Bereavement Prayers

God, do not let my feelings overwhelm me. During moments of anguish, touch my heart with courage, my soul with your compassion and with your love to comfort me. Despite my pain, let me know healing is occurring. Let me hear often that you are always with me.  God, today is different; I am faced with my challenges. Help me know I am not powerless and that I am surviving. Give me hope for tomorrow. Let me believe in myself and allow others to comfort me.

Death is nothing at all… I have only slipped away into the next room. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me in the easy way which you always used. Laugh as we always laughed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let me name be the household word that is always was. Let it be spoken without effort. Life means all that is ever meant. It is the same as it ever was, there is absolutely unbroken continuity. Why should I be out of your mind because I am out of your sight? I am but waiting for you. For an interval, somewhere very near just around the corner. All is well. Nothing is post; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all with be as it was before…only better. Infinitely happier and forever…we will all be one together with Christ.

It has been a long-standing tradition in the church that we honor with respect the memory of deceased loved ones. Thus, the church has always encouraged us to make cemetery visits, to take care of their places of burial and to offer prayers in their behalf. This enables us to realize that physical death is not the last word on human life, because we as persons are destined for endless life, which finds its fulfillment only in god.

These thoughts flow from the beautiful belief we gave in the communion of saints which is three-fold: those who are already enjoying the presence of god in heaven; those who are still being purified and this look forward to that divine presence of god in heaven; and those of us on earth who await our personal call into eternity.

Through our prayers, we ask the intercession of those already in heaven to assist us in our daily lives, so that we too will one day enjoy god’s presence. We, in turn, are able to assist those in purgatory who are still being prepared for the happiness of heaven, among whom could be some of our own family members or friends, through our frequent remembrance of them when we offer holy mass and in our other prayers.

Visiting their place of burial and praying for our deceased love ones, are certainly ways that we keep their memory alive… it is indeed saying to them: “I’ll never forget you”.

There is a very special person in heaven with whom we can join in our sorrow. Scripture teaches us that our blessed mother Mary “pondered in her heart” the happenings of her son’s life. She expected the drama of Christ’s death at the foot of the Cross and then shared in the joy of his resurrection. She, whom we invoke as the Gate of Heaven, can help us to understand the value of remembering our departed, and of keeping ourselves focused on the ultimate goal of our lives, which is the eternal happiness of heaven.

God did not promise
Skies always blue,
Flower strewn pathways,
All our lives through;
God did not promise
Sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow.
Peace without pain.
But God did promise
Strength for the day,
Rest for the labor,
Light for the way,
Grace for the trails,
Help from above,
Unfailing sympathy,
Undying love…
Revelation 21:4