These pages are for anyone who wants to help another at the time of passing. We don't presume to be able to tell anyone how to pray. We also don't feel that it is proper practice to impose one's own spiritual beliefs on another who is dying. That being said, if it has been requested by the one who is dying that prayers be said, here is a list of resources to help.
If you would like to learn more about the symptoms of dying or need help with some practical techniques for how to do a prayer or reading for someone who has died or is dying, please visit prayers for the dying.
We hope to continually add to this list of prayers and if you have one to submit, please contact us!
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, for ever and ever. Amen.
Here is a different English sense of the text, translated directly from the ancient Aramaic:
O cosmic Birther, from whom the breath of life comes, Who fills all realms of sound, light and vibration. May Your light be experienced in my utmost holiest. Your Heavenly Domain approaches. Let Your will come true in the universe (all that vibrates) just as on earth (that is material and dense). Give us wisdom (understanding, assistance) for our daily need, Detach the fetters of faults that bind us, (karma) like we let go the guilt of others. But let us be freed from that what keeps us off from our true purpose. From You comes the all-working will, the lively strength to act, the song that beautifies all and renews itself from age to age. Sealed in trust, faith and truth. (I confirm with my entire being).
You would know the secret of death. But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life? The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light. If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life. For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one. In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond; And like the seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring. Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity. Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour. Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king? Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling? For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun? And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered? Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing. And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb. And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.
When my time has come and impermanence and death have caught up with me, When the breath ceases, and the body and mind go their separate ways, May I not experience delusion, attachment, and clinging, But remain in the natural state of ultimate reality.
Tibetan Buddhists believe that Om Mani Padme Hum,chanted aloud or silently invokes the powerful benevolent attention and blessings of Chenrezig, the Buddha of Infinite Compassion and that Chenrezig is the Healing Buddha. All the teachings of the Buddha are contained in this short and seemingly simple mantra, but Om Mani Padme Hum cannot really be translated into a single phrase or sentence.The mantra originated in India; as it moved from India into Tibet, the pronunciation changed because some of the sounds in the Indian Sanskrit language were hard for Tibetans to pronounce. Pronunciation is not important -- the sense of the prayer is the key to its Truth.
Now when the bardo of dying dawns upon me, I will abandon all grasping, yearning and attachment, Enter undistracted into a clear awareness of the teaching, And eject my consciousness into the space of unborn awareness; As I leave this compound body of flesh and blood I will know it to be a transitory illusion.
Now I say to you in conclusion, life is hard, at times as hard as crucible steel. (Mmm) It has its bleak and difficult moments. Like the ever-flowing waters of the river, life has its moments of drought and its moments of flood. (Yeah) Like the ever-changing cycle of the seasons, life has the soothing warmth of its summers and the piercing chill of its winters. (Yeah) But if one will hold on, he will discover that God walks with him, (Yeah. Well) and that God is able (Yeah) to lift you from the fatigue of despair to the buoyancy of hope and transform dark and desolate valleys into sunlit paths of inner peace. (Mmm)
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death; I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
To the divine silence of unreachable endlessness; To the divine silence of perfected knowledge; To the divine silence of the soundless voice; To the divine silence of the Heart of the Labyrinth; To the divine silence of the ancient mind; To the divine silence of the unborn guide;American Book Dead To the divine silence of the unseen guide, protector of all sentient life; To the divine silence of those of perfected knowledge; To the divine silence of human primate incarnation; To the divine silence of the labyrinth guides who sacrifice their liberation for those who have not yet awakened to the truth; To the divine silence of the Lord of Death, the eternal unborn resident of the labyrinth who has sacrificed his own redemption for the redemption of all voyagers everywhere; To the divine silence of the primordial being; To the divine silence of the great sacrifice; We offer homage, love and hope; But above all, we give our gratitude.
Loving God, thank you for R (person's name) and for the wonderful gift of her time with us. Thank you for the joy she brings to our lives and the lives of everyone who loves her. Thank you also for the people who give her joy, those who love her, past and present. We pray today for strength for R in her body and in her spirit. Strength to find whatever healing there is in this time and place, strength as she waits to come home to you when she’s ready. We pray for courage for her family as they support her and love her and surround her in care. Mostly, God, we pray for peace. Peace for R in her body as the pain fades away, peace for her family in their hearts as they wait with her, and peace for R in her spirit as she finds her true peace in you. As in all places, help us know that you are here with us, granting your peace. Your peace. Amen.
For Scirnis - Norse mythologyFearlessness is better than a faint-heart for any man who puts his nose out of doors. The length of my life and the day of my death were fated long ago.
Sayings of The BuddhaI am of the nature to grow old. There is no way to escape growing old. I am of the nature to have ill-health. There is no way to escape having ill-health. I am of the nature to die. There is no way to escape death. All that is dear to me and everyone I love are of the nature to change. There is no way to escape being separated from them. My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground on which I stand.
