20 Poems to Read at A Funeral, Memorial, or Celebration Of Life Ceremony

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

A funeral or memorial is a very emotional moment. Our hearts become too heavy to express in words and take solace in beautifully crafted words of poems. These verses give us comfort and connect us with people who have also lost their loved ones. Our sincere effort is to share 20  poems for a funeral, memorial, Celebration of Life reading to bring peace to the grieving souls.

These are the appropriate poem/s for reading at the celebration of the life ceremony. You can also use these poems during virtual funerals, as well. If you organize an online memorial/funeral due to ongoing waves of Covid-19, ensure to e-invite people before the ceremony begins.

List of Poems Modern Funeral Poems

1)” She Is Gone” by David Harkins

Well-known funeral poems by David Harkins. These words are a reminder that it’s okay to feel sad about the passing of a loved one. 

2) “Snowdrop” by Ted Hughes

It’s a small poem of only eight sentences. It speaks about the resilience of life, the fight for small things, and hope.

3) “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T. S. Eliot

The poem reflects on the inevitable nature of life changes. It is not in our hands. T. S. Eliot writes, “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.”

4) “The Waste Land” by T. S. Eliot

It is a long poem that speaks about chaos, and we should try to get hope in whatever life gives us.

5) “Do not Go Gentle into that Good Night” by Dylan Thomas

The poem emphasis the celebration of life and winning over the sorrow of death.

6) “When I die I Want Your Hands on my Eyes” by Pablo Neruda

This is a Spanish poem. The poet speaks about relationship stays even after death. He wants readers to “live while I wait for, asleep.” 

7) “In a Station of the Metro” by Ezra Pound

This is a beautiful poem with a series of images. He meant to signify the importance of the moment.

8)” I carry your heart with me” by E.E. Cummins

The poet talks about an intense relationship with an unidentified person/lover. His heart is with that person. It signifies that they are always together, even after death. You can use this poem to provide solace for the grieved soul.

9) “There Is No Light Without a Dawning” by Helen Steiner Rice

The poem signifies the continuity of life. Poet used phrases like “dark without light” “no winter without spring.”

10) “She’s in the Sun, the Wind, the Rain” by Christy Ann Martine

It is a great funeral poem to remind that the departed person waits for their loved ones. They stay around, remind us or even visit us. It means the person supports even after their death.

11) “As I Walked Out One Evening” by W.H. Auden

The poem is a symbolic communication between Love and Time. Here poet explained love could conquer eternity and death cannot separate people

12) “Music, When Soft Voices Die” by P. B. Shelley

P.B.Shelley wrote this poem as a reference to losing someone dear to him. It talks about memories of your loved ones that remain forever.

13) “Farwell” by Anne Bronte

The writer saying goodbye does not mean it’s over. The poem explains deep and impactful sorrow that confuses joy and grief yet leaves a powerful effect. Anne Bronte explored the concept of secret bliss and romantic attachment with her poems.

14) “Paradise Lost Book I” by John Milton

Verses from Paradise Lost is one of the most popular during funeral and memorial ceremony. You will find several beautiful and meaningful phrases in the epic poem, such as “the mind is its own place and can make a heaven of hell.”

15) “Legacy” by William Shakespeare

Here’ legacy’ refers to what you have left for the world after death. It also means we should focus on qualities and things they left for us instead of grieving. 

16) “All that they were” by William Shakespeare

Another great Sonnet written by William Shakespeare talks about understanding and respecting the good things of the departed. His sonnets are perfect for your love, romantic relationship, wife/husband, etc.

17) “Hope’ is the thing with feathers” by Emily Dickinson

The crux of the poem is to keep hope alive. It will lift the soul. Here Emily Dickinson used a strong-willed bird metaphor that stays within us and sings its song in any situation. 

18) “If” by Rudyard Kipling

The collection of poems deals with suggestions from a father to his son. It’s about managing different life situations and keeping moving ahead with confidence. You can use this as moral support during the funeral ceremony.

19) “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost

The poet is dealing here a situation in life with a metaphor of a person standing on a road with diversions. A case like a funeral makes us think about what to do next, where to go from here etc. 

We need to be strong, determined, and everything will be alright with time. People can relate to your poem during the celebration of the life ceremony.

20) “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley

Encourage with beautiful lines of ‘Invictus.’ It means undefeated or unconquerable in Latin. It signifies courage to face death and handle life’s challenges with dignity.

Poetry for Peace of Mind

We can never prepare for death, especially if someone dies close to our hearts. Poems help us express grief, love, and hope through these decorated words. Read these poems and choose the most relevant one for the funeral or memorial event. Poems help in expressing even the toughest emotion. Read and feel closer to the loved one.