. Brought by the angel of death
face to face with those things which change not, though all things else change, let us
learn to read the mystery aright, and to know that what we call death is but the entrance
to another sphere, in which the true man lives a stronger and better life than ever be-
fore. May we be enabled to realize that death is but the laying aside of one garment to
put on another, and that those whom we have loved and who love us still live and love.
It is eternally true that love redeems, love lifts up, love dissolves not, neither forgets, for
she is of both the soul and everlasting remembrance, so that there can be no separating
of those who love, We know that separation is impossible between the souls of men,
and it is the souls of our dear ones that we love, not the mere outer vehicle. We love
the man himself, not his garment. And when that garment is laid away, our friend is with
us still, here an earth, not far away in some vague heaven beyond the stars, but close to
us, able still to feel and to respond to our affection.


The Lord is our Keeper, The Lord preserves our souls in their going out and their
coming in, The Lord hath given and the Lord hath taken away, Blessed be the Name of
the Lord!
May the Great Illuminator, the Light of all lights, the Dispenser of pleasure and of pain,
grant the peace which comes from Faith-Wisdom, Peace!


Suggested Services for the Departed - 3
1. Music
2. Opening Remarks
3. Reading
4. Music
5. Address
6. Music



Friends: Let us draw near to that Eternal Life of which we are a part, and on which the
whole visible and invisible universe depends, yet from which we separate ourselves
when we live only for self and things of the earth, which perish.

Brought by the angel of death face to face with those things which do not change,
though all things change, let us learn to read the mystery aright, and to know that what
we call death is but the entrance to another sphere, in which the true man lives a
stronger and better life than ever before. May we be enabled to realize that death is but
laying aside one garment to put on another, and that those whom we have loved, and
who loved us, still live and love. It is eternally true that love redeems, love lifts up, love
dissolves not, neither forgets; for she is of the SOUL, and hath everlasting
remembrance, so that there can be no separating of those who love.

Through many years love has united us with the Higher Self, now withdrawn from the
body lying before us, and nothing can sever that union - “neither death, nor life, nor
angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height,
nor depth, nor any other creature”. Neither in this world, nor in any other can a tie of
pure affection ever be lost, for Love is the one enduring thing in the universe. It is of the
very essence of the Divine Substance, and though its buds in human lives may be
started on earthly planes, its perfect fruitage is in the heavenly. So your own - namely
what you love - will come to you, over and over again, both here and there. May we so
live in love and unselfishness and purity, that we may be lifted into that higher life in
which there can be no death or separation.

3. READING (From “The Song Celestial” by Sir Edwin Arnold.)

“Thou grievest where no grief should be! thou speak’st
Words lacking wisdom! for the wise in heart
Mourn not for those that live, nor those that die.
Nor I, nor thou, nor any one of these,
Ever was not, nor ever will not be,
For ever and for ever afterwards.
All, that doth live, lives always: To man’s frame,
As there come infancy, and youth, and age,
So come there raisings-up and layings-down
Of other and of other life-abodes,
Which the wise know, and fear not.
The soul which is not moved,
The soul, that with a strong and constant calm
Takes sorrow, and takes joy indifferently,
Lives in the life undying! That which is
Can never cease to be; that which is not
Will not exist ………….

“Never the spirit was born; the spirit shall cease to be never;
Never was time it was not; End and Beginning are dreams!
Birthless and deathless and changeless remaineth the spirit for ever;
Death hath not touched it at all, dead though the house of it seems!

“Nay, but as when one layeth
His worn-out robes away,
And, taking new ones, sayeth,
“These will I wear today:”
So putteth by the spirit
Lightly its garb of flesh,
And passeth to inherit
A residence afresh.”


5. ADDRESS (Use either (a) or (b) - not both)

Address (a):
Friends: Today we have met together to accord the last rites to our friend, with deep
affection and well remembered thoughts of our departed one, to say farewell to the
form, which a few days ago, held life within it. That form is beloved, for it has been to us
the expression, in this outer world which seems so real, of that life which it lately
enclosed. But now it is an empty thing. The life has fled. The mind and the feelings of
our friend no longer speak through it. For the present, perhaps he still lingers near to
those whom he loved while on earth, held close by those invisible, yet mighty, ties of
affection and sympathy—those most powerful of the forces of the universe.
Could that loved one speak to us now, he would probably tell us not to grieve for him,
since he still lives and loves as before, only with a wider, freer, vaster life and love,
because the prison-house of flesh no longer holds him.

