Prayers of comfort for the bereaved

Losing a loved one can bring about a sudden feeling of shock and trouble. Reciting a traditional prayer for comfort can help to bring you consolation and reassurance. Here is a look at some great prayers for loss of a loved one.

Prayer #1

Comfort me with Your love O God
Wrap me up in Your strong embrace
Shelter me from the storm O Lord
Envelop me in Your tender care

By day I pour out my heartbreak to You
By night I give you my racing thoughts

In You I take refuge
In You I will not be afraid
For you hold me strong, You hold me safe

Calm my fearful heart O God
Still my anxious mind O Lord

For all my life is found in You
All my being is given to You
All my hope begins in You

Prayer #2

Lord, at the 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 again.

Prayer #3

Our Father in heaven, 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 thank You, Father, for the life of our loved one(s) who have 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.

Prayer #4

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.

Prayer #5

Father, 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. Father, 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.

Prayer #6

Father, forgive the bereaved for any sins they have committed through thoughts, words, or deeds. Forgive them if they have not meditated on Your Word to find comfort. Father, forgive them if they have not been totally submissive to Your perfect will for their lives. Forgive them for any hurtful things they may have said or done to the deceased. Lord, help them to forgive the deceased if necessary. Please remind them of anyone they need to forgive; and help them to forgive quickly.

Prayer #7

Loving Father, I am finding it so hard to even get up out of bed to start the day, knowing that I have to face it alone and without the one I love so dearly – I know that without Your grace and sufficiency I could never get through the day – but I thank You that You have promised to be with me and to provide me with Your strength for the day as well as bright hope for tomorrow.

I can’t imagine tomorrow being anything but a day filled with pain – as I do not have my loved one beside me, but I ask that in Your grace You will give me the strength to get through today, step by step – knowing that You are there to carry me, even when my heart seems to fail from the grief and pain that I am going through.

Thank You that You have promised to carry our pain and thank You that Your grace is sufficient for every eventuality in our lives. Give me the strength and to cope with the loneliness I feel and help me to move forward in my life-plans, knowing that You are with me, to support and strengthen.

Give me hope for tomorrow – for my hope and my trust is in You, Lord. Hold me close I pray and thank You for always being with me and the great comfort that I have in knowing You, as my own dear Saviour and friend.

Prayer #8

Loving Lord and Heavenly king, I want to lift up some dear friends of mind that are going through much grief at the moment and are finding it so difficult to come to terms with all that has taken place in the last few days…

I humbly ask that You would come to them and provide the comfort they need to come to terms with all that has happened – and the strength to face the reality that things will never be as they were.

Lord I know that their grief seems to be overwhelming them and I am hurting for them, and know not what to do to help – and so I am coming to You to in prayer, to ask that You will meet each of them at their point of need and help them to turn to You at this sad time.

I pray that as the day passes Your healing touch will comfort and succour them in this time of distress and may this be a thing that causes each of them to draw closer to You, knowing that You alone can heal the broken-hearted and bring joy out of pain.

Thank You Lord for being there for me and into Your hands I place each one of these dear ones who have such sadness in their hearts – I KNOW in Whom I believe and an confident that You will bring good out of this situation – and to You be all the praise and glory, Amen

Prayer #9

Loving Lord I am filled with grief and sadness at the loss of my precious loved one – and yet that pain is tinged with gold, knowing that they trusted you as their Saviour and that they are now in Your presence.

I know that I am going to miss this precious one, who has been my strength and my joy for so long, and thank You for the precious times we had together.

Often Lord I expect my dear one to just be there, or walk through the door – and then remember that they have gone home to be with You. At times this is quite hard and yet I know that I must not grieve as those that have not hope in Jesus – but rejoice knowing that the day is coming when we will be together with You and You will wipe away all tears from our eyes – but at the moment my loss is like an open wound – and I pray that You will heal my brokenness and the loneliness I feel… and draw me every closer into Your arms of love my Lord and my God.

Thank You for all You are to me and may I rest in You in Jesus name, Amen

Prayer #10

My heart is reaching out to you,
For what you’re going through;
I’m thinking of you frequently
And praying for you, too.

