Readings for memorial services

Families who are planning Unitarian Universalist (UU) memorial services often want suggestions for readings. Yes, there are many websites with tons of readings for memorial services. But many of those websites are going to have material that is too religious for us Unitarian Universalists. And some of the readings you’ll find online don’t exactly fit with UU values.

Of course, there’s the printed book with a collection of memorial service readings published by the Unitarian Universalist Association, Beyond Absence compiled by Edmund Searl. I used to lend that book to families planning memorial services, supplemented that with a small printed collection of readings that I had put together. But these days, almost all the meetings I have to plan memorial servicesare online. You can’t lend out printed material over a Zoom meeting.

So I finally put together my own online collection of readings for a memorial service. Public domain material appears in full in my online collection, using the most accurate texts I could find. I also include fair use material (excerpt under 500 words and less than half of a poem). For other copyrighted material, I provide links to an accurate text, with a very brief excerpt to give an idea what the reading is like. I’ve made an effort to include both older classics, and links to contemporary authors. I’ve provided readings by authors of different races and ethnicities, and different religious backgrounds ranging from “Nones” to UUs to Buddhists to lots more.

Click here to see my online collection “Readings for memorial services.”