Prayers for Times of Grief

A selection of prayers and scripture readings from many faiths.

Continued from page 1

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.

--Psalm 137


But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb.

--John 20


This is the Hour of Lead --

Remembered, if outlived,

As Freezing persons--recollect the Snow --

First -- Chill -- Then Stupor -- then the letting go.

--Emily Dickinson

Pleas for mercy and aid


Laments of mourning and affliction


Rest for the dead and the suffering


Comfort and strength




Repose for the dead, rest for the suffering

And 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 [transition state once life has ended].

--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


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