Throughout my years in ministry, I have usually read Psalm 23 during a funeral service. In fact, I have almost exclusively used this psalm for funerals, mostly because that is our cultural interpretation of the psalm. And, I might add, I almost always use it in the King James Version (which is not the version below) because that is how most people remember it.
The Lord is my shepherd.
I lack nothing.
2 He lets me rest in grassy meadows;
he leads me to restful waters;
3 he keeps me alive.
He guides me in proper paths
for the sake of his good name.
4 Even when I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no danger because you are with me.
Your rod and your staff—
they protect me.
5 You set a table for me
right in front of my enemies.
You bathe my head in oil;
my cup is so full it spills over!
6 Yes, goodness and faithful love
will pursue me all the days of my life,
and I will live in the Lord’s house
as long as I live.
I have heard another interpretation of this psalm, though, that adds meaning and depth to it. The darkest valley (the valley of the shadow of death, for those who know the King James) is life, and this psalm is a sacramental explanation of how God meets us in life. We are led to restful waters (still waters), which is baptism. A table is set or prepared, which is communion. Our head is bathed or anointed with oil, which is confirmation or chrismation.
Just further proof that there is more than one way to understand some passages of Scripture that are still valid.