An Office for the Dead

This simple prayer begins with a text from Sacred Scripture which forms both a hymn and a reading it is followed by a psalm from the Church’s Office for the Dead and a prayer selected from those offered at the end. No office is offered for Sundays as we do not ourselves pray this office on Sundays.

This can be a very loving way of remembering our dear ones and also those who have died in violence and war.

 

Monday

All things have been handed over to me
by my Father *
and no one knows the Father except the Son,
and those to whom the Son
chooses to reveal him.

Come to me,
you who are weary and heavily burdened
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn of me
for I am gentle and humble of heart,
and you will find rest for your souls
Matt 11. 27-29

Psalm 129 (130)

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord, *
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 fulness of redemption,
Israel indeed he will redeem *
from all its iniquity.


Prayer (to be selected from those below)

V. Let us praise the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.

____________________________

Tuesday

Everything that the Father gives me
will come to me *
and the one who comes to me
I shall not turn away.
For I have come down from heaven,
not to do my own will,
but the will of him who sent me.
And it is his will
that I should not lose
anything that he has given to me,
but I shall raise it up on the last day.
Jn 6:37-40

Psalm 85(86)

Turn your ear, O Lord, and give answer *
for I am poor and needy.
Preserve my life, for I am faithful: *
save the servant who trusts in you.

You are my God, have mercy on me,Lord, *
for I cry to you all the day long.
Give joy to your servant, O Lord, *
for to you I lift up my soul.
O Lord, you are good and forgiving, *
full of love to all who call.
Give heed, O Lord, to my prayer *
and attend to the sound of my voice.

In the day of distress I will call *
and surely you will reply.
Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord; *
nor work to compare with yours.

All the nations shall come to adore you *
and glorify your name, O Lord:
for you are great and do marvellous deeds, *
you who alone are God.

Show me, Lord, your way †
so that I may walk in your truth. *
Guide my heart to fear your name.

I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart *
and glorify your name for ever;
for your love to me has been great: *
you have saved me from the depths of the grave.

The proud have risen against me; †
ruthless men seek my life: *
to you they pay no heed.

But you, God of mercy and compassion, *
slow to anger, O Lord,
abounding in love and truth, *
turn and take pity on me.

O give your strength to your servant *
and save your handmaid’s son.
Show me a sign of your favour †
that my foes may see to their shame *
that you console me and give me your help.

Prayer (to be selected from those below)

V. Let us praise the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.

____________________________

Wednesday

Truly I say to you *
anyone who hears my word
and believes in the one who sent me has eternal life,
and does not come under judgment
but has passed to eternal life.

For the hour is coming
and is now here,
when the dead shall hear
the voice of the Son of God,
and those who hear shall live.
Jn 5:24-26

Psalm 39(40): 2-14, 17-18

I waited, I waited for the Lord †
and he stooped down to me; *
he heard my cry.

He drew me from the deadly pit, *
from the miry clay.
He set my feet upon a rock *
and made my footsteps firm.

He put a new song into my mouth, *
praise of our God.
Many shall see and fear *
and shall trust in the Lord.

Happy the man who has placed *
his trust in the Lord
and has not gone over to the rebels *
who follow false gods.

How many, O Lord my God, *
are the wonders and designs
that you have worked for us; *
you have no equal.
Should I proclaim and speak of them, *
they are more than I can tell!

You do not ask for sacrifice and offerings, *
but an open ear.
You do not ask for holocaust and victim. *
Instead, here am I.
In the scroll of the book it stands written *
that I should do your will.
My God, I delight in your law *
in the depth of my heart.

Prayer (to be selected from those below)

V. Let us praise the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.
____________________________

Thursday

When the Son of Man comes*
in glory, with is angels,
all the nations will be gathered before him
and he will say to those at his right:
Come, you blessed of my Father,
enter the kingdom prepared for you;
for I was hungry - and you gave me food,
I was thirsty - and you gave me a drink,
a stranger - and you welcomed me,
sick and imprisoned - and you comforted me:
Truly, I tell you,
as you did it to the least of these,
you did it to me.
Matt 25:31-40

Psalm 145(146)

My soul give praise to the Lord; †
I will praise the Lord all my days, *
make music to my God while I live.

Put no trust in princes, *
in mortal men in whom there is no help.
Take their breath, they return to clay *
and their plans that day come to nothing.
He is happy who is helped by Jacob’s God, *
whose hope is in the Lord his God,
who alone made heaven and earth, *
the seas and all they contain.

