Many pray for the hope of their family and relatives, but what about praying for the dead? Those that have died, now live in the kingdom of Christ. Here is a look at some good prayers for the recently deceased that may help encourage you to find the right words you are searching for.
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.
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.
Lord Jesus Christ,
by your own three days in the tomb,
you hallowed the graves of all who believe in you
and so made the grave a sign of hope
that promises resurrection
even as it claims our mortal bodies.
Grant that our brother/sister, N., may sleep here in peace
until you awaken him/her to glory,
for you are the resurrection and the life.
Then he/she will see you face to face
and in your light will see light
and know the splendor of God,
for you live and reign forever and ever.
by whose mercy the faithful departed find rest,
send your holy Angel to watch over this grave.
Through Christ our Lord.
Eternal rest grant unto them , O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them .
May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
O God, Who hast commanded us to honor our father and mother, look in the tenderness of Thy mercy upon the souls of my father and mother and forgive them their sins, and grant unto me the joy of seeing them again in the glorious light of everlasting life. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
O God, who hast commanded us to honor our father and our mother; in Thy mercy have pity on the souls of my father and mother and forgive them their trespasses; and make me see them again in the joy of everlasting brightness. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
O God, who by Thine unspeakable providence was please to number Thy servant Pope (Name here) among the Sovereign Pontiffs, grant, we beseech Thee, that he who reigned as the vicar of Thy Son on earth, may be joined in fellowship with Thy holy Pontiffs forevermore. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that the soul of Thy servant Bishop (Name here), which Thou hast taken from the toilsome conflict of this world, may have fellowship among Thy saints. Through Christ our Lord. Amen
O Lord, we pray Thee that the soul of Thy priest, Thy servant (Name here), which, while he abode in this world, Thou didst adorn with sacred gifts, may ever rejoice in a glorious place in heaven. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Death is nothing at all. I have only slipped away into the next room.
I am I, and you are you. Whatever we were to each other that we still are.
Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no difference in your tone, wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was,
let it be spoken without effect, without the trace of shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was; there is unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner.
All is well.
O Loving Father and Savior, send your angels to carry the soul of your servant from this earth to the heavenly place of eternal and everlasting life. Let family and friends who have passed before in faith be reunited in joy with the departed. Forgive any wrongs that have been committed and welcome this beloved spirit into the warm embrace of your unending peace. Amen.
Grant us, Lord Jesus, always to follow the example of Your holy family, that at the hour of our death Your glorious Virgin Mother with blessed Joseph may come to meet us, and so we may deserve to be received by You into Your everlasting dwelling-place.
Jesus, Mary, Joseph, I offer you my heart and my soul. Jesus, Mary, Joseph, may I breathe forth my soul with you in peace.
From sudden and unlooked for death, O Lord, deliver us
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We bring our memories to God.
Lord God, as we come to you in prayer, our minds are full of many memories of loved ones and people of whom we know, who have died.
We remember old people who lived long and rich lives.
We remember babies who died before they were born, at birth, or soon after.
We remember people whose deaths came too soon or perhaps too suddenly.
We remember those who died peacefully and those who died in terrible circumstances — and those who sacrificed themselves in war and peace, for the good of others.
The circumstances of death are as varied as life itself.
Every birth is unique and so is every death.
We offer all our memories to you, Lord.
There are happy memories of those who are gone, though we are sad as well.
We thank you for those good memories, Lord.
Sometimes, however, we feel ashamed, because of things that happened or didn’t happen.
We are sorry.
We thank you, Lord, that you forgive us, heal us and help us to begin anew.
We pray for ourselves and each other.
Dear Lord, bear the pain of those broken by grief, comfort where there is sadness, grant rest to those who lie awake in the small hours of the night, be close to those who are lonely, and heal where there is hurt.
Grant wisdom, and teach us to care well for those who face legal and financial problems because of a death.
Lord Jesus, you conquered death. Help us to understand and come to terms with our own mortality, so that we need not be afraid of it.
May your Spirit give us confidence that when our own deaths are near you will support us and care for us.
We pray for our nation and for the world.
Every year unhappy deaths and unhappy memories burden our community, our nation and the world-wide human family.
