As death approaches, the Church stays close to the one who is dying, to give comfort and support. The family should ask that holy Communion be brought to the dying. This is Viaticum, food for the journey. Members of the local Church may wish to join the family in a vigil of prayer. After the person’s death, the family is encouraged to continue in prayer, to take part in the preparation of the vigil (wake) and funeral liturgies, and to participate in the preparation of the body for burial.
In all of these moments, many of the traditional prayers of the Church may be chosen.
Table of contents
Viaticum is the sacrament of the dying. In Viaticum the dying person is united with Christ in his passage out of this world to the Father. When the minister has brought holy Communion, the rite may begin with the renewal of the dying person’s profession of faith.
Profession of Faith
V. Do you reject sin, so as to live in the freedom of God’s children?
R. I do.
V. Do you reject the glamor of evil and refuse to be mastered by sin?
R. I do.
V. Do you reject Satan, father of sin and prince of darkness?
R. I do.
V. Do you believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth?
R. I do.
V. Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father?
R. I do.
V. Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?
R. I do.
V. This is our faith. This is the faith of the Church. We are proud to profess it in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Viaticum is then celebrated in the same manner as Communion of the Sick, but, after giving Communion, the minister says:
May the Lord Jesus Christ protect you
and lead you to eternal life.
The concluding prayer follows:
God of peace,
you offer eternal healing to those who believe in you;
you have refreshed your servant N.
with food and drink from heaven:
lead him (her) safely into the kingdom of light.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
COMMENDATION OF THE DYING 2
Through the prayers designated for the commendation of the dying, the Church helps to sustain their union with Christ to the Father until it is brought to fulfillment after death.
Christians have the responsibility of expressing their union in Christ by joining the dying person in prayer for God’s mercy and for confidence in Christ. In particular, the presence of a priest or deacon shows more clearly that the Christian dies in the communion of the Church. He should assist the dying person, and all those present in the recitation of the prayers of commendation; and after the person’s death, he should lead the others in the Prayers after Death. If the priest or deacon is unable to be present because of other serious pastoral obligations, other members of the community should be prepared to assist with these prayers and should have the texts readily available to them.
The minister may choose texts from among the prayers, litanies, aspirations, psalms, and readings. In the selection of these texts, the minister should keep in mind the condition and piety of both the dying person and the members of the family who are present. The prayers are best said in a slow, quiet manner, alternating with periods of silence. If possible, the minister says one or more of the brief formulas with the dying person. These may be softly repeated two or three times.
These texts are intended to help the dying person, if still conscious, to face the natural human anxiety about death by imitating Christ in his patient suffering and dying. The Christian will be helped to surmount his or her fear, in the hope of heavenly life and resurrection through the power of Christ, who destroyed the power of death by his own dying.
Even if the dying person is not conscious, those who are present will draw consolation from these prayers and come to a better understanding of the paschal character of Christian death. The leader may be visibly expressed this by making the Sign of the Cross on the forehead of the dying person, who was first signed with the cross at Baptism. Immediately after death has occurred, all may kneel, while one of those present leads the prayers.
One or more of the following short texts may be recited with the dying person. If necessary, they may be softly repeated two or three times:
Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Romans 8:35
Whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. Romans 14:8
We have an everlasting home in heaven. 2 Corinthians 5:1
We shall be with the Lord for ever. 1 Thessalonians 4:17
We shall see God as he really is. 1 John 3:2
We have passed from death to life because we love each other. 1 John 3:14
To you, Lord, I lift up my soul. Psalm 25:1
The Lord is my light and my salvation. Psalm 27:1
I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Psalm 27:13
My soul thirsts for the living God. Psalm 42:2
Though I walk in the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. Psalm 23:4
“In my Father’s home there are many dwelling places,” says the Lord Jesus. John 14:2
“Come, blessed of my Father,” says the Lord Jesus, “and take possession of the kingdom prepared for you.” Matthew 25:33
The Lord Jesus says, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43
The Lord Jesus says, “I go to prepare a place for you, and I will come again to take you to myself.” John 14:2-3
“I desire that where I am, they also may be with me,” says the Lord Jesus. John 17:24
“Everyone who believes in the Son has eternal life” says the Lord Jesus. John 6:40
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit. Psalm 31:5
Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. Acts 7:59
Holy Mary, pray for me.
Saint Joseph, pray for me.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, assist me in my last agony.
