Has someone you know recently lost a friend or a loved one? Prayers can help them through their time of grief. The Bible says “Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). This verse is more than a notion. There is power in prayer to help us through death and dying.
When someone we care about loses someone in their life, offering condolences, whether they be in writing or in person is never easy because you’re never quite sure what to say. People are often concerned about saying the wrong thing or coming off like they’re not genuine. Because of this, it’s easy to fall into the trap of saying something so generic that it doesn’t come off genuine.
The goal of expressing sympathy is to offer your compassion and concern for the bereaved. The most important thing you can communicate to a person who is grieving the loss of a friend or a loved one is that you’re there for them and will be there to support them in whatever way they need you to. One of the best ways to support someone who has recently loss someone is by praying for them. Here are six prayers for death and dying that you can offer a person has passed away, and also to someone who has suffered the loss of a loved one:
When We are Weak, You Make Us Strong
When our lives are running smoothly and devoid of trials, we have a tendency to rely upon our own human strength – strength that cannot compare in any way to Christ’s almighty and divine strength. However, when our life is beset with difficulties and storms, our strength fades away and we become weak. Yet, in these times of personal weakness, we can turn to Jesus and rely upon His divine strength and through that strength, face and endure these storms: Dear Lord, at this moment, nothing seems to be able to help the loss I feel. My heart is broken and my spirit mourns. All I know is that Your grace is sufficient. This day, this hour, moment by moment, I choose to lean on You, for when I am at my weakest Your strength is strongest. I pour out my grief to You and praise You that on one glorious day when all suffering is extinguished and love has conquered we shall walk together. Amen.
You are There for Us
God is there for us, especially during our times of grief and mourning. Sadly, grief is a part of the human experience. Loss is part of life, and grief is a natural response to loss. But we have the hope of Christ, and we know that He is strong enough to carry our burdens: Heavenly Father, there is none like You. Every day we want to praise You and worship Your glorious name. Today, we weep at the death of our loved one, but Blessed Father, we can rest assured knowing You are there for us, knowing we can find comfort and peace within You, in the midst of our tears and our grief. Lord, we shout Your praises, because You have turned our mourning into dancing. Amen.
We Thank You for Their Life
The Bible tells us that God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble (Psalm 46). This includes times of loss. This is a time we can use to reflect on the life they lived and thank God for having the opportunity to know them for this particular season of life: Heavenly Father, may Your name be honored. There is none greater than You. You are our refuge and strength. You are always ready to help in times of trouble. We praise You, Lord. We lift our hearts with praise. It is good to sing praises to You; our God; how delightful and how right! Lord, You are great and mighty in power. Your understanding is infinite. We than You, Father, for the Life of our loved one who has gone on to be with You. Thank you for their time on earth and the impact they had on our lives. We are thankful to You and we bless Your name. Amen.
Rescue Them from Their Grief
We know that the Lord is there for us during times of loss, because He promises to be present. We know that when we are feeling loss and discouraged that God hears us and has the ability to rescue us when we feel so low, we don’t know how to lift ourselves up. God has the ability to rescue us during grief: Heavenly Father, you can count the stars and call them all by name. Your power is absolute. Your understanding is beyond comprehension. You support the humble and bring the wicked down into the dust. You comfort those who mourn. We declare that those grieving the death of a loved one; mourning will turn into dancing. We confess that You are their rock, fortress and Savior in whom they will find protection. You are their shield, and the strength of their salvation. Father, You are their stronghold. As they call on You, You have promised to answer. We believe that You will be with them during this period of bereavement, rescue them from grief, honor them, and give them Your salvation. Amen.
