Prayer is a powerful tool that can be used to comfort and uplift those who are grieving. When praying to close a funeral, it is important to be mindful of the different needs of those who are gathered.
If you’ve never prayed in public before, it can be intimidating the first time you do (or even the second and third!). You’re praying in front of people and they can hear you. You are praying on behalf of everyone gathered for the funeral so it’s natural to feel a little self-conscious. I want to offer the following tips to help you prepare for praying a closing prayer at a funeral or memorial service.
Start by acknowledging the pain and loss that people are feeling. Let them know that you are there to support them in their grief. You don’t have to use fancy words, just acknowledge that people are grieving the loss of their loved one.
Pray for comfort and peace for the family and friends of the deceased. Ask God to give them strength during this difficult time, just as you would want someone to pray for you, if you were in their situation.
Pray for hope and assurance in the midst of loss. Remind people that death is not the end, and that they will see their loved one again in heaven. Only do this if you know for sure they have a relationship with God. If you are unsure, or don’t know, then you might say something like: “(Name) is in a better place and is no longer suffering in this world.”
Close your prayer by thanking God for the life of the deceased. Celebrate their memories and let them know that they are loved. People showed up for their funeral, so the person had an impact on people’s lives; you can point to that and give thanks for their life.
Public prayer can be different than private prayer in a few ways. First, public praying is more formal. You will need to use language that is respectful and appropriate for the occasion.
Second, public praying is more intentional. You will need to carefully consider the words you say, as they will be heard by many people. Third, public praying is more vulnerable. You will be sharing your faith with others, and this can be a daunting task.
“For I know that my redeemer lives, and that he will stand upon the earth at last” ( Job 19.25, NIV).
However, public praying can also be a very rewarding experience. It is an opportunity to use your gifts to minister to others and to bring glory to God. If you are ever asked to pray at a funeral, remember that you are not alone. God is with you and he will give you the words you need to say. It is the Holy Spirit who will bring comfort to those gathered; you’re simply speaking words to help make that happen.
While this type of prayer may be different than how you typically prayer, see it as an opportunity to grow in your prayer life, to build new prayer “muscles.” Remember, God is present with you as you prepare and as you speak your closing prayer. God will help you to comfort those who are grieving.
Let’s continue with some of these comforting prayers.
Short Prayer To Close A Funeral
Dear God in heaven, we have come together in our grief, acknowledging our loss. Through Christ, we ask for your comfort and peace to surround us, now, and in the days and weeks ahead. This funeral service will soon come to an end, but the love we have for (name of the deceased) will continue on. May the best of who he (she) was be lived out in our lives. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Prayer To End A Public Funeral
Almighty God, we come before you today to close this public funeral for [name of the deceased]. We come with heavy hearts, but we also come with hope.
We know that death is not the end, but a doorway to eternal life. We believe that [name of the deceased] is now with you in heaven, and we rejoice in that knowledge.
I personally pray that you will comfort [name of the deceased]’s family and friends during this difficult time. I want to ask you to give the right amount of peace and acceptance at just the right moment when they need it most. I want to acknowledge that it is okay to feel sad because we have loved (the deceased) well.
I want to pray that you will shine your blessing on this community. May we be a people who love and support one another, even in the midst of loss. May we set aside disagreements and differences as we honor the life and memory of (the deceased). In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Prayer To Close A Private Funeral
Dear God, we gather here today in private to remember and celebrate the life of [name of the deceased]. We are grateful for the time we had with them, and we know that they will be deeply missed. We embrace the memories that will spring forth for each of us in the weeks ahead, as they are a way to help us mourn.
We pray that you will comfort us during this difficult time. We pray that you will give us strength and peace. Thank you for the quiet and stillness here in the small gathering of close friends and family.
We also pray that you will bless the memories of [name of the deceased]. May we always cherish the time we had with them. Their impact on our lives is immeasurable, yet is tangible, for we each feel that loss deeply. I humbly ask for your comfort to surround us all, in the name of Jesus, Amen.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” ( Matthew 5.4, NIV).
Prayer To End A Celebration Of Life Service
Gracious God, we gather here today to remember and celebrate the life of [name of the deceased]. We are grateful for the time we had with him, and we know that he will be deeply missed. We may feel sad because he is not with us, but we can have joy for he has embraced the ultimate healing and is now in no pain and is fully whole in your presence.
I want to take a moment to pray a personal thanks that you have created us with the ability to feel both sadness and joy at the same time. We celebrate (the deceased) because his life mattered to each of us. He is sorely missed because he had so much impact and influence in our lives. Our lives would be much more empty if he had not been involved in our lives and so we give thanks for your grace and love that made him wonderful.
Help us all to grieve well and fully and to honor (the deceased) with our very best as we live each day. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.
Prayer To Close A Memorial Service
Heavenly Father, we thank you for the life of [name of the deceased]. She was a gift to us all, and we will miss her so very, very much. Even now, I can hear her laughter and see her warm smile. Although the disease took her from us quickly and much earlier than any of us would have liked, I know we can all take a measure of comfort knowing she is now whole, and fully healed in your loving gaze.
