When making funeral arrangements, something you may be choosing is a prayer or memory card that your family and friends will receive when they come to the service. These cards are often very personalized and made to reflect the deceased’s life. Typically, a prayer card will include a photo of the deceased or something that represents them on the front and a prayer, poem, or saying on the back. For those who relate strongly to their faith, a prayer or verse could be most appropriate. Below are 10 popular choices of prayers and verses that may be used for a prayer card.
1) The Twenty Third Psalm: The 23rd Psalm is one of the most recognizable psalms and is used for many occasions. It is used in both Christian and Jewish services and is relatable to many, making it a popular choice.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures;
He leadeth me beside the still waters. He
restoreth my soul; He leadeth me in the
paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of
the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for
Thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they
comfort me. Thou preparest a table before
me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou
anointest my head with oil, my cup runneth
over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow
me all the days of my life: and I shall dwell
in the house of the Lord forever.
2) Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi (Prayer for Peace): The Prayer for Peace is often attributed to St. Francis of Assisi and is a common choice for prayer cards. The prayer evokes a feeling of hope during a dark time, an emotion relatable to those after the passing of a loved one.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
3) Ecclesiastes 3:1-8: The verse of Ecclesiastes is shared often at funerals. It conveys that with God, there is a time for everything. In life and in death, God has planned a time for all.
3 To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
4) The Serenity Prayer: The Serenity prayer can offer peace, especially when facing the death of a loved one. It reminds us that there are things we cannot change and we can rely on God in these moments.
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference –
Living one day at a time,
enjoying one moment at a time,
accepting hardships as a pathway to peace,
taking this world as it is, not as I would have it,
trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His will-
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him forever.
5) John 14:1-3: With this verse, the reader can be comforted by the feeling that there is a place for them in the Kingdom of God. There is room for them in eternal life, where they may join those who have gone before them.
1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God ; believe also in me.
2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
6) John 11:25-26: This verse of John, also known as the Ressurection Prayer, speaks of the resurrection of life. Those who follow and believe in the Lord will live in the resurrection of life. This may bring peace to those who believe in eternal life in Heaven.
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
7) Matthew 11:28-30: In Matthew, God offers to give rest to the burdened. When someone has lost a loved one, this burden may be grief. This verse speaks of not carrying that burden alone.
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
8) Romans 8:38-39: This verse is assuring in that no matter what transpires, nothing can separate us form the love of God. No matter what grief we may feel in the death of a loved one, the love of God withstands.
38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
9) Matthew 5:4: This verse, though simple can be of great comfort to those who has experienced a loss. It’s simplicity lets us know that grief is normal and the comfort of God and those around us will help us through the process.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
10) The Lord’s Prayer: One of the most recognizable prayers, the Lord’s prayer is recited across many denominations. It can bring comfort and peace when recited during a funeral service.
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Prayer cards or memorial cards a beautiful keepsake for those who have lost a loved one. However, they do not have to include a prayer. Come back for our next blog post as we go over poems and quotes that may be more fitting for those who do not follow a specific faith.