Losing a loved one can bring about a wide array of devastating feelings. Here are some good opening prayers for the funeral of your loved one, and will help you with the grieving process.
Jesus, let your presence manifest in this place. As we gather here to mourn our beloved, [name], may you bring healing into our hearts. Be our alpha and omega in this funeral service. Let the things we share about our beloved [name] bring joy and healing in our hearts. We know it will be hard for anyone to fill the gap that has been left in our hearts. But we also know that in days, weeks, months, and years to come, you will heal us, and what we will be left with are the fond memories of the times we shared with [name]. We thank you for giving us a chance to spend time with [name] while he/she was on earth. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
We Live to the Lord Prayer
Father, remind us as we gather for this memorial that none of us lives to himself and none of us dies to himself. We are yours, whether we are living in this life, or whether we have passed into the life beyond. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord, for they rest from their labor. You give and you take away. Blessed be your name, our Creator and our Sustainer. Amen.
God, as we mourn the loss of our loved one, [name], we ask you to cover his/her family with your wings of love. Give them courage so that they can stand before us and share the fond memories they have of their beloved. Father, it has been such a big blow to them as a family, but you are their strength and strong tower. We know that you love them so much and that you will take care of their needs. Lord, fill the gap that has been left in their hearts and give them the courage to face each day without him. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Prayer for Salvation
Gracious God, you are the one who saves. You sent your Son to die for our sins so that we can be freed from the penalty of sin. We thank you that our departed loved one is now in your presence. We rejoice for one more soul that has been safely transported to eternal glory. We pray for anyone here who needs the assurance of salvation and eternal life. Let your Spirit show them the way to salvation. Let them accept Christ’s free gift of salvation through faith in His sacrifice alone. Let this be the message of hope that resounds throughout this funeral service today. Amen.
The Deep Love of Jesus Prayer
God, we thank you for your deep, immeasurable love. We thank you that your love covers us in its fullness, leading us homeward to our glorious rest above. Bless this assembly, precious Lord, and may you be honored as we celebrate a life that glorified you. Bless those who have suffered this great loss, and may they find comfort in your arms of love. And now, dear Savior, may our loved one reach heaven’s glories and see you face to face. Amen.
Prayer of Commitment
Our Father in heaven, we open this service acknowledging your presence in our midst. Nothing is hidden from you, O Lord. You know each and every person who has gathered at this funeral service today. I commit every person in this room. Let Your Spirit move in our midst and bring peace. Direct our thoughts to you. We release all feelings of sorrow, pain, longing, and even doubt. We commit our life to your hand, and we commit our departed loved one to you. We give him to your care as we also entrust every soul in this room into your capable hands. Amen.
Unconditional Love Prayer
God, we are gathered here today as friends and family of our loved one who departed from this world recently and came into your presence. Lord, it is not easy for us to stand here and eulogize our beloved, but we know that [name] is now together with You in heaven. As we honor our loved one, let the unconditional love that you showered upon [name] during his/her life fill this service. Help us to learn how to love others unconditionally like our beloved did when he/she was with us on earth. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Prayer for Great Thanks
The God who sees, we thank you for the life of [name of deceased]. It is painful to gather for this reason. But in the midst of pain, we give great thanks. You have gifted us with the friendship and love of our departed one. And as we hold this funeral service, we remember all the good times we’ve spent with him/her. We recount all blessings we’ve received through his/her life. We thank you, O Lord, for all the wonderful ways you’ve used our departed loved one in the life of every person here. We commit this time of remembrance to you. Amen.
Lord, we thank you for enabling us to gather here today so that we can celebrate a life well-lived. As we start this funeral service, we ask for the presence of the Holy Spirit in this place. May he bring comfort to every one of us so that we can be able to mourn as believers. Holy Spirit, take full control and help us to do this as unto God and not as unto ourselves. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Prayer for Strengthening
Dear God, we open this funeral service with a sincere plea for your strengthening. Each and everyone here is dealing with the loss of this dearly beloved. Some are weakened by pain and grief. Others are struggling through sleep deprivation or mental stress. Use the strong to encourage and support the weak in our midst. Above all, be our shelter today. As family and friends come up to share their thoughts about our departed one for the last time, help them stand strong. Support them with your grace. Amen.
