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In The Catholic Tradition


Commendation of the Dying

Jesus, he who is our life, has gone before us and invites us to follow him to that place which he has prepared for us. Through the prayers for the “Commendation of the Dying”, God’s people help to sustain this communion with Jesus, until it is brought to it fulfilment after death.

We read in Sacred Scripture:
We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God in them.
Prayers of Commendation:
Go forth Christian soul, from this world,
in the name of 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 Sprit who was poured out upon you, go forth, faithful Christian.
May you live in peace this day, may your home be with God in Zion,
With Mary, the virgin mother of God, with Joseph, and all the angels and saints.

I commend you, beloved, to almighty God,
and entrust you to your Creator.
May you return to him who formed you from the dust of the earth.
May holy 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 peace.
May Christ who died for you admit you into his garden of paradise.
May Christ, the true Shepherd, acknowledge you as one of his flock.
May he forgive all your sins and set you among those he has chosen.
May you see your redeemer face to face, and enjoy the vision of God forever. Amen.

Entering Death by John O’Donohue (Audio Only)

After Death – Prayer for the Deceased and for the Family

We join with the dying person in prayer for God’s mercy, assured for us by Christ Jesus. This prayer is intended for the dying person as well as the family members present.

Let us pray,
All powerful and merciful God, we commend to you your beloved child. In your mercy and love, blot out any sins that they may have committed though human weakness. In this world they have died, let them now live with you forever in heaven. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Almighty and eternal God,
Hear our prayers for your beloved child whom you have called from this life to yourself.
Grant your child light, happiness and peace.
Let your beloved pass in safety through the gates of death, and live forever with all your saints in the light you promised to Abraham and to all his descendants in faith.
Guard your child from all harm and on that great day of resurrection and reward, raise up your beloved with all your saints. Pardon any sins that need forgiving and give your beloved eternal life in your kingdom. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for Family & Friends
God of all consolation,
In your unending love and mercy for us you turn the darkness of death into the dawn of new life. Show compassion to your people in their sorrow. Be our refuge and our strength to life us from the darkness of this grief to the peace and light of your presence.
Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, by dying for us, conquered death and by rising again, restored life. May we then go forward eagerly to meet him, and after our life on earth be reunited with all our brothers and sisters who have gone before us, where every tear will be wiped away. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayers for the Dead

The prayers are designed to assist those present to face the natural human anxiety about death, by reflecting on Christ’s own patient suffering and dying. Christians have no need of fear, because Christ has destroyed the power of death by his own death and resurrection.

In this moment of sorrow the Lord is in our midst and comforts us with his word: Blessed are the sorrowful; they shall be consoled.

Let us pray: Loving and merciful god, we entrust your beloved child to you mercy. You love them greatly in this life; now that they are freed from all its cares, give them light, happiness and peace forever.

The old order has passed away: welcome your beloved, now, into the paradise, where there will be no more sorrow, no more weeping or pain, but inly peace and joy with Jesus, you Son, and the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever.

We read in the gospel of Luke:
“It was now around midday, and darkness came over the whole land until midafternoon with an eclipse of the sun. The curtain in the sanctuary was torn in two. Jesus uttered a loud cry and said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” After he said this, he expired.”

God of mercy,
Hear our prayers and be merciful to your beloved whom you have called from this life. Grant welcome into the company of your saints in the kingdom of light and peace.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
With God there is mercy and the fulness of redemption; so we pray as Jesus taught us to pray:

Our Father

Lord Jesus, our Redeemer, you willingly gave yourself up to death so that all people might be save and pass from death into a new life. Listen to our prayers, look with love on your people who mourn and who pray in their loss.
Lord Jesus, holy and compassionate: forgive your beloved their sins. By dying you opened the gates of life for those who believe in you” do not let our loved one be parted from you, but by your glorious power give them light, joy, and peace in heaven where you live for ever and ever. Amen.

About Spiritual Library Contributor


Fr. David Loftus

A graduate of both All Hallows College in Dublin, Ireland, and of Boston College, Fr. David Loftus serves as Pastor at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Northridge.

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