This long page contains both prayerful content
a very broad collection of secular, non religious readings, poems, quotations &
music often used at
funerals and memorial services. Also many links to helpful online resources.
Offered with love and sympathy to help, comfort, support & peacefully inspire all who have been
scroll down - content is in no particular order. Skip quickly past those not to
your personal taste or beliefs as something further down may make a very helpful
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Feedback + Copyright | Translate | Remembrance of our war dead
'The dead have only gone as far as God, and God is not far away'.
(St. John Henry Newman)
"I am the resurrection and the life. He
who believes in me will live, even though he dies, and whoever
lives and believes in me will never die." (John 11:25-26) |
"Do not be saddened this day, for rejoicing in the Lord must be
your strength!" (Nehemiah 8:10)
"His master replied, 'Well done, good and
faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will
put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's
happiness!" (Matthew 25:21 - NIV) | "May all those who have
died come to the fullness of the resurrection. May those who mourn
be comforted." | "And God will wipe away
every tear from their eyes." Revelation 7:17b
Prayer After Death of Loved
Saints of God, come to his/her aid! Come to meet
him/her, angels of the Lord!
R. Receive his/her soul and present him/her to God the Most
May Christ, Who called you, take you to Himself;
may angels lead you to Abraham's side.
R. Receive his/her soul and present him/her to God the Most
Give him/her eternal rest, O Lord, and may Your
light shine upon him/her forever.
R. Receive his/her soul and present him/her to God the Most
Let us pray: We commend our brother (sister) N. to
Now that he/she has passed from this life, may he/she live on in
In Your mercy and love, forgive whatever sins
he/she may have committed through human weakness. We ask this
through Christ our Lord.
see also "The Song of Farewell" below
Prayers for the Deceased for Forgiveness
and Peace and for Mourners
Lord Jesus, our Redeemer, You willingly gave
Yourself up to death so that all people might be saved and pass
from death into a new life. Listen to our prayers; look with love
on Your people who mourn and pray for their dead
Lord Jesus, You alone are holy and compassionate; forgive our
brother/sister his/her sins.
By dying You opened the gates of life for those who believe in You;
do not let Your brother/sister be parted from You, but by Your
glorious power give him/her light, joy, and peace in heaven where
You live for ever and ever. Amen.
My brother (sister)
in faith, I entrust you to God Who created you.
May you return to the One Who formed you from the dust of this
May Mary, the angels, and all the saints come to meet you as you go
forth from this life.
May Christ Who was crucified for you bring you freedom and
May Christ, the Son of God, Who died for you take you into His
May Christ, the Good Shepherd, give you a place within His
May He forgive your sins and keep you among His people.
May you see your Redeemer face to face and enjoy the sight of God
see also: "Go forth, Christian soul, from this world in
the name of the God the almighty Father, who created you, in the
name of Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God who suffered for you,
in the name of the Holy Spirit, who was poured out upon you, go
forth, faithful Christian. May you live in peace this day, may your
home be with God, with Mary, the virgin Mother of God, with Joseph,
and all the angels and saints. Amen"
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DE PROFUNDIS Psalm 129
(130) Out of the depths I cry to you, O
Lord, hear my voice! O let your ears be attentive To the voice
of my pleading. If you, O Lord, should mark our guilt, Lord, who
would survive? But with you is found forgiveness: For this we
revere you. My soul is waiting for the Lord, I count on his word.
My soul is longing for the Lord More than watchman for daybreak.
Let the watchman count on daybreak And Israel on the Lord. Because
with the Lord there is mercy And fullness of redemption. Israel
indeed he will redeem From all its iniquity.
Commentary: The psalmist was praying at
a time of great sadness and despair for himself and the Hebrew
people. He could see no way in which the sadness would end. That is
why he calls to God 'out of the depths'. He was also deeply
conscious of his own sins and the people's sins, but knew he could
rely on God's promise of loving forgiveness. He hoped in God with
the confidence of someone who at the darkest hour of the night
looks forward to the light of dawn. This psalm has been one the
Church's favourite prayers for the dead. It applies to the whole
Church. It applies to the dead person, who returns to God as a
sinner, trusting in God's love and compassion, looking beyond dying
to the morning light of eternal life with God. It applies also to
us who are left in the depths of sorrow, repenting of our own sins
too and confidently looking forward to sharing the same everlasting
light of heaven. I hope this will be of some help to you. God
bless! Monsignor Richard Rutt [RIP August 2011] (retired
priest of Falmouth parish - contributed by him.)
reading from the book of Wisdom 4: 4-15 (Jerusalem Bible
The virtuous man, though he die
before his time, will find rest. Length of days is not what makes
age honourable, nor number of years the true measure of life;
understanding, this is man’s grey hairs, untarnished life, this is
ripe old age. He has sought to please God, so God has loved him; as
he lived among sinners, he has been taken up.
He has been carried off so that evil
may not warp his understanding or treachery seduce his soul; for
the fascination of evil throws the good into the shade, and the
whirlwind of desire corrupts a simple heart.
Coming to perfection in so short a
while, he achieved long life; his soul being pleasing to the Lord,
who has taken him quickly
from the wickedness around him.
Yet people look on, uncomprehending;
it does not enter their heads that grace and mercy await the chosen
of the Lord,
and protection, God’s holy ones. [This is the Word of the
Other readings suggestions:
Wisdom 3:1-6,9 |
1 Peter 1:3-9 |
John 14:1-6 ~ link#2
Romans 14: 7-12 | Apocalypse/Revelations 14:
13 | Lectionary
Readings for funerals |
1Thessalonians 4:13-18 listen - click here and select from list
A Gospel acclamation: 'Happy are those who have died in the
Lord; Let them rest from their labours for their good deeds go
An alternative Hymn to Psalm 23: "The king of love
my Shepherd is" \ organ \ alternative
some more 'prayerful' offerings and suggestions can be found via
the external links
'The dead have only gone as far as God, and God is not far away'.
