Prayer Before a Funeral

This service may be used by a minister with the family and friends of the person who has just died. It may be used in the house, or at the church or marae, or elsewhere at the time of viewing of the body as a preparation for the funeral itself; or when the coffin is brought to the church or marae before a funeral; or at any other appropriate time.


The minister shall greet those present with words of holy Scripture such as the following.

Jesus said,
‘I am the resurrection and the life;
even in death,
anyone who believes in me, will live.’ John 11:25

The minister may say

God is with us;
God’s love unites us,
God’s purpose steadies us,
God’s Spirit comforts us.

Blessed be God forever.

The minister continues

Merciful and compassionate God,
we bring you our grief in the loss of N
and ask for courage to bear it.
We bring you our thanks
for all you give us in those we love;
and we bring you our prayers for peace of heart
in the knowledge of your mercy and love,
in Christ Jesus.
Amen.

Other prayers from pages 855-863 may be used.

One or more of the following or other psalms or canticles may be used.

The Song of Simeon Nunc Dimittis

Lord now you let your servant go in peace:
your word has been fulfilled.
My own eyes have seen the salvation:
which you have prepared in the sight of every people,
a light to reveal you to the nations:
and the glory of your people Israel.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and shall be for ever. Amen.

Verses from one or both of the following may be read.

Psalm 27 Psalm 139

The following or some other appropriate Reading may follow.

Romans 8:31b-39

The minister may stand beside the body and say

We commend N to God,
as s/he journeys beyond our sight.
God of all consolation,
in your unending love and mercy you turn
the darkness of death
into the dawn of new life.

Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
by dying for us, conquered death,
and by rising again, restored life.

May we not be afraid of death but desire to be with Christ,
and after our life on earth,
to be with those we love,
where every tear is wiped away and all things are made new.
We ask this through Jesus Christ.
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer is said in one of the following forms or in the form on page 817.

Gathering all our prayers into one,
as our Saviour has taught us, we pray

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
now and for ever.    Amen.


Kia kotahi tātou i te Inoi a te Ariki,

E tō mātou Matua i te rangi
Kia tapu tōu Ingoa.
Kia tae mai tōu rangatiratanga.
Kia meatia tāu e pai ai
ki runga ki te whenua,
kia rite anō ki tō te rangi.
Hōmai ki a mātou āianei
he taro mā mātou mō tēnei rā.
Murua ō mātou hara,
Me mātou hoki e muru nei
i ō te hunga e hara ana ki a mātou.
Āua hoki mātou e kawea kia whakawaia;
Engari whakaorangia mātou i te kino:
Nōu hoki te rangatiratanga, te kaha,
me te korōria,
Āke ake ake.    Āmine.

The minister may say

Now to the One who can keep us from falling
and set us in the presence of the divine glory,
jubilant and above reproach,
to the only God our Saviour,
be glory and majesty, might and authority,
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
before all time, now and for evermore.
Amen.

Or

A priest may give a blessing.

A New Zealand Prayer Book | He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa

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