We are grateful for the opportunity to celebrate her life today. We are also so thankful that we did not have to put off holding this memorial service because of any health concerns or warnings. It is a special joy to see so many people who were positively touched by (the deceased).
As we come to the final moments of this service, I want to ask your blessing of peace on each person here; may we know that you look upon us with love, mindful of our grief. I ask all of this in the loving name of Jesus, Amen.
Prayer To End A Friend’s Funeral
Father God, we come before you this afternoon as our friend, [name of the deceased] has died. I know every person here has a favorite memory of (deceased) and they probably all involve him being clever and nerdy. He was one of a kind and we are each better because we knew him.
I want to pray for his family here today. May they be uplifted to see how many people were touched by their son, their brother, their grandson. He was the best kind of friend to have and their is a hole in our hearts right now that can never be filled by someone else–(deceased) was a special guy.
I am grateful for all of the kind and uplifting words that have been spoken today about (deceased). While we know he is with you, we miss him and wish he could still be with us. Enable us to walk out a healthy grief in the months ahead, so that we can honor the best of him in each of our lives. In the name of Jesus Christ I pray, Amen.
Prayer To Close A Funeral For A Child
Lord God, I am praying now as we close this funeral for (deceased child’s name). I want to take a moment in this prayer to speak what may be on many people’s minds right now and we may not want to voice personally. I don’t have words to make sense of this loss.
Children aren’t supposed to die before their parents, but (parent’s names) are experiencing that. On their behalf, I plead with you to bring insight, understanding, and tangible peace to them in these moments, and in the days and nights to come.
We trust in your grace and mercy that (child) is in your loving embrace because of Christ. While everything doesn’t fully make sense right now, I pray that, in time, you will bring each of us acceptance and perspective. Right now, I pray for comfort beyond measure. As we prepare to depart from this place and this moment of shared grief, I pray for our safety and for your presence to envelope us. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.
Prayer To Close A Family Member’s Funeral
Dear God, my brother has died and now I am praying at the close of his funeral. I never imagined that I would be doing such a thing, so I pray for the strength to make it through these next few moments.
I am grateful that so many family and friends were able to be here to remember his life and honor his memory. Thank you to each person–your presence matters, to me, and to our family. So many wonderful things have been said about my brother and I am honored that he had such a great impact on so many people in the most simple of ways.
He never wanted the spotlight–he just lived his life to help people know they were loved by Jesus. It is a small joy, but a joy nonetheless, to know he is with you, Lord. We all take comfort in that truth.
I also pray for your blessing on our family. May we continue to love and support each other, even in the midst of loss. Let us give one another the grace and space to grieve fully and well. I ask all of this in the powerful name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.
Prayer To End A Graveside Service
Dear Lord God, we gather here today to lay [name of the deceased] to rest. We are grateful for the time we had with her, and we know that she will be deeply missed.
I want to take this time to pray that you will comfort each of us during this difficult time of loss and mourning. I ask that you give us the strength and peace we need, at the moment we need it.
I also pray for your blessing on this place. May it be a place of peace and healing for all who come here to remember [name of the deceased]. Her body we offer to the ground, but her influence and memory we lift in our hearts and minds in the days to come. Through Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, I pray this prayer of thanks for the life of (name of deceased), Amen.
Prayer To Close A Military Funeral
Dear God of all creation, all of us gather here today to honor the life of [name of the deceased]. He was a brave and selfless soldier who served our country with honor and character.
On behalf of each person here, I want to offer grateful thanks for his service, as he has paid the ultimate sacrifice. Thank you for each one who has helped to make this funeral happen with care and compassion. I pray now, especially for his family, that your peace and provision will continue, long after the cards and phone calls have ceased.
Help each of us to make sense of our feelings of loss by your grace and mercy. May we seek to live each day, honoring (name of deceased)’s life and memory through our words and actions. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.
Unless you are a pastor or minister of some sort, it is unlikely that you have prayed at a funeral before. You might not have ever prayed out loud in public before. That’s okay.
These 10 comforting prayers to close a funeral are for you to use. Each is written in a general manner so you can alter the wording to fit your specific funeral scenario. Look at these prayers as a tool to guide you to pray for your friend or loved one in a way that will honor them. Realize that God the Holy Spirit is the comfort-bringing God, so you can release any anxiety you may feel about praying in public.
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34.18, NIV).
You might also benefit from looking at prayers for a person who just passed away, or the article is it okay to use written prayers. I encourage you to mark this website as a favorite so you can easily return to find hundreds of useful prayers on many different topics and life scenarios.
As you pray to close a funeral, you don’t have to be perfect or alter your voice. You just need to pray clearly. I would encourage you to write your prayer and have it with you. Also, practice praying it out loud a few times before the funeral. You’d be surprised at how you can speed up when you pray out loud in public. Just relax, practice, and let God be your strength as you pray.
We’d love to hear from you about how your prayer went. Please share your prayer requests and comments in the section below.