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Recommended Second Readings

FROM THE NEW TESTAMENT, FOR A FUNERAL MASS

A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Romans     (5:5-11)

Hope is not deceptive, because the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit which has been given us.  We were still helpless when at His appointed moment Christ died for sinful men.  It is not easy to die even for a good man – though of course for someone really worthy, a man might be prepared to die – but what proves that God loves us is that Christ died for us while we were still sinners.  Having died to make us righteous, is it likely that He would now fail to save us from God’s anger?  When we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, we were still enemies; now that we have been reconciled, surely we may count on being saved by the life of His Son?  Not merely because we have been reconciled but because we are filled with joyful trust in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have already gained our reconciliation.
The Word of the Lord.

A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Romans  (5:17-21)

If it is certain that death reigned over everyone as the consequence of one man’s fall, it is even more certain that one man, Jesus Christ, will cause everyone to reign in life who receives the free gift that he does not deserve, of being made righteous. Again, as one man’s fall brought condemnation on everyone, so the good act of one man brings everyone life and makes them justified.  As by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous.  When law came, it was to multiply the opportunities of falling, but however great the number of sins committed, grace was even greater; and so, just as sin reigned wherever there was death, so grace will reign to bring eternal life thanks to the righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Word of the Lord.

A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Romans  (6:3-9)

When we were baptised in Christ Jesus we were baptised in his death; in other Words, when we were baptised we went into the tomb with him and joined him in death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the Father’s glory, we too might live a new life. If in union with Christ we have imitated his death, we shall also imitate him in his resurrection.  We must realise that our former selves have been crucified with him to destroy this sinful body and to free us from the slavery of sin.  When a man dies, of course, he has finished with sin. But we believe that having died with Christ we shall return to life with him; Christ, as we know, having been raised from the dead will never die again.  Death has no power over him anymore.
The Word of the Lord.

A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Romans     (8:31-35, 37-39)

With God on our side who can be against us?  Since God did not spare his own Son, but gave him up to benefit us all, we may be certain, after such a gift, that he will not refuse anything he can give. Could anyone accuse those that God has chosen?  When God acquits, could anyone condemn?  Could Christ Jesus?  No!  He not only died for us – he rose from the dead, and there at God’s right hand he stands and pleads for us. Nothing therefore can come between us and the love of Christ, even if we are troubled or worried, or being persecuted, or lacking food or clothes, or being threatened or even attacked. These are trials through which we triumph, by the power of him who loved us. For I am certain of this: neither death nor life, no angel, no prince, nothing that exists, nothing still to come, not any power, or height or depth, not any created thing, can ever come between us and the love of God made visible in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The Word of the Lord.

A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Romans  (14:7-12)

The life and death of each of us has its influence on others; if we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord, so that alive or dead we belong to the Lord.  This explains why Christ both died and came to life, it was so that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.  We shall all have to stand before the judgement seat of God; as scripture says: By my life – it is the Lord who speaks – every knee shall bend before me, and every tongue shall praise God.  It is to God, therefore, that each of us must give an account of himself.
The Word of the Lord.

A reading from the 1st letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians    (15:20-28)

Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of all who have fallen asleep.  Death came through one man and in the same way the resurrection of the dead has come through one man.  Just as all men die in Adam, so all men will be brought to life in Christ; but all of them in their proper order; Christ as the first fruits and then, after the coming of Christ, those who belong to him.  After that will come the end, when he hands over the kingdom of God the Father.  For he must be king until he has put all his enemies under his feet and the last of the enemies to be destroyed is death, for everything is to be put under his feet.  – Though when it is said that everything is subjected, this clearly cannot include the One who subjected everything to him.  And when everything is subjected to him, then the Son himself will be subject in his turn to the One who subjected all things to him, so that God may be all in all.
The Word of the Lord.

A reading from the 1st letter of St Paul to the Corinthians     (15:51-57)

I will tell you something that has been secret: that we are not all going to die, but we shall all be changed. This will be instantaneous, in the twinkling of an eye, when the last trumpet sounds. It will sound, and the dead will be raised, imperishable, and we shall be changed as well, because our present perishable nature must put on imperishability and this mortal nature must put on immortality.
When this perishable nature has put on imperishability, and when this mortal nature has put on immortality, then the Words of scripture will come true: Death is swallowed up in victory. Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting? Now the sting of death is sin, and sin gets its power from the Law. So let us thank God for giving us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Word of the Lord.