It is he who keeps faith for ever, *
who is just to those who are oppressed.
It is he who gives bread to the hungry *
the Lord, who sets prisoners free,

the Lord who gives sight to the blind, *
who raises up those who are bowed down,
the Lord, who protects the stranger *
and upholds the widow and orphan.

It is the Lord who loves the just *
but thwarts the path of the wicked.
The Lord will reign for ever, *
Sion’s God, from age to age.

Prayer (to be selected from those below)

V. Let us praise the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.

____________________________

Friday

I know that my Redeemer lives, *
and that, at the last,
he will take his stand on earth.
And though this body may be destroyed,
yet in my flesh shall I see God,
I shall see him at my right hand;
my eyes shall behold him
and no other.
Job 19:20-26

Psalm 50(51)

Have mercy on me, God, in your kindness. *
In your compassion blot out my offence.
O wash me more and more from my guilt *
and cleanse me from my sin.

My offences, truly I know them; *
my sin is always before me.
Against you, you alone, have I sinned; *
what is evil in your sight I have done.

That you may be justified when you give sentence *
.and be without reproach when you judge
O see, in guilt I was born, *
a sinner was I conceived.

Indeed you love truth in the heart; *
then in the secret of my heart teach me wisdom.
O purify me, then I shall be clean; *
O wash me, I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me hear rejoicing and gladness, *
that the bones you have crushed may revive.
From my sins turn away your face *
and blot out all my guilt.
A pure heart create for me, O God, *
put a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence, *
nor deprive me of your holy spirit.

Give me again the joy of your help; *
with a spirit of fervour sustain me,
that I may teach transgressors your ways *
and sinners may return to you.

O rescue me, God, my helper, *
and my tongue shall ring out your goodness.
O Lord, open my lips *
and my mouth shall declare your praise.

For in sacrifice you take no delight, *
burnt offering from me you would refuse,
my sacrifice, a contrite spirit. *
A humbled, contrite heart you will not spurn.

In your goodness, show favour to Sion: *
rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
Then you will be pleased with lawful sacrifice, *
holocausts offered on your altar.


Prayer (to be selected from those below)

V. Let us praise the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.

____________________________

Saturday

I heard a great voice from the throne, saying:*
The dwelling place of God is with mortals,
he will dwell with them as their God
and they shall be his people.
God himself shall be with them
and he shall wipe away every tear from their eyes.
Death shall be no more,
and mourning and weeping and pain
shall pass away.

And the one on the throne said:
Behold, I make all things new!
Rev 21:3-4

Psalm 120(121)

I lift up my eyes to the mountains: *
from where shall come my help?
My help shall come from the Lord *
who made heaven and earth.

May he never allow you to stumble! *
Let him sleep not, your guard.
No, he sleeps not, nor slumbers, *
Israel’s guard.

The Lord is your guard and your shade; *
at your right side he stands.
By day the sun shall not smite you *
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will guard you from evil, *
he will guard your soul.
The Lord will guard your going and coming *
both now and for ever.

Prayer

V. Let us praise the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.

____________________________
 

Please choose an appropriate prayer

Let us pray
1. Grant, Lord, we pray, that as our faith is built on the Risen Christ, so too may our hope be steadfast, as we await the resurrection of your servant (handmaid) N. from the dead. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen

2. God our Father, by whose Son’s death and resurrection we have been redeemed, you are the glory of your faithful, the life of your saints: have mercy on your servant (handmaid) N. and as he (she) professed his (her) faith in the mystery of our resurrection, so may he (she) gain possession of eternal joy. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

3. Let our prayer come into your presence, Lord, as we humbly ask for mercy: and as in your love you counted your servant (handmaid) N, among your people in this world, so bring him (her) now to the abode of peace and light, and number him (her) among your saints. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

4.(For several deceased) Lord God, who gave your only begotten Son his place on high as conqueror of death: grant to your servants (or handmaids), N. and N. who have died, that they in their turn may triumph over death, and may live for ever before you, their Creator and Redeemer, you who live and reign for ever and ever. Amen.

