Prayers

Gathering in the Presence of the Body

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INDEX

Introduction
Sign of the cross
Scripture verse
Sprinkling with holy water
Psalm
The Lord’s Prayer
Concluding Prayer
Blessing

INTRODUCTION

If we have died with Christ, we believe we shall also live with him

109
This rite provides a model of prayer that may be used when the family first gathers in the presence of the body, when the body is to be prepared for burial, or after it has been prepared. The family members, in assembling in the presence of the body, confront in the most immediate way the fact of their loss and the mystery of death. Because cultural attitudes and practices on such occasions may vary, the minister should adapt the rite.

110 Through the presence of the minister and others and through the celebration of this brief rite, the community seeks to be with the mourners in their need and to provide an atmosphere of sensitive concern and confident faith. In prayer and gesture those present show reverence for the body of the deceased as a temple of the life-giving Spirit and ask, in that same Spirit, for the eternal life promised to the faithful.

111 The minister should try to be as attentive as possible to the particular needs of the mourners. The minister begins the rite at an opportune moment and, as much as possible, in an atmosphere of calm and recollection. The pause for silent prayer after the Scripture verse can be especially helpful in this regard.

SIGN OF THE CROSS

112 The minister and those present sign themselves with the sign of the cross and the minister says:

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

R. Amen.

SCRIPTURE VERSE

113 One of the following or another brief Scripture verse is read.

A Matthew 11:28-30


My brothers and sisters, Jesus says:

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

B John 14:1-3

My brothers and sisters, Jesus says:

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.”

Pause for silent prayer.

SPRINKLING WITH HOLY WATER

114 Using one of the following formularies, the minister may sprinkle the body with holy water.

A


The Lord is our shepherd
and leads us to streams of living water.

B

Let this water call to mind our baptism into Christ
who by his death and resurrection has redeemed us.

C

The Lord God lives in his holy temple yet abides in our midst.
Since in baptism N. became God’s temple
and the Spirit of God lived in him/her,
with reverence we bless his/her mortal body.

PSALM

115 One of the following psalms is sung or said, or another psalm provided in Part III, nos. 343-344 (see ‘Readings for Funerals in the ‘Rites’ section of the iBreviary)


A

Psalm 130

R. I hope in the Lord, I trust in his word.

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord
Lord, hear my voice!
O let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my pleading.

R. I hope in the Lord, I trust in his word.

If you, O Lord, should mark our guilt,
Lord, who would survive?
But with you is found forgiveness:
for this we revere you.

R. I hope in the Lord, I trust in his word.

My soul is waiting for the Lord,
I count on his word.
My soul is longing for the Lord
more than watchman for daybreak.

R. I hope in the Lord, I trust in his word.

Because with the Lord there is mercy
and fullness of redemption,
Israel indeed he will redeem
from all its iniquity.

R. I hope in the Lord, I trust in his word.

B

Psalm 115 and 116

R.
I will walk in the presence of the Lord, in the land of the living.

How gracious is the Lord, and just;
our God has compassion.
The Lord protects the simple hearts;
I was helpless so he saved me.

R. I will walk in the presence of the Lord, in the land of the living.

I trusted, even when I said:
“I am sorely afflicted,”
and when I said in my alarm:
“No man can be trusted.”

R. I will walk in the presence of the Lord, in the land of the living.

O precious in the eyes of the Lord
is the death of his faithful.
Your servant, Lord, your servant am I;
you have loosened my bonds.

R. I will walk in the presence of the Lord, in the land of the living.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

116 Using one of the following invitations, or in similar words, the minister invites those present to pray the Lord’s Prayer.

A


With God there is mercy and fullness of redemption; let us pray as Jesus taught us:

B

Let us pray for the coming of the kingdom as Jesus taught us:

All:

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.


CONCLUDING PRAYER

117 The minister says one of the following prayers or one of those provided in nos. 398-399 (see Appendix for Christian Funerals in the ‘Rites’ section of the iBreviary).

A


God of faithfulness,
in your wisdom you have called your servant N. out of this world;
release him/her from the bonds of sin,
and welcome him/her into your presence,
so that he/she may enjoy eternal light and peace
and be raised up in glory with all your saints.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.

B

Into your hands, O Lord,
we humbly entrust our brother/sister N.
In this life you embraced him/her with your tender love;
deliver him/her now from every evil
and bid him/her enter eternal rest.
The old order has passed away:
welcome him/her then into paradise,
where there will be no sorrow, no weeping nor pain,
but the fullness of peace and joy
with your Son and the Holy Spirit
for ever and ever.
R. Amen.

BLESSING

118 The minister says:


Blessed are those who have died in the Lord;
let them rest from their labors for their good deeds go with them.

A gesture, for example, signing the forehead of the deceased with the sign of the cross, may accompany the following words.

Eternal rest grant unto him/her, O Lord.
R. And let perpetual light shine upon him/her.

May he/she rest in peace.
R. Amen.

May his/her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
R. Amen.

A

A minister who is a priest or deacon says:


May the peace of God,
which is beyond all understanding,
keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God
and of his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
R. Amen.

May almighty God bless you,
the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit.
R. Amen.

B

A lay minister invokes God’s blessing and signs himself or herself with the sign of the cross, saying:


May the love of God and the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ
bless and console us
and gently wipe every tear from our eyes:
in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
R. Amen.

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