Praise to Christ Our Passover
God, we praise you for providing a way of escape from the penalty for our sins. We give adoration to Christ our Passover, who was sacrificed for us. We rejoice that death and hell have no power over us who put our trust in you. And now, we gather to remember the life of our loved one, who even now is experiencing eternal life with you. Bless this service, we pray, and may you be magnified today, just as you were by the life of this saint whom we mourn. Amen.
Prayer for Joy
Father God, we open this funeral service with sorrow, yet sincere rejoicing. Our departed loved one is now free. He/she is in a better place. That is a truth we can have joy for. As we speak with one another, sing, listen to your Word, and hear eulogies, focus our mind on your goodness. And direct our thoughts to fond memories of our departed friend and family member. Let people speak of the ways our loved one has impacted their lives. And let us rejoice over every testimony, knowing that his/her life was a life well-lived. Amen.
Peace of Mind Prayer
Dear Father, there is a season and time for everything in this world. Today you have granted us a chance to celebrate the life of our loved one, and we want to say thank you. Even though we are finding it hard to accept what has happened, we know that everything works out together for good. Father, give us the peace that surpasses all understanding as we start this funeral program. Give us the strength to share the beautiful moments that we shared with [name], our beloved departed. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Thanksgiving for the Resurrection
God of all grace, we lift up thanksgiving for the provision of your Son, Jesus, our Savior. Truly, Christ has indeed been raised from the dead as the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. As in Adam, all die, so in Christ, all will be made alive. We thank you for the hope that our dear one belongs to you and will be resurrected when you return in glory. And now, as we celebrate the life of our loved one, we celebrate the immortality that is our confident expectation. Amen.
Prayer to the Lamb
O Lord, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, we thank you for taking away the sins of the world. Have mercy on us today, and mercy on our loved one who has passed from this life into the next. Holy Lamb, who sits at the right hand of the Father, hear our prayer. Receive our dear one into the glory of your presence to enjoy rest until that final day when you return to judge the living and the dead. Amen.
Your Presence Prayer
Lord, today is a tough day for us. Accepting the fact that in the next few minutes we are going to be saying our farewell to [name] is so difficult. But we choose to worship you and celebrate the life of [name], whom you have called back into your presence. Fill this funeral service with your presence. Let your light shine upon our hearts, that we may be able to give our last respects lovingly. Let your grace be upon each individual that is in this place. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Prayer to Be Numbered with the Saints
God of all grace, we thank you for giving your Son, Jesus, to overcome death. We rejoice that you have opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. We have been blessed by the life of our loved one who has served you faithfully, and who has been redeemed by your precious blood. Receive our loved one now, to be numbered with the saints in glory everlasting. May all who are gathered here know you intimately, as our loved one did. Amen.
Praise That Death Is Under His Feet
Merciful Lord, we gather in this time of bereavement, giving thanks that the last enemy to be destroyed is death. We praise you that death is under your feet. You have conquered death, and in you, we also are victors. We weep now, but we rejoice that our loved one is in your presence, and that we will not be parted forever. We look forward to that final day when you return in glory, and the dead in Christ shall rise first, and we shall all meet you in the sky. Amen.
Take Control Prayer
Lord, we bless your name forever. We are gathered in this funeral service to celebrate the life of [name], who has gone to be with you. It is through your goodness that we are here to share the memories of the departed soul, [name]. Though he/she is not with us physically, we rejoice knowing that we will see [name] when we join you in your house, Lord. We commit this service into your hands. Take control of everything that will happen in this place, Lord. We pray this believing in Jesus, our Lord, and Savior. Amen.
Thanksgiving for Being Raised Imperishable
Lord, as we celebrate our loved one’s life, we give thanks for the resurrection of the dead. Even though life now is fleeting, we will be raised imperishable. We will be raised in glory. We will be raised in power. We will abandon our mortal bodies for immortal spiritual bodies. And we know that our dear friend is now resting in your presence. We are grateful that after a life of love for you and others, our beloved is asleep in you and will be raised again. Amen.