(St. John Henry Newman)
'Death is nothing at all' ~ Canon
Henry Scott Holland of St. Paul's Cathedral | info
Death is nothing at all. I have only slipped away into the next
I am I, and you are you. Whatever we were to each other that we
Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me in the easy way which
you always used.
Put no difference in your tone, wear no forced air of solemnity or
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was,
let it be spoken without effect, without the trace of shadow on
Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was;
there is unbroken continuity.
[There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is this death but
a negligible accident?]
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just
around the corner.
All is well.
[editor's note: Some
find the opening words unhelpful, death 'is something' huge for
many, however as the remainder this writing is encouraging, you
could vary or omit the opening lines] NB. see also "To Those I Love and Those Who Love Me"
What is dying? ~ 'A
Parable of Immortality' written by Henry van Dyke
(1852 - 1933), often misattributed to, because was 'used' by Bishop
Brent. Also misattributed to Victor Hugo. The full version is
below with two often used variations. [citation updated 09.2012 with
thanks to Steve for correction]
I am standing upon that foreshore.
A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and
starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength
and I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of
white clouds just where the sea and sky come down to mingle with
Then someone at my side says, "There! She's gone!"
"Gone from my sight, that's all". She is just as large in mast and
spar and hull as ever she was when she left my side; just as able
to bear her load of living freight to the place of her destination.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her. And just at that moment
when someone at my side says, "There! She's gone!" there are other
eyes watching her coming and other voices ready to take up the glad
she comes!" And that is dying.
A ship sails and I stand watching
till she fades on the horizon, and someone says, "she is gone".
Gone from my sight, that is all; she is just as large as when I saw
The diminished size and total loss of sight is in me, not in her,
and just at the moment when someone says "she is gone", there are
others who are watching her coming, and other voices take up a glad
shout, "there she comes!"...
and that is dying.
I am standing on the sea shore.
A ship sails to the morning breeze and starts for the
She is an object of beauty and I stand watching her till at
last she fades on the horizon, and someone at my side says, "she is
Gone where? Gone
from my sight, that is all: she is just as large in the masts, hull
and spars as she was when I saw her, and just as able to bear her
load of living freight to its destination.
The diminished size and total loss of sight is in me, not
her: and just at the moment when someone at my side says, "she is
gone," there are others who are watching her coming, and other
voices take up a glad shout, "there she comes" - and that is
"She is gone" ~ a poem by David Harkins alternate
Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
referred to as "An
Indian Prayer" by Mary Frye (1932) + Wilbur Skeels (lyrics ©1996) see
Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow;
I am the diamond glints on snow;
I am the sunlight on ripened grain;
I am the gentle Autumn's rain.
When you waken in the morning's hush;
I am the swift uplifting rush of quiet birds in circled flight;
I am the soft star that shines at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there, I did not die.
Version by Wilbur Skeels can't be shown here for
In those quiet moments in the still of the night
Remember to rejoice and celebrate life
Do not think of me gone and weep
I am not there, I do not sleep
I am a thousand winds that blow
I am the diamond glints on snow
I am the sunlight on the grain
I am the gentle autumn's rain
When you awaken in the morning hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in flight
I am the soft stars that shine
You will hear my gentle voice
and remember to rejoice
Never give up your fight
and remember always
to Celebrate Life.... ~ Anon
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Don't grieve for me for now
I'm following the path God laid for me.
I took his hand when I heard him call,
I turned my back and left it all.
I could not stay another day
To laugh, to love, to work or play.
Tasks left undone will stay that way,
I found that peace at close of day.
If my parting has left a void
Then fill it with remembered joy
A friendship shared, a laugh a kiss,
Ah yes, these things I, too, will miss. >>
But not burdened with times of sorrow,
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life has been full, I've savoured much.
Good friends, good times, a loved ones touch.
Perhaps my time seemed all to brief
Don't lengthen it now with undue grief,
Lift up you hearts and share with me,
God wanted me now,
He set me free.
Janice M. Fair-Salters,
copyright, by kind permission of the author, published in "Voices
From Beyond" available from Westbowpress online
bookstore | see two other poems on this page (citation updated 05.2014 with thanks to
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I'M NOT GONE
Don't cry for me ,
now that I am free.
Just look around anywhere,
and that is where I'll be.
For I am the daylight ,
when the sun starts to rise.
I'm the bright rainbow,
you see with your eyes.
I'm the tiny raindrops,
that sprinkle in the wind.
I'll always be here with you,
for there really is no end.
I'm the dew that's on the ground,
and the quietness all around.
Yes, I am so very happy,
with this new life I have found.
I'm the peaceful summer breeze,
that flows softly through the trees.
I'm the bluebird in the sky,
that sings with such ease.
Yes, I am so very happy,
so happy to be free.
Understand my family and friends
and don't you cry for me.
~ Sheila Pearce
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Gitanjali Ghei (1961- 1977)
It was beautiful as long as it lasted, the journey
of my life, I have no regrets whatsoever, save the pain I'll leave
Those dear hearts who love and care, and the heavy with sleep ever
moist eyes, the smile in spite of a lump in the throat and the
strings pulling at the heart and soul,
The strong arms that held me up when my own strength let me down,
each morsel that I was fed with was full of love.
At every turning of my life I came across good friends, friends who
stood by me, even when the time raced me by.
Farewell farewell my friends, I smile and bid you goodbye.
No, shed no tears, for I need them not, all I need is your smile,
If you feel sad, do think of me, for that's what I'll like, when
you live in the hearts of those you love, remember then...... you
never die. From - Poems of Gitanjali
Included here by
kind permission of the family. Also to be found
here | Read about the author
A girl who died of cancer at the age of 16, wrote some of the most
beautiful poems on death, compassion and faith in God.
Poems link | Buy 'Poems of Gitanjali' Oriel Press (
Routledge & Kegan Paul) ISBN 0 85362 on
Other resources from 'Funeral
To Those I Love And Those Who Love
When I am gone, release me, let me go.
I have so many things to see and do.
You mustn’t tie yourself to me with tears.
Be happy that we had so many years.
I gave you my love, you can only guess
How much you gave to me in happiness.
