What to Put on Catholic Funeral Prayer Cards: 30+ Ideas


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Catholic funeral prayer cards are 2.5-inch by 4.25-inch cards distributed at a Catholic funeral service. Typically, they have a religious image on one side and the other side displays a small photograph of the deceased, the deceased’s name, birth, and death dates. They can also come with a prayer or poem printed on the card.

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Catholic prayer cards are given to those attending the funeral service to commemorate the life of the deceased. Those who receive a prayer card may tuck it inside their Bibles or in a place of prominence in their homes. Seeing this prayer card reminds the mourners to pray for the deceased and their families.

If you recently lost a loved one, you may be struggling to determine what to include on the prayer card. Here are some ideas. 

Virtual funeral tip: If you're planning a virtual funeral with a service like GatheringUs, you can send your Catholic prayer cards through the mail, or you can provide guests with a download link and ask them to print the cards at home. Your virtual funeral facilitator will help you put those details together. 

Different Ways to Say ‘In Loving Memory’ and the Death Date on a Catholic Prayer Card

Since prayer cards are small, there’s not a lot of room to be creative with the text. On the other hand, you may consider what you can say besides “in loving memory.” Of course, you may consider checking with your priest on what is the most appropriate use of words. 

Use “What to Write on a Memorial Card” or some other faith-based ideas as well. 

» MORE: An online memorial is a perfect ending to honor and celebrate someone's life. Create one for free.

1. “In heartfelt memory”

This message is not too different from “in loving memory,” but this small difference may make your loved one’s prayer card stand out from others. 

2. “In loving memory of our mom”

You may consider including the relationship of the individual to the people “hosting” the funeral. You could include many relationships, such as “in loving memory of a wonderful wife, mother, and grandmother.”

3. “Forever in our hearts”

This loving tribute is a beautiful way to say that the deceased will live on in the memory of others. 

4. “Celebrating a life well-lived”

Did people admire how the deceased lived his life? “Celebrating a life well-lived” may be a lovely way to honor the person who died.

5. “Always on our mind, forever in our hearts”

Are you looking for a touching sentiment to include on your funeral prayer card? This is one to consider.

6. “Celebrating an amazing life”

If you know that your loved one is leaving this earth to go to heaven, you may consider her funeral a celebration of sorts. 

7. “Gone but not forgotten”

This sentiment is sometimes found on headstones, but it is also appropriate for prayer cards. 

Catholic Funeral Prayer Card Prayer Ideas

These commemorative items are called “prayer cards” because they include the text of a prayer on them. Companies that sell prayer cards have many choices available, but some companies allow you to customize the prayer. You may also choose to personalize the prayer card by adding a favorite verse

Many companies allow you to coordinate the prayer with the image on the front. For example, if you choose to include a prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi, you may choose to have an image of that particular saint on the front of the prayer card.

Here are some prayers you may consider for your loved one’s prayer card.

8. 23rd Psalm

The 23rd Psalm is one of the most recognizable passages from the Bible. It is often read on a person’s deathbed to bring peace to the person making the transition. It begins, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me beside the still waters.”

9. “Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi”

This beautiful prayer begins,

“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.”

10. “Saint Andrew”

This prayer asks the following: “Grant us to become most true lovers of thy holy cross, and, denying ourselves, to take up our cross and follow thee; that by sharing thy sufferings in this life, we may deserve the happiness of obtaining life everlasting.”

» MORE: Grief can be lonely. Create space for your community to share memories and tributes with a free online memorial from Cake.

11. “Saint Anne”

Saint Anne was Mary’s mother, which means she would have been the maternal grandmother of Jesus. You may consider using a Saint Anne prayer on the card memorializing your loved one.

12. “Saint Anthony”

A novena refers to a form of worship that is done nine consecutive days. Some pray to Saint Anthony on Tuesdays, as he is the Patron Saint of Tuesdays.

13. “Saint Augustine”

This prayer has special meaning to those who mourn. The prayer begins, “Watch thou, dear Lord, with those who wake, or watch, or weep tonight.”

14. “Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton” 

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton was both a mother and an educator. Consider using this prayer for a person who dedicated her life to the same pursuits. 

15 “Saint John Neumann”

Death isn’t as painful if you know your loved one is on “the sure road to our Father’s house with the light of living faith.” 

16. “Saint Joseph”

You may consider using a prayer of intercession on the back of your loved one’s prayer card. For example, the text of the Saint Joseph prayers asks the saint to “kiss his fine head for me and ask him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath.”

17. “Saint Michael the Archangel”

This prayer asks God to “defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness

and snares of the devil.” Michael is one of two angels named in the Bible.

18. “Saint Patrick”

If your loved one was Irish or was proud of his Irish heritage, consider having a prayer of Saint Patrick on the prayer card. You could also consider having the Irish Blessing printed on the card, which begins, “May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back.”

19. “Padre Pio”

Padre Pio was born in Italy in the late 1800s. Padre Pio was a strong believer in meditation and was canonized in 2002 by John Paul II.

20. “Saint Therese”

In this prayer, Saint Therese is referred to as “a little flower of Jesus.”

21. “Our Father”

We would be remiss if we didn’t include the “Our Father” prayer on this list. Also known as the Lord’s Prayer, it is found in both the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.

» MORE: Online obituary that is 100% free. Honor a loved one beyond a newspaper.

22. “Hail Mary”

Because of its length, the entire text of the rosary may not be able to be printed on one prayer card. You may consider printing this specific prayer to Mary, mother of God.

23. “The Apostle’s Creed”

If you wish to share your loved one’s beliefs with others, why not print this belief statement on his or her prayer card? 

24. “Guardian Angel Prayer”

This short prayer includes the following text: “Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here, ever this day (or night) be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.”

25. “Catholic Funeral Prayer”

This beautifully-written prayer begins,

“God our father,
Your power brings us to birth,
Your providence guides our lives,
and by your command, we return to dust.”

26. “Catholic Prayer for the Dead”

This prayer speaks of the promise of heaven. It ends with,

“Unite us together again in one family,
to sing your praise forever and ever.”

27. “Anima Christi”

Anima Christi is Latin for “soul of Christ.” This prayer includes a series of requests, which ends with this one:

“Defend me from the evil enemy
And call me at the hour of my death
To the fellowship of your saints
That I might sing your praise with them
for all eternity.”

28. “Prayer to Our Lady”

This prayer asks Mary to “do not despise our petitions, but in your mercy hear us and answer us.”

29. “Catholic Prayer for a Woman”

This prayer asks for intercession for a woman who was freed from the perils of mortal life. 

30. “Christ Be with Me”

You may consider including the text of “Christ Be with Me” on your loved one’s funeral prayer card. It reads,

“Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.”

What Prayer Do You Want for Your Own Funeral?

If you have a specific prayer that has always given you comfort, share this information with your immediate family. In fact, you may consider sharing a lot more than that. Why don’t you make a funeral plan for your eventual end-of-life service? 

Tell your loved ones the verse you would like on your prayer card, the hymns you would like sung at your funeral, and the clothes you would like to wear for eternity. All those decisions are difficult for people mourning the loss of a loved one. Make things easier for your family members so they can focus on more important aspects of life and death after you die.

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