We know that grief knows no human boundary, no limit of race or belief.
We pray for those who suffer because of accident, disease, disaster and trouble, in their own lives and the lives of those they love.
We pray for those who face the ordeal of having their personal grief at the centre of legal proceedings, political debate and media attention.
Merciful God, comfort all those who grieve, whatever the circumstance.
As we seek justice and safety, teach us so to conduct our personal lives and our national life that we do not cause injury and death to others.
Loving God, as we remember those who have died, we know that you are with us in our remembering, with us in our struggle to come to terms with the past, and with us in our struggle to find faith for today and for the future.
Be close to us now, we pray.
Help us to remember well, and to remember peacefully.
What is the value of one prayer? I suspect it is far greater than any of us imagine. Prayer changes things, sometimes in obvious ways, but more often in subtle and even paradoxical ways. But prayer is surely important, even when we don’t experience its immediate effects. Perhaps this is why Jesus taught us to pray always and never to lose heart (cf. Luke 18:1). St. Paul echoed this with the simple exhortation, “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thess 5:17). St. James also warned, “You have not because you ask not” (James 4:2).
Praying for the living is a great and wondrous spiritual work of mercy; its value is beyond that of gold or pearls. What is the value of one prayer? The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man is powerful in in its effects (James 5:16). Prayer can avert war, bring healing, cause conversion, bestow peace and serenity, and call down mercy—sweet, necessary, and beautiful mercy. Prayer is a treasure of inestimable value.
Perhaps one of the greatest joys of Heaven will be seeing how much of a difference our prayers made, even the distracted and perfunctory ones. Maybe our simple utterance at the end of a decade of the rosary to “Save us from the fires of Hell” and to “Lead all souls to Heaven” will reach the heart of one lost soul, prompting him to answer the gentle call of God to return. Imagine that in Heaven that very sinner comes up to you and says, “Though we never met, your prayer reached me and God applied His power to me.” Imagine the joy of many such meetings in Heaven. Imagine, too, whom you will joyfully thank for their prayers, people you know and some you never met. But they prayed and the power of their prayers reached you.
While the value of praying for the living is not widely disputed, praying for the dead is a spiritual work of mercy that has suffered in recent decades. Too many Catholics today “miss a step” when a loved one dies. There are often immediate declarations that the deceased is “in Heaven” or “in a better place.” But Scripture doesn’t say that we go right to Heaven when we die. No, indeed. First, there is a brief stopover at the judgment seat of Christ.
The Letter to the Hebrews says, It is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment (Heb 9:27). St. Paul writes, For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad (2 Cor 5:10).
Our deceased loved ones go to the judgment seat of Christ, and that is worth praying about!
What is the judgment for those who lived faithful lives? In such cases, the judgment is not merely about the ultimate destination of Heaven or Hell. The judgment would seem to be “Is My work in you complete?”
Indeed, the Lord has made all of us a promise: You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect (Mat 5:48). Such a beautiful promise! Yet most of us know that we are not in such a state now. If we were to die today it is clear that much work would still be required. Thus when we send our faithful loved ones to judgment, although we send them with hope, we are aware that finishing work may be necessary. Purgation and purification are necessary before entering Heaven, of which scripture says, Nothing impure will ever enter it (Rev 21:27).
Again, this is worth praying about. It is a great work of mercy we can extend to our deceased loved ones, to remember them with love and to pray, in the words of St. Paul, May God who has begun a good work in you bring it to completion (Phil 1:6). Pray often for the souls in Purgatory. Surely there are joys there for them, knowing that they are on their way to Heaven, but there are also sufferings that purgation must cause. St. Paul says of Purgatory, Each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire (1 Cor 3:13-15). Yes, there is fire, but thank God it is a healing fire. There are tears, too, for Scripture says (regarding the dead) that Jesus will wipe every tear from their eyes (Rev 21:4).
How consoling and merciful our prayers must seem to our beloved who have died! Our prayers must seem like a gentle wind that speeds them along, onward and upward toward Heaven!
Praying for the dead, then, is the last and greatest spiritual work of mercy. By the grace of it, and through its help, souls attain the glory God has prepared for them from the foundation of the world.