Good Afternoon and Godspeed. My prayer is for my co-worker Felix. He has recently lost his mother after a lengthy illness. She came back after being given her last rights,…
Father, I come to you asking for strength for my friend after the lost of her 19 year old son. Give her peace, wisdom and guidance to know you are…
Here are some sympathy, condolence messages that can help you form your own words of comfort when someone you know suffers the loss of a loved one.
Prayer – Life After Death – written on the passing of my dear Pastor Sammy. Jehovah Shalom, we bow before your Throne of grace and mercy, requesting your Holy presence.…
Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your love and the tender mercies You bestow unto those who are suffering some sort of tragedy in their lives. I pray a special…
My Father, I worship you, I thank you for being there for me, through all the good times and bad. I thank you that so far, Father, every day has…
For Those Grieving the Loss of Loved Ones Dedicated in loving memory of Pastor Bertril Baird, who was like a grandfather to me. Jehovah Jireh, there is none like You. Every…
Pleas for mercy and aid Laments and mourningRest for the dead and the sufferingComfort and solaceFear***To Allah we belong and to him we shall return. Oh Allah, help me in my calamity and replace it with good.
***My eyes fail with watching for thy promise;
I ask, “When wilt thou comfort me?”
***These two things have befallen you —
who will condole with you? —
devastation and destruction, famine and sword;
who will comfort you?
***Comfort, give comfort to my people.
Laments of mourning and afflictionI grieved for my friend or my brother;
I went about as one who laments his mother,
bowed down and in mourning.
***I weep and lament when I behold our beauty created in the likeness of God lying in the tomb disfigured, bereft of glory and form. 0 the marvel of it! What is this mystery concerning us? Why have we been delivered to corruption? Why have we been wedded unto death?
–Orthodox Funeral Hymn
***It is as if the sun and the moon have left the sky.
***Oh, only for so short a while you
have loaned us to each other,
because we take form in your act of drawing us,
and we take life in your painting us,
and we breathe in your singing us.
But only for so short a while
have you loaned us to each other.
Because even a drawing cut in obsidian fades,
and the green feathers, the crown feathers,
of the Quetzal bird lose their color,
and even the sounds of the waterfall
die out in the dry season.
So, we too, because only for a short while
have you loaned us to each other.
–Aztec Indian Prayer
***By the waters of Babylon
we sat down and wept.
***But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb.
***This is the Hour of Lead —
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons–recollect the Snow —
First — Chill — Then Stupor — then the letting go.
Pleas for mercy and aid | Laments of mourning and affliction |Rest for the dead and the suffering | Comfort and strength | Fear
Repose for the dead, rest for the sufferingAnd in Christ are blessed all those who look to him at the point of death; those who die suddenly or violently; all who mourn the death of a loved one; and those for whom the process of dying is fearful. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.
–Jesuit Prayer to the Mother of God
***When wandering alone, parted from loving friends; When the shapes of one’s empty thought-forms dawn upon one here, may the Buddhas, exercising the power of their divine compassion, let there be neither awe nor terror in the bardo .
–The Tibetan Book of the Dead
*** O Allah, ease upon him his matters, and make light for him whatever comes hereafter, and honor him with Your meeting and make that which he has gone to better than that which he came out from.
–Muslim funeral prayer
***Yit-gadal v’yit-kadash sh’may raba b’alma dee-v’ra che-ru-tay, ve’yam-lich mal-chutay b’chai-yay-chon uv’yo-may-chon uv-cha-yay d’chol beit Yisrael, ba-agala u’vitze-man ka-riv, ve’imru amen. Y’hay sh’may raba me’varach le-alam uleh-almay alma-ya.
Yit-barach v’yish-tabach, v’yit-pa-ar v’yit-romam v’yit-nasay, v’yit-hadar v’yit-aleh v’yit-halal sh’may d’koo-d’shah, b’rich hoo. layla (ool-ayla)* meen kol beer-chata v’she-rata, toosh-b’chata v’nay-ch’mata, da-a meran b’alma, ve’imru amen.
Y’hay sh’lama raba meen sh’maya v’cha-yim aleynu v’al kol Yisrael, ve’imru amen.
O’seh shalom beem-romav, hoo ya’ah-seh shalom aleynu v’al kol Yisrael, ve’imru amen.
–from the Jewish Kaddish for Mourners
***If we have died with Christ, we believe we shall also live with him.
***From the earth did We
Create you, and into it
Shall We return you
And from it shall We
Bring you out once again.
–Surah Ta-Ha (Muslim)
***Saints of God, come to their aid;
Come to meet them, angels of the Lord.
Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
–Roman Catholic prayers for the dead
***Mother of waters,
Father of rain,
You have taken back your own.
As a stream flows into a river,
as a river flows into the sea,may (his) spirit flow
to the waters of healing,
to the waters of rebirth.
–Pagan Book of Living and Dying
***O God of spirits and of all flesh, who has trampled down Death and made powerless the Devil, and given life to the world; do Thou, the same Lord, give rest to the souls of Thy departed servants in a place of brightness, a place of verdure, a place of repose, whence all sickness, sorrow, and sighing have fled away.
–Eastern Orthodox Trisagion for the Dead
***Exalted, compassionate God, grant perfect peace in Your shelteringPresence, among the holy and the pure who shine with the splendorof the firmament, to the soul of our dear one who has goneto his eternal home. May his soul be bound up in the bond of life.The Lord is his portion. May he rest in peace. And let us say: Amen.
