How to Use These Prayers

Feel free to choose from the many different prayers, litanies, and scriptures, depending on the circumstances and condition of the person. Also, the length of the prayers may be shortened or extended. Most importantly, listen to how God may be speaking to you.

As you begin praying, it is helpful to ask for a moment of silence among those gathered and invite all present to call to mind the presence of God. The prayers are best said in a slow, quiet voice, alternating with periods of silence. A pause or a period of silence between each section is also helpful.

Do not hesitate to say these prayers even if the person appears to be unconscious. A person who appears unconscious may still be aware of their surroundings and be able to hear and may know that others who care and love them are near and are there to help them on their journey to meet Our Lord.

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Introduction

Visiting a person who is approaching the end of life can be a difficult time, filled with stress and confusion. The dying person and their family and friends need our support, but we often feel helpless and are not sure what to do. It is hoped that these prayers that are in the Catholic tradition will give you some guidance and direction. Our prayers at the bedside of our Christian brothers and sisters will let them know that they are not alone. We are walking with them as far as we can on this final journey to their new home. We cannot cross over into their new home, but we can go as far as the door with them.

It is hoped that as death draws near, these prayers will give the person confidence in God’s mercy so they can overcome their fears and look forward to a heavenly life and resurrection through the power of Christ, who destroyed the power of death by his own dying. Our Lord is by their side to guide and protect them. The promise of scripture is that God will lead us through the valley of the shadow of death. As we read in Deuteronomy 31:8, “It is the Lord who goes before you; he will be with you and will never fail you or forsake you. So do not fear or be dismayed.”

We should rejoice for our loved ones who will soon be in the presence of Christ. As the apostle Paul tells us, though we naturally grieve at losing loved ones, we are not to “grieve like the rest, who have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13). Our parting is not the end of our relationship, only an interruption. We will not lose our loved one who is near death, because we know where they will be going. They will experience the joy and love of Christ’s presence in a place so wonderful that Christ called it Paradise. And one day, we’re told, in a magnificent reunion, them and we “shall always be with the Lord. Therefore console one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:17-18).

The Sign of the Cross

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

Greeting

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 1:2

We journey with you, (Name) toward your new home. We will go with you as far as the front door. We will help you and pray with you as you pass through this door into your new home in the kingdom of God. Let us walk together in faith and peace, sharing the love we have for (Name).

Penitential Act or Reconciliation

Now let us turn with confidence to the Lord and ask his forgiveness for all our sins.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

Divine Mercy Prayer

Jesus revealed to St. Faustina Kowaska, “At the hour of their death, I defend as My own glory every soul that will say this chaplet; or when others say it for a dying person, the indulgence is the same. When this chaplet is said by the bedside of a dying person,… unfathomable mercy envelops the soul, and the very depths of My tender mercy are moved (Diary, 811).

Now let us pray the Divine Mercy Prayer as Jesus taught St. Faustina:

Eternal Father,
I offer you the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity
of Your dearly beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
in atonement for our sins,
and those of the whole world.

For the sake of His sorrowful passion,
have mercy on us and on the whole world (repeat 3 times)

Scripture Readings

Note: Scripture texts here and elsewhere in this work are from the New American Bible Revised Edition, a bible translation approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and available on their website. This revised edition is the culmination of nearly 20 years of work by nearly 100 scholars and theologians.

Short Scriptural Texts

What will separate us from the love of Christ?  Romans 8:35

We shall always be with the Lord.   1 Thessalonians 4:17

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? Psalm 27:1

Jesus said, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you.”   Matthew 25:34

God said, “I will never forsake you or abandon you.”   Hebrews 13:5

They that hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar on eagles’ wings. Isaiah 40:31

Longer Scriptural Reading

The Lord is my shepherd;
there is nothing I lack.
In green pastures he makes me lie down;
to still waters he leads me;
he restores my soul.
He guides me along right paths
for the sake of his name.
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 comfort me….
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Indeed, goodness and mercy will pursue me
all the days of my life;
I will dwell in the house of the Lord.
                                                                            Psalm 23 

Other Scriptural Readings

Jesus said, “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.”                                                                      
                                                                        John 14:1-3

Jesus said, “Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
Not as the world gives do I give it to you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.”
                                                                John 14:23, 27

“Do not fear: I am with you;
do not be anxious: I am your God.
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.”
                                                                Isaiah 41:10

Be strong and steadfast!
Do not fear nor be dismayed,
for the Lord, your God, is with you
wherever you go.                   
                                                                    Joshua 1:9                                

Jesus said, “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.”
                                                                   Matthew 11:28-30

 Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice;
I know them, and they follow me.
I give them eternal life,
and they will never perish.
No one can take them out of my hand.
My Father, who has given them to me,
is greater than all,
and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand.
The Father and I are one.”
                                                                John 10:27-30

 So whoever is in Christ is a new creation:
the old things have passed away;
behold, new things have come.
                                                              2 Corinthians 5:17 

Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.
Not as the world gives, do I give it to you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.”
                                                             John 14.27

Blessed are those who trust in the Lord;…
They are like a tree planted beside the waters
that stretches out its roots to the stream:
It does not fear heat when it comes,
its leaves stay green;
In the year of drought it shows no distress,
but still produces fruit.
                                                         Jeremiah 17; 7-8

For I know well the plans I have in mind for you…
plans for your welfare, and not for woe,
so as to give you a future of hope.
                                                       Jeremiah 29:11

God is our refuge and our strength,
an ever-present help in distress.
Thus we do not fear, though earth be shaken
and mountains quake to the depths of the sea….
“Be still and know that I am God!
                                                  Psalm 46: 1-3, 11

Litany of Saints 

Lord have mercy Lord, have mercy
Christ, have mercy  Christ, have mercy
Lord, have mercy  Lord, have mercy
Holy Mary, Mother of God  Pray for him/her
Holy angels of God   Pray for him/her
Abraham, our father in faith Pray for him/ her
David, leader of God’s people  Pray for him/her
All holy patriarchs and prophets  Pray for him/her
Saint John the Baptist  Pray for him/her
Saint Joseph       Pray for him/her
Saint Peter and Saint Paul       Pray for him/her
Lord, be merciful    Lord, save your people
From all evil  Lord, save your people
 From every sin  Lord, save your people
From Satan’s power  Lord, save your people
 At the moment of death  Lord, save your people
 From everlasting death  Lord, save your people
 On the day of judgment  Lord, save your people
By your coming as man  Lord, save your people
 By your suffering and cross  Lord, save your people
 By your death and rising to new life  Lord, save your people
 By your return in glory to the Father  Lord, save your people
 By your gift of the Holy Spirit  Lord, save your people
 By your coming again in glory  Lord, save your people
Be merciful to us sinners  Lord, hear our prayer
 Bring N. to eternal life,
 first promised to him (her)in Baptism  Lord, hear our prayer
Raise N. on the last day,
 for he (she) has eaten the Bread of life  Lord, hear our prayer
 Let N. share in your glory,
 for he (she) has shared in
 your suffering and death  Lord, hear our prayer
Jesus, Son of the living God  Lord, hear our prayer
 Christ, hear us  Christ hear us
 Lord Jesus, hear our prayer   Lord Jesus, hear our prayer

The Lord’s Prayer

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.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
forever and ever.
Amen.

Prayer of Commendation

Name, child of God,
our companion in faith and sister/brother in Christ,
Go forth, Christian soul, from this world
in the love of God the almighty Father,
who created you,
in the mercy of Jesus Christ, Son of the living God,
who suffered and died for you,
in the power of the Holy Spirit,
who was poured out upon you, and strengthens you,
at one with all the faithful, living and departed.
go forth, faithful Christian.

May you rest in peace
and rise in the glory of your eternal home,
forever in the paradise of God.
where grief and misery are banished,
and light and joy abide.
Amen.

Conclude With The Sign of the Cross

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

Other Prayers       

The Apostle’s Creed
I believe in God,
the Father Almighty,
Creator of Heaven and earth;
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into Hell.
The third day He arose again from the dead;
He ascended into Heaven,
sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty;
from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

The Glory Be
Glory be to the Father,
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning,
is now and ever shall be,
world without end.
Amen.

The Sign of the Cross
In the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

Act of Contrition
“O my God, I am sorry and beg pardon for all my sins, and detest them above all things, because they have crucified my loving Savior Jesus Christ, and, most of all, because they offend your infinite goodness; and I firmly resolve, by the help of your grace, never to offend you again, and carefully to avoid the occasions of sin. Amen.”

Hail Holy Queen
Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of mercy,
our life, our sweetness and our hope.
To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve:
to thee do we send up our sighs,
mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.
Turn then, most gracious Advocate,
thine eyes of mercy toward us,
and after this our exile,
show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Amen.

The Hail Mary
Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with thee:
blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.
Amen

Anima Christi
Soul of Christ, make me holy
Body of Christ, be my salvation
Blood of Christ, let me drink your wine
Water flowing from the side of Christ, wash me clean
Passion of Christ, strengthen me
Kind Jesus, hear my prayer
Hide me within your wounds
And keep me close to you
Defend me from the evil enemy
And call me at the hour of my death
To the fellowship of your saints
That I might sing your praise with them
for all eternity. Amen.

– compiled June 2017