We Send Peace for Those Mourning
Peace, by definition, is freedom from disturbance, quiet and tranquility. The Bible reminds us “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). When someone has recently lost a loved one, we can pray for that same peace which passes all understanding to come to them: Dear Lord, we ask You to send Your peace to those persons who are mourning. Continue to surround them with family, friends and loved ones who will offer words of comfort. Give them sweet and restful sleep. Lord, remove the spirit of heaviness, and give them garments of praise. In due time, bless their lives to overflow with laughter and joy again. As they take refuge in You, please help them to put their trust in You. Holy Spirit, we ask that You settle the hearts and minds of those who are feeling any guilt, resentment, bitterness, or anger. Help them not to look back but to press forward. Amen.
Death and dying are parts of life. While some people fear them, others draw inspiration from death.
As nurses, it’s inevitable for us to see some of our patients die and their families deeply grieve for them. Although we can’t bring back their loved ones, there are still ways for us to provide comfort, strength and guidance to the families our patients left behind.
Here are 10 powerful prayers for the departed.
For the recently deceased
In your hands, O Lord,
we humbly entrust our brothers and sisters.
In this life you embraced them with your tender love;
deliver them now from every evil
and bid them eternal rest.
The old order has passed away:
welcome them into paradise,
where there will be no sorrow, no weeping or pain,
but fullness of peace and joy
with your Son and the Holy Spirit
forever and ever.
Prayer for the souls in purgatory
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. Amen.
Prayer for deceased relatives and friends
Almighty Father, source of forgiveness and salvation, grant that our relatives and friends who have passed from this life may, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of all the saints, come to share your Eternal happiness through Christ our Lord. Amen
Prayers for the deceased for forgiveness and peace and for mourners
Lord Jesus, our Redeemer, You willingly gave Yourself up to death so that all people might be saved and pass from death into a new life. Listen to our prayers; look with love on Your people who mourn and pray for their dead brother/sister.
Lord Jesus, You alone are holy and compassionate; forgive our brother/sister his/her sins.
By dying You opened the gates of life for those who believe in You; do not let Your brother/sister be parted from You, but by Your glorious power give him/her light, joy, and peace in heaven where You live for ever and ever. Amen.
My brother (sister) in faith, I entrust you to God Who created you.
May you return to the One Who formed you from the dust of this earth.
May Mary, the angels, and all the saints come to meet you as you go forth from this life.
May Christ Who was crucified for you bring you freedom and peace.
May Christ, the Son of God, Who died for you take you into His kingdom.
May Christ, the Good Shepherd, give you a place within His flock.
May He forgive your sins and keep you among His people.
May you see your Redeemer face to face and enjoy the sight of God forever. Amen.
Prayer for a deceased friend
I commend you, my dear to almighty God, and entrust you to your Creator.
May you rest in the arms of the Lord who formed you from the dust of the earth.
May holy Mary, the angels, and all the saints welcome you now that you have gone forth from this life.
May Christ who was crucified for you, bring you freedom and peace.
May Christ who died for you admit you into his garden of paradise.
May Christ, the true Shepherd, embrace you as one of his flock.
May he forgive all your sins and set you among those he has chosen.
May you see your Redeemer face to face and enjoy the vision of God, forever.
Prayer for unexpected death
Heavenly Father we know and believe that our times are in Your hands, but Lord it’s so often such a shock to us when a dear loved one meets with a sudden or unexpected death – through an accident or perhaps due to some unforeseen tragedy, which takes the life of someone they loved – long before it would be expected.
Lord, we bring before You today those who are having to go through such a tragic loss and pray that You would be very close to each one that is in mourning today over such a loss – and are perhaps confused or even angry that such a devastating occurrence has overtaken them – without any apparent warning.
You are the God of all comfort Who comforts us in time of need and we pray that for those that are facing such a difficult trial today. Uphold them we pray, and ask that You draw very close to them … raise up we pray, the right people to minister to them and to be a genuine comfort and support at this time of tragedy and grief.
Lord, we don’t understand why our loved ones should suddenly be removed from us through a sudden, unexpected death – but Lord we trust You to soothe away the hurt in time – for shall not the God of all the earth do right…. In Jesus name, we pray,
Prayer for deceased parents
O God, Who has commanded us
to honor our father and mother,
have compassion in Thy mercy,
on the souls of my father and mother;
forgive them their sins,
and grant that I may see them
in the joy of eternal brightness.