If there’s something I can do,
Anything at all,
Think of me thinking of you,
And don’t hesitate to call.

Prayer #11

When someone we love passes away,
We ache, but we go on;
Our dear departed would want us to heal,
After they are gone.

Grief is a normal way to mend
The anguish and pain in our hearts;
We need time to remember and time to mourn,
Before the recovery starts.

Let’s draw together to recuperate,
As we go through this period of sorrow;
Let’s help each other, with tender care
To find a brighter tomorrow.

Prayer #12

If we could bring you back again,
For one more hour or day,
We’d express all our unspoken love;
We’d have countless things to say.

If we could bring you back again,
We’d say we treasured you,
And that your presence in our lives
Meant more than we ever knew.

If we could bring you back again,
To tell you what we should,
You’d know how much we miss you now,
And if we could, we would.

Prayer #13

If there was ever a time in my life I was weak, it was the days, weeks, and months after my daughter died. To know that God’s strength was at it’s best when I needed it the most gave me courage to take another breath. It seems impossible to “glory in my affirmities” when you don’t feel you have the strength to go on with your life, but God’s grace *is* sufficient. There is power through Christ Jesus to sustain you when nothing else can. You must allow Him to carry the burden – there are things too big for us to handle on our own. We cannot as mothers (and fathers) get through the loss of a child and retain any sanity without His help.

I don’t think it’s wrong to ask “why” – I have many times over the years. But you have to recognize God’s authority and know that whatever purpose there was for your child, it was fulfilled during the time you carried him or her. We don’t understand all of it, and honestly I don’t believe we have the capacity to. But I take comfort knowing that one day, God will hold me close and explain it to me in a way that I can understand.

Prayer #14

Praise God that He is close to those who are suffering. He knows the pain we’re going through and He keeps us from being consumed by it. I know without a doubt that had it not been for the grace of God, I would have come through my daughter’s death a bitter and downtrodden woman. But through His love and compassion, He saved me from being crushed by the weight of the burden I carried. My heart still aches for my baby and it’s been seven years since she died – the ache has dulled some with time, but I don’t believe it will ever go away completely. I still cry at times talking about her, but I rest in the knowledge that God is near and will continue to carry me if I allow Him to. It’s a choice – a conscious decision you have to make. You have to acknowledge that you need help getting through it, and God is the only answer.

Dianne Gray, head of the Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Foundation discusses the five stages of grief and the classic book, ‘On Death and Dying.’

Upon the sudden death of his little five-year-old girl, Sophia, William Logan received numerous letters of sympathy from friends that he had met as a Town and Country Missionary in the UK in the 1800′s.

After carefully reading each one and enjoying the soothing words, he carefully set them aside. As the pile grew, however, he realized that there were many similarly bereaved parents that could benefit from such letters but were not likely to receive anything like the quantity or quality.

He extracted a few passages and had them published anonymously in a public journal and then in a four-page tract. When these extracts had such a beneficial effect, Logan began to collect similar literature and eventually published a 400-page book entitled Words of Comfort for Parents Bereaved of Little Children, including extracts from Hugh Miller, Ebenezer Erskine, Thomas Guthrie, etc. Many pastors welcomed the brief letters and extracts as much better suited to mourners than a long and continuous treatment.

As John Ker’s Introduction explains, “The origin of the book is noteworthy as an instance of the manner in which God often makes a personal sorrow the means of benefit, not merely to the sufferer but to others. It came from the heart of one who had found consolation for his heart in sympathy, and who thought of guiding fellow mourners to the same comforts with which he himself had been comforted of God.”

You can access the full text of Words of Comfort on Google books, but here are some noteworthy extracts.

