Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Christian Funeral Liturgy for Deborah J. Marsh Becker with Deacon Jim Marsh ARCWP Presiding


Deborah J. Marsh Becker 1956 – 2015

Bridget Mary Meehan, Bishop ARCWP, Mary Theresa Streck, Priest ARCWP
James T. Marsh, Deacon ARCWP


We know that Jesus is always present when we gather in prayer.

I welcome you; indeed let us welcome each other in the presence of the Christos, the Risen One, and recognize the graced presence of each other.  May we experience God’s consolation and peace as we “pray our goodbyes.” 

May our prayer today be a profound thank you, “Deo gratias”

[THANKS Be to GOD!] for the life of Debbie Becker.

Opening Prayer
Deb: daughter, sister, mother, grandma, friend has gone to her rest in the peace of Christ.  With faith and hope, let us assist her with our prayers.  In silence, let us be united with her.
God of Abraham and Sarah,

Moses and Miriam,

Miriam and Joseph, the parents of Jesus,

God of all creation, of the living and the dead,

Hear our prayer this day as we remember Deb.


Gracious God,

We pray for Agnes, who mourns her daughter’s death and knows the sorrow of all parents who have buried a child;


Holy and Mysterious One,

We pray for her children: Jimmy and Mindy, and Duane; her grandchildren: Tyler, Derek, Giovanni and Kieran;


We pray for her brothers Tim and Bob;

her nephews Jared, Evan and Jonathan, her niece Jessica and grandnephews Tristan and Jude and all who have been friend and neighbor.


Embrace us all in your love; grant us consolation and peace.

We make this prayer in the name of Jesus, our brother, who accompanies us all on our life’s journey.  R: AMEN

 Song: I am the one within you by Karen Drucker

First Reading 


St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans (Romans 8:15-17, 35, 38)


The Spirit that God has given you does not enslave you and


trap you in fear; instead, through the Spirit, God has


adopted you as children, and by that Spirit we cry out,



God’s Spirit joins with our spirit to declare that we are


God’s children.  And if we are children, we are heirs as


well: heirs of God and coheirs with Christ.


What will separate us from the love of Christ?
















For I am certain that neither death nor life, neither angels


nor demons, neither the present nor the future, neither


heights nor depths – nor anything else in all creation – will


be able to separate us from the love of God that comes to us

in Christ Jesus. 
          The Word of God.  R. Thanks be to God!

Gospel Reading
A Reading from the Gospel according to John (11: 17-45)

When Jesus arrived in Bethany, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.  Since Bethany was only about two miles from Jerusalem, many people had come out to console Martha and Mary about their brother.  When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him, while Mary stayed at home with the mourners.

When she got to Jesus, Martha said, “If you had been here, my brother would never have died!  Yet even now, I am sure that God will give you whatever you ask.”

“Your brother will rise again!”  Jesus assured her.  Martha replied, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”
Jesus told her, “I am the Resurrection and I am Life: those who believe in me will live, even if they die; and those who are alive and believe in me will never die.  Do you believe this?”

“Yes!” Martha replied.  “I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, God’s Only Begotten, the One who is coming into the world.”

When she had said this, Martha went back and called her sister Mary.  “The Teacher is here, asking for you,” she whispered.

As soon as Mary heard this, she got up and went to him.  Jesus hadn’t gotten to the village yet.  He was at the place where Martha had met him.  Those who were there consoling her saw her get up quickly, and they followed Mary, thinking she was going to the tomb to mourn.  When Mary got to Jesus, she fell at his feet and said, “If you had been here, Lazarus never would have died.”

When Jesus saw her weeping, and the other mourners as well, he was troubled in spirit, moved by the deepest emotions.

“Where have you laid him?” Jesus asked.

“Come and see,” they said.  And Jesus wept.
The people in the crowd began to remark, “See how much he loved him!”  Other said, “He made the blind person see; why couldn’t he have done something to prevent Lazarus’ death?”

Again, Jesus was deeply moved.  They approached the tomb, which was a cave with a stone in front of it.  “Take away the stone,” Jesus directed.
Martha said, “Rabbi, it has been four days now.  By this time there will be a stench.”

Jesus replied, “Didn’t I assure you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?”  So they took the stone away.

Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said, “ABBA, thank you for having heard me.  I know that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd, that they might believe that you sent me!”

Then Jesus called out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”

And Lazarus came out of the tomb, still bound hand and foot with linen strips, his face wrapped in a cloth. 

Jesus told the crowd, “Untie him, and let him go free.”
 The Good News of Jesus, the Christ!

Reflection / Remembrance
My friends, we believe that all the ties of affection, family and friendship which we experience in our lives DO NOT unravel with death. And so I ask you, what will you remember about Debbie (in one or two words)? [allow time for community to respond]

Remembrance by

Reflective Thoughts (Homily) by JTM

Our Father

When his friends asked how to pray, Jesus responded:

O Cosmic Birther of all radiance and vibration!

Soften the ground of our being and carve out a space within us where your

          presence can abide.
Fill us with your creativity so that we may be empowered to bear the fruit of

          your mission.
Let each of our actions bear fruit in accordance with your desire.
Endow us with the wisdom to produce and share what each being needs to

          grow and flourish.

          Untie the tangled threads of destiny that bind us,

as we release others from the entanglement of past mistakes.
Do not let us be seduced by that which would divert us from our true purpose,

but illuminate the opportunities of the present moment.

For you are the ground and fruitful vision,

the birth, power and fulfillment,
as all is gathered and made whole once again.

-Based on the original Aramaic by Neil Douglas Klotz

And so let us stand, hold hands and pray the Jesus prayer as we have been taught ………………..

Closing Prayer

We rejoice because the name of Deborah Jean Becker has been written for all ages in the palm of your divine hand.

May our funeral gathering today remind us of what we know in faith and what we await with hope ----- that nothing dies, but rather that life is only transformed into new life.
We know that Deb is now reunited with her father, Robert,

her grandparents Etola and Harry, and George and Mary Grace,  her uncles Jim and Tom, her aunts, Eileen, Josephine and Grace, cousins David, Donald, Joe, Keith and all those friends including her canine and feline companions who predeceased her. 

We give you thanks for the blessings you bestowed on her in this life and we thank you for the gift she was to each of us.

Song of Farewell   The Hand of God Shall Hold You –Marty Haugen

The hand of God shall hold you,

The peace of God enfold you,

The love that dreamed and formed you still surrounds you here today;

The light of God beside you, above, beneath, inside you,

The light that shines to guide you home to the loving hand of God.

                                      [in the presence of our God.]

                                    [to the loving arms of God.]     

Although we will leave this place in sorrow, we are confident and full of faith that we shall see Debbie again in the peace and joy of the Divine presence for all eternity.
Until that day Deb, may perpetual light shine upon you. 


May your soul and the souls of all our beloved departed, rest in peace.        R. AMEN


Go forth in peace and without fear,
For God who created you has always protected you,

and loves you as a mother.
Blessed be you, my God, for having created her.

                        -Saint Clare of Assisi [adapted]

Blessing and Dismissal

May God’s love,

the peace of Jesus, the Christ,

and the consolation of  Sophia Spirit gently wipe every tear from our eyes;

and continue to bless us, and all we love

in the name of God, the Creator;

Jesus the Teacher;

and the Holy Spirit who inspires our every breath.  R. AMEN
Go in the peace of the Cosmic Christ.  R. THANKS BE TO GOD.

Song: The Hand of God Shall Hold You by Marty Haugen


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