–El Malei Rachamim, Jewish Prayer for the Departed
Comfort, solace, and strengthBlessed are those who mourn; they shall be comforted.
***The Lord is my shepherd: I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters;
he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
***Hold on to what is good
even if it is a handful of earth.
Hold on to what you believe
even if it is a tree which stands by itself
Hold onto what you must do
even if it is a long way from here.
Hold on to life
even when it is easier letting go.
Hold on to my hand
even when I have gone away from you.
–Native American Prayer
***Blest be the Lord, the God of mercy, the God who saves.
I shall not fear the dark of night
Nor the arrow that flies by day.
I need not shrink before the terrors of the night,
Nor stand alone before the light of day.
No harm shall come to me, no arrow strike me down,
No evil settle in my soul.
–Folk song based on Psalm 91
***Om Sarve Bhavanthu Sukhina
Sarve Santhu Nira Maya
Sarve Bhadrani Pashyanthu
Ma Kashchith Dukkha Bhaag Bhaveth
***Mother of God, Light in all darkness, shelter Him, our flame of hope, in your tender hands. And in our times of dread and nightmares, Let him be our dream of comfort. And in our times of physical pain and suffering, let Him be our healer. And in our times of separation from God and one another, let him be our communion.
–Roman Catholic Prayer
***In spite of everything, I still believethat people are really good at heart.
***The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
In the time of trouble, he shall hide me;
Whom shall I fear?
–Spiritual based on Psalm 27
***Christ is risen from the dead,
by death trampling upon Death,
and has bestowed life
to those in the tombs.
–Eastern Orthodox Paschal Hymn
***May all be free from sorrow,
and the causes of sorrow,
May all never be separated from the sacred happiness which is sorrowless.
***I lift up my eyes to the hills–from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord.
***Blessed be the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort others.
–2 Corinthians 1
***Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow,
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.
***Violence shall no more be heard in your land,
devastation or destruction within your borders;
you shall call your walls Salvation,
and your gates Praise.
***As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you.
***Be not afraid; I go before you always.
–St. Louis Jesuits
***We shall overcome
We are not afraid
We are not alone
We shall overcome
We shall overcome some day
–Negro spiritual/Martin Luther King Jr.
***The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.
–“A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”
***The Lord has given, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.
Wisdom about fearBlessed be the Lord,
for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me
when I was beset as a city under siege.
I had said in my alarm,
“I am driven far from your sight.”
But you heard my supplications
when I cried out to you for help.
Love the Lord, all you his saints.
The Lord preserves the faithful,
but abundantly repays the one who acts haughtily.
Be strong, and let your heart take courage,
all you who wait for the Lord.
***”Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s knowledge.”
***The whole world is a very narrow bridge. And the most important thing is to not be afraid.
–Rabbi Nachman of Breslov
***Whosoever submits his will to God, while doing good, his wage is with hisLord, and no fear shall be upon them, neither shall they sorrow.
***In paradise there is fear;
Thou art not there, nor shrinks one from old age.
Hunger and thirst, these two transcending,
Sorrow, surpassing, a man makes merry in paradise.
Perfect love casts out fear.
Praying during a season of loss can be hard. When I think of my own seasons of loss or of listening to others’ prayer during their seasons of grief, I can think of multiple descriptions of prayer that sounded something like:
- I cannot even sit down to pray, because my mind races everywhere when I try to pray.
- Being still is hard, because so much hits me at once that I don’t know where to start.
- I am not even sure if God is there or hearing me in my pain.
- Prayer feels dry and empty.
- I cannot be still or even sit still.
As with most things, it’s always easier for me to reflect back on these seasons and remember what worked than to figure it out when I am in the middle of living a season of loss and trying to continue to grow in my prayer life. Here are three things that I try to remember myself and also offer to others who are in this season.
Table of contents
1. Pray as you can, not as you can’t.
These eight words spoken by a priest friend to me many years ago bring me much comfort in many seasons of life, but especially when there is a loss in my life. How I used to be able to pray might not work right now. I can remember one season of my prayer life when I could not sit down and be still, my go-to prayer method, because I was overwhelmed with a loss. My spiritual director at the time invited me not to beat myself for not praying the way I always had and suggested trying something new, such as walking during my prayer time. While the stillness of prayer did not work for me, physically moving and talking to God or just being in nature and walking did.
2. Try puttering prayer.
Puttering prayer is a prayer method shared with me by a friend and colleague. She gave herself permission to “putter,” and when she felt called, she would turn her attention to God in the moment and then carry on with her day. I find this way of praying very helpful when grief has a hold of me and I cannot sit down to a long prayer period.
3. Talk to God openly and honestly, even if in short spurts.
Our tendency sometimes is to stop prayer all together when it no longer feels the same or our prayer life changes. This can spin us into desolation when we stop praying all together. When facing a loss, I find it is helpful simply to talk to God often in heartfelt, honest conversation. Upon hearing a friend died, I held on to this type of prayer for weeks after her death. I would go about my day and remember her and then talk to God briefly about what was on my mind. Maybe it was a prayer of thanksgiving for a memory or the gift of her friendship. Other times, I might feel angry she was gone. Sometimes, I would simply weep and talk to God about how much I missed her. All our conversations were short but honest.
Eventually, the rawness of a new loss subsides a bit, and as it does, we can return to a season of prayer in which we can sit still longer, and we can face the silence again. Until that time comes, though, we can continue on in our prayer lives as gently as possible, trusting that God will welcome us back every time we come.
Photo by Pablo Basagoiti on Unsplash.