Sustaining then delivering
show His power in sustaining before He shows it in delivering. This is the order of the old promise, “I will be with thee, in trouble I will deliver thee.” It is the rule of the furnace to walk with His friends in it before He brings them forth; and it is His course with His disciples in the storm: He did not calm the tempest when He was outside the ship, but came into it to tranquillize their hearts, and then He rebuked the waves and brought them to their desired haven (John Ker, xxiv)

Two ways of relieving pain
1. The one is to send our thoughts within the veil to dwell upon  the exceeding joy of that world into which our Christian friends have entered; its freedom from care and sorrow and sin, its nearness to the open face of Christ, and its fellowship with the blessed God. As our souls are elevated by this companionship, we become more unselfish, and are glad for our friends’ sakes that they are there.

2. The other is to be striving for ourselves to live closer to Christ, as the Lord both of the living and the dead. Every step nearer Him, every new attainment in His knowledge and grace, is a step nearer to our departed friends – a feather in the wing that bears us to them.

We can go to the other world and find our Christian friends with Him, and we can bring Him to this world and surround ourselves with the thoughts and hopes of them in our daily walk (John Ker, xxvi).

Less merciful? Never!
We shall never believe that heaven has made him less merciful than when he took the children in his arms and blessed them (xxix).

A safely folded lamb
It is well with Sophia! She has gone to glory; and is now a safely folded lamb. The good Shepherd has taken her to Himself. You will greatly miss her, but your treasure is in heaven; and God has counted you worthy to have treasure there. You will find not the lost, but the living and redeemed one again: she is in good keeping.

Yes, your dear child is better occupied now than ever she could have been here. You closed her eyes upon all this world’s miseries and deep heart-sorrows; and she has already acquired more knowledge than she could have done in this world, though she had lived to close your eyes in death. She is crowned – she is folded – safely gathered and housed; and could you hear her speak, she would say to mother and yourself, “Weep not!” and that voice would have all the sweetness of an angel’s, and all the tenderness of your own Sophia, now glorified, redeemed, happy – infinitely happy. In taking your dear child, God has honoured you – blessed her beyond what we can express – glorified Himself – and added another gem to the Saviour’s crown, another lamb to His flock in glory, another lily to His paradise above, another happy spirit to the redeemed throng – and in doing so He has been but fulfilling His own promise: “With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought: they shall enter into the King’s palace” (A. W., Glasgow, 47-48).

Wide awake
She is not lost, but gone before. The child is not dead, but sleepeth: or, rather, is wide awake to the blessed reality of glory, honour, and immortality. She is now rejoicing in the smile of Him who said to you, as you clung to the departing object of your affections, as truly as He said to the disciples of old: “Suffer the little one to come unto me.” It is His prerogative – and oh, what a comfort to the Christian parent to realize this clearly! – to “gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom.” He has use for them in heaven. If aged saints there are stars in His diadem, young spirits, gathered thither in the bud, by virtue of His atoning merits, cluster like a garland of beauty around Him. We speak of getting our children settled in life; but how poor at the best is the meaning of this phrase compared with the plenitude of glorious significance it has in reference to the present circumstances of our beloved children, now settled in life in the loftiest sense – exempted henceforth from all evil of every kind, and of all liability thereto, and confirmed in holiness and in happiness throughout eternal ages! It only remains for you to say with David, “We shall go to her, but she shall not return to us” and by faith, patience, resignation, and prayer for fresh supplies of that Spirit whose name is “the Comforter” to bow to “the mighty hand of God, and He will exalt you in due time” (J. G., Glasgow, 48).

Meeting on the golden streets
I also have two daughters in heaven. Both died only four months old! They are now pure and perfect – and blessed spirits before the throne. It is very likely they have met your child upon the golden streets of the celestial city (A.F., Finsbury Chapel, London, 52).

She was but a loan – her work was finished. You are not called to sorrow as those who have no hope. Her death has made a deep impression on my own mind. It is only four months since my daughter Mary died – Sophia’s nurse. Their hearts were warmly united together: they were “lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in death they were not (long) divided” (J. R., Dumfriesshire, 52).

Heaven beautified
If the child’s absence makes your home look more desolate than it used to be, heaven has been rendered more than correspondingly rich and attractive. And what untold influence is brought to bear upon you to seek a better country, when to the voice of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, there is added that of your completely holy and happy child, saying, “Be ye followers of them who, through faith and patience, now inherit the promises!” ­(W. W., Langholm, Dumfriesshire, 53).