Catholic Prayer for the Dying - Non-ChristianGod of all Creation, Be with us now and at the hour of our death. Shelter us from harms' way and lead us on the path to eternal life. Receive our life, all that we are, and everything we do. May the Angel of Mercy stay near us this day and always. Amen
Circle Wisdom - Sedonia CahillI invite you to enter for a moment into Sacred Time and Space, into a way of seeing that is broad and spacious. See this Day, from the time you arose this morning until you sleep this evening, as one Ceremony, divided into small and familiar rituals, your Heart as the Altar. You, part of the Cycles of Light and Darkness. Now begin to see your Life, from the moment of your Conception until the time of your Death as one long, continuous Ceremony, filled with many rituals, some familiar, some unknown and challenging. Your Home and all Your Relations, the Altar. You, part of many Seasons and Cycles. Now see this Ceremony of your Life as part of a much larger Ceremony that extends Seven Generations into the Past and Seven into the Future, made up of many Births and Deaths. This beautiful spinning Earth the Altar. You, part of the great Ebb and Flow. Now, if You will, imagine this larger Ceremony to be but one part of a Ceremony so grand, so magnificent as to be hardly comprehensible, a great, vast Ceremonial Circle, rich and vibrant with millions upon millions of swirling Circles of Dancing Light, and You, one of those Dancing Circles, a Dancer on the Altar that is the Universe, where Time is Eternal. May You Dance In Beauty.
Care for the Dying - Tibetan Buddhist phowa practiceThrough your blessing, grace, and guidance, through the power of the light that streams from you: May all my negative karma, destructive emotions, obscurations and blockages be purified and removed, May I know myself forgiven for all the harm I may have thought and done, May I accomplish this profound practice of phowa, and die a good and peaceful death, And through the triumph of my death, may I be able to benefit all other beings, living or dead.
Prayer to St. Joseph - 1st century ±O St. Joseph whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the Throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires.prayers of St Joseph O St. Joseph do assist me by your powerful intercession and obtain for me from your Divine Son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord; so that having engaged here below your Heavenly power I may offer my Thanksgiving and Homage to the most Loving of Fathers. O St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms. I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press him in my name and kiss His fine Head for me, and ask Him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, Patron of departing souls, pray for us. Amen
Holy Rosary -CatholicHail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst 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.
Dervish Prayer - Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi - 13th centuryOn the day I die, when I'm being carried toward the grave, don't weep. Don't say, He's gone! He's gone. Death has nothing to do with going away. The sun sets and the moon sets, but they're not gone. Death is a coming together. The tomb looks like a prison, but it's really release into union. The human seed goes down in the ground like a bucket into the well where Joseph is. It grows and comes up full of some unimagined beauty. Your mouth closes here and immediately opens with a shout of joy there.
Prayer - Thomas MertonMy Lord God, I have no idea where I am going I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, And the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing. And I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death, I will not fear, for you are ever with me and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
Prayer - Mary Elizabeth Frye - 1932Do not stand at my grave and weep I am not there. I do not sleep. I am a thousands winds that blow. I am the diamond glints on snow. I am the sunlight on ripened grain. I am the gentle autumn rain. When you awaken in the morning's hush, I am the swift uplifting rush Of quiet birds in circled flight. I am the soft stars that shine at night. Do not stand at my grave and cry. I am not there. I did not die.
A Prayer for the Dying - AssyrianBIND the sick man to Heaven, for from Earth he is being torn away! Of the brave man who was so strong, his strength has departed. Of the righteous servant, the force does not return, in his bodily frame he lies dangerously ill. But Ishtar, who in her dwelling, is grieved concerning him, descends from her mountain unvisited of men. To the door of the sick man she comes. The sick man listens! Who is there? Who comes? It is Ishtar, daughter of the Moon God! Like pure silver may his garment be shining white! Like brass may he be radiant! To the Sun, greatest of the gods, may he ascend! And may the Sun, greatest of the gods, receive his soul into his holy hands!
Recommendation - Thich Nhat Hanh - 1965Promise me, promise me this day, promise me now, while the sun is overhead exactly at the zenith, promise me: Even as they strike you down with a mountain of hatred and violence; even as they step on you and crush you like a worm, even as they dismember and disembowel you, remember, brother, remember: man is not our enemy. The only thing worthy of you is compassion – invincible, limitless, unconditional. Hatred will never let you face the beast in man. One day, when you face this beast alone, with your courage intact, your eyes kind, untroubled (even as no one sees them), out of your smile will bloom a flower. And those who love you will behold you across ten thousand worlds of birth and dying. Alone again, I will go on with bent head, knowing that love has become eternal. On the long, rough road, the sun and the moon will continue to shine.
The Six Senses of Prayer - Anne Shannon Demarest - 1965It can be heard in the doleful cry Of a lonely whippoorwill . . . In zephyr winds that softly touch The nodding daffodil. It can be seen in myriad reflections On a moonlit lake . . . In candles gleaming happily Upon a birthday cake. It can be felt in soothing warmth Of summer's shining sun . . . In rhythmic throbbing when two hearts Beat metrically as one. It can be smelled in sun-parched planting's Gratitude for shower . . . In the scent when soft wind kisses Spring's first fragrant flower. It can be savored only in Undying thirst for Thee . . . In lonely man imploring God In meek humility. It can be sensed while treading in The paths where saints have trod . . . In living, talking, loving, walking Hand-in-hand with God.Thank you World Prayers