For brethren, relatives and benefactors
5. Lord God, as you are the fount of mercy and wish all men to be saved: have mercy then on our deceased brethren, relatives and benefactors. Through the intercession of Blessed Mary ever-virgin, and of all your saints, bring them to the fellowship of eternal joy. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

For a man or woman (anniversary)
6. Lord, we commemorate the anniversary of your servant (handmaid) N. Flood him (her) with the never-failing light of your mercy and welcome him (her) into the company of your saints. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

7. Almighty God, by the glorious passion of your Son, grant to your servant (handmaid) N. the forgiveness which he (she) always sought. May he (she) know you in truth and be worthy to look upon your face for ever. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

8. God of mercy, we commemorate the anniversary of your servant (handmaid) N. Grant him (her) a home of rest, happiness and peace and bathe him (her) in the light of your glory. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

For general use. For one person

9. Almighty God and Father of all, you have strengthened us by the mystery of the cross and signed us with the sacrament of your Son’s resurrection. Mercifully grant that your servant (handmaid) N. now freed from the toils of this life, may be joined with the company of all your chosen ones. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

10. In your mercy, Lord, hear our prayer on behalf of your servant (handmaid) N. In this life you called him (her) into your holy people; welcome him (her) now into a place of light and peace, and admit him (her) into the company of your saints. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

11. Lord, we pray, release your servant (handmaid) N. from every bond of sin. He (she) bore the likeness of Christ in this life: grant him (her) rest among your saints in the glory of the resurrection. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

12. Lord Jesus Christ, as you hung on the cross you prayed even for those who tortured and killed you. Have mercy on your servant (handmaid) N., who has died. Free him (her) from the bonds of sin and bring him (her) at the last into the freedom of your light and love, you who live and reign for ever and ever. Amen.

13. God our Father, through the prophets you have taught us that you do not desire the death of sinners, but rather that they turn to you and live. In your goodness have mercy on your servant (handmaid).N. Deliver him (her) from all that still keeps him (her) from you and bring him (her) to share for ever in your joy. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

14. Lord our God,you will to save all those who turn to you in their hour of need, and have promised that none shall snatch them from your hand: have mercy on your servant (handmaid) N., who has died. May he (she) enter into your peace and praise you for all eternity. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

15. Lord, by your cross and passion you have delivered us from the power of sin and the snares of death. Look with pity on your servant (handmaid), N., who has died and by the power of your resurrection free him (her) to rejoice in your mercy for ever. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

For several persons or for all the faithful departed

16. O God, Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful, grant your servants and handmaids forgiveness for all their sins, so that our prayers may obtain for them the mercy which they have always sought from you. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

17. Almighty and merciful God, life of mortal men and joy of the saints, hear our prayers on behalf of your servants (or handmaids or servants and handmaids) N. and N. Free them from the bonds of death and admit them to everlasting glory in your kingdom. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

18. Almighty, eternal God, Lord of the living and the dead, in you all men find forgiveness. Grant that your servants (or handmaids or servants and handmaids) N. and N., for whom we now pray, may receive pardon for their sins and rejoice in praising you for ever. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

19. O God, it is by your mercy that the faithful rest in peace. Pardon the sins of your servants (or handmaids, or servants and handmaids) N. and N. and all who have died in Christ, and free them from their punishment, so that they may share in the resurrection of your Son, who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

20. Father of mercy,. you sent your Son into the world to give his life for all whom you created. We bring before you your servants (or handmaids) N. and N., who have died. Forgive them their sins, and in your lovingkindness bring them safely into your kingdom. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

21. Lord, grant perpetual mercy to your servants (or handmaids), N. and N., who have died. May their faith and hope in you receive its everlasting reward.

For a Pope

22. O God, faithful in rewarding the departed, we pray for N. your servant and our Pope, whom you appointed successor of Saint Peter and shepherd of all your Church. On earth he was a fearless minister of your merciful grace: grant that he may himself receive it for ever with you in heaven. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

23. O God, in your wise providence you chose your servant Pope N, to be the leader of your Church. He was the Vicar of your Son on earth: let your Son welcome him into eternal glory; He who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

24. O God, eternal shepherd of the dead, listen to us as we pray for Pope N. your servant. He ruled over your Church with love: in your mercy grant him the reward of a faithful steward, together with the flock you placed in his care. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

For a Bishop

25. (For a Diocesan Bishop) Almighty God, we pray to you for N., your servant and our bishop. You placed your people under his care: reward him a hundredfold for his labours and admit him to join in the happiness of his Master, who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

26. (For a Non-Diocesan Bishop) O God, you chose your servant N. to be a successor of the apostles as a bishop (or Cardinal): welcome him, we pray, into the company of the apostles for ever. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

For a Priest


27. Lord, in this life you conferred upon your servant N. the grace of the priesthood; grant him in heaven everlasting glory and joy.

28. Lord, listen mercifully to the prayers we offer for the salvation of N., your servant and priest. He was faithful to you in performing his ministry. Grant that he may rejoice for ever in the company of your saints.

For a Deacon
29. God of mercy, you chose your servant N., to perform in your Church the ministry of a deacon. Welcome him now into eternal happiness in your company. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

For a Religious
30. Almighty God, we pray to you on behalf of your servant N, (or of your handmaid N.), who for the love of your Son followed to the end the path of perfect charity. Grant him (her) joy when Christ comes in glory, and admit him (her) with his brothers (her sisters) to the everlasting happiness of your kingdom.