To us who are living here, this life seems the only reality; but when the hand of death
has smitten down our physical bodies, as it has already that of our friend, we too shall
know that we are freer, happier, lighter and more powerful for good without, than with,
that physical form.
Why, then, should we grieve? Surely not because our dear one has gone from us,
knowing, as we do, that he has gone to a better life. But it is because we can no longer
see him / her, and feel his presence -- his love – his / her kindness -- all those qualities
which have endeared him to us. So let us allow our hearts to go out in love, in gratitude,
in tender remembrance of his deeds and words. But let not these loving thoughts take

on a tinge of selfish longing. We would not wish to have him / her back; we would not
that any word or thought of ours could call him again into this world of suffering.
Therefore, putting ourselves aside, we tenderly give him up to that Divine Love which
holds him ever in ITS care, sending after him / her thoughts of love and helpfulness,
which still have power to aid and bless him / her.
Farewell, my friend! May your rest be sweet! Take with you our loving thoughts, our
gratitude for your goodness, our earnest desire that your future life may be one of
growth and expansion. Only the empty form lies before us, but THOU art above and
beyond, looking upon us. It may be, with tender pitying glances, understanding our
sorrow, reading our hearts, but you can smile, for that veil which shuts you from our
sight has been lifted for you and you know that beyond the veil is Eternal Life.

Address (b):

Friends: Today we have come together to pay tribute to the memory of one who has
reached the end of another pilgrimage on earth.
Weary and worn, the traveler has returned to its Father’s house, laden with the rich
treasures garnered from another earthly experience.
The vehicle in which he traveled this earthly pilgrimage lies empty before us. The
traveler has passed onward to a haven of peace and rest. And while our vision is veiled
by the dark curtain of what we call death, we know and feel that our brother/sister lives
and is still with us and sees and knows and loves us as before -- only he/she is no
longer able to express his/her love to us in this outer world.

If we could realize that he/she has been released from the prison-house that held
him/her in bondage to the darkness, pain and sorrows of earth, and now stands forth in
the open sunlight of an eternal day, we could not grieve, for life is real and eternal,
perpetual and progressive, growing more and more toward the goal of a glorious
perfection, where we shall know the joy of an eternal day.

Many times before he/she has come to earth, as a student attending school, and after
garnering the knowledge to be learned in the lessons of that day, has passed again
through the portals of what we call death, there to assimilate and coordinate all that
he/she has learned and transmute it into faculty for use in a future life.

To the Great Divine Life we yield our loved one. May it ever hold him/her in its sweet
embrace. And we send to him/her our kindest thoughts of love and helpfulness. May
they have power to aid and bless him/her.

6. MUSIC (Friends leave, passing the coffin as they go out.)

                    Suggested Services for the Departed - 4

This service may also be used as a memorial service.

Note: Ushers give each person copy of “The Golden Stair” upon entering the room.

1. Music
2. Opening Remarks
3. Music
4. Closing Remarks
5. Prayer
6. Music


2. OPENING REMARKS (Following are suggestions briefly outlined)

The officiate explains to the assembly that the deceased was a Theosophist and that as
such he had not feared death but recognized it as an opportunity for the quiet
assimilation of the experiences of this earthly sojourn and had looked forward to it and
prepared for it by adding to his knowledge of the inner planes, through study, meditation
and service. That his / her friends in The Theosophical Society have gathered together,
not to mourn their loss -- though they cannot deny the feeling of sadness caused by his
departure -- but to wish him / her Godspeed and to rejoice in his / her release from the
physical plane and his / her entrance into a fuller life, etc.

After suitable remarks of this nature, the officiate adds that there can be no more fitting
farewell to our brother/sister than that we unite in sending him / her loving thoughts to
guide and to light his / her way as we listen to a recording of one of his favorite

(If the deceased has made a special request for the reading of a poem, or a passage
from some book such as “The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran, or “The Song Celestial” by Sir
Edwin Arnold, the reading should be presented before the music.)



Officiate: Let us join our departed brother in aspiration as we recite together the rule by
which he endeavored to live for so many years: All recite “The Golden Stairs”.

“A clean life, an open mind, a pure heart, an eager intellect, an unveiled spiritual
perception, a brotherliness for all, a readiness to give and receive advice and
instruction; a courageous endurance of personal injustice, a brave declaration of
principles, a valiant defense of those who are unjustly attacked, and a constant eye to
the ideal of human progression and perfection which the sacred science depicts -- these
are the golden stairs up the steps of which the learner may climb to the Temple of
Divine Wisdom”. (H. P. Blavatsky)


Officiate: Let us pray. O Father of Light, in Whom is no darkness at all; we thank Thee
that in Thy loving providence Thou hast drawn our brother from the unreal towards the
Real, from the darkness of earth into Thy glorious Light, through the gates of death into
a splendor beyond our comprehension. Our loving thought shall follow and surround
him; O take Thou this our gift of thought, imperfect though it be, and touch it with the
eternal Fire of Thy Love, so that it may become for him a guardian Angel to help him on
his upward way. Thus through Thy loving kindness may we in deep humility and
reverence become fellow workers with Thy boundless power, and may our weakness be
supported by Thine infinite strength; that we, with this our dearly-beloved brother, may
in due time attain unto the wisdom of the Spirit, Who with the Father and the Son liveth
and reigneth, God throughout all ages of ages. Amen.


