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Finding comforting words to share at a committal service can be tricky when you’re arranging a funeral. They can help you say goodbye in the right way and show other friends and family what your loved one meant to you. So whether you’re arranging a traditional funeral service, a small get-together or a celebration of life, we’ve put together some suggestions. Take a look through some different examples of what to say at a committal service and see if you can find something suitable for your loved one.  

Committal words for cremation 

Here are a few different examples of words of committal that can be used at a crematorium. The celebrant might use these words but if you want to be a part of reciting the words of committal, this can be arranged too. Talk to your funeral director or celebrant about what you’d like to say at the service to honour the person who’s passed away. 


“To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose on earth, a time to be born and a time to die. Here in this last act, in sorrow but without fear, in love and appreciation, we commit [name] to its natural end.” 


“We lovingly and reverently 

Return your body to the elements 

From which it came 

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust 

We leave you now in peace 

And are grateful you were in our lives.” 


“[name], we honour your life and are blessed to have heard your laughter, seen your smile and felt your reassuring hand in ours. Our lives are richer for having known you and having shared in the love you gave us and the love we felt for you. You are no longer bound by this world, but a part of it. No longer tied to one place or one time, but free. And so we ask that you go now, with all our love, as tenderly and reverently we yield your body to be cremated. Earth to earth, Ashes to ashes, Dust to dust. 
At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter, at the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring, we will remember you 
At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of summer, at the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of the autumn, we will remember you.” 


“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter: 

a time to be born, and a time to die; 

a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 

a time to weep, and a time to laugh; 

a time to mourn and a time to dance. 

a time to keep silence and a time to speak.” 


What to say at a religious graveside committal service 

Often, at a traditional Christian committal service, the minister will lead everyone in prayers and hymns. And they’ll also say the words of committal. Below are a couple of examples of what a minister might say at a graveside committal service. But when you’re arranging the funeral, remember that you can always speak to the minister about what you’d like them to include in the final goodbye. 


“Because God has chosen to call our brother/sister 

from this life to himself, 

we commit his/her body to [the earth/its resting place], 

for we are dust and unto dust we shall return. 

But the Lord Jesus Christ will change our mortal bodies 

to be like his in glory, 

for he is risen, the firstborn from the dead. 

So let us commend our brother/sister to the Lord, 

that the Lord may embrace him/her in peace 

and raise up his/her body on the last day.” 


“In sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life 

through our Lord Jesus Christ, 

we commend to Almighty God our brother/sister [name], 

and we commit his/her body to [the ground/its resting place]: 

earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. 

The Lord bless him/her and keep him/her, 

the Lord make his face to shine upon him/her 

and be gracious to him/her, 

the Lord lift up his countenance upon him/her 

and give him/her peace.” 


“[name], we say to you in the midst of our sorrow and loss that we are grateful that you lived your life among us. We are grateful for your quiet gentleness and for your firm resolve to live life and to die on your own terms. We take joy and relief in knowing that your suffering has ended. We ask you now for forgiveness for any of the ways we may have hurt you in this life – – and we forgive you for any of the ways you may have hurt us. We release you now into the Everlasting Arms. May your passage be swift. May you know Wholeness and Peace now and through all eternity.”  


Non-religious funeral committal words 

The following examples of funeral committal words are less traditional, and less structured. One of them might be suitable for the funeral you’re arranging or you might find that one of them gives you the inspiration to write your own words of committal. 


“[name] your life we honour. Your departure we accept. Your memory we cherish. 

And although there is grief today as we say goodbye, there is gratitude for your life. 

We are truly grateful for the privilege of having shared life with you. 

But rest now at the end of your days. Rest in the hearts and minds of all those who love you. 

And so with love we shall leave you in peace. 

And with respect we bid you a fond farewell.” 


“[name]… you are so dearly loved. You are in our hearts and our minds, and we’ll carry you with us as we move forward with our lives. 

Everything you have done is still done. 

Everyone you love is still loved. 

Everything we’ve learnt from you is still learnt. 

And so we will let you pass from this world for which you did so much, 

For which you continue to do. 

Because when we walk this earth, we walk it with you. 

You leave us with the strength and pride to do what is good and right, 

And your memory will guide us just as you did when you were at our side. 

For this we say thank you, and goodbye. 

Dearest [Wife, Mum, Nan, Cousin, Aunt etc] and loyal friend.” 


“[name] go forth from this world knowing that you are loved beyond measure; 
That you will be missed more than words can say; that you will be remembered and cherished, and that love will never end. 
We will hold you close within us, and there you will remain 
To be with us throughout our lives, until we meet again.


And as we now hold your memory in our hearts and send you on your final journey, 
May you forever rest in peace with the certain knowledge that our love goes with you.” 


“Sometimes there just aren’t the words. No words are adequate. Instead, we can harness our ability to feel and think and express in our own special ways, and so we’re going to say our goodbye’s to [name] by listening to a poignant song, and by honing in on your own individual emotions. But we do say this: [name], thank you for the gift you have been to us. May you rest in peaceful sleep now, knowing that you will be forever loved, and terribly missed.” 


“Thank you [name]. Thank you for being you. May you now rest in peaceful sleep and know that wherever you are, our love goes with you.” 


Committal words for a natural burial or non-religious burial 

If you're arranging a committal for someone who wanted to return to nature or have a more eco-friendly burial, some of the following committal words could be appropriate. 

“As we prepare to leave, let us entrust [name]’s body to the earth from which he came. All life is formed of earth and returns to the bosom of Mother Nature: earth to earth, dust to dust, ashes to ashes. We commend [name] and the memory we have of him/her to this ceaseless round, knowing that in time, we too shall join this circle.” 


Keep in mind that if none of the above funeral committal words are suitable for the funeral you’re arranging, you can speak to your faith leader, celebrant, or funeral director. They’ll be able to provide you with more examples of words of committal or give you some more resources to look through.

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