Skip to main content

In this video, Dr. Wolfelt discusses the purpose of readings in a funeral setting. Group readings contribute to the service in meaningful ways:

Speak to “Word People”

A good funeral ceremony incorporates many different elements to reach a wide variety of people and to offer a unique way of honoring the life of an individual. Music, symbols, actions, and readings each offer a special touch to the service. Some people respond strongly to the written word, and these mourners benefit greatly from a public reading.

Help Us Search for Meaning in Loss

Often, the words read at a funeral bring mourners into a state of contemplation because the words relate very specifically to the life of a loved one and to the meaning that he or she brought into people’s lives. In addition, familiar readings can bring continuity to families. Similar readings may be passed down from funeral to funeral within a family, and this familiarity can bring a level of comfort.

Activate Support

The readings chosen for a funeral service often stress the necessity of support. When groups read together at a service, we are reminded that we are not alone, and that we can fall back on a network of caring people. It is essential that those who are beginning the grieving process are provided with a sense of love and security from the people around them.


Dr. Alan D. Wolfelt is an author, educator, and grief counselor with over 30 years of experience working with bereaved families. He has written many best-selling books on grief and loss, including Healing Your Grieving Heart and The Journey Through Grief. Dr. Wolfelt serves as the Director of the Center for Loss and Life Transition. Visit him online at

Skip to content