Julie Harley's choice of readings for her own funeral

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By Tom Holmes

Contributing Reporter / Religion Blogger

If you had the chance to pick what would be said or read at your funeral, what would you choose: poetry, some quotes from the Hallmark card shop, lyrics from songs you love, a list of your accomplishments.  Julie Harley died on Valentine's Day last month.  Her memorial service was yesterday, March 8, at First United in Oak Park, after a year and a half of rapid decline because of ALS.  Following is what she chose.    

Revelation 21:1-6

21:1And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth are passed away; and the sea is no more. 21:2And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven of God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. 21:3And I heard a great voice out of the throne saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he shall dwell with them, and they shall be his peoples, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God: 21:4and he shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more; neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, any more: the first things are passed away. 21:5And he that sits on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said, Write: for these words are faithful and true. 21:6And he said unto me, They are come to pass. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

Philippians 4:4-9

4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. 9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Ruth 1:16-17

1:16 And Ruth said, entreat me not to leave you, or to return from following after you: for where you go, I will go; and where you lodge, I will lodge: your people shall be my people, and your God my God: 1:17 Where you die, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part you and me.

John 11:17-27

17Arriving therefore, Jesus found him already in the tomb four days since. 18Now Bethany was close to Jerusalem, about fifteen stadia apart, 19and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary, to console them regarding their brother. 20When therefore Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him; but Mary stayed put in the house.  21Martha therefore said to Jesus, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22Even now, I know that whatever things you ask God for, God will grant you."  23Jesus says to her, "Your brother will rise again."  24Martha says to him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day." 25Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection, and the life. The person who believes in me, even though he dies, will live; 26and everyone who is living and believes in me, will never die. Do you believe this?"  27She says to him, "Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one expected to come into the world."

 

 

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Robert Zeh from River Forest, Illinois  

Posted: March 9th, 2014 4:16 PM

I'd contend that anyone can pick out the readings for their funeral. The only "if" involved is "if" you realize your funeral is a "when", not an "if". As my Grandmother told me once: "What do you mean 'if' I die? It is when, not if." Keeping that in mind, hope we all can pick readings as well as Julie Harley did.

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