Dec 262004


Few people realize that Jehovah’s Witness funerals are done from an outline that is supplied by the Watchtower Society. Here is a copy of that outline:


REMARKS REGARDING THE DECEASED (Use any that apply and are appropriate.)

Details regarding age, birth, when married, and so forth
By whom the deceased is survived
Dedication record, including privileges of service
Exemplary qualities displayed by the deceased (Eccl. 7:1)


Worshiped Jehovah, the God of wisdom, justice, love, power
Had faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12)
Appreciated God’s purpdse regarding earth (Gen. 1:28)
Sure to be realized (Isa. 11:9; 55:10, 11; Rev. 21:4) Why good people die
Disobedience of Adam (-Gen. 3:19; contrast with Genesis 2:7.) Offspring inherited deat6 (Rom. 5:12) Condition of the dead
Soul is mortal (Ezek 18:4, 20)
Dead are unconscious (Ps. 146:4; Eccl. 3:19; 9:5, 10)
The resurredion hope
Made possible by sacrifice of Jesus Christ (Matt. 20:28)
Christ’s resurrection a guarantee (1 Cor. 15:22, 23)
God uses Jesus to raise the dead (John 5:28, 29)
For the anointed, resurrection is to heavenly life (1 Cor. 15:51-54; Rev. 20:4, 6)
“Other sheep” resurrected to life in earthly Paradise (Luke 23:43; John 10:16)
Armageddon survivors can hope to see the deceased one again soon
Others too are in line for resurrection (Ads 24:15)


Can comfort the bereaved; loss is mutual
Take to heart uncertainty of life (Ps. 90:12; Eccl. 7:2)
Makes us think about how we are using our life


While living, make good name with Jehovah God (Eccl. 7:1)
Lay up treasures in heaven (Matt. 6:19-21)
One way is to take zealous part in witness work, if qualified (Matt. 24:14; 28:19, 20)
In this way and by godly conduct, we contribute to sanctification of Jehovah’s name
(Prov. 27:11)
Resurrection hope an incentive to learn and do divine will(l Cor. 15:58)

(Note: Instead of eulogizing the deceased, use the material in this outline to give a fine witness concerning the truth. Good balance should be observed in this regard. Doctrinal points can be presented as beliefs of the deceased, which served as motivation for him. Purpose of talk is to uphold Jehovah God as a God of love and mercy and at the same time bring comfort to the bereaved. Use of a song such as No. 102 (53) or 187 (93) is optional. A brief prayer at the close is fitting When arrangement is made to go to the grave, it is well to consider quite briefly the hope through the Kingdom, reading one or two scriptures, such as Job 14:14, 15 and 1 Corinthians 15:5413-57. This service may also be closed with prayer, thanking Jehovah for the resurrection hope, which is of great comfort. The talk need not exceed 30 minutes.)

Printed in U.S.A.
S-3 11/90


  4 Responses to “Funeral Discourse Outline”

  1. Wow. Thanks for this.

    My family was torn apart when my ex-wife went back to her JW beliefs. She destroyed our family and took my son away from me.

    A couple months ago her dad died and I was invited to the funeral. The speaker followed this formula EXACTLY. The sad part for me is that my father-in-law wasn’t even a JW. He rejected that faith and then suffered the consequences when his entire family shunned him. At his funeral, though, they made it sound like he was a devout JW all his life. It literally made me sick in my stomach.

    Thanks for making this site. Your material is very interesting.

  2. Hi, im doing some investigatory work in to Jehovah’s Witnesses for a UK media company, Please could you state the above source.
    Also i’m doing some research on Jehovah’s Witnesses proclaimers of god’s kingdom publication and have a few questions to any ex or acting Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    Your site as been most helpful.
    P. Stalvies

  3. Hi Patricia,

    The text of the funeral outline is from the paper copy of the outline(Form S-3) that was supplied to elders by the Watchtower Society. I served as a JW elder from 1985 to 1995 and did three funerals during that time. I am not sure if the S-3 form has been updated since 1990 or not. I know it was still used when I left the JWs in the mid 1990’s.

    I’d be happy to answer any questions I can.


  4. My father’s funeral followed the above outline. He and my mother, who survived him were practising witnesses but no attention was paid to the fact that none of his family, who were at the funeral were and, apart from me, ever had been Jehovah’s Witnesses. There was no mention of his life before he became a witness, when that family had been an important part of his life and only on my insistence were they allowed to conduct the coffin from the Kingdom Hall. When my mother died I took charge (as was my right as their only child). The funeral was held at the crematorium, not the Kingdom Hall, and although I invited them to say a few words as part of a secular service, they declined and all those my mother had called her brothers and sisters for over fifty years, completely boycotted the funeral service. We made a very sad little gathering of close family and two very brave sisters who decided to follow their own conscience.