Prayers at times of Illness and Bereavement

In this time of the Covid-19 pandemic it is so hard to give Christian comfort and support in times of illness and bereavement. In nursing homes,  in hospitals, and even in their own homes, it often is not possible to sit at the bedside of the sick.

Mindful of the feelings and needs:

  • Of the sick and the dying
  • Of loved ones and all who care for them
  • Of those who mourn the dead

these short prayers might help.

In joy and in sorrow, in life and in death,

in this world and in the next, our hope and our peace is in

the love and mercy of Jesus Christ,

who has promised to be with us always.

Jesus, I trust in you.

+ Ray


Each occasion we glimpse them – Source unknown

Each occasion we glimpse her,

that turn of a head, that smile,

the way he walked, his sense of humour,

each time the pain we feel in our hearts.


In time, though,

through the windows of our tears

we will see them

and smile.


In time

we will let go of sorrow.


In time

beauty, music and remembered places

will bring solace not pain.


In your time,

God of all time,

may what we have sown in pain

be reaped in joy.


We seem to give them back to you God – Fr Bede Jarrett O.P.

We seem to give them back to you God,

Who gave them to us.

Yet as you not lose them in the giving,

So we do not lose them by their return.

Not as the world gives, do you give, O lover of souls.


What you give, you do not take away

For what is yours is ours if we are yours.

And life is eternal and love is immortal,

and death is only an horizon,

and an horizon is nothing save the limit of our sights.


Lift us up, strong Son of God, that we may see further;

cleanse our eyes that we may see more clearly:

draw us closer to yourself

that we may know ourselves to be nearer to our loved ones

who are with you.

And while you do prepare a place for us,

prepare us also for that happy place,

that where you are, we may also be for evermore.  Amen


Prayer of the Bereaved – Source Unknown

Lord, at the moment nothing seems to be able to help the loss I feel.

My heart is broken and my spirit mourns.

All I know is that Your grace is sufficient.

This day, this hour

Moment by moment

I choose to lean on You,

For when I am at my weakest Your strength is strongest.

I pour out my grief to You

And praise You that on one glorious day

When all suffering is extinguished and love has conquered

We shall walk together again.


Prayer of the Bereaved – Source Unknown

Dearest Jesus,

who wept at the death of your friend

and taught that they who mourn

shall be comforted,

grant us the comfort of your presence

in our loss.


Send Your Holy Spirit to direct us

lest we make hasty or foolish decisions.

Send Your Spirit to give us courage

lest through fear we recoil from living.

Send Your Spirit to bring us your peace

lest bitterness, false guilt, or regret

take root in our hearts.


The Lord has given.

The Lord has taken away.

Blessed be the name of the Lord.






Beyond life’s struggle now – Patrick Sayles

How the season change,

how certain it is that summer gives way to autumn,

and the falling of the leaves and the passing of so many things,

and the tears of one who grieves.


Yet winter gives way to spring,

new hope and life after suffering.


Lord, so it is,

and as certain too the promise of new life in you

after life’s woes and pains.

For our loved ones gone

no more strains and suffering now,

beyond life’s struggle

there awaits the joy of your embrace.

Thank you, Lord. Amen.


We ourselves have known and put our faith in God’s love towards ourselves.

God is love and anyone who lives in love lives in God and God lives in them.    1 John 4:16


Come to me all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. . .

for I am gentle and humble of heart and you will find rest for your souls.         Mt 11:29



I am tired of being unwell Lord,

and weary with the weight of illness.

Be my hope and strength and lighten my burden.



Circle me O Lord,

keep peace within and fear without.

keep trust within and doubt without.

keep light within and darkness without.

keep forgiveness within and hate without.



Lord, bless my loved ones

and those I have met today.

Bless me also this night.


Prayer for strength

May your people be strengthened, O God,

by your blessing:

May you be our consolation

in times of grief,

our power to endure in times of suffering,

our protection when in danger,

Through Christ our lord.


For Carers 

For carers in this world, young and old, whose love, time and freedom, sometimes even childhood and whole adult life,

is given sacrificially for one who is in need.

May they know your blessing, through good days and bad,

and receive as they have given love in good measure,

flowing as a gentle river into their hearts and lives.           Faith and Worship


(Above Pieces taken from the “Prayers and Reflections” Booklet of World Missions Ireland.)


Virgin Mary, turn your merciful eyes towards us amid this coronavirus pandemic. Comfort those who are distraught and mourn their loved ones who have died, and at times are buried in a way that grieves them deeply.  Be close to those who are concerned for their loved ones who are sick and who, in order to prevent the spread of the disease, cannot be close to them.  Fill with hope those who are troubled by the uncertainty of the future and the consequences for the economy and employment. (A section of a prayer Pope Francis asks us to pray with him throughout May).


In times of mourning 



My soul is shut out from peace;

I have forgotten happiness. . . .

This is what I shall tell my heart,

and so recover hope:

the favours of the Lord are not all past,

his kindnesses are not exhausted;

every morning they are renewed;

great is his faithfulness.                                     Book of Lamentations


We want you to be quite certain about those who have died,

to make sure that you do not grieve about them,

like the other people who have no hope.

We believe that Jesus died and rose again,

and that it will be the same for those who have died in Jesus:

God will bring them with him.                                    1Thess 4:13


I am the resurrection and the life.

If anyone believes in me,

even though he dies he will live,

and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.                             John 11:25-26


Blessed are those who mourn: they shall be comforted.               Mt 5:5



May the angels lead you into paradise;

may the martyrs come to welcome you

and take you to the holy city the new and eternal Jerusalem.


May the Lord support us all the day long, till the shades lengthen,

and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed,

and the fever of life is over, and our work is done.

Then in his mercy may he give us a safe lodging,

and a holy rest, and peace at the last.                              Cardinal Newman


Lord God, you are attentive to the voice of our pleading.

We humbly ask you to support your servants in our grief.

Let us find in your Son, comfort in our sadness,

certainty in our doubt, and courage to live through this hour.

Make our faith strong through Christ our Lord.       Amen.


The more of everything you share –

the more you will always have to spare

The more you love – the more you will find

that life is good –  and friends are kind

For only what we give away

Enriches us from day to day.