If you’re a religious person, you might find comfort in prayer. It’s a great thing to turn to, especially when you’re grieving. Loss has a way of eliciting intense reactions, and losing your mom is one of those times. If you don’t know where to turn, your religious tradition is a great refuge.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Prayers for Losing Your Own Mother
- Prayers for Someone Whose Mother Died
- Prayers for the Loss of a Mother-in-Law
You can use these compiled prayers in a personal setting. You can also read them aloud to family members, pray with a community, or write them in a journal. No matter how you want to honor your mom, you can customize these prayers to do that.
Tip: If you or someone you know recently lost a parent, our post-loss checklist can help sort out all of the tasks you might be facing.
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Prayers for Losing Your Own Mother
Losing your mom is a very personal experience. The people who crafted these prayers were likely going through the same pain.
1. “Prayer for loss of mother” from Christianity
Grief can make you feel broken and hopeless. This prayer acknowledges God’s power to help you through it.
“Heavenly Father, at this moment, nothing seems to be able to help the loss I feel after my mother's passing. My heart is broken and my spirit mourns. All I know is that your grace is sufficient and there is comfort knowing she is with you in heaven…”
2. “Nature’s Course” from Taoism
This prayer emphasizes the cycle of life. No matter how intense your pain, this is part of nature.
“The flower invites the butterfly with no-mind, / The butterfly visits the flower with no-mind. / The flower opens, the butterfly comes / The butterfly comes, the flower opens. / I don’t know others, / Others don’t know me. / By not knowing, we follow nature’s course.”
3. “Prayer for mother” from Christianity
This prayer focuses on asking God for compassion. It cites the Old Testament, a verse about honoring your father and mother.
“Have compassion in thy mercy, on the souls of my father and mother; forgive them their sins, and grant that I may see them in the joy of eternal brightness. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.”
4. “Only for a short while” from the Aztecs
Spending time with someone as precious as your mom is a gift. This Aztec prayer reminds you that life is a gift, no matter how long it lasts.
“Oh, only for so short a while you have loaned us to each other, because we take form in your act of drawing us, and we take life in your painting us, and we breathe in your singing us. But only for so short a while have you loaned us to each other…”
5. “Cherokee Prayer Blessing” from the Cherokees
This is a blessing for your mom and those left behind. It wishes peace and joy on everyone you’re praying for.
“May the warm winds of heaven / blow softly upon your house. / May the Great Spirit / bless all who enter there. / May your moccasins / make happy tracks / in many snows, / and may the rainbow / always touch your shoulder.”
Prayers for Someone Whose Mother Died
Someone who shares your faith tradition may appreciate you sharing prayers. You can pray with them or send them in a condolence card.
6. “Prayer for mourning” from Christianity
This is a prayer for those who are suffering. It’s a reminder that they’re not alone and light will shine on them again.
“May you see God's light on the path ahead / When the road you walk is dark. / May you always hear, / Even in your hour of sorrow, / The gentle singing of the lark. / When times are hard may hardness / Never turn your heart to stone, / May you always remember / when the shadows fall, you do not walk alone.”
7. “Jewish blessing for mourners” from Judaism
Since Judaism is so focused on life, death is a major event. This prayer serves as a practical reminder that you aren’t the first to grieve, and you won’t be the last. Check out our list of popular Jewish funeral prayers if you're looking for more.
“Those who are worn out and crushed by this mourning, let your hearts consider this: this is the path that has existed from the time of creation and will exist forever. Many have drunk from it and many will yet drink. As was the first meal, so shall be the last…”
8. “Prayer for death” from Buddhism
Death is a major change. Even though it doesn’t feel like it, your life will go on. Even as you grieve, this prayer hopes that love will continue to fill the silence.
“May the sweet light of change shines 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.”
9. “Prayer for mother” from Catholicism
This is a prayer for your mother’s salvation in the next world. Since she’s no longer suffering in this world, you can pray for her existence in heaven.
“We beseech thee, O Lord, in thy mercy, to have pity on the soul of thy handmaid; do thou, who hast freed her from the perils of this mortal life, restore to her the portion of everlasting salvation. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.”
10. “In the hands of God” from Ignatian Spirituality
Putting yourself completely in the hands of God is a scary thing. When you’re grieving, you can feel particularly vulnerable. This is a good time to rely on these types of prayers.
“More than ever, I find myself in the hands of God. This is what I have wanted all my life from my youth. But now there is a difference; the initiative is entirely with God. It is indeed a profound spiritual experience to know and feel myself so totally in God's hands.”
Prayers for the Loss of a Mother-in-Law
You might be very close to your mother-in-law. Even if you weren’t, you can share these prayers with your spouse as a comforting gesture.
11. “A Hindu Peace Prayer” from Hinduism
Praying to be delivered from grief is understandable during such an intense time. This prayer focuses on what matters.
“I desire neither earthly kingdom nor even freedom from birth and death. I desire only the deliverance from grief of all those afflicted by misery. Oh Lord, lead us from the unreal to the real; from darkness to light; from death to immortality. May there be peace in celestial regions…”
12. “The Memorare” from Catholicism
The Virgin Mary is a major maternal figure in Catholicism. This prayer requests that she listen to your plea for help.
“Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come before thee I stand…”
13. “Praise to Buddha Shakyamuni” from Buddhism
No matter how you’re feeling, giving thanks for what you have left is important. This prayer reminds you that no matter how you feel, you are loved without exception.
“O Blessed One, Shakyamuni Buddha / Precious treasury of compassion, Bestower of supreme inner peace, / You, who love all beings without exception, / Are the source of happiness and goodness; / And you guide us to the liberating path …”
14. “Surat Al-Fatina” from Islam
This is a prayer to the all-merciful master on the day of judgment. It serves as a prayer for your loved one. It also is a request for guidance for those left behind.
“In the name of God, the infinitely good, the all-merciful. Praise be to God, the Lord of the worlds. The infinitely good, the all-merciful. Master of the day of judgment. Thee we worship, and in thee, we seek help. Guide us upon the straight path…”
15. “Prayer for Life” from the North American Indians
Maternal, life-giving figures are crucial in some Native American cultures. This is a prayer that you receive a long life with the loved ones left to you.
“Our old women gods, we ask you! / Our old women gods, we ask you! / Then give us long life together, / May we live until our frosted hair is white / May we live till then. / This life that now we know!”
Praying for Yourself
Praying for your mother is a beautiful experience. As you deal with grief, remember to pray for yourself. As you cope with a tidal wave of emotions, it’s crucial to take time for self-care.
If you're looking for more ideas for prayer and reflection, check out our guides on popular death anniversary prayers, how to spend your first Christmas without your mother, and how to say "happy birthday in heaven, mom."
- “Prayer Index.” Xavier University, n.d., www.xavier.edu/jesuitresource/online-resources/prayer-index/index