I thank you for the love you have shown.
But now it’s time I travelled alone.
So grieve a while for me, if grieve you must.
Then let your grief be comforted by trust.
It’s only for a while that we must part,
So bless the memories within your heart.
I won’t be far away. For life goes on.
So if you need me call and I will come.
Though you can’t see or touch me, I’ll be there.
And if you listen with your heart you’ll hear,
All of my love around you soft and clear.
And then when you must come this way alone,
I’ll greet you with a smile and welcome you home. ~
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by Alfred Lord Tennyson.
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,
But such a
tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;
For tho’ from
out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.
By John Masefield
(1878-1967) (English Poet Laureate, 1930-1967.)
I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.
I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls
I must down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.
listen ~ spoken |
listen ~ set
to music - #2 -
Read at funeral of an old sailing friend, 'M.T.' - R.I.P.
6th January 2012
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Miss Me But Let Me
When I come to the end of the
and the sun has set on me,
I want no rites in a gloom filled room,
Why cry for a soul set free.
Miss me a little--but not too
and not with your head bowed low,
Remember the love that we once shared,
Miss me--but let me go.
For this is a journey that we all
And each must go alone.
It's all a part of the Master's plan,
A step on the road to home.
When you are lonely and sick of heart,
Go to the friends we know.
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds,
Miss me--but let me go.
Janice M. Fair-Salters copyright ©, by kind
permission of the author, published in "Voices From Beyond"
available from Westbowpress online
bookstore | see two other poems on this page (citation updated 05.2014 with
thanks to author as previously mis-attributed here to Edgar A.
Guest, see his poems and links below)
Remember me when I am gone away.
Remember me when I am
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand.
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you planned:
Only remember me:
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had.
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than you should remember and be sad.
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Daddy please don't look so sad,
Momma please don't cry.
Cause I'm in the arms of Jesus,
And He sings me lullabies.
Please try not to question God,
Don't think He is unkind.
Don't think He sent me to you
And then changed his mind.
You see I'm a special child,
I am needed up above.
I'm the special gift you gave Him,
A product of your love.
I'll always be there with you,
So watch the sky at night.
Look for the brightest star
And know that's my halo's brilliant light. >>
You'll see me in the morning frost
That mists your window pane.
That's me in the summer showers,
I'll be dancing in the rain.
When you feel a gentle breeze
From a gentle wind that blows.
Know that it is me
Planting a kiss upon your nose.
When you see a child playing
And your heart feels a tug,
Don't be sad mommy,
That's just me giving your heart a hug.
So daddy don't look so sad
And momma please don't cry.
I'm in the arms of Jesus
And He sings me lullabies! - Anon
see: 'A child of
mine' website- Help for parents and families after the death of a
child. - 'there to hold your hand through the difficult days
ahead with information guidance and support from people who do
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Child of Mine (often
cited as 'God's Lent Child')
I’ll lend you for a little while, a
child of mine, God said
For you to love the while he lives and mourn for when he’s
It may be six or seven years, or forty-two or three
But will you, till I call him back, take care of him for me?
He’ll bring his charms to gladden you and should his stay be
You’ll always have his memories as a solace in your grief.
I cannot promise he will stay, since all from earth return,
But there are lessons taught below I want this child to learn.
I’ve looked this whole world over in my search for teachers
And from the folk that crowd Life’s lane I have chosen you.
Now will you give him all your love and not think the labour
Nor hate me when I come to take this lent child back again?
I fancy that I heard them say “Dear God, thy will be done.
For all the joys this child will bring the risk of grief we’ll
We will shelter him with tenderness, we’ll love him while we
And for all the happiness we’ve ever known, we’ll ever grateful
But should the angels call him much sooner than we’d planned
We will brave the bitter grief that comes and try to
Edgar A. Guest
(1881-1959) written in 1930? published 1949 in 'Living The
Years', publisher: Chicago, Reilly & Lee Co. [often
mis-stated as 'author unknown' -
citation updated 08.2008 with thanks to ts for correction] | more
poems - Bereaved
parent support links links below
by Ron Tranmer © website
rocking chairs in Heaven
where little babies go?
Do the angels hold you closely
and rock you to and fro?
Do they talk silly baby talk
to get a smile or two,
and sing the sleepy lullabies
I used to sing to you?
My heart is aching for you,
my angel child so dear.
You brought such joy into my life,
the short time you were here.
I know you're in a happy place,
and in God's loving care.
I dream each night I'm rocking you
in Heaven's rocking chair.
contributed by the author, August
visit his website and see below for more
for wider, encouraging, supportive
poems contributed in 2012 by their author Ron
Tranmer click here
now moved to a new page for our visitors who will enjoy their
more poems below contributed by
the author Ron Tranmer, in 2012 - visit his website for
by Ron Tranmer ©
comes into our lives
and tears of sadness fall,
they never go unnoticed,
God sees them one and all.
Our tears are very precious
In the eyes of our dear Lord,
He calls them up to special clouds
where they are safely stored.
When these clouds are heavy laden
from the weight which they contain,
moisture falls upon to the earth,
and our tears come down as rain.
Then when the rain has ended,
look to the sky above.
and when you see a rainbow
God is sending us His love.
He knows we all face sorrow,
and He knows we all feel pain.
That's why He sends a rainbow
after every tear filled rain.
Moments by Ron Tranmer ©
you spent in life with me.
I hoped to have you longer,
but it's not meant to be.
You left this world so suddenly.
I think my heart went too.
I feel so lost and lonely,
and I cry from missing you.
I know you're in a better place.
I know you're happy there.
I know one day I'll join you,
but the wait is hard to bear.
My heart feels like it's breaking
as I try to carry on.
You were my life, my everything,
but now sweetheart, you've gone.
I pray that God will give me strength
until He calls me too.
Then what joy will fill my heart
when I'm again with you.
Hearts by Ron Tranmer ©
hearts and tear filled eyes
family and friends bid you goodbye.
Gathered this day united in sorrow,
yet sure in faith of a brighter tomorrow.
