15 Short Prayers to Say in a Eulogy

Updated

Have you been asked to write a eulogy for a loved one or good friend? What an honor! This means that someone has entrusted you with summarizing the characteristics and beliefs of a loved one who recently passed. 

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If the decedent had staunch spiritual beliefs, you might want to conclude the eulogy by reading a prayer. Even though anyone can write a prayer, you may feel more comfortable reading one written by another person. 

Read through the prayers we found. Search for the full text of the prayers you would like to use during your loved one’s services.

Eulogy Prayers for Mothers or Grandmothers

You may struggle to find prayers written specifically for a eulogy. Instead, search for funeral prayers or poems for ideas. You may also look through the personal papers of your mom or grandma to find a poem that was important to her. Maybe she had one taped to her bathroom mirror or stuck on the refrigerator.

Take a look at some eulogy prayers that might work well for your mom’s or grandma’s funeral. 

1. “In Times of Sorrow” 

This prayer works well for any monotheistic faith group. It asks God to give peace to those who mourn the loss of a loved one. It concludes, “May you always remember when the shadows fall, you do not walk alone.”

2. “For Those Who Mourn” by Vienna Cobb Anderson

This prayer asks God to comfort those in mourning. It begins, “Bless those who mourn, eternal God, with the comfort of your love that they may face each new day with hope and the certainty that nothing can destroy the good that has been given.”

3. “For Resilience” for Christians

Many emotions connect to grief. Some feel frightened at the prospect of life without the person who died. This prayer speaks to this fear. One line reads, “When we are surrounded by the dryness of uncertainties, fears, or change, saturate us with your presence, pour your peace into every fiber of our being until we radiate with resilience.”

Many of the prayers on our list refer to God, but this one concludes, “In Jesus’ name.”

ยป MORE: Instead of ashes, create a beautiful stone. Parting Stone helps you keep your loved ones close.

 

Eulogy Prayers for Fathers or Grandfathers

Are you struggling with how to end a eulogy? A prayer can complete your speech. Learn some prayers for a eulogy for a father or grandfather.

If you can’t find a poem on this list that speaks to you, consider using a poem essential to those of your faith, such as the Lord’s Prayer. You may also conclude your speech with a reading from the Bible or a poignant quote about death and loss. 

4. “In Times of Loss” by M.S. Lowndes

Funeral prayers can cover many different topics. Some involve prayers of thanksgiving for the life of the person who died. Other prayers, such as this one, ask for peace for those in mourning. 

This prayer concludes, “We pray God pours upon you his sweet amazing grace and overflows your heart with peace as you live in his embrace.”

5. “Our Grandparents” 

This prayer begins, “We thank you for our grandparents, who have played such an important role in our lives. We remember with joy all of the time spent together doing simple things like fishing, doing a puzzle, baking cookies, taking a walk, reading a story, and learning about the wonder of nature.”

The rest of the text reads like a prayer of thanksgiving. While some prayers sound like lofty language, this one offers sweet simplicity.

6. “A Blessing Prayer” 

This prayer asks God to bless those in attendance. This would be an appropriate prayer to read at a funeral because it asks for God’s compassion, gentleness, joy, and strength.

Eulogy Prayers for Children

Planning a memorial service for a child involves extreme difficulty for all involved. These prayers ask for comfort, wisdom, and strength for all the people the child leaves behind. 

7. “Prayers of Our Heart” by Vienna Cobb Anderson

This prayer asks for comfort for those in agony over the loss of a child. This poem reminds the attendees that good still exists in the world. It begins, “Bless those who mourn, eternal God, with the comfort of your love, that they may face each new day with hope and the certainty that nothing can destroy the good that has been given.”

8. “Jewish Blessing of the Mourners”

We included this prayer because it presents an interesting message. It reminds us that loss and sorrow have occurred since the beginning of humankind. It goes like this: “This is the path that has existed from the time of creation and will exist forever.”

Immediately after you lose someone, you may feel as if no one could feel as sad as you. This prayer reminds us that everyone feels grief and sorrow.

9. “For Strength and Wisdom”

The loss of a child may leave you whirling with uncertainty and feelings of complete helplessness. This prayer asks God for strength. It reads in part, “God, things have happened around me right now that I do not understand. Some of these things make me feel weak, helpless, and afraid. Even in the midst of this, I know that you are the Lord.”

Eulogy Prayers for a Sibling

Are you writing a eulogy for a brother or sister? If your sibling's faith was central to your family's life (and still was up until death), consider asking your sibling's religious leader for the text of an appropriate prayer.

10. “Condolences” by Zenju

While many of the prayers on our list refer to “God,” this one was written by a Buddhist monk. It reads, in its entirety:

“May the sweet light of change shine in the darkness,
May the first breath of each morning begin life again,
May the memories unfold as prayers for life,
May the love continue to fill the silence.”

11. “Gratitude to You” by Beth McLendon

Sometimes people take the opportunity at funerals to express gratitude to God. This prayer gives thanks to the Christian God for six characteristics: love, truth, mercy, faithfulness, beauty, and redemption. 

12. “Prayer of Commendation” from Catholicism

Many Catholic funerals include a prayer of commendation. The text of the prayer may vary, but one begins, “Into your hands, father of mercies, we commend our brother/sister (name) in the sure and certain hope that, together with all who have died in Christ, he/she will rise with him.”

Eulogy Prayers for a Friend

Consider carefully the kind of prayer you will read at a friend’s funeral if you and the family don’t share the same religious beliefs. Read three prayers from different faith traditions that may help you as you eulogize a beloved friend. 

13. “Only For a Short While” Aztec Prayer

This prayer reads like a poem, written in two different “stanzas,” each one beginning, “Oh, only for so short a while you have loaned us to each other.” 

This prayer is one of thanksgiving for the life of the friend you eulogize.

14. Jewish Prayer

This prayer reflects the popular belief that people don't die until their memory leaves the earth. It reads in its entirety: “As long as we live, they too will live; for they are now a part of us; as we remember them.”

15. “om namo narayanaya” from Hindu

Some Hindu end-of-life services may include mantra chanting. This one means, “I bow to Lord Narayana.” Narayana is the Hindu lord of protection. 

Give Yourself Plenty of Time 

Even practiced writers may find writing a eulogy for a loved one a challenging task. For this reason, give yourself plenty of time for it.

Ask older and younger family members, co-workers, and friends for ideas on what to include in the eulogy. After all, you may have only known the person in one context. 

Include examples and specific stories that illustrate your main points. For example, don’t just say that your father “never met a stranger.” Share a story with the funeral attendees about how the Costco greeter, bank teller, coffee shop waitress, and school crossing guard all knew your dad by name.

Let several sets of eyes look at your eulogy before giving it. Have them check the tone of the piece, especially if you attempt to use humorous anecdotes. 

Finally, give yourself plenty of time to practice presenting the eulogy. If you will use a sound system, make sure you arrive early enough to practice.

Writing a eulogy may be the last kind act that you will complete for the person you loved. Take care with the task. 


Sources:
  1. “Prayer Index.” Xavier University. www.xavier.edu/jesuitresource/online-resources/prayer-index/index
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