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40 Bible Quotes for the Death Anniversary of a Loved One

MsDora, Certified Christian Counselor, helps grieving persons by sharing practical suggestions and by her personal expressions of grief.

Three weeks before the first anniversary of my mother’s death, my heart is still sore. The memory of our interaction as Alzheimer's patient and caregiver, as well as that of watching her exhale her last breath are still vivid. In recent days, I have aggravated the pain by unmindful actions like the following:

  • lowering my voice during a conversation to avoid disturbing her;
  • attempting to put matches and knives out of her reach;
  • passing by and looking into her room to see how she is doing.

For the hundreds (including me) who experience confusion and emotional discomfort on or around the anniversary of a loved one’s death, the following Bible quotes* are meant to bring comfort, strength, hope and peace; also to conjure up precious memories when grief surfaces afresh.

Joy comes in the morning.

Joy comes in the morning.

Comfort

  1. Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning (Psalm 30:5).
  2. I will comfort you . . . as a mother comforts her child (Isaiah 66:13).
  3. For the Lord has comforted his people and will have compassion on them in their suffering. (Psalm 49:13).
  4. Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you (Psalm 55:22).
  5. I will comfort those who mourn, bringing words of praise to their lips (Isaiah 57:19).
  6. He will swallow up death forever! The Sovereign Lord will wipe away all tears (Isaiah 25:8).
  7. Now let your unfailing love comfort me, just as you promised me, your servant (Psalm 119:76).
  8. God himself will be with them [His people]. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain (Revelation 21:4).
  9. When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer (Psalm 94:19).
  10. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others (2 Corinthians 1:4).
Christ strengthens me.

Christ strengthens me.

Strength

  1. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13).
  2. I cling to you [God]; your strong right hand holds me securely (Psalm 63:8).
  3. The Lord is my strength . . . I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving (Psalm 28:7).
  4. My spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever (Psalm 73:26).
  5. And He [the Lord] said . . . “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV).
  6. O Sovereign Lord! You made the heavens and earth by your strong hand and powerful arm. Nothing is too hard for you! (Jeremiah 32:17)
  7. O Lord, do not stay far away! You are my strength; come quickly to my aid! (Psalm 22:19)
  8. As soon as I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me strength (Psalm 138: 8).
  9. Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong (Ephesians 3: 17).
  10. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength! (Nehemiah 8:10)
Put your hope in God.

Put your hope in God.

Hope

  1. Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—my Savior and my God! (Psalm 42:11)
  2. Those who have been ransomed by the Lord will return. . . Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be filled with joy and gladness (Psalm 51:11).
  3. Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them (Psalm 10:17).
  4. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died (1 Thessalonians 4: 14).
  5. I [Jesus] am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying (John 11:25).
  6. But those who die in the Lord will live; their bodies will rise again! (Isaiah 26:19)
  7. But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the Lord their God (Psalm 146:5).
  8. Having hope will give you courage. You will be protected and will rest in safety.
    You will lie down unafraid (Job 11: 18, 19).
  9. Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory" 1 Corinthians 15:54).
  10. No wonder my heart is glad, and my tongue shouts his praises! My body rests in hope (Acts 2:26).
Do not be afraid.

Do not be afraid.

Peace

  1. I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid (John 14:27).
  2. For those who follow godly paths will rest in peace when they die (Isaiah 57:2).
  3. You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! (Isaiah 26:3)
  4. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. . . Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. (Philippians 4: 6. 7).
  5. I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him (Romans 15:13).

Memories

  1. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 1:3 NIV).
  2. Those who are righteous will be long remembered (Psalm 112:6).
  3. Blessed are those who die in the Lord . . . for they will rest from their hard work; for their good deeds follow them! (Revelation 14:13)
  4. Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do (Ephesians 6:8).
  5. Now stand here quietly before the Lord as I remind you of all the great things the Lord has done for you and your ancestors (1 Samuel 12:7).


*Quotations are from the New Living Translation unless noted otherwise.

Questions & Answers

Question: What Bible verse can I use as a memorial on a headstone for my father and my mother one year after their passing away?

Answer: My favorite memorial verse is from 1 Thessalonians 1:3 (New International Version): "We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ."

Next in line is "Those who are righteous will be long remembered" (Psalm 112:6 NLT).

May you have many pleasant memories of your parents as you revisit your loss.

Question: Is it wrong for a Christian to celebrate the anniversary of the death of a loved one?

Answer: On the anniversary of a loved one's death, it is helpful for those left behind to meet, reminisce if they care to, and encourage each other in the healing process. What would be wrong is for the Christian to think that the dead can participate. Psalm 146: 4 puts the departed one in the grave, without any ability to think. So, my opinion is that, with the knowledge that the celebration is for the living, not for the dead, it is appropriate.