Although you've gone, we feel you near.
You are so loved by everyone here.
You touched our lives in numerous ways.
and brightened many of our days.
Sharing memories of time with you
is something that we love to do.
We laugh, we cry, with joy and pain.
Goodbye for now, until we meet again.
Hand by Ron Tranmer ©
Earth's veil I cannot see
but my faith is strong, I trust in Thee.
I know in time I'll understand.
Until then Lord, please take my hand.
My purpose here, may I fulfill,
and in all things do Thy will.
The trials of life may I withstand.
Walk with me Lord and take my hand.
Then when I breathe my final breath
and close my eyes in earthly death,
may I not leave this world alone.
Lord, take my hand and walk me home.
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The Butterfly story
In a green
meadow filled with Milkweed and flowers there lived a colony of
caterpillars. They were a happy colony, living a quiet life in the
cool shade. For many months they were very busy, scurrying around
and munching on the soft Milkweed leaves.
They did notice that every once in a while one of the colony seemed
to lose interest in crawling around with its friends. It would go
off alone and crawl high up in the trees. It gradually moved out of
sight and was seen no more.
“Look!” said one of the caterpillars to another, “one of our colony
is climbing up to the tops of the trees. Where do you think he is
going?” Up, up and up it slowly went…even as they watched, the
caterpillar disappeared from sight. Its friends waited and waited
but it didn’t return.
“That’s funny!” said one caterpillar to another. “Wasn’t he happy
here?” asked another. “Where do you suppose he went ?” wondered a
third. No one had an answer. They were greatly puzzled.
Finally one of the caterpillars gathered its friends together. “I
have an idea. The next one of us who climbs to the tops of the
trees must promise to come back and tell us where he or she went
and why.” “We promise…” they all said solemnly.
One spring day not long after the caterpillar who had suggested the
plan found himself climbing high up into the trees. Up up and up he
went, higher and higher into the trees. Before he knew what was
happening he had broken through the canopy of leaves into the warm
sunlight and fell into a deep sleep.
When he awoke he looked about in surprise. He couldn’t believe what
he saw. A startling change had come over his old body. He now had
Even as he
struggled he felt an impulse to move his wings. The warmth of the
sun soon dried the moisture from his new body. He moved his wings
again and suddenly found himself flying into the blue sky.
He had become a butterfly. Swooping and dipping in great curves he
flew through the air. He felt exhilarated in the new
By and by the new butterfly landed on a leaf to rest. Then it was
that he chanced to look below to the bottom of the meadow. Why, he
was right above his old friends the caterpillars! There they were,
crawling around and munching on Milkweed, just as he had been doing
Then the butterfly remembered his promise. Without thinking the
butterfly darted down. He landed on a flower and looked into the
grass. Now that he was a butterfly he could no longer go back.
“I can’t return!” he said in dismay. “At least I tried, but I can’t
keep my promise. Even if I could go back, not one of the
caterpillars would know me in my new body. I guess I’ll just have
to wait until they become butterflies too. Then they’ll understand
what has happened to me and where I went.”
And the butterfly winged off happily into its new world of sun and
Dear God, please remember those who have left the meadow we live
in…and remember us who are still here.
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When you feel Lonely
When You feel
When a person you love passes away
Look to the night sky on a clear day.
The star that to you, appears to be bright,
Will be your loved one,
Looking upon you during the night.
The lights of heaven are what shows through
As your loved one watches all that you do.
When you feel lonely for the one that you love,
Look to the Heavens in the night sky above.
is a golden chain
Death tries to break,
but all in vain.
To have, to love, and then to part
Is the greatest sorrow of one's heart.
The years may wipe out many things
But some they wipe out never.
Like memories of those happy times
When we were all together.
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The Rose Beyond the Wall
Near shady wall a rose once
Budded and blossomed in God’s free light,
Watered and fed by morning
Shedding its sweetness day and night.
As it grew and blossomed fair and tall,
Slowly rising to loftier
It came to a crevice in the wall
Through which there shone a beam of light.
Onward it crept with added strength
With never a thought of
fear or pride,
It followed the light through the crevice’s length
And unfolded itself on the other side.
The light, the dew, the broadening viewWere found the same as
they were before,
And it lost itself in beauties new,
Breathing its fragrance more and more.
Shall claim of death cause us to grieve
And make our courage faint
Nay! Let us faith and hope receive—
The rose still grows beyond the wall,
Scattering fragrance far and wide
Just as it did in days of
Just as it did on the other side,
Just as it will forevermore. ~ A. L. Frink
Leaving a dear one
is not destroyed,
A part of it enters the invisible.
We believe that dying leads to absence,
when it really is a hidden presence.
We believe that it creates infinite distance,
when it does away with all distance
it returns to the spirit
what was for a time found in the flesh.
Every time someone leaves home and passes away
those left behind gain a link in heaven.
is no longer home to angels,
unknown saints and a mysterious God,
but it becomes familiar.
It is the family house,
the house up above, so to speak.
From up there to down here,
memory, helping hands, calls
<:))))<>< top of
Traditional American Indian Prayer;
Native American poem, possibly by Ishi, the last living member of
the Yahi Native American tribe / people of The Pacific Northwest
- [attribution contributed and amended
When I am dead
Cry for me a little
Think of me sometimes
But not too much.
Think of me now and again
As I was in life
At some moments it's pleasant to recall
But not for long.
Leave me in peace
And I shall leave you in peace
And while you live
Let your thoughts be with the living.