The word of God is proclaimed by one of those present or by the minister. Selections may be made from the following.
Isaiah 35:3-4, 6c-7, 10.1 Job 19:23-27a
1 John 4:16Psalm 114
Litany of the Saints
When the condition of the dying person calls for the use of brief forms of prayer, those who are present are encouraged to pray the Litany of the Saints — or at least some of its invocations — for him or her. Special mention may be made of the patron saints of the dying person, of the family, and of the parish. The litany may be said or sung in the usual way. Other customary prayers, also, may be used.
Lord have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Holy Mary, Mother of God. Holy angels of God, . . .
Abraham, our father in faith, . . .
David, leader of God’s people, . . .
All holy patriarchs and prophets, . . .
Saint John the Baptist, . . .
Saint Joseph, . . .
Saint Peter and Saint Paul, . . .
Saint Andrew, . . .
Saint John, . . .
Saint Mary Magdalene, . . .
Saint Stephen, . . .
Saint Ignatius, . . .
Saint Lawrence, . . .
Saint Perpetua and Saint Felicity, . . .
Saint Agnes, . . .
Saint Gregory, . . .
Saint Augustine, . . .
Saint Athanasius, . . .
Saint Basil, . . .
Saint Martin, . . .
Saint Benedict, . . .
Saint Francis and Saint Dominic, . . .
Saint Francis Xavier, . . .
Saint John Vianney, . . .
Saint Catherine, . . .
Saint Teresa, . . .
(Other saints may be included here.)
All holy men and women, . . .
Pray for him (her).
Lord, be merciful,
From all evil, . . .
From every sin, . . .
From Satan’s power, . . .
At the moment of death, . . .
From everlasting death, . . .
On the day of judgment, . . .
By your coming as man, . . .
By your suffering and cross, . . .
By your death and rising to new life, . . .
By your return in glory to the Father, . . .
By your gift of the Holy Spirit, . . .
By your coming again in glory, . . .
|Lord, save your people.|
Be merciful to us sinners;
Bring N. to eternal life,
Raise N. on the last day,
Let N. share in your glory,
Jesus, Son of the living God, . . .
Christ, hear us.
Lord Jesus, hear our prayer.
Lord, hear our prayer.
Lord, hear our prayer.
Christ, hear us.
Prayer of Comendation
When the moment of death seems near, the following prayer may be said:
I commend you, my dear brother (sister),
to almighty God
and entrust you to your Creator.
May you return to him
who formed you from the dust of the earth.
May holy 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, who died for you,
admit you into his garden of paradise.
May Christ, the true Shepherd,
acknowledge 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 for ever.
The Holy Rosary or the Hail Holy Queen may be prayed.
Requesting His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Pray for the Deceased
Following Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s advice, International Office is very happy to offer support to Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s students at the most crucial, dangerous time of death, by giving the names of students who die to His Holiness the Dalai Lama with the request for his prayers.
If you would like to request prayers for one of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s students who has died within the last 49 days, simply click on the ‘Continue’ button at the bottom of this page. We will then forward the name to His Holiness, together with a khata and a donation. (Thanks to Tushita Meditation Centre for this service.)
If you would like to request prayers for someone who is not a direct student of Lama Zopa Rinpoche but is a family member of Rinpoche’s student, then kindly accompany your request with a donation for His Holiness the Dalai Lama. (While everyone is welcome to make offerings, International Office will make the donation on behalf of those who are Rinpoche’s direct students.)
In order to create merit for the person who has died it is very good for the person who is requesting prayers to make an offering to the lama, so you will find an offering opportunity on the prayer request form in order to accompany your request with a donation for His Holiness the Dalai Lama. A small administrative fee will be deducted from the donation amount to cover the costs of money transfers.
Names of the deceased will also be sent to Lama Zopa Rinpoche, and to the monks of Nalanda Monastery, Kopan Monastery, Thubten Shedrup Ling Monastery and the nuns of Chenrezig Nuns’ Community for their prayers, as well as to Land of Medicine Buddha who dedicate a Medicine Buddha puja to each person who has passed away. Additionally, Sangha at Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s house will make specific prayers and stupa tsa tsas (filled immediately with the four powerful mantras), dedicated to the dead person. Every year International Office makes a donation to these Sangha communities from the annual donations given to Prayers for the Dead.
If you would like to make a donation to Lama Zopa Rinpoche, please contribute to the Stupa Fund (as all money offered when someone dies goes into this account to be used to buy the materials for making all the tsa tsas).
