Prayers for a service remembering those who have died

We bring our memories to God.

Lord God, as we come to you in prayer, our minds are full of many memories of loved ones and people of whom we know, who have died.

We remember old people who lived long and rich lives.
We remember babies who died before they were born, at birth, or soon after.
We remember people whose deaths came too soon or perhaps too suddenly.
We remember those who died peacefully and those who died in terrible circumstances — and those who sacrificed themselves in war and peace, for the good of others.

The circumstances of death are as varied as life itself.
Every birth is unique and so is every death.
We offer all our memories to you, Lord.
There are happy memories of those who are gone, though we are sad as well.
We thank you for those good memories, Lord.

Sometimes, however, we feel ashamed, because of things that happened or didn’t happen.
We are sorry.
We thank you, Lord, that you forgive us, heal us and help us to begin anew.

We pray for ourselves and each other.

Dear Lord, bear the pain of those broken by grief, comfort where there is sadness, grant rest to those who lie awake in the small hours of the night, be close to those who are lonely, and heal where there is hurt.
Grant wisdom, and teach us to care well for those who face legal and financial problems because of a death.
Lord Jesus, you conquered death. Help us to understand and come to terms with our own mortality, so that we need not be afraid of it.
May your Spirit give us confidence that when our own deaths are near you will support us and care for us.

We pray for our nation and for the world.

Every year unhappy deaths and unhappy memories burden our community, our nation and the world-wide human family.
We know that grief knows no human boundary, no limit of race or belief.
We pray for those who suffer because of accident, disease, disaster and trouble, in their own lives and the lives of those they love.
We pray for those who face the ordeal of having their personal grief at the centre of legal proceedings, political debate and media attention.
Merciful God, comfort all those who grieve, whatever the circumstance.
As we seek justice and safety, teach us so to conduct our personal lives and our national life that we do not cause injury and death to others.
Loving God, as we remember those who have died, we know that you are with us in our remembering, with us in our struggle to come to terms with the past, and with us in our struggle to find faith for today and for the future.
Be close to us now, we pray.
Help us to remember well, and to remember peacefully.