Prayers for Funerals

Indian Prayer

Creator of life and light,
we praise thee this day for the beauty of thy world,
for sunshine and flowers,
storm-cloud and starry night,
for the radiance of dawn and the last smouldering calm of the sunset.
We thank thee for physical joys,
for the ecstasy of swift motion, for deep water to swim in,
for the goodly smell of rain on dry ground,
for hills to climb and hard work to do,
for all the skill of hand and eye,
for music that lifts our hearts in one breath to heaven,
for the grasp of a friend,
for the gracious loveliness of children,
for all these thy sacraments of beauty and joy,
we thank thee our Lord and God.   Amen

Prayer of Chief Dan George

May the stars
carry your sadness away,
may the flowers
fill your heart with beauty
may hope forever 
wipe away your tears,
and, above all,
may silence make 
you strong

An Indian Prayer

O Great Spirit
whose voice I hear in the winds
and whose breath gives life to all the world,
hear me! I am small and weak, I need your strength and wisdom.

Let me walk in beauty, and make my eyes ever behold the read and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things you have made and my ears sharp to hear your voice.
Make me wise so that I may underwent the things you have taught my people.
Let me learn the lessons you have hidden in every leaf and rock.

I seek strength, not to be greater than my brother, but to fight my greatest enemy – myself.
Make me always ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes.
So when life fades, as the fading sunset, my spirit may come to you without shame.

Psalm 23

The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.
I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of any enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Psalm 23 – Version suitable for Sailors

The Lord is my pilot, I shall not drift
He guides me across the dark waters.
He steers me through deep channels.He keeps my log.
Yes, though I sail ‘mid the thunders and tempest of life,
I shall dread no danger, for He is with me;
His love and His care, shelter me.
He prepares a quiet harbour before me.
He anoints the wave with oil,
My ship rides calmly.
Surely sunlight and starlight
Shall guide me on the voyage I take,
And I will rest in heaven’s port forever.

For Everything There Is A Season – Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

For everything there is a season,
and time for every matter under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance;
a time to throw away stones and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and time for peace

Gates of Prayer
 from the Reform Judaism Prayer Book

At the rising sun and at its going down we remember them.
At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter we remember them.
At the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring we remember them.
At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of summer we remember them.
At the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of the autumn we remember them.
At the beginning of the year and when it ends we remember them.
As long as we live, they too will live, for they are now a part of us. As we remember them.
When we are weary and in need of strength we remember them.
When we are lost and sick at heart we remember them.
When we have decisions that are difficult to make we remember them.
When we have joy we crave to share we remember them.
When we have achievements that are based on theirs we remember them.
For as long as we live, they too will live,
For they are now a part of us, as we remember them.

Buddhist Prayer

We offer this prayer for (name), the prayer of The Four Immeasurables:
May all living beings have happiness and the cause of happiness.
May all living beings be free from suffering and the cause of suffering.
May all living beings never be separated from the pure bliss, which is without suffering.
May all living beings remain in great equanimity, beyond attachment or aversion to things near or far.

Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the Sun shine warm up on your face,
And rains fall softly upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

and another Irish Blessing

May God grant you always…
A sunbeam to warm you, a moonbeam to charm you,
And a sheltering angel, so nothing can harm you.

Prayer of Faith 
by Unknown Author

We trust that beyond absence there is a presence.
That beyond the pain there can be healing.
That beyond the brokenness there can be wholeness.
That beyond the anger there may be peace.
That beyond the hurting there may be forgiveness.
That beyond the silence there may be the word.
That beyond the word there may be understanding.
That through understanding there is love.

Prayer from the Unity Church

The Light of God surrounds you.
The Love of God enfolds you.
The Power of God protects you.
The Presence of God watches over you.
Wherever you are, God is.
There is peace. Amen.

Deep Peace (an Irish Blessing)

Deep peace
Of the running waves to you
Deep peace
Of the flowing air to you
Deep peace
Of the quiet earth to you
Deep peace
Of the shining stars to you
Deep peace
Of the gentle night to you
Moon and stars
Pour their healing light on you
Deep peace to you

Peace Prayer of St Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
when there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand,
to be loved as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

As we rest in the awareness of the presence of the Divine Spirit, of which we are all a part,
we remember we are still connected heart to heart,
not only to (Name), but to each other.
Source, please assist us in maintaining this connection as we all move forward on this journey.
As grief is deep right now, we know and affirm that your love soothes all wounds.
(Name) will never be forgotten.
As our tears wash over us, we feel and express the love and memories of her we hold dear to our hearts.
Thank you, God, for guiding us and supporting us all on this earth’s journey.
And So It Is, Amen.

For Cremation – Ruth Burgess

Into the freedom of wind and sunshine
We let you go
Into the dance of the stars and the planets
We let you go
Into the wind’s breath and the hands of the star maker
We let you go
We love you, we miss you, we want you to be happy
Go safely, go dancing, go running home

Christian Prayers

Holy God, we praise your name
for all who have finished this life loving and trusting you,
for the example of their lives,
the life and grace you gave them,
and the peace in which they rest.
We praise you today for your servant (name)
and for all that you did through him/her.
Meet us in our sadness
and fill our hearts with praise and thanksgiving,
for the sake of the One who loves us all.

O God, who brought us to birth,
and in whose arms we die,
in our grief and shock
contain and comfort us;
embrace us with your love,
give us hope in our confusion
and grace to let go into new life;
through Jesus Christ. Amen

God be in my head,
and in my understanding;
God be in my eyes,
and in my looking;
God be in my mouth,
and in my speaking;
God be in my heart,
and in my thinking;
God be at my end,
and at my departing.

Egyptian Death Prayer

May you ignore my wrong doing,
and may you set me as one honored with the spirits;
may you protect my soul in the Sacred Land
may it navigate in the Field of Reeds. As I shall Pass on in Joy.


“Having seen all things, I have left this place (earth)
where I have told the truth, where I have done right.
Be good for me, you who will come after,
render witness to your ancestor-
O Lord of Heaven, powerful, universal master!
I am (the one) who passes in peace,
practising submission,
loving his father,
loving his mother,
devoted to whoever was with him,
the joy of his brothers,
the love of his servants,
who has never rejected complaint.”

Christian Prayer for Funeral

Creator God,
We come together this afternoon to honour the life of (name). 

We are gathered not only to grieve (name’s) loss but to also give thanks to you for her life among us.

We are gathered not only to mourn over how different our lives will be without her, but to give thanks to you for how rich life was when she was with us.

We have gathered not only to consider the shortness and uncertainty of life on earth, but to give thanks to you for the gift of life and the gifts of family and friendships.

Creator God, we ask that you would comfort us this day as we come together to share love and joyful memories with one another.

Sanskrit Mantras

May all be blessed with prosperity
May all be blessed with peace
May all be blessed with perfection
May all be blessed with bliss.

Lead us from unreal to Real
Lead us from darkness to the Light
Lead us from the fear of death
To knowledge of Immortality.

The Great Invocation

From the point of Light within the Mind of God
Let light stream forth into the minds of men.
Let Light descend on Earth.

From the point of Love within the Heart of God
Let love stream forth into the hearts of men.
May Christ return to Earth.

From the centre where the Will of God is known
Let purpose guide the little wills of men –
The purpose which the Masters know and serve.

From the centre which we call the race of men
Let the Plan of Love and Light work out
And may it seal the door where evil dwells.

Let Light and Love and Power restore the Plan on Earth.