He put his
arms around you, and lifted you to rest. God’s garden must be
beautiful, He always takes the best. He saw the road was getting
rough, and the hills were hard to climb. So He closed your weary
eyelids, and whispered "Peace be thine". It broke our hearts to
lose you, but you didn’t go alone. For part of us went with you,
the day God called you home. Irish
God saw you getting tired and a cure was not to be. So He put
His arms around you and whispered “come to me.” With tearful eyes
we watched you, and saw you pass away. Although we loved you
dearly, we could not make you stay. A golden heart stopped beating,
hard working hands at rest. God broke our hearts to prove to us, He
only takes the best. God looked around His garden, and
found an empty place. He then looked down upon the earth, and saw
your tired face. Irish funeral
[Loved one’s name]
Longing For One More Day. When we lose someone we love it seems
that time stands still. What moves through us is a silence... a
quiet sadness... A longing for one more day... one more word... one
more touch... We may not understand why you left this earth so
soon, or why you left before we were ready to say good-bye, but
little by little, we begin to remember not just that you died, but
that you lived. And that your life gave us memories too beautiful
to forget. We will see you again some day, in a heavenly place
where there is no parting. A place where there are no words that
mean good-bye. Irish funeral prayer
Irish Bereavement blessings - broken
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If I should go before the rest of you.
Break not a flower nor inscribe a stone.
Nor when I'm gone speak in a Sunday voice.
But be the usual selves that I have known.
Weep if you must, parting is hell.
But life goes on, so sing as well. ~ Joyce Grenfell.
Prayer for Bereavement
Dearest Jesus, who wept at the death of your friend
and taught that they who mourn shall be comforted,
grant us the comfort of your presence in our loss.
Send Your Holy Spirit to direct us
lest we make hasty or foolish decisions.
Send Your Spirit to give us courage
lest through fear we recoil from living.
Send Your Spirit to bring us your peace
lest bitterness, false guilt, or regret take root in our
The Lord has given.
The Lord has taken away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.
For All of You Waiting in Heaven
thought of you today, but that is nothing new.
I thought about you yesterday, and days before that too.
I think of you in silence, I often speak your name.
All I have are memories and a picture in a frame.
Your memory is a keepsake, from which I'll never part.
God has you in his arms. I have you in my heart.
Homilies for All
Saints Day 2011 - click here
'Perhaps they are not stars but rather openings in
Heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through' ~ Eskimo proverb
When Tomorrow Starts Without Me.
When tomorrow starts
without me, and I’m not there to see,
If the sun should rise and find your eyes, all filled with tears
I wish so much you wouldn’t cry, the way you did today,
While thinking of the many things we didn’t get to say.
I know how much you love me, as much as I love you,
And each time that you think of me, I know you’ll miss me too.
But when tomorrow starts without me, please try to understand,
That an angel came and called my name and took me by the hand.
And said my place was ready in Heaven far above,
And that I’d have to leave behind,
all those things I dearly love.
But as I turned to walk away, a tear fell from my eye,
For all my life, I’d always thought, I didn’t want to die.
I had so much to live for, so much yet to do,
It seemed almost impossible, that I was leaving you.
I thought of all the yesterdays, the good ones and the bad,
I thought of all the love we shared, and all the fun we had.
If I could relive yesterday, just even for a while,
I’d say goodbye and kiss you,
and maybe see you smile.
But then I fully realized, that could never be,
For emptiness and memories, would take the place of me.
And when I thought of worldly things, I might miss come
I thought of you, and when I did, my heart was filled with
But when I walked through Heaven’s gates, I felt so much at
When God looked down and smiled at me, from his great golden
He said, “This is eternity, and all I’ve promised you.
Today your life on Earth is past, and here it starts anew”.
“I promise no tomorrow, but today will always last,
And since each day’s the same day, there’s no longing for the
“But you have been so faithful, so trusting and so true,
Though there were times you did some things, you know you shouldn’t
“But you have been forgiven, and now at last you’re free,
So won’t you take my hand now and share My life with Me”.
So when tomorrow starts without me, don’t think we’re far
For every time you think of me, I’m right here in your
Janice M. Fair-Salters © copyright - included here by kind permission of
the author, see others on this page and in her book "Voices From
Beyond" available from Westbowpress online
bookstore (citation updated 05.2014 with thanks to
<:))))<>< top of page
Blues" or "Stop all the clocks"
is a poem by
W. H. Auden, published in its final, familiar
form in 1938.
We cannot include it here for copyright reasons but you can
it here (the first one) or here
and watch the performance from the film, 'Four Weddings and a
YouTube (suggested by J.L. 03/13 thank you)
Attributed to St. Augustine: Watch, dear Lord, with those who wake or watch
or weep tonight, and give your angels charge over those who sleep.
Tend your sick ones, O Lord Jesus Christ, rest your weary ones,
bless your dying ones, soothe your suffering ones, shield your
joyous ones, and all for your love’s sake. Amen.
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THE OLD FARMER'S PRAYER
keeps moving on,
Many years have come and gone,
But I grow older without regret,
My hopes are in what may come yet.
On the farm I work each day,
This is where I wish to stay,
I watch the seeds each season sprout,
From the soil as the plants rise out.
I study Nature and I learn,
To know the earth and feel her turn,
I love her dearly and all the seasons,
For I have learned her secret reasons.
All that will live is in the bosom of Earth,
She is the loving mother of all birth,
But all that lives must pass away,
And go back again to her someday.
My life too will pass from Earth,
But do not grieve, I say, there will be other birth,
When my body is old and all spent,
And my soul to Heaven has went.
Please compost and spread me on this plain,
So my body Mother Earth can claim,
That is where I wish to be,
Then Nature can nourish new life with me.
So do not for me grieve and weep,
I did not leave, I only sleep,
I am with the soil here below,
Where I can nourish life of beauty and glow.
Here I can help the falling rain,
Grow golden fields of ripening grain,
From here I can join the winds that blow,
And meet the softly falling snow.
Here I can help the sun’s warming light,
Grow food for birds of gliding flight,
I can be in the beautiful flowers of spring,
And in every other lovely thing.
So do not for me weep and cry,
I am here, I do not die.
'CLOSE THE GATE'
For this one farmer the worries are over, lie down and rest
Your time has been and struggles enough, put the tractor in the
Years were not easy, many downright hard, but your faith in God
Put away your tools and sleep in peace. The fences have all been
You raised a fine family, worked the land well and always followed
Hang up your shovel inside of the barn; your work here on earth is
A faith few possess led your journey through life, often a jagged
and stony way,
The sun is setting, the cattle are all bedded, and here now is the
end of your day.
