Funeral Chaplain

A collection of resources for funerals and memorial services

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Home > Prayers > General

General Prayers

These prayers might be used at any point during a service, or could be modified for use with a family in the hospital room or prior to cremation.  Most of these prayers could be modified to also include a corporate praying of the Lord's Prayer.

Living God, You Have Lit the Day

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Living God, you have lit the day with the sun's light
and the midnight with shining stars.
Lighten our hearts with the bright beams


Concluding Prayer

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FuneralChaplain's note: I often use this prayer in place of a formal commital prayer.  This is particularly useful when the graveside service won't happen for some time, or if the graveside will be private, or if there will be no graveside service at all.

In this prayer, I tend to use the full name of the deceased in the first line, a nickname (if appropriate) in the second line, and the given first name in the third line.

I also tend to transition from this prayer into the Lord's Prayer with a sentence like: "And as He taught us, so now we pray together, saying: Our Father..."

Eternal God, you have shared with us the life of _______________.


From Burial I (The Book of Common Prayer)

FuneralChaplain's note: This series of petitions serves as a single prayer from the Episcopal Church's prayer book.  In other settings, these petitions could reworked into modern English, rearranged, or serve as a model for writing additional petitions.

This is a responsive prayer, with the congregation responding to each petition with Amen.

In peace, let us pray to the Lord.
Almighty God, who hast knit together thine elect in one communion and fellowship, in the mystical body of thy Son Christ our Lord: Grant, we beseech thee, to thy whole Church in paradise and on earth, thy light and thy peace. Amen.


For a Serviceman or woman

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Almighty God, our heavenly Father, in whose hands are the living and the dead: We give thee thanks for all thy servants who have laid down their lives in the service of our country.  Grant to them thy mercy and the light of thy presence; and give us such a lively sense of thy righteous will, that the work which thou hast begun in them may be perfected; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord.  Amen.

- The Book of Common Prayer


Almighty and everlasting God...

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Almighty and everlasting God, we yield unto thee most high praise and hearty thanks for the wonderful grace and virtue declared in all thy saints, who have been the choice vessels of thy grace, and the lights of the world in their several generations;


The Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13 KJV)

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FuneralChaplain's note: The Lord's Prayer is suitable in any situation.  In a funeral service, it gives most everyone an opportunity to participate in the service, since many know the prayer by heart.  It is presented here from the King James Version, as that tends to be the more familiar setting.


The Lord's Prayer can also serve as the conclusion to any prayer, simply by introducing it with words like, "and now we pray together, as Jesus taught us, Our Father..." or, "These prayers we offer in the Name of Jesus, who taught us to pray, together saying: Our Father..."

9Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.



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