Divine Strength Prayer
God, we bless your holy name forever. As we gather in this place to pay our last respects to our departed soul, [name], we ask you to come into our midst. Fill us with divine strength, that we may be able to honor the life of our family member, [name]. Let your grace be upon us today that we may be able to support one another. Wrap your arms around us through this painful period and let your joy be our strength. In Jesus’ name, we believe and pray. Amen.
Praise for Immortality
Father, we thank you for the mystery that is our confident expectation. We thank you that in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet, we will all be changed. We thank you that our temporary bodies will be clothed with eternal, immortal, glorified bodies. May we find comfort in this promise, even as we grieve the passing of our beloved from this life. May anyone here who does not know you take hold of this promise and find redemption in Christ. Amen.
Lord, we gather in unity today to mourn the death of our friend, [name]. We loved him/her so much, but you loved him/her more and have brought him/her into your presence. Father, we are here to celebrate someone that we cherished. Our hearts are full of hope that we will see [name] again when we go home to you. [Name] was your faithful servant and served you diligently. May he/she find love and peace in your presence, and enjoy your glory. We love and adore you, Lord. In Jesus’ name, we believe and pray. Amen.
Thankfulness for Time and Strength Prayer
Lord, I am so thankful for the times you gave us to share with our family member, [name], who is now resting in your glory. Thank you for giving us the strength to gather in this place for a service in honor of him/her. Let the light our loved one illuminated in our lives shine throughout the service. We pray for everyone that is here that doesn’t know you. May the memories we share about our loved one, and the word that will be preached, touch their hearts so that they may come to know that you are the one true God. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Death Has Been Swallowed in Victory Prayer
O Lord, the lifter of our heads, as we mourn the passing of our dear one, we remember that death has been swallowed up in victory. We remember that death has lost its sting. We thank you, God, for giving us the victory through our Lord, Jesus Christ. Help us remember to be steadfast and immovable in our faith, not fearing death, but rejoicing in our victory. Help us remember that our labor in the Lord is not in vain. Amen.
Blessed Assurance Prayer
God of all comfort, we remember the blessed assurance that our dear departed one knew. Our loved one walked with you while in this life, enjoying a taste of eternal communion with you. Our loved one was born of your Spirit and washed in your blood, and this same experience can be ours. Even in this world, as we walk with you, we can have those visions of rapture, those echoes of mercy, those whispers of love. And we have the blessed assurance of enjoying these blessings in their fulness when we are in your presence. Amen.
Father, hear our prayers for your servant. We ask that you receive our loved one into your kingdom, to experience joyful fellowship with the saints that have gone before. Truly this earth is not our home, we are just passing through. We look forward to our eternal home where all tears are wiped away and sorrow and death are no more. We look forward to being reunited with our loved one. We watch and wait for that blessed day, filled with your goodness and lost in your love. Amen.
Celebration of Life Prayer
God, we gather today to celebrate the life of our departed loved one. We celebrate a life of love and integrity and grace, a life that was a legacy to those left behind. May this not be a day of mourning, but a day of celebration for a life that touched us all. We celebrate the memories we will always have. Bless this gathering today, Abba Father, and we give thanks to you for the life we have in you. Amen.
Prayer for Transition to the Next Life
Lord, we come together in joy and in sorrow. We mourn our loss, yet we rejoice that our loved one will not experience pain or sickness or sorrow ever again. We thank you for our loved one’s transition to a new and better life. We ask for your comfort to descend over our loved one’s family. May your love shine on them and may they know the mercy and grace that only you can give. Bless them with a sense of your goodness and give them peace. Amen.
Inheritance of the Saints Prayer
Almighty God, we give thanks to you, our Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. We are ever grateful that you have rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of your beloved Son, Jesus. We thank you for our redemption and the forgiveness of sins. And now we thank you that even in our tears of sorrow we rejoice that our loved one is with you in glory. Amen.
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Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.