Posts tagged “Funerals

Funeral Sermon: Paul Donald Ring

Posted on April 8th, 2017

Dear Ruth, John, Linda; dear brothers and sisters in Christ: Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. (Ps 55.22) When Don came out of church and shook my hand, he always made me feel like a million bucks. Some people say, “Good sermon, pastor.” Not Don. He would exclaim, “Say, you’ve got a strong handshake!” Then with a big smile he’d squeeze my arm, and make me feel powerful, muscular, manly. Despite his stroke, which made conversation difficult, Don knew how to be friendly and nice. With a warm welcome he’d greet you at his door, and he always seemed genuinely disappointed that you were leaving. But in all these years…

Sermo Dei: The Funeral of Sandra Ann Keiser

Posted on March 24th, 2017

We are all shocked. No one anticipated Sandy’s death, and it’s hard to process. But Sandy was a direct person, so let us speak directly about the matter: Death is God’s judgment for sin. The suddenness of death is a reminder to us all to prepare for our own. Sandy graduated from Immanuel Lutheran School in 1970. Upon the foundations of that school, a larger one is rising in its place. Someday, however, the whole thing will lie in ruins. Human civilization, like the human body, is crumbling. What can last beyond the ashes and desolation? The crucified arms of Jesus stretch out across the world and across all the expanse of time, embracing all the cosmos with His love, calling us all to…

Sermo Dei: The Funeral of Barbara Pauling

Posted on November 26th, 2016

November 22, 2016 Immanuel Evangelical-Lutheran Church, Alexandria, Virginia John 10:11-16; 11:21-27 Frederick, dear brother in Christ; Ellen, Steve, Taylor, and Drew; Alyson; Steve and Melissa; and all the saints gathered here this day: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. Poor Martha gets a bad rap. She’s remembered mostly for being upset that her sister isn’t helping her with the meal preparations, earning her the gentle rebuke of Jesus, calling her by name twice: “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.” Her sister Mary is praised for devoting herself to the teaching of Jesus. But shortly before today’s Gospel reading about Jesus and Martha, St. John tells us, “Now Jesus loved Martha and her…

Sermo Dei: The Funeral of Roy Edge

Posted on September 25th, 2015

Dear Carla, Henry and Harry, parents and friends of Roy, brothers and sisters in Christ: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. Can we blame Martha and Mary for being angry with Jesus (John 11)? Their brother Lazarus is dead, and Jesus—supposedly their close friend—was nowhere to be found. He even misses the funeral! By the time Jesus shows up, Lazarus is buried. When Jesus arrives, Martha comes out to meet Him, but Mary stays in the house. She won’t even talk to Jesus. But Martha levels her accusation: Jesus, “If you had been here, my brother would not have died.” You know how she feels. Eventually Mary comes out, and she says the same thing: “Lord,…

Sermo Dei: Funeral of Robert L. Smith, Jr.

Posted on October 3rd, 2014

Philippians 3:7-14, 17-21; 4:1 October 3, 2014 Some years ago, at an anniversary party for Mr. and Mrs. Smith, a toast was offered: “To Smitty: the only man who can turn a short story into a novel.” Mr. Smith was quick with a joke, a smile, and a story. But in my own experience with him, what stands out most is what he didn’t say. A few years after becoming the pastor here, a small controversy arose, where Smitty and another man disagreed with me about something. They actually strongly disagreed. And looking back, I know I should have handled the situation better. I was trying to make a point, you see; I had things to teach the congregation, improvements that needed to be…

Funeral Sermon: Carl Cook

Posted on May 22nd, 2014

Dear Priscilla, Willner, Carolee, Jean, family and friends of Carl and brothers and sisters in Christ JESUS the risen One:   Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.   Alleluia! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!   The Easter greeting is the only way to find true meaning when confronting death. The Easter greeting points us to Jesus who has stripped the grave of its power. Jesus has trampled down death by His death, and the only thing to say to that is Alleluia! Praise the Lord!   That confession of faith marked Carl’s life in a quiet steadfastness, as he patiently did the work God gave him to do, caring for his wife and…

Funeral Sermon: Esther Sellen

Posted on December 25th, 2013

The Funeral Sermon: Esther Amelia Emma Martens Sellen Psalm 118:24 This sermon was for my grandmother’s funeral, on Dec. 20 in Litchfield, MN. The funeral service was at the Emmaus Chapel at Emmaus Home where my grandmother lived for several years. It was the most difficult sermon I’ve ever had to preach.     Grandma’s favorite Bible verse was the antiphon to the Psalm we prayed earlier: “This is the day that the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”  Is this the day that the Lord has made? Certainly not. God did not ordain death. God made man to live, live in communion with Him, and not die. Death is a radical disintegration of God’s creation. There is nothing…

Sermo Dei: Funeral of Caroline Marshall

Posted on November 1st, 2013

The first time I visited Mrs. Marshall in her home, I was talking to her husband Ben, who was the chairman of our board of elders. I was trying to be serious and make a good impression, because Col. Marshall seemed a gruff man on whose bad side you did not want to be. While I was trying to be appropriately pastoral, I suddenly burst out laughing. My eye had fallen on one of the pillows on the couch. It was embroidered with the words, “Sometimes I wake up grumpy. Sometimes I let him sleep.” I realized then that Kak was a strong woman with a terrific sense of humor. She laughed right along with me. And she always laughed whenever I saw her,…

Sermo Dei: The Funeral of Carol Mensing

Posted on August 23rd, 2012

The last time I visited Carol in her home, she remarked, “I’m not a feminist. I’m just bossy.” It’s a great line, and I suspect I’ll always remember it. She delivered it with a smile, a smile which she so often had. For most people, 36 years of widowhood, a stroke, partial paralysis, and a wheelchair would wipe away that smile. And that would be justified. But Carol was not like most people. She persevered, and more: she found joy that went far beyond her personal sufferings and obstacles. Joy in reading, joy in her home and the water, joy in food, joy in her friends, and especially joy in her family. She loved you all. And while she enjoyed the attention of handsome…

Baptism, Ordination, and Burial Liturgies: What Might Have Been

Posted on July 20th, 2011

A colleague recently shared with me a booklet with proposed liturgies for baptisms, ordinations, and funerals. It is pre-ILCW and supposedly is heavily influenced by Piepkorn’s work. It’s an interesting window into what might have been, and what our Agenda might have looked like had the LCMS taken a different path instead of ILCW, giving us LBW/LW, which legacy we are still saddled with in LSB, despite the many improvements of the sangria hymnal. The booklet is below; it appears to have been purchased from the CSL bookstore, but there’s no date or copyright information in it. Proposed Rites Baptism, Ordination, Burial