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"We did have an old Book of Remembrance for our club but it relied on good handwriting as the pages could not be removed.

We then had a ring binder, which looked cheap and the punched holes tore. This is much better as it not only elegant but practical."

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Book of Remembrance for clubs, societies, institutes and companies

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Poems for Funerals

There are hundred of poems for funerals and Books of Remembrance and here we give a selection of our favourites.

The most comprehensive book we have found, which also gives practical advice for funerals and memorial services as well as many suggestions for music , readings, prayers and other poetry, both Christian and non-denominational, is ‘Funerals: A Guide by James Bentley, Andrew Best and Jackie Hunt, Hodder & Stoughton, 1994 & 1995. Paperback. This book is currently out of print but may well be found via second hand bookshops and on the internet.


Death is nothing at all

Death is nothing at all,
I have only slipped into the next room
I am I and you are you
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by my old familiar name,
Speak to me in the easy way which you always used
Put no difference in your tone,
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was,
Let it be spoken without effect, without the trace of shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It it the same as it ever was, there is unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near,
Just around the corner.
All is well.

Henry Scott Holland
1847-1918
Canon of St Paul's Cathedral

 

 

If I should die and leave you here awhile,
Be not like others, sore undone, who keep
Long vigils by the silent dust, and weep.
For my sake turn again to life and smile,
Nerving thy heart and trembling hands to do
Something to comfort weaker hearts than thine.
Complete those dear unfinished tasks of mine
And I perchance may therein comfort you.

Attrib. A Price Hughes

 

 

I fall asleep in the full and certain hope
That my slumber shall not be broken;
And that though I be all-forgetting,
Yet shall I not be forgotten,
But continue that life in the thoughts and deeds
Of those I loved.

Samuel Butler
1835-1902

 

 

Farewell

Farewell to Thee! But not farewell
To all my fondest thoughts of Thee;
Within my heart they still shall dwell
And they shall cheer and comfort me.

Life seems more sweet that Thou didst live
And men more true Thou wert one;
Nothing is lost that Thou didst give,
Nothing destroyed that Thou hast done.

Anne Bronte
1820-1849

 

 

Indian Prayer

When I am dead
Cry for me a little
Think of me sometimes
But not too much.
Think of me now and again
As I was in life
At some moments it's pleasant to recall
But not for long.
Leave me in peace
And I shall leave you in peace
And while you live
Let your thoughts be with the living.

Traditional

 

 

Remember

Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land:
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you planned:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.

Christina Rossetti
1830-1894

 

 

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there, I do not sleep
I am a 1,000 winds that blow
I am the diamond glints on snow
I am the sun on ripened grain
I am the gentle autumn rain
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled light
I am the soft star that shines at night
Do not stand at my grave and cry
I am not there; I did not die.

Anon, 20th century

 

 

Not, how did he die, but how did he live?
Not, what did he gain, but what did he give?
These are the units to measure the worth
Of a man as a man, regardless of birth.
Not what was his church, nor what was his creed?
But had he befriended those really in need?
Was he ever ready, with word of good cheer,
To bring back a smile, to banish a tear?
Not what did the sketch in the newspaper say,
But how many were sorry when he passed away?

Anon

 

 

Miss Me, But Let Me Go

When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me,
I want no rites in a gloom filled room
Why cry for a soul set free!
Miss me a little, but not for long,
And not with your head bowed low.
Remember the love we once shared,
Miss me, but let me go!
For this a journey we all must take,
And each must go alone;
It's all a part of the master's plan
A step on the road to home.
When you are lonely and sick of heart
Go to the friends we know,
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds,
Miss me, but let me go.

Robyn Rancman

 

 

Footprints

One night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene , he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand: one belonging to him, and the other to the Lord.

When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of his life, that there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in his life.

This really bothered him, and he questioned the Lord about it. " Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, you'd walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times of my life, there is only one set of footprints. I don't understand why, when I needed you most you would leave me".

The Lord replied " My Son, My precious child. I Love You, and would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you".

Anon

 

 

When Tomorrow Starts Without Me

When tomorrow starts without me, and I am not here to see,
If the sun should rise and find your eyes all filled with tears for me,
I know how much you love me as much as I love you,
And each time you think of me I know you'll miss me too.
But when tomorrow starts without me please try to understand,
That Jesus came and called my name and took me by the hand.
He said my place is ready in heaven far above,
And that I have to leave behind all those I dearly love.
But as I turned to walk away a tear fell from my eye,
For all my life I'd always thought it wasn't my time to die.
I had so much to live for and so much yet to do,
It seems almost impossible that I was leaving you.
I thought of all the yesterdays the good ones and the bad,
I thought of all the love we shared and all the fun we had.
If I could have stayed for just a little while,
I'd say goodbye and kiss you and maybe see you smile.
But then I fully realise that this could never be,
For emptiness and memories would take the place of me.
And when I thought of worldly things that I'd miss come tomorrow,
I thought of you and when I did my heart was filled with sorrow.
But when I walked through Heaven's gate and felt so much at home,
As God looked down and smiled at me from his great golden throne.
He said "This is eternity, And all I've promised you,
Today your life on earth is past, but here it starts anew."
"I promise no tomorrow but today will always last,
And since each day's the same here there's no longing for the past."
So when tomorrow starts without me don't think we're far apart,
For every time you think of me I'm right here in your heart.

Anon

 

 

His Journey's Just Begun

Don't think of him as gone away
his journey's just begun,
life holds so many facets
this earth is only one.

Just think of him as resting
from the sorrows and the tears
in a place of warmth and comfort
where there are no days and years.

Think how he must be wishing
that we could know today
how nothing but our sadness
can really pass away.

And think of him as living
in the hearts of those he touched...
for nothing loved is ever lost
and he was loved so much.

E. Brenneman

 

 

'Say not in grief 'he is no more' but live in thankfulness that he was'

Hebrew proverb

 

'What the caterpillar perceives is the end, to the butterfly is just the beginning'

Anon

 

‘The song is ended but the memory lingers on’.

Lyrics by Irving Berlin

 

 

Life Goes On

If I should go before the rest of you
Break not a flower
Nor inscribe a stone
Nor when I am gone
Speak in a Sunday voice
But be the usual selves
That I have known

Weep if you must
Parting is hell
But life goes on
So .... sing as well

Joyce Grenfell
1910-1979

 

 

When I am dead
Cry for me a little
Think of me sometimes
But not too much.
Think of me now and again
As I was in life
At some moments it's pleasant to recall
But not for long.
Leave me in peace
And I shall leave you in peace
And while you live
Let your thoughts be with the living.

Anon

 

 

If I should go tomorrow
It would never be goodbye,
For I have left my heart with you,
So don't you ever cry.
The love that's deep within me,
Shall reach you from the stars,
You'll feel it from the heavens,
And it will heal the scars.

Anon

 

 

But Not Forgotten

I think no matter where you stray,
That I shall go with you a way.
Though you may wander sweeter lands,
You will not forget my hands,
Nor yet the way I held my head
Nor the tremulous things I said.
You will still see me, small and white
And smiling, in the secret night,
And feel my arms about you when
The day comes fluttering back again.
I think, no matter where you be,
You'll hold me in your memory
And keep my image there without me,
By telling later loves about me.

Dorothy Parker

 


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