Funeral and Memorial Service Readings, Poems and Tributes

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About the Book

Words can fail even the most articulate when called upon to speak at a loved one’s funeral or memorial occasion. The bereaved desires to say something meaningful, yet services are often held so quickly that there is little time to find something appropriate at the library or bookstore. This book is a collection of poetry and prose appropriate for reading at a funeral or memorial service. To assist the reader in finding a suitable passage, the book is divided into eleven chapters. There are tributes for mothers; fathers; children; spouses and soulmates; friends; siblings and other close relatives; soldiers and victims of war or violence; pets; and general readings appropriate for men, women, or any loved one. These selections will also prove helpful for clergy, counselors, and hospice, hospital, and funeral professionals. Appendices list resources and support organizations, and each selection is indexed by author, title, and first line. A special additional index references pieces by famous uses, such as in a film, novel, or celebrity’s funeral, so readers can locate a passage they remember from its context.

About the Author(s)

Rachel R. Baum was a librarian for 30 years, most recently as the assistant dean of the College of Computing and Information at the University at Albany. She was president of the New York Library Association in 2007. She lives in Malta, New York.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Rachel R. Baum

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 183
Bibliographic Info: appendices, indexes
Copyright Date: 2008 [1999]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3729-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      ix
Preface      1

1. Earth is Your Mother      5
2. He Played the Game      15
3. Fairwell, Fair Flower      21
4. This is My Hearth      39
5. Our Heart’s Friend      59
6. Those Who Walk With Me      71
7. Home is the Sailor      77
8. The Spirit of Lovable Life      85
9. Because He Lived      97
10. Woman Much Missed      107
11. I Cannot Forget You      116

Appendix A: Selected Resources      145
Appendix B: Selected Support Organizations      151
Credits      157
Film, Novel, and Famous Person Index      163
Title and First Line Index      165
Author Index      171

Book Reviews & Awards

  • Best Nonfiction/Handbook—Today’s Librarian
  • “a collection of poetry and prose appropriate for reading at a funeral or memorial service. Recommended”—Public Library Quarterly
  • “Baum’s effort simplifies the task of finding appropriate poems and readings during an unusually stressful time and should be welcomed in any library”—Colorado Libraries
  • “gathers poetry and some prose from a wide variety of sources…. [The competition’s] material is not presented with the same ease and convenience as in this volume…unique…very readable…nonsectarian and can be used in a variety of circumstances…a helpful addition”—Reference & User Services Quarterly
  • “the readings are well-chosen and well-presented. I enjoyed browsing this book and found many new poems, or extracts from poems, to treasure”—Reference Reviews
  • “[a] handy and often illuminating anthology”—Bereavement Care
  • “a good resource for anyone seeking guidance and help”—Faith and Thought
  • “a tremendous resource…offers incredibly helpful supporting materials…. Libraries should plan to purchase reference and circulating copies of this manual”—Today’s Librarian.