A Suggested Theosophical Funeral Service

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Music during assembly approx 5 minutes.

“Friends, we are met here to pay our last respects to our dear friend _____________ who died on ________ aged _____.”

Brief résumé of the life of the departed (as a theosophist) approx. 5 minutes)

Brief tribute by a friend or relative. (approx. 5 minutes) total 10 minutes

Short talk on death and its place in the scheme of things. (approx. 5 minutes)

Bhagavad-Gita: Short reading from ‘The Song Celestial’ by Sir Edwin Arnold. (approx. 45 seconds)

[If Burial, MUSIC here before departing for BURIAL]

More from ‘The Song Celestial’ 45 seconds

“Let us now commit _____________’s body to

1. the kindly earth [if burial] OR
2. the swift, clean consumption of Fire [if cremation].
So be it”.  3 minutes

MUSIC when departing from crematorium 5 minutes
Bhagavad-Gita from ‘The Song Celestial’ by Sir Edwin Arnold.

Krishna: “Thou grievest where no grief should be! Thou speakest 45 seconds

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.”

[to be read at grave side, if burial]

“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 forever;
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.”

Examples of short talks on death and its place:

Every human is essentially a spiritual being whose highest aspect of consciousness is one with the Universal Consciousness, which we could call God. The Will, Wisdom and Intelligence of the Supreme Deity are reflected in the spiritual nature of each of us. Although imprisoned in the personality and physical body, all the Divine Powers are latent in us waiting to be unfolded in the evolutionary process.

The mind is the link between the spiritual, Higher Self and the Personality.

At death the physical body and the personality gradually disintegrate. The personal man is mortal, but the Higher Self or Ego, including the higher parts of our mind, is immortal. The human soul exists before birth and will continue to exist after death. The spiritual self is always seeking for a more prefect expression through successive personalities. Each life is another step on the pilgrimage back to our source.

There is really no death, only changing states of consciousness. The soul takes with it the thought-feeling aspects of the personality consciousness, which survives with full memory of the experiences of the life just finished. Consciousness freed from the limitations of the physical body and its senses, after a period of review enters a world of light and bliss where the soul works through all experiences of the life just past until only its essence, which is love and joy, remains.

Life is like a great river, moving relentlessly and purposefully, and individual units of life, are the eddies and whirlpools, always one with the river but having an illusory life of their own.

We are self-conscious beings with a sense of self-identity and I-ness, responsible for our own decisions. The purpose of existence for us can be seen as spiritual, intellectual, cultural and physical growth towards perfection.

The spiritual self is like a seed; it is planted on earth, it puts forth shoots, stems and leaves and eventually it flowers. It is, as it were, strengthened by the winds of adversity; purified and refined by the rain of sorrow, beautified and expanded by the sunshine of happiness and love.

Eventually we reach the fully-flowered state.
Music can be choice of relatives or of leader.

Note: Suggested music is Berlioz Requiem (Grande Messe des Morts), or Albinoni, at the beginning of the ceremony during assembly, or any previously requested by deceased.

What is Theosophy
The word Theosophy has been used for many centuries. It is of Greek origin (theo- ‘divine’, and sophia – ‘wisdom’) meaning Divine Wisdom. Please, click here to read more.
Resources
Leeds Theosophical Society possesses a comphrensive collection of books, booklets, journals, CDs and audio cassettes of lectures, and videos and DVDs on spiritual topics in its extensive library, which are available for study by its members. Please, click here to read more.
Freedom of the Society
The Theosophical Society passed the following resolution in 1924 and and 1949 respectively in order to express and to preserve the Freedoms that the society stands for. Please, click here to read more.
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