We will add the name and cause of death to the FPMT Prayers for the Dead e-group, so that you and others have the opportunity to make prayers for all the recently deceased, and so that you can see that your request has been acted upon. Click here to receive the FPMT Prayers for the Dead e-group mailings.
If you would like a compilation of prayers and practices recommended by Lama Zopa Rinpoche to benefit the dead it can be downloaded from fpmt.org/death/ or by writing to FPMT Education Services.
For the extensive advice from Lama Zopa Rinpoche, as well as all the practices to do for the dying and dead, the booklet Advice and Practices for Death and Dying can be ordered from The Foundation Store.
This service is offered only for those who have died in the last 49 days.
To keep it manageable, the service is unavailable for beloved animals and pets which have died.
However, daily dedications are made for all sentient beings who have passed away.
It is clearly said in the Quran that the basic purpose of life is to worship Allah. There are different ways to worship Allah, but Salah is the most important.
Prayer is the connection between ALLAH (SWT) and his servant. Muslims perform five daily prayers as it is an obligation. They are in a direct contact with ALLAH without the need of any intermediary at Muslim prayer times.
5 Time Prayers Will Make You More Blessed by the Allah Almighty Right Now:
Salah is an Arabic word, its basic meaning is praying or worship. Every Muslim has an obligation to perform five times prayers in a day.
Through Salah, one can communicate directly with Allah Almighty. Additionally, it restrains the person from the bad habits and evil deeds.
The Holy Prophet (S.A.W) also emphasizes the importance of prayers for the Muslims. In His Hadith, He mentions that the key to heaven is Salah.
Recite Every Prayer:
- Surah Rahman
- Surah Yaseen
- Ayatul Kursi
Salah, the Basic Pillar of Islam:
There are five basic pillars of Islam. They are Tawhid, Salah, Sawn (Fasting), Zakat and Hajj. So, being a Muslim Salah is an obligatory act.
It includes five times prayers in a day. In the Quran and the Hadith, both greatly emphasize on offering prayers at the time.
As there are five prayers in a day, Fajr, Duhur, Asar, Maghrib and Isha prayer. A Muslim has to perform these prayers daily at Islamic prayer times.
Here, I tell you about the benefits and importance of these five prayers.
The first prayer which starts with the day is Fajr Prayer. Actually, Fajr is the Arabic word which means dawn. As the time for this prayer starts with the beginning of dawn and remain till the sun rises.
Praying at the beginning of the day, lighten up your day. It gives you positive energy and guidance.
It includes 2 Rakat prayers which are Fard and 2 Rakats Sunnah.
It is challenging to wake up early in the morning for prayer, but early prayer is obligatory for all the Muslims.
Benefits of Fajr prayer:
These are some benefits of Fajr prayer.
- As, if you start your day with prayers, then Allah protects you all the day. In the Hadith, it is clearly said that whoever offers the Fajr prayers, Allah will protect him throughout the day.
So, try to offer Fajr prayers to seek the protection and blessings of Allah Almighty throughout the day.
- Early in the morning, angels come down to witness the Muslims who are offering Fajr prayers. So, it is important to offer the Fajr prayer. Allah Almighty sent these angels, so try to offer prayers daily.
- It is important to offer Fajr prayer as it saves from the hell. In the Hadith, it is mentioned that whoever offer prayers before the rising of the sun will not enter the Hell. It enhances the importance of Fajr prayers.
So, try to offer Fajr prayers daily, it has great benefits for you. In this life, Allah will protect you all the day and also saves you from the Hell.
You have to face these consequences if you miss the Fajr prayers
- If you miss the prayers early in the morning, your whole day will spoil. As you have missed the blessings of Allah at the start of the day.
- In the early morning, you earn the displeasure of Allah Almighty by missing the prayer.
- Allah will remove you from the list of pious people.
After the first prayer, Muslims perform their second prayer which is Zuhr(Dhuhr). It’s time starts when the sun declines towards the west from the middle of the sky.
It is important to offer your prayers at the time. In the Quran and Hadith, there are so many warnings for missing or delaying prayers.
Dhuhr prayers comprise of 4 Rakats of Sunnah, then 4 Rakat Farz prayer and 2 Rakat Sunnah and 2 Rakat Nafl is also included in Zuhr prayer.