Through Christ our Lord.
Prayer after violent death
Father, we bring before You those that have had the devastating experience of having someone close to them that they know and love, suffer a sudden, violent and needless death. Lord how we grieve for those that are having to experience this right now, and we pray that in Your grace You would look down with pity and mercy and meet them right at their point of need.
Lord, You are the one Who was sent to heal the broken-hearted and comfort those that mourn and are heavy-laden. You are the One Who promised that Your grace is sufficient for every eventuality – even for those having to face the sudden and violent death of someone close to them. Draw near to them we pray and lift them up into You arms of love and carry them during this time of suffering and grief for You have promised that underneath are Your everlasting arms.
Lord, as we lift up in prayer those that are having to come to terms with the sudden and violent death of a loved one – we pray that You would use this tragedy to be the thing that starts to draw each suffering soul into the tender arms of their Saviour – the Lord Jesus Christ, in Whose name we pray,
Prayer for a deceased brother, relative or friend
You are, O God,
quick to pardon and desire man’s salvation.
In Your goodness we ask You to grant our deceased brothers,
relatives, and friends everlasting happiness.
With the help of Blessed Mary ever Virgin
and all Your saints,
we ask this through Christ, our Lord.
Prayer to say on the day of a person’s death
O God, Whose property is always to have mercy and to spare, we humbly beseech Thee for the soul of Thy servant N…, which Thou hast this day commanded to depart out of this world, that Thou wouldst not deliver it into the hands of the enemy, nor forget it unto the end, but wouldst command it to be received by the Holy Angels, and conducted to Paradise, its true country; that as in Thee it hath hoped and believed, it may not suffer the pains of hell, but may take possession of eternal joys.
Through Christ our Lord.
See Also: 10 Inspiring Songs To Help With Grief
Share these beautiful prayers to friends or family who need them.
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Updated on November 29, 2018
Source Bible Verses for Death of a Loved One
The loss of a loved one is already devastating for anyone. When the loss is unexpected, the pain is beyond words. I know this because three years ago, my 19-year-old daughter passed away after an auto accident. My world came crashing down and I was engulfed in a wrenching pain that can only be known by another parent who has lost a child.
In the future, I hope to write more about my daughter and what God has taught me and is still teaching me, about the comfort He has given me, and the peace that is inexplicable. At this point, I can only write on the surface and without detail, but I want to share some Bible verses that have been and continue to be an encouragement for me in hopes that some other grieving mom may be looking for the same comfort and assurance that I searched for in the months following my daughter’s accident. I hope these help you as well.
Source Bible Verses for the Passing of a Loved One
- Those who have been ransomed by the Lord will return. They will enter Jerusalem singing, crowned with everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be filled with joy and gladness.
- The young women will dance for joy, and the men—old and young—will join in the celebration. I will turn their mourning into joy. I will comfort them and exchange their sorrow for rejoicing.
- Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.
- I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.
- Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began.
- Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? … No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below. Indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
- No eye has seen no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.
1 Corinthians 2:9b
- And God will raise us from the dead by his power, just as he raised our Lord from the dead.
1 Corinthians 6:14
- Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love.
1 Corinthians 16:13
- All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort.
2 Corinthians 1:3
- Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.
2 Corinthians 4:10
- For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands.
2 Corinthians 5:1
- For we will put on heavenly bodies, we will not be spirits without bodies.
2 Corinthians 5:3
- We would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:8b
- Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4: 6-7
- He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.
- And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-14
- So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
1 Peter 1:6-7
- Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.
- Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
- He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.
- And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
- God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
- The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
- Good people pass away; the godly often die before their time. But no one seems to care or wonder why. No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come. For those who follow godly paths
will rest in peace when they die.
- Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
If you have a favorite verse that has helped you in times of trouble, please do share it in the comments!
For Those Who Are Suffering
During the worst days following my daughter’s accident, God surrounded me with people who had gone through what I was going through—both in person and online. In fact, some of the greatest comforts for me during that period came from strangers online who are now friends. If you are struggling now, please feel free to contact me. I don’t even begin to have answers, but I understand the pain and I will walk beside you and share your grief.
If you are the friend of someone who has lost a loved, please read my article on how to comfort a friend.
All quoted scriptures are from the New Living Translation.
Updated on September 21, 2018
Three weeks before the first anniversary of my mother’s death, my heart is still sore. The memory of our interaction as Alzheimer’s patient and caregiver, as well as that of watching her exhale her last breath are still vivid. In recent days, I have aggravated the pain by unmindful actions like the following:
- lowering my voice during a conversation to avoid disturbing her;
- attempting to put matches and knives out of her reach;
- passing by and looking into her room to see how she is doing.
For the hundreds (including me) who experience confusion and emotional discomfort on or around the anniversary of a loved one’s death, the following Bible quotes* are meant to bring comfort, strength, hope and peace; also to conjure up precious memories when grief surfaces afresh.
Copyright by Our Daily Blossom | Source Comfort
- Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning (Psalm 30:5).
- I will comfort you . . . as a mother comforts her child (Isaiah 66:13).
- For the Lord has comforted his people and will have compassion on them in their suffering. (Psalm 49:13).
- Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you (Psalm 55:22).
- I will comfort those who mourn, bringing words of praise to their lips (Isaiah 57:19).
- He will swallow up death forever! The Sovereign Lord will wipe away all tears (Isaiah 25:8).
- Now let your unfailing love comfort me, just as you promised me, your servant (Psalm 119:76).
- God himself will be with them . He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain (Revelation 21:4).
- When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer (Psalm 94:19).
- God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others (2 Corinthians 1:4).
Author: Jignesh | Source Strength
- For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13).
- I cling to you ; your strong right hand holds me securely (Psalm 63:8).
- The Lord is my strength . . . I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving (Psalm 28:7).
- My spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever (Psalm 73:26).
- And He said . . . “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV).
- O Sovereign Lord! You made the heavens and earth by your strong hand and powerful arm. Nothing is too hard for you! (Jeremiah 32:17)
- O Lord, do not stay far away! You are my strength; come quickly to my aid! (Psalm 22:19)
- As soon as I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me strength (Psalm 138: 8).
- Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong (Ephesians 3: 17).
- Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength! (Nehemiah 8:10)
Copyright at Bible Verse Images | Source Hope
- Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—my Savior and my God! (Psalm 42:11)
- Those who have been ransomed by the Lord will return. . . Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be filled with joy and gladness (Psalm 51:11).
- Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them (Psalm 10:17).
- For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died (1 Thessalonians 4: 14).
- I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying (John 11:25).
- But those who die in the Lord will live; their bodies will rise again! (Isaiah 26:19)
- But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the Lord their God (Psalm 146:5).
- Having hope will give you courage. You will be protected and will rest in safety.
You will lie down unafraid (Job 11: 18, 19).
- Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory” 1 Corinthians 15:54).
- No wonder my heart is glad, and my tongue shouts his praises! My body rests in hope (Acts 2:26).
Author: Jignesh | Source Peace
- I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid (John 14:27).
- For those who follow godly paths will rest in peace when they die (Isaiah 57:2).
- You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! (Isaiah 26:3)
- Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. . . Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. (Philippians 4: 6. 7).
- I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him (Romans 15:13).
- We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 1:3 NIV).
- Those who are righteous will be long remembered (Psalm 112:6).
- Blessed are those who die in the Lord . . . for they will rest from their hard work; for their good deeds follow them! (Revelation 14:13)
- Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do (Ephesians 6:8).