Your love of God’s soil has passed on to your kin; the stories flow
like fine wine,
Wash off your work boots in the puddle left by blessed rain one
You always believed that the good Lord would provide and He always
Take off your gloves and put them down, no more sweat and worry for
Your labor is done, your home now is heaven; no more must you
Your legacy lives on, your love of the land, and we will close the
gate. ~ by Nancy Kraayenhof.
here (in comments) also
(above used at funeral of a retired farmer parishioner in
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GRIEVING: "The Hill"
A travelling man sat
down to rest from his journey by the side of the road. As he
rested, another man passed by. This other man, the traveller
observed, walked very slow and was bent forward, his expression was
troubled and pain reflected in his eyes.
"What ails you fellow?" called up the wise, but simple man. "Come
and join me and take a rest, for your form is such that I see a
need in you to share the burden that you carry."
The other man sat down, stared far into the distance for a while
and then began.
"I have lost the very dearest person known to me." Tears welled up
in his eyes as he spoke, he then fell silent for a short time
before continuing. "I feel that I am constantly walking up a hill
and that the wind is always against me, my feet are as heavy as
clay and in my stomach I carry hot coals. I say to myself now that
I must turn back to ease this pain. If I walk back down the hill
then maybe I will find that all of this is not true and that my
loved one will be waiting to greet me."
The traveller sat listening to the other man's story, and replied.
"You must not go back down the hill. You need to reach the top, for
thereafter you will find the path will level, the wind will soften,
your feet grow lighter and the hot coals will cool. To go back down
the hill will prolong your pain, for the path to your healing is
forward and up the hill."
As the traveller got up to continue his journey, he said to the
other man, "The one you have lost is not at the bottom of the hill
but with you all the time, for you carry their spirit in your
[contributed by CS march '05 - thank you]
A Prayer for Difficult Moments
Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of
compassion inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your
mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor
become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to
Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself. [Amen.] (Diary of
St. Faustina, 950).
<:))))<>< top of page
"One day we will meet beside the river and
our Lord will dry every tear. For now, we must live in the joy of
that promise and recall that for every generation life is hard, but
God is faithful." ~ Bodie Thoene
'Death is not extinguishing the light. It
is putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.'
Nobel Prize winner 1913 ~ more below More
link links updated 08.2008
'In one of the stars, I shall be living.
In one of them, I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all
the stars were laughing when you look at the sky at night.'
~ The Little Prince ~ Antoine de
'He who has gone, so we but cherish his
memory, abides with us, more potent, nay, more present than the
living man.' ~ Antoine de
'Life is eternal and love is immortal; And
death is only a horizon, And a horizon is nothing save the limit of
our sight.' ~ Rossiter W. Raymond
"Death is God's last and greatest gift to
the living" ~ Margaret
'Be of good cheer about death and know
this as a truth - that no evil can happen to a good man, either in
life or after death.' ~ Socrates
'The day which we fear as our last is but
the birthday of eternity.' ~ Seneca
'I have died many a death in love, and
yet, had I not loved I would never have lived at all.'
~ David Lasater
'Is death the last sleep? No - it is the
last and final awakening.' ~
'While we are mourning the loss of our
friend, others are rejoicing to meet him behind the
veil.' ~ John Taylor
'For what is it to die, But to stand in
the sun and melt into the wind? And when the Earth has claimed our
limbs, Then we shall truly dance.' ~ Kahlil
'I shall not die of a cold. I shall die of
having lived.' ~ Willa
If we really think that home is elsewhere,
and that this life is a 'wandering to find home,' why should I not
look forward to the arrival? ~
C. S. Lewis
'Remember the man who served his almighty
Creator, his country, his community, and most of all, his family.
He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and
loved much; who has enjoyed the trust of pure women, the respect of
intelligent men, and the love of little children; who has filled
his niche and accomplished his task; who has left the world better
than he found it, whether an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a
rescued soul; who has always looked for the best in others and
given them the best he had; whose life was an inspiration; whose
memory a benediction.' ~
Anderson Stanley ??
'Let us all understand that death is not
an eraser. It does not remove the deeds or the meanings that
existed in anyone's life. It does not make poor men rich or great
men fallible. And when death comes, let us not romanticize its
presence nor the person it takes from us. Let us see death for what
it really is: a border that we all must cross; a border that, more
than any other, defines the lives we are able to lead. Do not mourn
for those who cross over. Rather, reflect on the definition they've
left behind. It is the only truth we are able to know here on
earth. When the definition is great, then celebrate it. When it is
lacking, then learn from it and improve on it. And use it to make
your own definition more truthful and loving and
miraculous.' ~ from 'Gideon'
'Looking back on the memory of the dance
we shared, beneath the stars above, for a moment all the world was
right. How was I to know that you'd ever say goodbye?
And now I'm glad I didn't know the way it all would end, the way it
all would go.
Our lives are better left to chance.
I could have missed the pain, but I'd have had to miss the
dance.' ~ Garth Brooks,
'They that love beyond the world cannot be
separated by it. Death cannot kill what never dies.'
~ William Penn |
"Death is not a period but a comma in the
story of life." ~ Amos J.
''Besides, the ones that love us never
really leave us. You can always find them... [puts hand over
Harry's heart]... in here.'' ~ Sirius Black -
from 'Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban':
you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still
Terry Pratchett, 'Going Postal'.
<:))))<>< top of page
"The Song of Farewell"
a version of the traditional "In Paradisum" is often
played at funerals.
Words and Music by Ernest
[see midi & YouTube links >>]
May the choirs of angels come to greet you.
May they speed you to paradise.
May the Lord enfold you in his mercy.
May you find eternal life.
1. The Lord is my light and my help; it is he who protects
me from harm.
The Lord is the strength of my days; before whom should I tremble
2. There is one thing I ask of the Lord; that he grant me my
To dwell in the courts of our God every day of my life in his
3. O Lord, hear my
voice when I cry; have mercy on me and give answer.
Do not cast me away in your anger, for you are the God of my
4. I am sure I shall see the Lord's goodness; I shall
dwell in the land of the living.
