Articles & Testimonies

A Celebration of Life

by | Sep 9, 2018

A talk by Tom Taffel at the 2018 Emergence Conference

Below is a “Celebration of Life Service” you can use and share with others. It’s uplifting, joyous, healing and ‘ready to go.’ In time of need, you will not need to start from scratch and reinvent the wheel.

I will also present a “Musical Celebration of Life Service” based on the most uplifting, joyous, (melodic) and healing hymns found in the Christian Science Hymnal.

Our discussion about “Life and Death” issues, is designed to increase your awareness – rouse and inspire in a meaningful and memorable way – ideas that have lasting utility….concepts that you will cherish and never forget.

We will discuss proper etiquette for the bereaved. Did you know there are well-intentioned words which sound helpful at the outset, but are definitely not helpful or healing and should be avoided, in spite of their common usage? Join us as we joyously replace those selfish tears of sadness with what Mrs. Eddy referred to as “scalding” tears. (Do you know what “scalding” tears really are?)

Nothing is off the table. We will uncover the specific healing antidote for grief, and talk about the most taboo of all subjects: “Reincarnation” – from a new perspective.

Life after death and deathless life, will be explored in depth, and your expanded awareness will be drawn to two of the most important yet misapprehended words in our Christian Science lexicon: “Eternity” and “Infinity.”

We will find victory as we dig deep into new ideas that heal the belief of death.

Finding the Comforter which heals grief, guilt, despair, fear, pain, remorse, anger, injustice, recrimination, regrets, self-pity, emptiness, darkness, loneliness, and sadness – is our sole purpose. We need to heal the fear of death so we can get on with our life-long journey….all the while, lifting “the shade of gloom….midst the glories of one endless day.”

We come from churches of different denominations and although the outward form of our prayers may differ, we all have the same God and all share a common prayer, “The Lord’s Prayer.” Here is The Lord’s Prayer with its spiritual interpretation by Mary Baker Eddy:

Our Father which art in heaven,
Our Father-Mother God, all-harmonious,

Hallowed be thy name.
Adorable One.

Thy kingdom come.
They kingdom is come; Thou art ever-present.

Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Enable us to know, – as in heaven, so on earth, – God is omnipotent, supreme.

Give us this day our daily bread;
Give us grace for today; feed the famished affections;

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And Love is reflected in love;

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil;
And God leadeth us not into temptation, but delivereth us from sin, disease, and death.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.
For God is infinite, all-power, all Life, Truth, Love, over all, and All.

Isaiah 40:1 Comfort ye, my people, saith your God.

John 14: 18, 27 I will not leave you comfortless: Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you:

2 Corinthians 1:2-4 Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation.

Romans 8:38-39 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

John 5:19, 24-25 Then answered Jesus and said unto them…..Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

Psalms 139:7-10, 17-18 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the utter most parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.

Revelation 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

From “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy:

vii:1-2 To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings.

45:16 Glory be to God, and peace to the struggling hearts! Christ hath rolled away the stone from the door of human hope and faith, and through the revelation and demonstration of life in God, hath elevated them to possible at-one-ment with the spiritual idea of man and his divine Principle, Love.

66:30-31 Sorrow has its reward. It never leaves us where it found us.

468: 25-3 Question. — What is Life? Answer. — Life is divine Principle, Mind, Soul, Spirit. Life is without beginning and without end. Eternity, not time, expresses the thought of Life, and time is no part of eternity. One ceases in proportion as the other is recognized. Time is finite; eternity is forever infinite. Life is neither in nor of matter. What is termed matter is unknown to Spirit, which includes in itself all substance and is Life eternal.

468: 9-10 There is no life, truth, intelligence nor substance in matter.

475:6-9 Man is not matter; he is not made up of brain, blood, bones, and other material elements. The Scriptures inform us that man is made in the image and likeness of God.

468:14 Therefore man is not material; he is spiritual.

410:14 Every trial of our faith in God makes us stronger. The more difficult seems the material condition to be overcome by Spirit, the stronger should be our faith and the purer our love.

My. 131 Where love is we can meet, and where love is we can never part.

Leaning on the sustaining Infinite with loving trust, the trials of to-day are brief, and to-morrow is big with blessings. (Mary Baker Glover, Science and Health, 1875).


[Divine Love] is my shepherd; I shall not want.
[Love] maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
[Love] leadeth me beside the still waters.
[Love] restoreth my soul [spiritual sense];
[Love] leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: for [Love] is with me; [Love’s] rod and [Love’s] staff they comfort me.
[Love] prepareth a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
[Love] anointeth my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house [the consciousness] of [Love] forever.


Out of reach? Why, yes, it seems
I cannot hear your voice,
Or turn and grasp your hand,
Or glancing up rejoice
To see your form before me stand;
But out of reach of prayer,
Or Love’s enfolding care?
No never!

Out of touch? Yes, in a way;
I cannot call and ask
For news of you each day,
Or help you with your task.
You’re out of touch to mortal sense;
But Love’s ideas, through Mind,
Within our reach we find,

Martha H. Scherf ~ Christian Science Sentinel June 27, 1964, Volume 66, page 1109

“Meditation of Canon”

Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away to the next room.
I am I, and you are you;
Whatever we were to each other
That, we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name,
Speak to me in the easy way we always used.
Put no difference into 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 effort.
Without a trace of a shadow in it.

Life means all that it ever meant,
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolutely unbroken continuity.

What is death but a negligible accident?
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?

I am but waiting for you,
For an interval,
Somewhere, very near,
Just around the corner.
All is well.

Rev. Henry Scott Holland (an Anglican priest 1847-1918)

King’s Chapel in Boston

May the Lord bless you and keep you, and may he keep all those whom you love whether here or in some other place. May you be God’s companion, and He be your friend, as you walk together through all the days of your life. At the journey’s end may you find the welcome of God’s love. It keeps us all. Amen.

Blessings to all,
Tom Taffel