- Now stand here quietly before the Lord as I remind you of all the great things the Lord has done for you and your ancestors (1 Samuel 12:7).
*Quotations are from the New Living Translation unless noted otherwise.
How would you celebrate the life of a departed loved one on the anniversary of his or her death?
Questions & Answers
What Bible verse can I use as a memorial on a headstone for my father and my mother one year after their passing away?
My favorite memorial verse is from 1 Thessalonians 1:3 (New International Version): “We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Next in line is “Those who are righteous will be long remembered” (Psalm 112:6 NLT).
May you have many pleasant memories of your parents as you revisit your loss.
What would be a Bible verse I can use for a memorial verse on a headstone about my daughters passing from suicide?
Please accept my sympathy on the loss of your daughter. I pray that you find some peace and comfort to help you through your grief.
Your daughter’s life and death will not be in vain if the verse on her headstone encourages those she leaves behind to hold on tightly to the love of God. One such verse is found in Romans 8: 38. I would quote a part of it:
“Neither death nor life …can separate us from God’ love.”
Is it wrong for a Christian to celebrate the anniversary of the death of a loved one?
On the anniversary of a loved one’s death, it is helpful for those left behind to meet, reminisce if they care to, and encourage each other in the healing process. What would be wrong is for the Christian to think that the dead can participate. Psalm 146: 4 puts the departed one in the grave, without any ability to think. So, my opinion is that, with the knowledge that the celebration is for the living, not for the dead, it is appropriate.
What verse can I use for the death anniversary of my brother?
Thanks for the question. You can use one of the following verses below. Choose the one which best agrees what you think about your brother:
(1) We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 1:3 NIV).
(2) Those who are righteous will be long remembered (Psalm 112:6).
(3) Blessed are those who die in the Lord . . . for they will rest from their hard work; for their good deeds follow them! (Revelation 14:13)
Can we do a remembrance for the dead in Christ?
The “Remembrance Process” website summarizes six reasons for the remembrance, and I agree:
1) To acknowledge the reality of death.
2) To acknowledge the emotions associated with the death.
3) To acknowledge that the relationship with the person who died has shifted from physical presence to memory.
4) To acknowledge changes in personal self-identity.
5) To ponder and search for new meaning in life.
6) To receive the loving support of remaining family and friends.
That said, please note that all the purposes of the remembrance have to do with the living. Yes, the living can but the dead cannot participate or receive any benefit from the remembrance. Psalm 115: 17 and 146:4 denies that they can.
A remembrance for the dead in Christ may have the added objective of reminding the living to follow in his or her steps.
What quote can I use for what a friend we have in Jesus?
I think that you are asking for a quote which mentions Jesus as a friend. Here’s one from John 15: 14-16:
“You are my friends if you do what I command. . . Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. You didn’t choose me. I chose you.”
What message can we give to the family on the death anniversary of their father?
On the anniversary of the father’s death, it helps to share a message of gratitude:
• For the good times he shared with them, contributing to the joy of family togetherness;
• For the discipline he administered which helped them grow up responsibly;
• For the example he gave them of how to appreciate the good and how to deal with the not-so-good;
• For whatever legacies he left behind.
The gratitude list can be as long as desired. It will help the family to focus on the pleasure of sharing his life, rather than the pain of losing him. The Bible verse I recommend (if they are believers) for reflection is 1 Thessalonians 1:3 (NIV): “We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”
May they have many pleasant memories as they revisit their loss.
What Bible verse can I use on my mother’s head stone?
Please accept my sympathy on the loss of your mother. Following are four verses which may be appropriate for her headstone.
(1) Blessed are those who die in the Lord . . . for they will rest from their hard work; for their good deeds follow them! (Revelation 14:13 NLT)
(2) Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones. (Psalm 116:15 NASB)
(3) We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 1:3 NIV).
(4) Those who are righteous will be long remembered (Psalm 112:6 NLT).
Hope this helps.
© 2017 Dora Weithers