Gathering in the Presence of the Body

When the family first gathers around the body, before or after it is prepared for burial, all or some of the following prayers may be used. It is most fitting that, where possible, family members take part in preparing the body for burial.

The Prayer

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.

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