Powerful fullness
I never saw such a fulness, nor felt such a power in the following text, as when called to part with a lovely daughter of five years of age, viz. “All things work together for good to them that love God” (W. R., Bury, Lancashire, 54).

Tied to the world of spirits
I trust that you will find the consolations that are in Christ Jesus abounding to you, and that you will learn to say, “It is well.” You have one tie more to the world of spirits, and one tie less to the world of bodies (J. M., Glasgow, 42).

Absent from the body
The widowed mother had the little body bestrewed with beautiful flowers, and, being of intense sensibility, could not reconcile her feelings to part with the remains, until I brought, as vividly as I could before her mind, that it was not her son whom we were about to bury. Her son was ABSENT from the body and PRESENT with the Lord. It was but the dust which we were about to commit reverently and lovingly to the kindred dust. She grasped afresh the glorious reality, and was stayed! (G.G., Dundee, 54).

Scythe and dew
This week last year, my heart was first called to bleed under a stroke similar to your own. It is when the land is most weary, that “the shadow of the great Rock” is broadest, coolest, sweetest! And it is where the scythe of death has been, that the dews of the Comforter come most copiously down. With so many ties less to earth, and so many treasures more in heaven, let us live devoted to Him who died devoted for us! (J. R., Newington, Edinburgh, 55).

They love us still
Forget not that heaven is not a place where hearts grow cold. The departed ones love us still. They have lost nothing but the sorrows and infirmities which excited our compassion whilst they were with us. They form part of the “great cloud of witnesses.” Jesus is the connecting link between them and us (J. D. B., Bradford, 44).

Consummated happiness
Their education is completed: they know as they are known. Their holiness is perfected: they are holy as God is holy. Their happiness is consummate (John Macfarlane, London, 96).

Busy angels
How shall the mother recognize her son, who departed from her an emaciated infant, in yonder angelic form in the vigour and brilliancy of resurrection manhood. ­ And how shall the father, who wept bitter tears in secret over his daughter’s decrepitude, distinguish her in yonder seraph of celestial grace ­ What mean you, friends? ­ You surely cannot wish to meet your children in that plight of wretchedness in which you bade them farewell, so that, unassisted, you could of yourselves recognize them. The Lord will provide: but methinks it will, probably, be a busy day for those good angels who ministered to us on earth, finding us out for one another, and introducing us. Remembering how they had seen us grieve for one another, how sympathetically they will enjoy the scene, as we stand amazed for a while at one another’s glory before we embrace!

Nor will it be with little excitement that they hasten to meet you, their brothers and sisters, with whom they may associate and worship, as being more of their own nature than any others to be found in all the kingdom (Wm. Anderson, Glasgow, 100).

Flower-planting gravedigger (with some translation)
Mr Gray the Parish minister came across the gravedigger, John Brown, smoothing and trimming the lowly bed of a child which had been buried a few days before, he asked him why he was so particular in dressing and keeping the graves of the children. John paused for a moment at his work, and looking up, not at the minister, but at the sky, said, “Of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

“And on this account you tend and adorn them with so much care,” remarked the minister, who was greatly struck with the reply.

“Surely, sir,” answered John, “I canna make ower braw and fine the bed-coverin’ o’ a little innocent sleeper that is waitin’ there till it is God’s time to wauken it and cover it with the white robe, and waft it away to glory. When sic grandeur is awaitin’ it yonder, it’s fit it should be decked oot here. I think the Saviour that counts its dust sae precious will like to see the white clover sheet spread abunde’t ; dae ye no think sae, sir?”

But why not thus cover larger graves?” asked the minister, hardly able to suppress his emotion. “The ‘dust of all His saints is precious in the Saviour’s sight.”

