Prayers after Death

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(a) For the deceased

(b) For the mourners



Blessed are the sorrowing; they shall be consoled

101. This rite provides a model of prayer that may be used when the minister first meets with the family following death.  The rite follows a common pattern of reading, response, prayer, and blessing and may be adapted according to the circumstances.

102. The presence of the minister and the calming effect of familiar prayers can comfort the mourners as they begin to face their loss. When the minister is present with the family at the time death occurs, this rite can be used as a quiet and prayerful response to the death. In other circumstances, for example, in the case of sudden or unexpected death, this form of prayer can be the principal part of the first pastoral visit of the minister.

103. The initial pastoral visit can be important as the first tangible expression of the community’s support for the mourners. A minister unfamiliar with the family or the deceased person can learn a great deal on this occasion about the needs of the family and about the life of the deceased. The minister may also be able to form some preliminary judgments to help the family in planning the funeral rites. If circumstances allow, some first steps in the planning may take place at this time.


104. Using one of the following greetings, or in similar words, the minister greets those present.


In this moment  of sorrow
the Lord is in our midst
and consoles us with his word:
Blessed are the sorrowful; they shall be comforted.


Praised be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of mercies, and the God of all consolation!
He comforts us in all our afflictions
and thus enables us to comfort those who grieve
 with the same consolation
we have received from him.

The minister then invites those present to pray in silence.


105. The minister or one of those present proclaims the reading. A reading from Part III, nos 343-346, or one of the following may be used.

A       Matthew 18:19-20

Jesus said to his disciples:

“Amen, I say to you, if two of you agree on earth
about anything for which they are to pray,
it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father.
For where two or three are gathered together in my name,
there am I in the midst of them.”

strong>B        John 11:21-27

Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise.” Martha said to him, “I know he will rise,  in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Messiah,  the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.”

C      Luke 20:35-38

Jesus said: “Those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. They can no longer die, for they are like angels; and they are the children of God because they are the ones who will rise. That the dead will rise even Moses made known in the passage about the bush, when he called ‘Lord’ the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.”


106. 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:


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.


107. A prayer for the deceased person is then said. This prayer may be followed by a prayer for the mourners.

For the deceased person: The minister says one of the following prayers or one of those provided in no. 398 (see Appendix for Christian Funerals in the ‘Rites’ section of the ibreviary).

Holy Lord, almighty and eternal God,
hear our prayers for your servant N.,
whom you have summoned out of this world.
Forgive his/her sins and failings
and grant him/her a place of refreshment, light and peace.
Let him/her pass unharmed through the gates of death
to dwell with the blessed in light,
as you promised to Abraham and his children for ever.
Accept N. into your safe-keeping
and on the great day of judgment
raise him/her up with all the saints
to inherit your eternal kingdom.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.


Te, Dómine, sancte Pater, omnípotens aetérne Deus,
supplices deprecámur pro anima fámuli tui(fámulæ tuæ) N.,
quem (quam) de hoc sǽculo ad te venire iussísti;
ut ei dignéris dare locum refrigérii, lucis et pacis.
Líceat ei portas mortis sine offensióne transíre
et in mansiónibus sanctórum et in luce sancta permáneat,
quam olim Abrahæ et eius sémini promisísti.
Nullam eius ánima sustíneat læsionem,
sed, cum magnus dies ille resurrectiónis
et remuneratiónis advénerit,
resuscitáre eum (eam), Dómine,
una cum sanctis et eléctis dignéris;
dimíttas ei ómnia delícta atque peccáta,
tecúmque immortalitátis vitam
et regnum consequátur æternum.
R. Amen.]

For the mourners: The minister may then say the following prayer or one of those provided in no. 399 (see Appendix for Christian Funerals in the ‘Rites’ section of the ibreviary).

Father of mercies and God of all consolation,
you pursue us with untiring love
and dispel the shadow of death
with the bright dawn of life.

[Comfort your family in their loss and sorrow.
Be our refuge and our strength, O Lord,
and lift us from the depths of grief
into the peace and light of your presence.]

Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
by dying has destroyed our death,
and by rising, restored our life.
Enable us therefore to press on toward him,
so that, after our earthly course is run,
he may reunite us with those we love,
when every tear will be wiped away.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.


Misericordiárum Pater et Deus totíus consolatiónis,
qui nos ætérno amóre proséqueris,
qui umbram mortis in vitæ vertis auróram,
réspice, quæ´sumus, fámulos tuos in tribulatióne geméntes.

(Esto, Dómine, refúgium nostrum et virtus,
ut ex huius dolóris ténebris et luctu
ad præséntiæ tuæ lucem et pacem elevémur).

Et quia Fílius tuus Dóminus noster
mortem nostram moriéndo destrúxit
et vitam resurgéndo reparávit,
concéde, quǽsumus, ut ad eum sic currámus,
ut post mortális vitæ cursum,
ibi aliquándo cum frátribus adunémur,
ubi omnes lácrimæ ab óculis abstergéntur.

Qui tecum vivit et regnat in sǽcula sæculórum.
R. Amen.]


108. 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.

Go to the blessing if (a) a priest or deacon (b) a layperson


Beati mortui, qui in Domino moriuntur amodo. Etiam ut requiescant a laboribus suis; opera enim illorum sequuntur illos

Réquiem æternam dona ei, Dómine.
R. Et lux perpétua lúceat ei.

Requiéscat in pace.
R. Amen.

Anima eius, et ánimæ ómnium fidélium defunctórum,
per misericórdiam Dei requiéscant in pace.
R. Amen.]


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.


Pax Dei, quae exsúperat omnem sensum,
custódiat corda vestra et intellegéntias vestras
in sciéntia et caritáte Dei,
et Fílii sui, Dómini nostri Iesu Christi. R. Amen.

Benedícat vos omnípotens Deus,
Pater, et Fílius, + et Spíritus Sanctus.
R. Amen.]


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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