Funeral prayers for family

A selection of funeral prayers that are often used at funerals. This is not a definitive list but it may help you select a prayer (if required) to remember your loved one by.

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The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father who art in heaven;
Hallowed be Thy Name;
Thy kingdom come;
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven;
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;
And lead us not into temptation;
But deliver us from evil;
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.

Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of grace
The Lord is with thee
Blessed art thou among women
and blessed
is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus
Holy Mary, mother of God
Pray for us sinners
Now and at the hour of our death

23rd Psalm Funeral Prayer

The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures;
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul;
He 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 Thou art with me;
Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies;
Thou anointest 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 of the Lord forever.

Almighty God, in your great love

Almighty God, in your great love

you crafted us by your hand

and breathed life into us by your Spirit.

Although we became a rebellious people,

you did not abandon us to our sin.

In your tender mercy

you sent your Son

to restore in us your image.

In obedience to your will

he gave up his life for us,

bearing in his body our sins on the cross.

By your mighty power

you raised him from the grave

and exalted him to the throne of glory.

Rejoicing in his victory

and trusting in your promise

to make alive all who turn to Christ,

we commend N to your mercy

and we join with all your faithful people

and the whole company of heaven

in the one unending song of praise:

glory and wisdom and honour

be to our God for ever and ever.


Catholic Funeral Prayer

God our Father,

Your power brings us to birth,

Your providence guides our lives,

and by Your command we return to dust.

Lord, those who die still live in Your presence,

their lives change but do not end.

I pray in hope for my family,

relatives and friends,

and for all the dead known to You alone.

In company with Christ,

Who died and now lives,

may they rejoice in Your kingdom,

where all our tears are wiped away.

Unite us together again in one family,

to sing Your praise forever and ever.


Catholic Prayer for a Woman

We beseech Thee, O Lord,

in Thy mercy,

to have pity on the soul of Thy handmaid;

do Thou, Who hast freed her

from the perils of this mortal life,

restore to her the portion of everlasting salvation.

Through Christ our Lord,


Catholic Prayer for the Dead

God our Father,

Your power brings us to birth,

Your providence guides our lives,

and by Your command we return to dust.

Lord, those who die still live in Your presence,

their lives change but do not end.

I pray in hope for my family,

relatives and friends,

and for all the dead known to You alone.

In company with Christ,

Who died and now lives,

may they rejoice in Your kingdom,

where all our tears are wiped away.

Unite us together again in one family,

to sing Your praise forever and ever.


Catholic Prayer for the Deceased

Eternal rest, grant unto them, O Lord,

and let perpetual light shine upon them.

May the souls of the faithful departed

through the mercy of God rest in peace.


Christ be with me

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

Christian Funeral Prayer

Soul of Christ, sanctify me.

Body of Christ, save me.

Blood of Christ, refresh me.

Water from the side of Christ, wash me.

Passion of Christ, strengthen me.

O good Jesus, hear me.

Within your wounds hide me.

Let me never be separated from you.

From the power of darkness defend me.

In the hour of my death, call me

and bid me come to you,

that with your saints I may praise you

for ever and ever.


Day by Day

Lord Jesus Christ, we thank you

for all the benefits you have won for us,

for all the pains and insults you have borne for us.

Most merciful redeemer,

friend and brother,

may we know you more clearly,

love you more dearly,

and follow you more nearly,

day by day.


Eternal God and Father

Eternal God and Father,

we praise you that you have made people

to share life together

and to reflect your glory in the world.

We thank you now for ,

for all that we saw of your goodness and love in his/her life

and for all that he/she means to each one of us.

As we too journey towards death

may we do so in the company of Jesus,

who came to share our life

that we might share the life of eternity.

To him be glory with you and the Holy Spirit

for ever and ever.


Father in heaven

Father in heaven, we praise your name

for all who have finished this life loving and trusting you,

for the example of their lives,

the life and grace you gave them,

and the peace in which they rest.

We praise you today for your servant

and for all that you did through him/her.

Meet us in our sadness

and fill our hearts with praise and thanksgiving,

for the sake of our risen Lord, Jesus Christ.


Funeral Prayer for a Child

God of all mystery, whose ways are beyond understanding,

lead us, who grieve at this untimely death,

to a new and deeper faith in your love,

which brought your only Son Jesus

through death into resurrection life.

We make our prayer in Jesus’ name.


Funeral prayer for the family

O God, you do not willingly grieve or afflict your children.

Look with pity on the suffering of this family in their loss.

Sustain them in their anguish;

and into the darkness of their grief

bring the light of your love;

through Jesus we pray.


Funeral Service Prayer

Heavenly Father,

you have not made us for darkness and death,

but for life with you for ever.

Without you we have nothing to hope for;

with you we have nothing to fear.

Speak to us now your words of eternal life.

Lift us from anxiety and guilt

to the light and peace of your presence,

and set the glory of your love before us;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Funeral Prayer

Almighty God,

you love everything you have made

and judge us with infinite mercy and justice.