Question: What would be a Bible verse I can use for a memorial verse on a headstone about my daughters passing from suicide?

Answer: Please accept my sympathy on the loss of your daughter. I pray that you find some peace and comfort to help you through your grief.

Your daughter's life and death will not be in vain if the verse on her headstone encourages those she leaves behind to hold on tightly to the love of God. One such verse is found in Romans 8: 38. I would quote a part of it:

"Neither death nor life ...can separate us from God' love."

Question: What verse can I use for the death anniversary of my brother?

Answer: Thanks for the question. You can use one of the following verses below. Choose the one which best agrees what you think about your brother:

(1) We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 1:3 NIV).

(2) Those who are righteous will be long remembered (Psalm 112:6).

(3) Blessed are those who die in the Lord . . . for they will rest from their hard work; for their good deeds follow them! (Revelation 14:13)

Question: Can we do a remembrance for the dead in Christ?

Answer: The "Remembrance Process" website summarizes six reasons for the remembrance, and I agree:

1) To acknowledge the reality of death.

2) To acknowledge the emotions associated with the death.

3) To acknowledge that the relationship with the person who died has shifted from physical presence to memory.

4) To acknowledge changes in personal self-identity.

5) To ponder and search for new meaning in life.

6) To receive the loving support of remaining family and friends.

That said, please note that all the purposes of the remembrance have to do with the living. Yes, the living can but the dead cannot participate or receive any benefit from the remembrance. Psalm 115: 17 and 146:4 denies that they can.

A remembrance for the dead in Christ may have the added objective of reminding the living to follow in his or her steps.

Question: What message can we give to the family on the death anniversary of their father?

Answer: On the anniversary of the father’s death, it helps to share a message of gratitude:

• For the good times he shared with them, contributing to the joy of family togetherness;

• For the discipline he administered which helped them grow up responsibly;

• For the example he gave them of how to appreciate the good and how to deal with the not-so-good;

• For whatever legacies he left behind.

The gratitude list can be as long as desired. It will help the family to focus on the pleasure of sharing his life, rather than the pain of losing him. The Bible verse I recommend (if they are believers) for reflection is 1 Thessalonians 1:3 (NIV): "We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ."

May they have many pleasant memories as they revisit their loss.

Question: What quote can I use for what a friend we have in Jesus?

Answer: I think that you are asking for a quote which mentions Jesus as a friend. Here's one from John 15: 14-16:

"You are my friends if you do what I command. . . Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. You didn’t choose me. I chose you."

Question: What Bible verse can I use on my mother's head stone?

Answer: Please accept my sympathy on the loss of your mother. Following are four verses which may be appropriate for her headstone.

(1) Blessed are those who die in the Lord . . . for they will rest from their hard work; for their good deeds follow them! (Revelation 14:13 NLT)

(2) Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones. (Psalm 116:15 NASB)

(3) We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 1:3 NIV).

(4) Those who are righteous will be long remembered (Psalm 112:6 NLT).

Hope this helps.

Question: What Bible verse is good for the death anniversary of my son?

Answer: What do you think your heart needs most? Comfort, strength, hope or peace? You can revisit the quotes and choose one from the section you prefer. Or if your focus is on remembering him, I recommend that you choose from the following two:

(1) We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 1:3 NIV).

(2) Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do (Ephesians 6:8).

The death of a child is among the greatest force of stress, but God can comfort the most stressful soul. I pray that you experience His peace.

Question: What activities should a Christian perform for the second year of passing away of a wife?

Answer: I am totally unfamiliar with such activities, but I Googled "activities to celebrate death anniversaries" and one article by Funeral Guide came up. It has twelve (12) ideas. I hope that you will find one you can use. May the memory of your loved one kindle comfort and peace in your heart.

Question: What Bible verse can I use in a church memorial ad for my parents?

Answer: Any one of the following three verses seems appropriate:

(1) We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 1:3 NIV).

(2) Those who are righteous will be long remembered (Psalm 112:6).

(3) Blessed are those who die in the Lord . . . for they will rest from their hard work; for their good deeds follow them! (Revelation 14:13)

Question: What would be a Bible verse I can use for a memorial verse on a headstone for my grandfather who is just a namesake Christian?

Answer: I'm interpreting your question to mean that your grandfather said that he was a Christian but he did not live according to Christian principles. No matter how he lived, the following verse is true.

Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do." (Ephesians 6:8).

He did some good, some of which you don't even know about. Neither do you know the extent of the good he did. Leave his judgment up to the God who knows. Carry on with joy for the good you still can do, and pray for grace to live according to the godly principles that you know.

© 2017 Dora Weithers

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