Benefits Of Zuhr Prayer:
All the prayers have benefits for Muslims. These are some benefits of Zuhr prayer.
- All the Muslims want heaven and this is the time when the gates of Heaven are opened for the Muslims.
In the Hadith, it is clearly said that during the Zuhr hour, the gates of heaven are opened. So, it is important to do good deeds at this time. And offering Salah is the most important at that time.
- Allah Almighty showers His blessings on you if you offer Zuhr prayers at the time. Your whole day fulfills with the blessings of Allah.
- If you offer Zuhr prayer, Allah will shield you against the fire of the Hell on the day of judgment.
You have to face these consequences if you do not offer Zuhr prayers
- Allah will displease from you. And it is the worst thing for every Muslim.
- Allah will punish you in the grave and this will destroy you on the day of judgment.
- You probably will have no reward for any other good deeds, you have done in the life, as such.
After the Zuhr prayers, Muslims perform Asar prayers. It’s time that starts in the afternoon. It is the third obligatory prayer.
This prayer comprises of 4 Rakat Sunnah before offering 4 Rakat Fard prayer.
Benefits Of Asar Prayers:
There are many Ahadeeth, which explain the importance and benefits of Asar prayers. Some of the benefits are following.
- Yes, in the Hadith it is clearly said that whoever offers the Fajr and Asar prayers enters the Jannah. This is one of the greatest blessings for every Muslim.
- As Hell is a place where no Muslim want to go. So, this prayer saves you from the Hell and opens the door of Jannah for you.
- Allah will give you success in life as well as in the hereafter.
These are the some of the consequences of missing the Asar prayers.
- Asar prayer is very important, so try not to delay or miss the prayers intentionally . If you miss the Asar prayers, it will null or void all the good deeds of the day.
In the Hadith, the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) emphasized not to miss the Asar prayer.
- Asar prayer is important for your health and family. If you miss the Asar prayers, Allah will take away or robbed all your wealth. To increase your wealth, it is important to offer Asar prayers regularly.
The time for Maghrib prayer starts with the sunset. The time of prayers differs in the world. When the sun sets, time of Maghrib prayers starts.
It has 7 Rakats which are:
- 3 Rakats fard
- 2 Rakats Sunnah
- 2 Rakats Nafl
Fard Rakats are obligatory for every Muslim. While Sunnah is mandatory for Muslims. If you do not offer prayers, Allah will punish you on the day of judgment.
Benefits Of Maghrib Prayers:
Some of the benefits of Maghrib prayers are as follows.
- Allah showers all His blessings and rewards on you when you offer prayers.
- Allah will fulfill all your Dua’s and wishes.
- Allah will give you success in wealth and family.
If you miss the Maghrib prayers you have these consequences
- Allah will punish you in this world and also in the hereafter. Allah will take away all His blessings from you.
- Your Dua’s are not fulfilled.
- At the time of death, Allah will disgrace the person who does not perform his prayers.
The last prayer of the day is Isha prayer. It’s time starts when the time of Maghrib prayer ends and remains until the midnight.
The Holy Prophet (S.A.W) in His Hadiths also emphasized the importance of praying at night.
It includes 4 Rakats Fard , 4 Rakat Sunnah, 2 Rakat Sunnah, 2 Rakat Nafl and 3 Witr.
Benefits of Isha Prayers:
- If you offer this prayer, Allah will reward you that you worship Allah for half night. It is a great blessing for you. So, make sure that you never miss the Isha prayers.
- Try to make more dua’s after the prayers, Allah will listen your dua’s and will shower His blessings on you.
- As it is the last prayer of the day, if you offer your prayer before sleep, you have more peaceful night. So, try to offer your prayers regularly.
These are the consequences of missing Isha prayers
- All the good deeds you have done throughout the day became useless if you miss the prayers. As Salah is the basic pillar of Islam.
- For the peaceful sleep, it is important to offer your prayers before sleep. If you miss the prayers at night, you will miss the blessings of Allah throughout the night.
- If you miss the Salah, Allah will punish you in this life as well as in grave and also in the hereafter.
Salah is the second important pillar of Islam. Every Muslim has to perform Salah five times a day. Each prayer is equally important.
Try to offer your prayers at the time. Delay in prayers is prohibited in Islam. Just offers five times a day and enjoys the great blessings of Allah.
If you want the blessings of Allah in this life and also on the day of judgment. Just offers your prayers regularly. Allah will shower all His blessings on you.