Hope in God, stand firm and take heart, place all your trust in the
>> Song of Farewell midi
YouTube: (1) Vocal Solo,
Piano, String Quartet. Recorded on a pocket digital recorder. www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4eAM3WEA7g
<:))))<>< top of
Paradisum Gabriel Fauré - Requiem, Op. 48 - VII.
performance on YouTube
also known as Mass for the dead.... the Rite of Christian Burial
brings hope and consolation to the living. While proclaiming the
Gospel of Jesus Christ and witnessing to the Christian hope in the
resurrection, the funeral rite also recalls to bereaved families
God’s mercy and love and meets the human need to turn always to God
in times of crisis.
suggestions for funerals pdf
A parish musician's guide to the Order of Christian
Funeral Songs to help find the right music for a funeral, memorial service or celebration of life
OCP Catholic Worship Resources
John Tavener - lyrics Mother Thekla).
(also known as "Alleluia. May Flights of Angels Sing Thee to Thy Rest")
(Mother Thekla) >>>>>
listen 1 (Westminster Abbey
listen 2 (Gabrieli
listen 3 (UA
Schola Cantorum) YouTube
more John Tavener
Funeral Canticle (Academy of Ancient Music) YouTube
May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest
Remember me, O Lord,
when you come into your kingdom
Give rest, O Lord, to your handmaid who has fallen asleep
The Choir of Saints have found the well-spring of life and door of paradise
Life: a shadow and a dream
Come, enjoy rewards and crowns I have prepared for you.
sung by The Dubliners
rights reserved to the original authors]
As I roved by the dockside one evening so fair
To view the salt waters and take in the salt air
I heard an old fisherman singing a song
Oh, take me away boys me time is not long
Wrap me up in me oilskin and blankets
No more on the docks I'll be seen
Just tell me old shipmates, I'm taking a trip mates
And I'll see you someday on Fiddlers Green
Now Fiddler's Green is a place I've heard tell
Where the fishermen go if they don't go to hell
Where the weather is fair and the dolphins do play
And the cold coast of Greenland is far, far away
Now when you're in dock and the long trip is through
There's pubs and there's clubs and there's lassies there too
And the girls are all pretty and the beer is all free
And there's bottles of rum growing on every tree.
Where the skies are all clear and there's never a gale
And the fish jump on board with one swish on their tail
Where you lie at your leisure, there's no work to do
And the skipper's below making tea for the crew
Now I don't want a harp nor a halo, not me
Just give me a breeze and a good rolling sea
I'll play me old squeeze-box as we sail along
With the wind in the riggin to sing me a song
Remembering the Dead
by Henri J.M. Nouwen
When we lose a dear friend, someone we have loved deeply, we are left with a grief that can paralyse us emotionally for a long time. People we love become part of us. Our thinking, feeling and acting are codetermined by them: Our fathers, our mothers, our husbands, our wives, our lovers, our children, our friends ... they are all living in our hearts.
When they die a part of us has to die too. That is what grief is about: It is that slow and painful departure of someone who has become an intimate part of us. When Christmas, the New Year, a birthday or anniversary comes, we feel deeply the absence of our beloved companion. We sometimes have to live at least a whole year before our hearts have fully said good-bye and the pain of our grief recedes. But as we let go of them they become part of our "members" and as we "re-member" them, they become our guides on our spiritual journey.
Taking the Sting Out of Death by Henri J.M. Nouwen
Dying is returning home. But even though we have been told this many times by many people, we seldom desire to return home. We prefer to stay where we are. We know what we have; we do not know what we will get. Even the most appealing images of the afterlife cannot take away the fear of dying. We cling to life, even when our relationships are difficult, our economic circumstances harsh, and our health quite poor. Still, Jesus came to take the sting out of death and to help us gradually realise that we don't have to be afraid of death, since death leads us to the place where the deepest desires of our hearts will be satisfied. It is not easy for us to truly believe that, but every little gesture of trust will bring us closer to this truth.
Excerpts from 'Bread for the Journey',
by Henri J.M. Nouwen, ©1997
in addition to many links included above:
TIP: linked websites constantly evolve. If
you get a 'page not found' error message, you may find moved content
by using any search option provided or by going back to the 'root
domain name' - the beginning of the url after http:// shown in your
web browser address pane, up to and including .org or .com or
.net or .co etc., ignoring the rest after the forward slash.
Other websites offering
similar pages including content already on this page and
variations: 1 |
external links usually open in a new window or tab
care - Offers free information and advice to anyone who has
been affected by a death - Provides support and counselling one to
one and in groups - Offers education, support, information and
publications to anyone supporting bereaved people - Increases
public awareness of the needs of bereaved people through
campaigning and information services
Care Guide - has an infographic and help article to break down the steps that someone needs to go through when they have lost a loved one.
Their wider mission is to help people face issues as they get older, with helpful advice and guidance.
Winston's Wish - a
charity supporting bereaved children and young
Care for the
Family - giving hope to the bereaved >>
bereavement support organisations an extensive
Many resources are on the website of Funeral Helper
The Compassionate Friends
(UK) - (TCF) is an organisation of bereaved parents
and their families offering understanding, support and
encouragement to others after the death of a child or children.
They also offer support, advice and information to other relatives,
friends and professionals who are helping the family.
Helpline ~ for all those affected by the death of a
child. also telephone (UK) 0800 282986. Volunteers are
needed to work in this service. - www.childdeathhelpline.org.uk/
- The Stillbirth and Neonatal Death
A Little Lifetime Foundation
the voice for bereaved parents and their families across Ireland.