We rejoice in your promises of pardon, joy and peace

to all those who love you.

In your mercy turn the darkness of death into the dawn of new life,

and the sorrow of parting into the joy of heaven;

through our Saviour Jesus Christ,

who died, rose again, and lives for evermore.


God be in my head

God be in my head,

and in my understanding;

God be in my eyes,

and in my looking;

God be in my mouth,

and in my speaking;

God be in my heart,

and in my thinking;

God be at my end,

and at my departing.


God our refuge and strength

God our refuge and strength,

close at hand in our distress;

meet us in our sorrow and lift our eyes

to the peace and light of your constant care.

Help us so to hear your word of grace

that our fear will be dispelled by your love,

our loneliness eased by your presence

and our hope renewed by your promises

in Jesus Christ our Lord.


Living God, you have lit the day with the sun’s light

Living God, you have lit the day with the sun’s light

and the midnight with shining stars.

Lighten our hearts with the bright beams

of the Sun of Righteousness

risen with healing in his wings,

Jesus Christ our Lord.

And so preserve us in the doing of your will,

that at the last we may shine

as the stars for ever;

through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.


Lord God, creator of all

Lord God, creator of all,

you have made us creatures of this earth

but have also promised us a share in life eternal:

receive our thanks and praise

that, through the passion and death of Christ,

your child , our brother/sister,

whom we commend into your hands today,

shares with your saints in the joy of heaven,

where there is neither sorrow nor pain

but life everlasting. Alleluia.


Lord, in weakness or in strength

Lord, in weakness or in strength
we bear your image.
We pray for those we love
who now live in a land of shadows,
where the light of memory is dimmed,
where the familiar lies unknown,
where the beloved become as strangers.
Hold them in your everlasting arms,
and grant to those who care
a strength to serve,
a patience to persevere,
a love to last
and a peace that passes human understanding.
Hold us in your everlasting arms,
today and for all eternity;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Lord Jesus, our redeemer

Lord Jesus, our redeemer,
you willingly gave yourself up to death,
so that all might be saved and pass from death to life.
By dying you unlocked the gates of life
for all those who believe in you.
So we commend into your arms of mercy,
believing that, with sins forgiven,
he/she will share a place of happiness, light and peace
in the kingdom of your glory for ever.

Prayer for funerals

God our Father,
we thank you that you have made each of us
in your own image,
and given us gifts and talents with which to serve you.
We thank you for ,
the years we shared with him/her,
the good we saw in him/her,
the love we received from him/her.
Now give us strength and courage
to leave him/her in your care,
confident in your promise of eternal life
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Prayers for Mourners

Father of all mercies and God of all consolation,
you pursue us with untiring love
and dispel the shadow of death
with the bright dawn of life.
Give courage to this family in their loss and sorrow.
Be their refuge and strength, O Lord,
reassure them of your continuing love
and lift them from the depths of grief
into the peace and light of your presence.
Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
by dying has destroyed our death,
and by rising, restored our life.
Your Holy Spirit, our comforter,
speaks for us in groans too deep for words.
Come alongside your people,
remind them of your eternal presence
and give them your comfort and strength.

Psalm of Comfort

As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God.
My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: ‘When shall I come and appear before God?’
My tears have been my food day and night, while they say unto me all the day: ‘Where is Thy God?’
These things I remember, and pour out my soul within me,
how I passed on with the throng, and led them to the house of God,
with the voice of joy and praise, a multitude keeping holyday.
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why moanest thou within me?
Hope thou in God; for I shall yet praise Him for the salvation of His countenance.

Sudden Death Prayer

God of hope,
we come to you in shock and grief and confusion of heart.
Help us to find peace in the knowledge
of your loving mercy to all your children,
and give us light to guide us out of our darkness
into the assurance of your love,
in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Thanksgiving for the Life of the Deceased

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us all with the gift of this earthly life
and has given to our brother/sister
his/her span of years and gifts of character.
God our Father, we thank you now for all his/her life,
for every memory of love and joy,
for every good deed done by him/her
and every sorrow shared with us.
We thank you for his/her life and for his/her death,
we thank you for the rest in Christ he/she now enjoys,
we thank you for giving him/her to us,
we thank you for the glory we shall share together.
Hear our prayers through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Lord is here

The Lord is here,
his Spirit is with us.
We need not fear,
his Spirit is with us.
We are surrounded by love,
his Spirit is with us.
We are immersed in peace,
his Spirit is with us.
We rejoice in hope,
his Spirit is with us.
We travel in faith,
his Spirit is with us.

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funeral prayers for family

Tragically on Sunday July 31, 2016, an entire family entered heaven together.  Jamison and Kathryne Pals and their three young children Ezra (3 years old), Violet (23 months), and Calvin (2 months) were preparing to travel to Japan this October as missionaries. But in an interstate construction zone in western Nebraska a semi truck rear-ended the family’s car killing the family at the scene that Sunday. The semi truck driver survived and has been charged with five counts of felony motor vehicle homicide. People Magazine also reported on the accident.

Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis celebrated the unwavering faith of Jamison and Kathryne Pals on August 6, 2016. John Piper, delivered the pastoral prayer as shared by

O Lord, God of might and mercy and mystery, you have driven the arrows of your quiver into the breast of your people, your beloved. You have filled our throat with bitterness and gall. You have made our teeth grind on gravel, and laid us down with wounds in the ashes of dreams.

You have taken away our sleep, and replaced our gladness with groaning. You have covered us with the shadows of those we love, and we have reached out in vain to touch their bodies.

Happiness has left through the window where the rain pours in, peace has put her hand on the latch, and endurance wavers at the threshold of our soul.

A voice is heard, like Rachel’s — lamentation and bitter weeping. Where is the comfort for her children, because they are no more. You have spared us — us who have lived out our days through no merit of our own, who would happily have finished our course and taken their place, but you have not spared the children, or the valiant, young lovers and your most loyal servants.

O Lord, our eyes are on you. We do not look to another for hope. To you alone. To you we cry. Remember our affliction, remember the bitter wormwood and the gall! You have not made us drink this cup in vain.

This we call to mind, and therefore we have hope: Your steadfast love, O LORD, never ceases; your mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. You alone, O Lord, are our portion, therefore we will hope in you.

You are good to those who wait for you, to the soul who seeks you. You are good today. You were good last Sunday. We are waiting, we are looking for the salvation of the Lord. We are not running from the yoke of this dark providence, or throwing off the burden of your good sovereignty. But we are waiting, and looking, for the yoke to be made easy and the burden light.

You do not hide yourself forever. Though you cause grief, you will have compassion, according to the abundance of your steadfast love; for you do not afflict from your heart, or grieve the children of men.

We know your heart, O God. For there is nothing in the world more bright, more blazing, more terrible, more beautiful, more bloody, more hopeful, than the revelation of your heart in the death and triumph of your Son, Jesus.

For these parents — grandparents, great-grandparents — who sit with pieces of thread in their hands from a fabric of life woven from the womb, and then consumed. Father, we ask that you would sustain in their hearts an unshakeable confidence that the countless hours of investment in Jamison and Kathryne and the children were not in vain. Because your promise in 1 Corinthians 15:58 that their labors were not in vain is built with a mighty “therefore” on the massive foundation of the greatest chapter in the Bible about the blood-bought resurrection of Christ and his people from the dead.

And we pray for these brothers and sisters of Jamison and Kathryne that in spite of the sudden and horrific severing of priceless sibling ties they will feel the unbreakable bond that binds them still through the brotherhood of Jesus, who said, “Who are my brothers and sisters? Here are my brothers and sisters! Whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.” Lord, cause this family to know and feel: This circle is not broken.

And finally, we pray for Japan, that the great idols of gold and silver and material success would fall before the blood of this family — that these five, even these three little ones, who have now grown to the fullness of their glory and the perfection of beauty, not through the trials of three score and ten, but in the twinkling of an eye — that these all — all five — might be found among the champions of the victory of the gospel in Japan.

In the name of Jesus and for his glory, Amen

To listen to or read John Piper’s prayer for the Pals family in its entirety please visit

Jamison and Kathryne Pals kept a blog called For the Joy of Japan, which you can visit at Even in just reading a few posts you can see their heart for the Lord and their heart for mission work. Jamison wrote this in one post,

“The thing that makes Christian missions unique is Jesus Christ.  The work of Christian missions is making him known in places and among people where he is not yet known; worshipped where he isn’t yet worshipped; obeyed where he isn’t yet obeyed; loved where he isn’t yet loved.  In other words, missions is the work of “mak disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.  And, behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”


“God himself is the One who reaches the unreached, making the logic of passages like Romans 10:13-15a striking, “‘For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed?  And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?  And how are they to hear without someone preaching?  And how are they to preach unless they are sent?”

In his wisdom, the Lord has chosen to carry out the work of reaching the unreached and discipling the nations, through those who go to preach and those who send them to do so.  The logic is inescapable.  The Lord has commissioned the work, promised to complete the work himself and then said he will do it as the gospel is proclaimed from by weak and frail people like us, who are sent by people like you.  That is how God has said he will reach the unreached.”

Jamison and Kathryne Pals dedicated their lives to working for the gospel, to give God glory through everything. Their lives are an encouragement to fellow believers that whatever we do in life should be for God’s glory. Let us continue to pray for the Pals family—for the friends, family members, and church family that mourn and miss them. Pray also for Japan, for the people who are living there without the gospel, and pray for missionaries who have been called to deliver the good news. May more and more people delight in delivering that news whether it be next door or across the ocean.

Related article:
How to Pray with a Global Perspective

Publication date: August 8, 2016

Photo courtesy:

Liz Kanoy is an editor for

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