For one person

31. O God, in you the dead live and your saints receive the fulness of joy. Grant that your servant (handmaid) N., who has departed from the light of day, may enjoy the consolation of your everlasting light. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

32. Lord, receive our prayers, and welcome your servant (handmaid) N. into eternal happiness. You created him (her) in your own image, and adopted him (her) as your son (as your daughter): grant him (her) now his (her) eternal inheritance. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

33. Lord, hear us in your mercy as we pray for your servant (handmaid) N. Free him (her) from all his (her) sins, so that, on the day of the resurrection of the dead, he (she) may live to enjoy perpetual light and rest. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

For a young person

34. O God, you measure the life and times of all men. While we grieve that your servant (handmaid) N. was with us for so short a time, we humbly pray that he (she) may enjoy eternal youth in the joy of your presence for ever. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

For one who worked in the service of the Gospel

35. We humbly implore your mercy, Lord, for your servant (handmaid) N. He (She) laboured ceaselessly for the spread of your Gospel: reward him (her) now with a special place in your kingdom. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

For one who endured a long illness

36. O God, you called your servant (handmaid) N. to serve you in sickness and in weakness, Grant, we pray you, that he (she) who followed in the path of Christ’s suffering, may also share in the reward of his glory; who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

For one whose death was sudden

37. We mourn, Lord, the sudden death of this our brother (sister) N. Strengthen by the power of your unfailing lovingkindness our firm belief that he (she) is now united for ever with you. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

For several persons

38. Have mercy, Lord, on your servants (or handmaids), N. and N. You washed them in the waters of new birth; admit them now into the joy of everlasting life. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

39. Lord, we commend to you your departed servants (or handmaids), N. and N. Grant them eternal life, and if through human weakness they have committed sins on earth, pardon them and in your loving mercy wash their sins away. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

40. Almighty, eternal God, no prayer is made to you without hope of your mercy. Grant pardon to your servants (or handmaids), N. and N. who have died in the faith and welcome them into the company of your saints. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

For married people

41. Forgive the sins of your servant and handmaid, N. and N.. most merciful Lord. Their love for each other united them faithfully in this life: may they find its fulness in eternity.

For parents

42. O God, you taught us to honour our father and mother. Show your mercy to my own father and mother (our own parents) and forgive them their sins. May we all joyfully meet again in the gladness of eternal light. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

For a Religious Sister

43. Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins and rose from the dead to give us life, it is in you that we place our hope, our trials and our joys. Receive into your everlasting arms the soul of your handmaid, our dear Sister N,. whom you have called from this life. Grant that we may live the truth of the mystery of the resurrection, so that one day we may all be with you who live and reign for ever and ever.

44. Lord God, you are the glory of believers and the life of the just. Your Son redeemed us by dying and rising to life again. Since our departed brothers, sisters, relatives and benefactors believed in the mystery of our resurrection, let them share the joys and blessings of the life to come. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

Prayers for the dying

45. Lord Jesus, look with mercy on your servants and handmaids who are dying this night. May they know the consolation of your presence in their hour of darkness and enter in peace the joy of your kingdom: who live and reign for ever and ever.

46. Father, into your hands we commend all your children who are dying tonight. Forgive them their sins, take away their fear, and enfold them in your love. May you be praised through them and in them, now and for all eternity, who live and reign for ever and ever.

For a non-Catholic Christian

47. Lord Jesus Christ, you have said that none can come to you unless the Father draw him. We pray for N., who loved you and sought to serve you: Grant him (her) the perfect vision of your glory in the fulness of faith, you who live and reign for ever.

For a non-Christian

48. Father, knowledge of you is your gift: we pray you to have mercy on N. that he (she) may now know you completely and see you in perfect light. Through Christ our Lord.

For the unborn, who have been killed in the womb
49. Life is your gift, Lord. Embrace these children and let them grow in your love; may the enjoyment of your unveiled presence be the forgiveness of all who caused their death. Through Christ our Lord.

For a Poor Clare

50.O Lord Most High, inscribe in the book of the living
the name of your handmaid, N. of N., our Sister. In place of things that do not endure,grant her eternal blessings and new life with you who live and reign for ever and ever. Amen.

For a Claresharer

60.  We bring you, Lord of Light our dear brother/sister, N. May he/she know our love and suport and the intercession of our Holy Mother Clare and all our saints as she comes into your presence.  Through Christ our Lord. Amen.