'The Child Bereavement
A child of
mine - Help for parents and families after the death of a
child - 'there to hold your hand through the difficult days ahead
with information guidance and support from people who do
St Paul's Miscarriage & Infant Loss Support Group -
Miscarriage & Infant Loss Memorial Book Ministry - For all who have lost a baby from conception to 1
year old. The Miscarriage & Infant Loss Memorial Book is
kept at Tintagel
Catholic Church and administered from Füssen, Bavaria,
Deutschland. It is placed on the altar at all Masses celebrated in
Tintagel. - An annual Mass is celebrated in remembrance of all babies who
have died from conception to 1 year old and their families. (future
dates not known - please contact them direct) at the Catholic Church of St Paul
the Apostle, Tintagel, Cornwall, UK. Those who cannot attend
the Mass are invited to join them in prayer on that day remembering
the intentions they are praying for. more |
Ministry is a Catholic ministry for bereaved mothers and fathers
who have experienced the death of their baby through ectopic
pregnancy, miscarriage, stillbirth or infant death up to one year
old. This Catholic ministry also welcomes bereaved parents of other
Christian denominations, bereaved parents of other faiths and
bereaved parents of no religious affiliation who are struggling
with the very notion of faith.
"And Should The Angels Call" ~ A poem, especially for those
mourning the loss of a child.
Losing a Loved
One from 'The Art of Dying
Well' website, offers a helping hand to those grappling with issues around
death and dying. Based in the Catholic tradition but open to
all, it features real-life stories about the highs and lows of
dealing with the final journey. Professionals in palliative care,
ethics, chaplaincy and history have informed the site
The Dying Matters
coalition is encouraging people to talk about their wishes towards
the end of their lives. It’s in everyone’s interest to talk about
it, before it’s too late; see also their resources
page. Set up by The National
Council for Palliative Care
Widowed and Young support
A Lesson in Grief - by
Judith MacNutt -
now links to 'Christian Healing Ministries', by Judith and Francis MacNutt.
A Christ-centered, ecumenical, and non-profit organization that is dedicated to the practice and teaching of healing prayer.
The Find a Bereavement Counsellor
Directory will help you find bereavement support in the UK,
listing counsellors, support groups and charities.
Information" | "Key
facts" | from The Royal College of
Directory - Find a qualified, registered,
professional bereavement counsellor near you [UK] - and many useful
articles - website also contains a number of
sections on other emotional disorders (types of distress
'The End of
Life' - a USA site of resources
has many resource links (a USA site)
Hearts - an online healing place for anyone
Beginnings - A collection of poetry and
quotes for everyone who has had to say goodbye too soon.
Funeral Readings, Funeral Poetry, Memorial for the Dead
gone" a poem by David Harkins alternate
Guidelines for RC funerals PDF |
booklet pdf | When
someone dies - a guide pdf | Burial of
ashes - a guide pdf |
cremation | With faith and hope in the Resurrection: Cremation
and the Church pdf
suggestions for funerals pdf | A parish musician's guide to the
Order of Christian Funerals pdf
also known as
Mass for the dead....
Ministration at the Time of Death |
Lectionary Readings for funerals
- "It is a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the
dead that they may be loosed from their sins" (2 Mac 12:46) -
more on this subject below
Survivors of Bereavement by
Suicide - SOBS is a self-help,
voluntary organisation. Many of those helping have, themselves,
been bereaved by suicide. It exists to meet the needs and break the
isolation of those bereaved by the suicide of a close relative or
at Hand' (broken link, try a search): a PDF resource for people
bereaved by suicide and other sudden, traumatic
'Living With Suicide for survivors'
[broken link, similar
groups are listed by search engines]
Memorial websites -
create your own:
#1 Gates of Remembrance [small donation] is a
global website where you can write a permanent tribute to a
relative, friend, colleague, hero or pet, in fact, anyone who has
touched your life. It is an everlasting memorial. /
#2 'Gone Too
soon' (free to use). /
#3 'Much Loved' (free
to use). /
#4 'Our Memory
of [fee paying]. /|
free memorial website creator
Light A Candle in
Internal site links: Remembrance of our war
dead | Prayer for 'Healing the Family
top of page
Please pray for the Souls of all
deceased parishioners in whose memory this page is
dedicated [and for the
needs of all bereaved families and friends] Please pray for
all those souls who have no one to pray for them.
Into Your hands Lord we commend them. Eternal rest grant unto them
and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest
in peace - Requiescant in pace, Amen
for the dead (broken link, try a search) | Prayer for 'Healing the Family Tree' |
Homilies for All Saints Day (2011)
Catholic Teaching on
Purgatory | on Wikipedia | on EWTN
"It is a holy and wholesome thought to
pray for the dead that they may be loosed from their sins" (2 Mac
prayer 'For the Relief of the Poor Souls in Purgatory' as
published in 1931.
'The Secret of the Poor
Souls in Purgatory' - An interview with the Austrian mystic Maria Simma of
("Get us out of here" by Nicky Eltz who documents the
experiences of the Austrian mystic Maria Simma (broken link, try a search)
message November 6, 1986 "Dear
children! Today I wish to call you to pray daily for souls in
purgatory. For every soul prayer and grace is necessary to reach
God and the love of God. By doing this, dear children, you obtain
new intercessors who will help you in life to realize that all the
earthly things are not important for you, that only Heaven is that
for which it is necessary to strive. Therefore, dear children, pray
without ceasing that you may be able to help yourselves and the
others to whom your prayers will bring joy. Thank you for having
responded to my call."
"As we enter Heaven, we will see them, so many of them,
coming towards us and thanking us. We will ask who they are and
they will say: 'A poor soul you prayed for in Purgatory!' " ~
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
Prayer of St. Gertrude the Great. Our Lord told St.
Gertrude the Great, that the following prayer would release 1,000
souls from Purgatory each time it is said. The prayer was extended
to include living sinners which would alleviate the indebtedness
accrued to them during their lives. "Eternal Father, I offer
Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union
with the masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy
souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the
universal church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen."
info [St. Gertrude's life was the mystic life of
the Cloister – a Benedictine nun. She meditated on the Passion of
Christ, which many times brought a flood of tears to her eyes. She
did many penances and Our Lord appeared to her many times. She had
a tender love for the Blessed Virgin and was very devoted to the
suffering souls in Purgatory. She died in 1334. Her feast day is
Intergenerational Healing |
Prayer for Deliverance and Protection (Intergenerational
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