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Coming soon: How to lead funerals, memorial services, and celebrations of life.

Nobody looks forward to leading funerals.

But when a friend or family member asks for your help, it’s hard to say “no”.

You can do it. Your words and actions will help family and friends give meaning to this life. And this book will help you find those words, even if you’ve never done this before. 

Giving a Life Meaning gives you confidence in planning and leading a service by explaining the elements, emotions, and options of funerals, memorial services, and celebrations of life. 

Written with the feel of guidance from a trusted mentor, there are answers to questions we all have about services:

“What do I say first? Do we have an open mic for stories? How do we write eulogies? How do you build a message? How do I deal with my own tears? What do we do at the graveside? What if this is for a baby?”

There are samples and lists throughout the book and full message samples at the end.  More resources can be downloaded at 


Rev. Jon Swanson (PhD, University of Texas) helps people find words and perspective in really hard moments. As a hospital chaplain, he has been with families as loved ones die and struggled to discern the words to say next. As a communication scholar, writer, and mentor, he has helped other people find those words, too. And as an associate pastor, he’s been involved with many funerals.


This is the current draft of the back cover. The ebook is available for preorder. The paperback will be available for preorder soon. And publication day is February 28, 2020.

Filed under: Chaplaincy, Practical-funeral, resources

About the Author

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Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.

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