“Very true, sir,” responded John, with great solemnity “but I canna be sure wha are his saints wha are noo . I hope there are mony o’ them lyin’ in this kirkyard; but it wad be great presumption in me to mark them oot . There are some that I’m gey sure aboot , and I keep their graves as nate and snod as I can, and plant a bit floure here and there as a sign o’ my hope; but I daurna gie them the white sheet. It’s clean different, tho’, wi’ the bairns . We hae His ain word for their up-going, and sae I canna mak’ an error there” (108-109).

Life on earth is temporary.  Death is inevitable and unpredictable –  It is no respecter of persons, it comes to all walks of life.  Practically everyday we hear either of death tolls resulting from natural catastrophes or sudden death of person we least expected.  Death can occur at the hands of a violent person/s,  prolonged illness or even through accidents.  The sudden loss of a loved one can be devastating.  The grief –  death brings can leave a person/family mourning for a long period of time especially if we could have prevented his/her death.

In reality it’s a painful separation – life would be different from now on:

  • God has promised that He will never leave you nor forsake you.
  • Trust God as you face uncertainties, challenges ahead.
  • He knows what you are going through,
  • let Him healed your wounded heart and
  • fill you with His love and comfort.
  • ‘All your tears are collected in a bottle.’
  • He will send people to help you.
  • What you need He will provide (Jehovah Jireh).
  • The days may be lonely but God is near.

May this song comforts you:  

1. Abide with me; fast falls the eventide; 

the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide. 

When other helpers fail and comforts flee, 

Help of the helpless, O abide with me. 

2. Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day; 

earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away; 

change and decay in all around I see; 

O thou who changest not, abide with me. 

3. I need thy presence every passing hour. 

What but thy grace can foil the tempter’s power? 

Who, like thyself, my guide and stay can be? 

Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me. 

4. I fear no foe, with thee at hand to bless; 

ills have no weight, and tears not bitterness.

Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory? 

I triumph still, if thou abide with me. 

5. Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes; 

shine through the gloom and point me to the skies. 

Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee; 

in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

For Believers, death is the end of our physical existence on earth and the beginning of our eternal life through Christ in heaven.

“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” 1 John 5:13 (NIV)

“He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him.”1 Thessalonians 5:10.  (NIV)

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.  Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”John 3:16-18

Your ultimate destination is secured when you accept the salvation Christ offers.

Prayer for bereaved family:

Dear Heavenly Father,

  • Words cannot  described the pain and grief we feel over our loss.
  • Remind us Lord, that our loved one is in a better place even though we miss him/her.
  • In the days ahead, help us to be thankful for the good times we have had together. Comfort us Lord, when we are overcome with grief.

In Jesus name I pray,

Juan Bautista Martinez del Mazo. 1666. Empress Doña Margarita de Austria in Mourning Dress.

This portrait of Margaret of Spain, the Holy Roman Empress, in mourning black in 1666, recalls to us that mourning was a solemn duty in times past as a way of reminding Christians to pray for the recently dead.

Praying for the dead is, for those who have forgotten it, a grave duty for all Catholic Christians and one of the Spiritual Works of Mercy.

The purpose is to deliver one’s loved ones out of the painful, suffering process of purgation that all but the most perfect must endure after death before they are sufficiently pure and holy to be ushered into the presence of Almighty God who is all love. No taint of self-love must remain to those who come before God.

Consider an analogy: when one awakes, or has been in a dark place, it takes a little while for the eyes to adjust to the light which is painful to behold until the adjustment is made. So with us sinners who are being prepared to enjoy the supreme joy of the presence of God – we have to adjust to the brilliance of His perfect light before we can see Him clearly.

Now this process can, by reason of the Communion of all the Faithful with the Saints in heaven, be hastened by the prayers of the Faithful here below where we are still ourselves suffering and gaining grace for ourselves and for others. Once we are in Purgatory we are being purged and can no longer merit grace for others. So we must do so here below whilst we have the time.

Now this duty is easily forgotten in a busy world and so we wear mourning to remind us to pray regularly throughout the day and night for our dead.

We do this by wearing black (called Grand Deuil by the French) – save for some Catholic Queens who wear Deuil Blanc, that is, white. Queen Fabiola did so at the Funeral of her late husband, King Baudouin of Belgium.