A reading from the 2nd letter of St Paul to the Corinthians     (4:14-5:1)

We know that he who raised the Lord Jesus to life will raise us with Jesus in our turn, and put us by his side and you with us. You see, all this is for your benefit, so that the more grace is multiplied among people, the more thanksgiving there will be, to the glory of God. That is why there is no weakening on our part, and instead, though this outer man of ours may be falling into decay, the inner man is renewed day by day. Yes, the troubles which are soon over, though they weigh little, train us for the carrying of a weight of eternal glory which is out of all proportion to them. And so, we have no eyes for things that are visible, but only for things that are invisible; for visible things last only for a time, and the invisible things are eternal. For we know that when the tent that we live in on earth is folded up, there is a house built by God for us, an everlasting home not made by human hands, in the heavens.
The Word of the Lord.

A reading from the 2nd letter of St Paul to the Corinthians   (5:1-10)

We know that when the tent that we live in on earth is folded up, there is a house built by God for us, an everlasting home not made by human hands, in the heavens. We are always full of confidence, then, when we remember that to live in the body means to be exiled from the Lord, going as we do by faith and not by sight — we are full of confidence, I say, and actually want to be exiled from the body and make our home with the Lord. Whether we are living in the body or exiled from it, we are intent on pleasing him. For all the truth about us will be brought out in the law court of Christ, and each of us will get what he deserves for the things he did in the body, good or bad.
The Word of the Lord.

A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Philippians      (3:20-21)

For us, our homeland is in heaven, and from heaven comes the Saviour we are waiting for, the Lord Jesus Christ, and he will transfigure these wretched bodies of ours into copies of his glorious body. He will do that by the same power with which he can subdue the whole universe.
The Word of the Lord.

A reading from the 1st letter of St Paul to the Thessalonians (4: 13-18)

We want you to be quite certain, brothers, about those who have died, to make sure that you do not grieve about them, like the other people who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again, and that it will be the same for those who have died in Jesus: God will bring them with him. We can tell you this from the Lord’s own teaching, that any of us who are left alive until the Lord’s coming will not have any advantage over those who have died. At the trumpet of God, the voice of the archangel will call out the command and the Lord himself will come down from heaven; those who have died in Christ will be the first to rise, and then those of us who are still alive will be taken up in the clouds, together with them, to meet the Lord in the air. So we shall stay with the Lord forever. With such thoughts as these you should comfort one another.
The Word of the Lord.

A reading from the 2nd letter of St Paul to Timothy                   (4:6-8)
                                          
My life is already being poured away as a libation, and the time has come for me to be gone.  I have fought the good fight to the end; I have run the race to the finish; I have kept the faith.  All there is to come for me now is the Crown of Righteousness reserved for me, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that Day; and not only to me but to all those who have longed for His appearing.
The Word of the Lord

A reading from the 2nd letter of St Paul to Timothy                 (2:8-13)

Remember the Good News that I carry, ‘Jesus Christ risen from the dead, sprung from the race of David’; it is on account of this that I have my own hardships to bear, even to being chained like a criminal — but they cannot chain up God’s news. So, I bear it all for the sake of those who are chosen so that in the end they may have the salvation that is in Christ Jesus and the eternal glory that comes with it. Here is a saying that you can rely on: If we have died with him, then we shall live with him. If we hold firm, then we shall reign with him. If we disown him, then he will disown us. We may be unfaithful, but he is always faithful, for he cannot disown his own self.
The Word of the Lord.

A reading from the 1st letter of St John  (3:1-2)

Think of the love that the Father has lavished on us by letting us be called God’s children; and that is what we are.  Because the world refused to acknowledge Him, therefore it does not acknowledge us. My dear people, we are already the children of God but what we are to be in the future has not yet been revealed; all we know is, that when it is revealed we shall be like Him because we shall see Him as He really is.
The Word of the Lord.

A reading from the first letter of St John      (3:14-16)


We have passed out of death and into life, and of this we can be sure because we love our brothers. If you refuse to love, you must remain dead; to hate your brother is to be a murderer, and murderers, as you know, do not have eternal life in them. This has taught us love — that He gave up His life for us;  and we, too, ought to give up our lives for our brothers.
The Word of the Lord.