Prayer at Time of Death

Where possible the minister ensures that the dying person is prepared beforehand.

The person should be helped to be aware of the nature of her/his condition, and that the time of death is approaching.

If the sick person wishes, The Reconciliation of a Penitent is used.

Prior to this service the person may receive Holy Communion and/or receive anointing.

It is appropriate that those who are gathered (the dying person’s family and friends) may receive the Holy Communion together with the dying person.

The minister may greet the people and say one or more of the following.

Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil:
for you are with me,
your rod and your staff are my comfort. Psalm 23:4

If we live, we live for the Lord;
and if we die, we die for the Lord.
Whether therefore we live or die,
we belong to the Lord. Romans 14:8

Blessèd be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
by whose great mercy
we have been born anew to a living hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. 1 Peter 1:3

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.

One of the psalms, found on pages 817–821, or some other suitable psalm, may be read.

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

As Christ teaches 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.

Kua akona nei tātou e tō tātou Ariki,
ka īnoi tātou

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 Commendation

The minister continues

Let us pray.

Gracious God,
nothing in death or life,
in the world as it is or the world as it shall be,
nothing in all creation can separate us from your love.

We commend N into your loving care.
Enfold her/him in the arms of your mercy.
Bless her/him in her/his dying and in her/his rising again in you.
Bless those whose hearts are filled with sadness,
that they too may know the hope of resurrection;
for the sake of our Saviour Jesus Christ.

The minister may say

Go forth N (Christian soul), on your journey from this world,
in the love of God the Father who created you,
in the mercy of Jesus the Redeemer who suffered for you,
in the power of the Holy Spirit who keeps you in life eternal.
May you dwell this day in peace,
and rest in the presence of God.Amen.

Then may follow this prayer for family and friends.

God of all consolation,
grant to those who sorrow
the spirit of faith and courage,
that they may have the strength to meet the days to come
with steadfastness and patience;
not sorrowing without hope,
but trusting in your goodness;
through him who is the resurrection and the life,
Jesus Christ our Saviour.

Other prayers may follow.

The Blessing

The minister may say

Our Lord Jesus Christ be with you to defend you,
within you to keep you,
before you to lead you,
beside you to guard you,
and above you to bless you.

A priest may give a blessing using one of the following, or some other form.

God be your comfort, your strength;
God be your hope and support;
God be your light and your way;
and the blessing of God,
Creator, Redeemer and Giver of life,
remain with you now and for ever.


Mā te Atua koe e manaaki
e tiaki i ngā wā katoa
e noho i roto i te aroha o te Atua:
ko te aroha hoki te mea nui.

Additional Material

The following form of The Lord’s Prayer may be said.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, which art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
in earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive them
that 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.    Amen.


At the end of each psalm the Gloria is said.

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.

Psalm 23

1 The Lord is my shepherd:
therefore can I lack nothing.
2 You Lord make me lie down in green pastures:
and lead me beside the waters of peace.
3 You revive my spirit:
and guide me in right pathways
for your name’s sake.
4 Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil:
for you are with me,
your rod and your staff are my comfort.
5 You spread a table for me
in the sight of my enemies:
you have anointed my head with oil,
and my cup is overflowing.
6 Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Psalm 25

1 To you Lord I lift up my soul,
my God I have put my trust in you:
let me not be disappointed,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
2 For all those who hope in you shall not be ashamed:
but only those who wantonly break faith.
3 Make known to me your ways O Lord:
and teach me your paths.
4 Lead me in the way of your truth and teach me:
you are God my saviour,
for you have I waited all the day long.
5 Call to remembrance O Lord your tender care:
and the unfailing love
which you have shown from of old.
6 Do not remember the sins and offences of my youth:
but according to your mercy,
remember me Lord in your goodness.
7 You O Lord are upright and good:
therefore you show the path to those who go astray.
8 You guide the humble to do what is right:
and those who are gentle you teach your way.
9 All your ways are loving and sure:
to those who keep your covenant
and your commandments.
10 For your name’s sake O Lord:
pardon my guilt, which indeed is great.
11 If there are any who fear the Lord:
to them the Lord will show the path they should choose.
12 They themselves shall dwell in prosperity:
and their children shall inherit the land.
13 Your friendship O Lord is for those who honour you:
and to them you reveal your covenant.
14 My eyes are always on you O Lord:
for you will release my feet from the net.
15 Turn to me Lord and have mercy:
for I am lonely and oppressed.
16 Relieve the sorrows of my heart:
and bring me out of my distress.
17 Look at my affliction and my trouble:
and forgive me all my sins.
18 See how many are my enemies:
how violent is their hatred for me.
19 Preserve my life and deliver me:
let me not be disappointed,
for I have put my trust in you.
20 Let integrity and righteous dealing preserve me:
let me not be disappointed,
for I have put my trust in you.
21 Redeem your people O God:
and bring them out of all their distress.

Psalm 91

1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High:
and passes the night under the shadow of the Almighty,
2 will say to the Lord,
‘You are my refuge and my stronghold:
my God in whom I trust.’
3 The Lord will free you from the snare of the hunter:
and from the destroying pestilence.
4 The wings of the Most High will cover you,
and you will be safe under the feathers of the Almighty:
the faithfulness of the Lord
will be your shield and defence.
5 You will not be afraid of any terror by night:
nor of the arrow that flies by day,
6 of the pestilence that stalks in darkness:
nor of the plague that lays waste at noon.
7 A thousand may fall beside you,
ten thousand at your right hand:
but you will remain unscathed.
8 You have only to look with your eyes:
to see the reward of the wicked.
9 Because you have said, ‘The Lord is my refuge’:
and made the Most High your stronghold,
10 there shall no evil befall you:
no plague shall come near your dwelling.
11 For the angels of God have been charged:
to keep you in all your ways.
12 They shall bear you up in their hands:
lest you should strike your foot against a stone.
13 You shall tread on the asp and the adder:
the viper and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.
14 ‘Because they have set their love upon me I will deliver them:
I will uphold them because they know my name.
15 ‘When they call to me I will answer:
I will be with them in trouble,
I will rescue them and bring them to honour.
16 ‘With long life I will satisfy them:
and show them my saving power.’

Psalm 121

1 I lift up my eyes to the hills:
but where shall I look for help?
2 My help comes from the Lord:
who has made heaven and earth.
3 The Lord will not let your foot stumble:
the one who guards you will not sleep.
4 The one who keeps watch over this people:
shall neither doze nor sleep.
5 The Lord is the one who will guard you:
the Lord at your right hand will be your defence,
6 so that the sun shall not strike you by day:
nor yet the moon by night.
7 The Lord shall preserve you from all evil:
yes it is the Lord who will keep you safe.
8 The Lord shall take care of your going out,
and your coming in:
from this time forth and for ever.

A New Zealand Prayer Book | He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa

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