Prayers at the Cemetery


When the funeral procession arrives at the place of committal the leader invites the people to prayer.


Our brother/sister N.has gone to his/her rest in the peace of Christ. May the Lord now welcome him/her to the table of God’s children in heaven. With faith and hope in eternal life, let us assist him/her with our prayers.

SCRIPTURE VERSE ( One of the following verses is read: )

Matthew 25:34 Come, you who are blessed by my Father, says the Lord inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

John 6:39 This is the will of my Father, says the Lord, that I should lose nothing of allthat he has given to me and that I should raise it up on the last day.

Philippians 3:20 Our true home is in heaven, and Jesus Christ whose return we long for will come from heaven to save us.


The leader may sprinkle the grave and the coffin with holy water and say:

O God, by whose mercy the faithful departed find rest, bless this grave, and send your holy angel to watch over it. As we bury here the body of our brother/sister, deliver his/her soul from every bond of sin, that he/she may rejoice in you with your saints for ever.

Lord Jesus Christ, by your own three days in the tomb, you hallowed the graves of all who believe in you and so made the grave a sign of hope that promises resurrection even as it claims our mortal bodies. Grant that our brother/sister may sleep here in peace until you awaken him/her to glory, for you are the resurrection and the life. Then he/she will see you face to face and know the splendour of God, for you live and reign for ever and ever. R. Amen.

(If the final disposition of the body is by cremation, this prayer is said:
Almighty and ever-living God, in you we place our trust and hope, in you the dead whose bodies were temples of the Spirit find everlasting peace. As we take leave of our brother/sister, give our hearts peace in the firm hopethat one day N.will livein the mansion you have prepared for him/her in heaven. We ask this through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.)


Dear friends, let us pray to God, the source of all mercies:

Lord, you consoled Martha and Mary in their distress; draw near to us who mourn for N., and dry the tears of those who weep. We pray to the Lord:
R. Lord, have mercy.

You wept at the grave of Lazarus, your friend; comfort us in our sorrow. We pray to the Lord:
R. Lord, have mercy.

You raised the dead to life; give to our brother/sister eternal life. We pray to the Lord:
R. Lord, have mercy.

Comfort us in our sorrow at the death of N.; let our faith be our consolation, and eternal life our hope. We pray to the Lord:
R. Lord, have mercy.

We pray for all who are buried in this cemetery. May their suffering be lessened, may their joy be increasedmay the light of God’s glory shine on them and may they rest in peace. We pray to the Lord:
R. Lord, have mercy.

With longing for the coming of God’s kingdom, let us pray:
Our Father, who art in heaven. . .

One of the following prayers can then be said

1. Because God has chosen to call our brother/sister N.from this life to himself, we commit his/her body to the earth, for we are dust and unto dust we shall return. [Where it is the custom some earth may be scattered on the coffin] But the Lord Jesus Christ will change our mortal bodiesto be like his in glory, for he is risen, the firstborn from the dead. So let us commend our brother/sister to the Lord, that the Lord may embrace him/her in peace and raise up his/her body on the last day. R. Amen.

2. Loving God, from whom all life proceeds and by whose powerful hand the dead are raised again, though we are sinners, we trust that you hear us with mercy. Accept the prayers we offer in sadness for your servant N.: deliver his/her soul from death, number him/her among your saints and clothe him/her with the robe of salvationto enjoy for ever the delights of your kingdom. We ask this through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

Let us bow our heads and pray for God’s blessing. (All pray silently) :

Merciful Lord, you know the anguish of the sorrowful, you are attentive to the prayers of the humble. Hear your people who cry out to you in their need, and strengthen their hope in your lasting goodness. We ask this through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

If customary, a hymn to Our Lady (Salve Regina) or a decade of the Rosary may follow. Finally the leader says:

Eternal rest grant unto him/her, O Lord. R. And let perpetual light shine upon him/her.
May he/she rest in peace. R. Amen.
May his/her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. R. Amen.
Go in the peace of Christ. R. Thanks be to God.

Click here for Biblical Readings and Hymns (agus Léachtaí as Gaeilge) for Funerals