Catholic prayers for the dead

Catholic prayers for the dead

Within the Catholic faith there are specific prayers for the dead. Using prayer to connect spiritually to something greater might help you to find meaning following the death of a loved one.

Praying for the dead

There are specific Catholic prayers for the dead. Praying can bring relief and comfort at a very difficult time.

Here you’ll find prayers for when the family first gathers around the body, before or after it is prepared for burial.

Gathering in the presence of the body

It is most fitting that, where possible, family members take part in preparing the body for burial.

All make the Sign of the Cross. Then one member of the family reads:

My brothers and sisters, Jesus says:

“Come to me, all you who labor and are overburdened,

and I will give you rest.

Shoulder my yoke and learn from me,

for I am gentle and humble in heart,

and you will find rest for your souls.

Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.”

The body may then be sprinkled with holy water:

The Lord God lives in his holy temple yet abides in our midst.

Since in Baptism, N. became God’s temple

and the Spirit of God lived in him/her,

with reverence we bless his/her mortal body.

Then one member of the family may say:

With God there is mercy and fullness of redemption;

let us pray as Jesus taught us:

Our Father…

Then this prayer is said:

Into your hands, O Lord,

we humbly entrust our brother/sister N.

In this life you embraced him/her with your tender love;

deliver him/her now from every evil

and bid him/her enter eternal rest.


The old order has passed away:

welcome him/her then into paradise,

where there will be no sorrow, no weeping nor pain,

but the fullness of peace and joy

with your Son and the Holy Spirit

forever and ever.

R/. Amen.

All may sign the forehead of the deceased with the Sign of the Cross. One member of the family says:

Blessed are those who have died in the Lord;

let them rest from their labours

for their good deeds go with them.


V/. Eternal rest grant unto him/her, O Lord.

R/. And let perpetual light shine upon him/her.

V/. May he/she rest in peace.

R/. Amen.

V/. May his/her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed,

through the mercy of God,

rest in peace.

R/. Amen.

All make the Sign of the Cross as one member of the family says:

May the love of God and the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ

bless and console us

and gently wipe every tear from our eyes:

in the name of the Father,

and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

R/. Amen.


Catholic prayer for the dead

Loving and merciful God,

we entrust our brother/sister to your mercy.


You loved him/her greatly in this life;

now that he/she is freed from all its cares,

give him/her happiness and peace for ever.


The old order has passed away;

welcome him/her now into paradise

where there will be no more sorrow,


No more weeping or pain,

but only peace and joy

with Jesus, your Son,

and the Holy Spirit

for ever and ever.



More Catholic prayers for the dying

If you would like to read more prayers for the dying, you can find more here.

The Art of Dying Well