Some helpful prayers and readings

Psalm 23


The Lord is my shepherd; therefore can I lack nothing.


He makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me beside still waters.


He shall refresh my soul and guide me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.


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, they comfort me.


You spread a table before me in the presence of those who trouble me; 
you have anointed my head with oil and my cup shall be full.


Surely goodness and loving mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

‘Then I saw a new heaven, and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away ... I heard a voice out of heaven: ‘See, the dwelling of God is with us. We shall be his people and he will be our God. He will wipe away every tear from our eyes. There will be no more death, no more mourning or sadness, for the old things have passed away.’’

‘The time has come for me to leave this life. I have run a good race, I have fought the good fight, I have kept the faith. And there is now waiting for me that reward which God, the Righteous Judge will give me on that day, and not just to me, but to all those who wait with love for him to appear.’

For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down and a time to build up;
a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance. (Ecclesiastes 3)

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, the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

For your loved one:

Heavenly Father, we thank you for N, and our memories of them that we bring here today. Thank you for all the gifts that you gave them that we will never forget. Please help us always to treasure these memories, and know that N is never far from us, until that day comes when we all stand together again, before you. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For you:

Lord Jesus, who wept at the grave of his friend Lazarus, we commend into your care those whose loss is greatest today, because their lives were closest and their love deepest. We pray for ... (names of family)
In your compassion surround them with your hope, your love, and your strength to face life again in the days to come. And may your peace be with us always. Amen.


Death is nothing at all. I have only slipped into the next room.
I am still I, and you are you. Whatever we were to each other,
that we still are. Call me by my old familiar name -
speak to me in the easy way you always used.
Laugh, as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near,
just around the corner. All is well. (Henry Scott Holland)

When I must leave you for a little while,
please do not grieve and shed wild tears,
and hug your sorrow to you through the years.

But start out bravely, with a gallant smile,
and, for my sake, and in my name
live on, and do all things the same.

Feed not your loneliness on empty days,
but fill each waking hour in useful ways.
Reach out your hand in comfort and in cheer,

and I, in turn, will comfort you and hold you near.
And never, never be afraid to die,
for I am waiting for you in the sky (Helen Steiner Rice)

I am standing upon the seashore.
A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the ocean.
She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.
Then someone at my side says, ‘ There, she is gone.’
‘Gone where?’ Gone from my sight. That is all.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her.
And just at the moment when someone at my side says: ‘There. she is gone’, there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout: ‘Here she comes!’
And that is dying. (Henry Scott Holland)

If I should die and leave you, be not like others quick undone,
who keep long vigil by the silent dust, and weep.
For my sake turn to life and smile,
nerving thy heart and trembling hand
to comfort weaker souls than thee
Complete these dear unfinished tasks of mine,
and I perchance may therein comfort thee. (Thomas Gray)