The length of mourning depended on your relationship to the deceased. The different periods of mourning dictated by society were expected to reflect your natural period of grief.

“It is a holy and wholesome thing to pray for the dead that they may be loosed from their sins.”

Friends, acquaintances, servants and employees wore mourning to a greater or lesser degree depending on the length of their connection to the deceased.

No lady or gentleman in mourning was supposed to attend balls. The wearing of a black arm band was appropriate for military men (or others compelled to wear uniform in the course of their duties) but otherwise wearing only a black arm band instead of proper mourning was a degradation to be avoided.

Mourning customs were usually these (with exceptions from country to country):

  • for a widow, 2 to 2 and a half years and a widow did not enter society for a year (although she could re-marry after 1 year and 1 day if financially necessary);
  • for a widower, 2 years;
  • for a parent, 2 years;
  • for children (if above ten years old), 2 years;
  • for children below that age, 3 to 6 months;
  • for an infant, 6 weeks and upward;
  • for siblings, 6 to 8 months;
  • for grandparents, 6 months;
  • for uncles and aunts, 3 to 6 months;
  • for cousins, great aunts and uncles, or aunts and uncles related by marriage, from 6 weeks to 3 months;
  • for more distant relatives or friends, from 3 weeks upward.

Full or deep mourning, a period of a year and one day, was represented with dull black clothing without ornament. The most recognizable portion of this stage was the weeping veil of black crepe. If a women had no means of income and small children to support, marriage was allowed after this period. She would return to black mourning on the day after marrying again.

Second mourning, a period of 9 months, allowed for minor ornamentation by implementing fabric trim and mourning jewellery. The main dress was still made from a lustreless cloth. The veil was lifted and worn back over the head. Some widows, through age or piety, frequently remained in this mourning for the rest of their lives.

Half mourning lasted from 3 to 6 months and was represented by more elaborate fabrics used as trim. Gradually easing back into colour was expected when coming out of half mourning.

The standard mourning time for a widower was 2 years but it was up to his discretion if he wished to re-marry. Typically young unmarried men stayed in mourning for as long as the women in the household did.

Mourning for parents ranked next to that of widows; children mourning for their parents or parents for children being identical. This usually meant 1 year in deep or full mourning, 6 months in crepe, 3 in second, and 3 in half mourning. Second mourning, without full mourning, was suitable for parents-in-law. After 1 month in black, lilac should follow.

Young children were never kept more than 1 year in mourning. No female under the age of 17 was to wear creped full mourning.

The ancient Order of Widows, like the ancient Order of Virgins, dates from Apostolic and Scriptural times and is the real origin of widows wearing mourning black or similar dark colour for the rest of their lives.

“I know that he shall rise again, in the resurrection at the last day”

It is a pious and commendable religious practice and is done for the same reason that priests and religious wear black. It is a sign of witness and of mortification in this life in preparation for the heavenly banquet that is to come.

Only ignorant revilers, scoffers and the grossly impious sneer at mourning. It is now recognised as one of the great ailments of our modern society that no time is allowed the bereaved to grieve and mourn their loss. The result can be the most terrible psychological suffering, distress and disease.

Women who have had abortions are particularly prone to such psychological illness which is sometimes called “post-abortion syndrome”. Once they recognise the wrongness of abortion, they should be encouraged to enter into mourning even if discreetly avoiding mention of the potential scandal of the abortion by simply referring to the death of a child or relative. This will help them to grieve and mourn the loss of their infant and help them overcome the spiritual and psychological suffering they are under-going, which can often be grave and debilitating.

Friends, relatives and clergy can assist them by encouraging them not to be afraid to grieve and mourn.

When we mourn we should remember that our Lord Himself mourned and grieved at the loss of His friend, Lazarus, who, as a foretaste of the Resurrection, He caused to rise from the dead.

So, too, we must pray for the dead so that they, also, will be resurrected into the glorious light of heaven.

Carl Heinrich Bloch. The Raising of Lazarus.

Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Requiescant in pace.Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace.


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