            Suggested Services for the Departed - 5

1. Music
2. Reading
3. Address
4. Music
5. Invocation


   During the music the members in the audience might meditate on all-enfolding
   peace, and at the close of the selection say silently to themselves: “Grant unto him
   (her) Eternal Peace, O Lord, and let Light Perpetual shine upon him (her)”

2. READING (From Edwin Arnold’s “After Death”):

Loving friends Be wise and dry
Straightway every weeping eye,-
What ye lift upon the bier
Is not worth a wistful team
‘Tis an empty seashells one
Out of which the pearl is gone;
The shell is broken, it lies there;
The pearls the all, the soul is here.
‘Tis an earthen jar whose lid
Allah sealed the while it hid
That treasure of his treasury,
A mind that loved him; let it lie,
Let the shard be earth’s once more,
Sіnce the gold shines in his store!

Farewell, friend; yet not farewell;
Where I am, ye, too, shall dwell.
I am gone before your face,-
A moment’s time, a little space.
When ye come where I have step’t
Ye will wonder why ye wept.
Ye will know by wise love taught.
That here is all, and there is naught.
Weep awhile if tears are fain,-
Sunshine still must follow rain;
Only not at death -- for death
Now I know is that first breath
Which our souls draw when we enter
Life, which is of all life, center.


The address should be a short sympathetic statement of the laws of life and death that
govern us all, with suitable praise of the virtues of the deceased. The address which
follows may be used, if desired:

Friends: It may be that the day will never come when the thought of death will not
awaken some sense of regret in the human heart; but the time will come and is near at
hand when it will fail to create the sorrow, grief and agitation we commonly feel today.
The sense of fear felt by the majority of mankind at the thought of death is like what a
child may feel when leaving the shelter of the bright parlor to retire for the night, groping
blindly up the darkened stairs through fearsome shadows to the safety of bed and
slumber. In more mature years the child seeks with delight the encompassing gloom of
a soft couch – relaxing into a temporary respite from the glare of day walking fearlessly
into slumber where he / she shall soon awaken into the light of a larger day.

Our friend has awakened into the clear light of that larger day, and his feet are set in
paths of peace. He has not gained immortality, for he had that yesterday and throughout
each day of his life. Permanence and immortality are not the fruits of death -- but of life.
Through countless aeons this soul has expressed that immortality in many perishing
embodiments. From each new form he has arisen chanting the joyous song of a larger
birth. We can do no greater service for him and his loved ones, than to share in that
consciousness of liberation and chant with him the paean of joy and freedom.

When the Giver of all life has further enlightened our understanding we shall know, too,
with certainty, that there is no separation of the living from those who have passed
In the past we have been taught that an impassable gulf stretches between this plane of
action and the land of the disembodied. We have been told that at death we pass over
this gulf on an ethereal bridge; at the other end the passage is sealed and no one may
ever return. Our loved ones who have crossed that gulf have gone forever beyond
communication, and no consoling message of immortality may be wafted across that
dark and forbidding abyss. We now know that this impassable chasm is non-existent --
a sheer figment of imagination conjured from our human fears This supposed gulf is
only a thin veil that scarcely divides the living and the dead. This veil may be lifted and
brushed aside or may be wholly transcended by those who live in larger measure the
spiritual life.

In hours of meditation and prayer, the denizens of earth may come in close and intimate
communion with those who dwell beyond the veil. In truth the separation we feel upon
the death of our beloved is due entirely to our own limitations and does not exist as a
fact in Nature. Those thrown together in life by ties of blood or bonds of love and
sympathy are not strangers but friends, brothers and lovers from the past; if those ties
be deep and enduring, it is because the souls are united in the higher worlds and the
physical death does not in the least impair or endanger their union, but rather cements
the link in the purifying fires of pain.

St. Paul said that things seen are temporal - things unseen are eternal - this fact is
especially true and significant with respect to the presence of our friends. Their real

selves are largely hidden from us, except when now and then through the windows of
the soul, we glimpse fragments of that majestic and stately edifice we call the soul.
When I see my friend on earth, I do not really see him at all, but only that which hides
him from my sight. In the pure air of the higher planes where the Self ever dwells in truth
and splendor, we make that perfect contact that deepens all the rich currents of life.

What matter if I stand alone -
I wait with joy the coming years
My heart shall reap where it has sown
And garner up its fruit of tears.
The stars come nightly to the sky
The tidal wave unto the sea.
Nor time nor space, nor deep nor high
Shall keep my own away from me.



Great Lord of Life and boundless vision, we cleave to Thee; Thou hast life and death in
Thy strong hand. Yea, Thou art mighty. We know that “Life is ever Lord of Death, and
Love can never lose its own.” We know that this soul has risen from many a house of
flesh, and will live forever more. We know that ere long our beloved brother will return,
passing again through the gates of birth. Until that time, may Your love uplift him on
wide wings of joy and bear him safely through places of illusion, into the shining land of
the gods.


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