A memorial service or a funeral helps people grieve and encourages them to respect the memory of their loved one. Celebration of life prayers emphasize thanksgiving and gratitude to God for the life of the deceased.
Celebration of Life Prayers and Scriptures
The gathering together of friends and family offers support and strength to the grieving family and friends. The formal ritual of prayer invites God to be part of the mourning process by watching over the departed and blessing those left behind. Here are nine examples of prayers based upon verses found in the Bible you could use in a service for a celebration of life or to express for your personal comfort. All Scripture verses use the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible. The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
Lord and Giver of Life, we thank you today for the life of [name of person] and their impact upon our lives. We know that citizenship is in heaven, and that we are just passing through this life. We know that one day you will transform our bodies; that we will be with you forever more. In your name and your power, we pray. Amen.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Our Lord, you are near us today as we remember the life of our loved one. We honor their life, knowing that nothing in this world can separate any from your love. We celebrate the memories of [name of person] and ask that you comfort our grieving hearts. Amen.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believe in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Dear Heavenly Father, we are thankful that you loved us so much that you sent your Son to earth to make eternal life for us possible. We rejoice in the life of [name of deceased] and into your hands we commit their spirit and our hope. Amen.
Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 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?
Dear Father, Our hearts today are burdened and troubled. Comfort our spirits with the assurance that our belief in you provides us with an assurance of our salvation. Thank you for preparing a place for us, for taking care of our needs, and being ready to take us home. We look to you for comfort, for peace and for life. Amen.
Then I saw a "new heaven and a new earth," for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.
Heavenly Father, as we celebrate the life of [name of person], we are comforted knowing that today [he/she] is with you in paradise. You have created a new heaven and a new earth. Just as [name of person] has passed from this world to the next, we know you were there waiting for [him/her] with outstretched arms wide open. Comfort your people with the assurance of life. Amen.
For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
Oh Lord and Shepherd of your flock, we rejoice that you lead us, that you comfort us with your staff, and that you bring us to a spring of living water. Thank you for the life of [name of person] and help us to hold their memories in our hearts. We are grateful for the promise that you will wipe tears from our eyes, and that you are ready to welcome your people home. Amen.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
My Lord, My Shepherd, You have promised that you walked with [name of person] as they traveled through the valley of the shadows of death. You restored the soul, you comforted with your rod and your staff. You guided along the right paths. You lead beside still waters. You welcomed [name of person] to your side. You have assured us of the same. I will fear no evil, for you are with me. Surely goodness and mercy will follow us all the days of our lives, and we will dwell with you forever. Amen
I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
Oh God, the life of [name of person] was a source of pleasure and enjoyment for our hearts and lives. As we celebrate [his/her] life today, we are blessed and comforted by your presence. Our hearts sing your praise for the impact of [name of person] on all who are here. Strengthen and encourage us through the difficult moments of grief, and our lips shall forever praise you. Amen.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot.
Dear Lord, as we journey together celebrating the life of [name of person], may we be reminded that you hold our days in your hands. You know and understand the moments of our lives - the times to be born, the times to die; the times to plant and the times to uproot. We rejoice that there is meaning and purpose in our lives, and in our relationship with you. Strengthen and comfort us today. Let your light continue to shine upon our lives and our path. Amen.
Praying for Peace
There is comfort in sharing with friends and family during times of grief. By looking for strength from above, the celebration of life prayers remind us of the special life of the departed and the source of life we find in God.