Beloved: the grace of God has appeared, saving all
and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires
and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age,
as we await the blessed hope,
the appearance of the glory of our great God
and savior Jesus Christ,
who gave himself for us to deliver us from all lawlessness
and to cleanse for himself a people as his own,
eager to do what is good.
This is advice for Paul’s protégé Titus. But good advice for anyone, really.
The Christmas connection is somewhat obvious, but what about for a funeral? The blessed hope for which we wait is not just Jesus coming at Christmas, but also the hope of eternal life. This reading reminds us that Jesus came to save us all. And nobody within our mortal sphere of knowledge, is without hope.
If the deceased was indeed temperate, just and devout, then all the better. But if not, or if there was some question, a good reminder is to be found in those last few lines. Jesus came to cleanse us. Jesus claims us for his own. And he receives the departed with all grace.
Good for them. Good for the Lord. And a good reminder for mourners.