Prayers for Those Who Mourn
Words of comfort from many faiths.
Bless those who mourn, eternal God, with the comfort of your love that they may face each new day with hope and the certainty that nothing can destroy the good that has been given. May their memories become joyful, their days enriched with friendship, and their lives encircled by your love. Amen.
--c 1991 Vienna Cobb Anderson
God, make me brave for life: oh, braver than this.
Let me straighten after pain, as a tree straightens after the rain,
Shining and lovely again.
God, make me brave for life; much braver than this.
As the blown grass lifts, let me rise
From sorrow with quiet eyes,
Knowing Thy way is wise.
God, make me brave, life brings
Such blinding things.
Help me to keep my sight;
Help me to see aright
That out of dark comes light.
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.
May all be free from sorrow,
and the causes of sorrow,
May all never be separated from the sacred happiness which is sorrowless.
Almighty God, Father of all mercies and giver of all comfort: Deal graciously, we pray thee, with those who mourn, that casting every care on thee, they may know the consolation of thy love, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
--The Book of Common Prayer 1979
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
Om Sarve Bhavanthu Sukhina
Sarve Santhu Nira Maya
Sarve Bhadrani Pashyanthu
Ma Kashchith Dukkha Bhaag Bhaveth
[Oh Lord, may all of mankind be safe,
Let no one experience pain or suffering.]
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
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.
[Magnified and sanctified be Your name, O God, throughout the world, which You have created according to Your will. May Your sovereignty be accepted in our own days, in our lives, and in the life of all the House of Israel, speedily and soon, and let us say, Amen.
May Your great name be blessed for ever and ever.
Exalted and honored, adored and acclaimed be Your name, O Holy One, blessed are You, whose glory transcends all praises, songs, and blessings voiced in the world, and let us say, Amen.
Grant abundant peace and life to us and to all Israel, and let us say, Amen.
May You who establish peace in the heavens, grant peace to us, to Israel, and to all the earth, and let us say, Amen.
May God comfort you among the other mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.]
--from the Jewish Kaddish for Mourners
To Allah we belong and to him we shall return. Oh Allah, help me in my calamity and replace it with good.
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
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
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 prayer for the dead
Exalted, compassionate God, grant perfect peace in Your sheltering Presence, among the holy and the pure who shine with the splendor of the firmament, to the soul of our dear one who has gone to 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
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 [transition state once life has ended].
--The Tibetan Book of the Dead
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
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