Ministration at the Time of Death (BCP)

When a person is near death, the Minister of the Congregation should be notified, in order that the ministrations of the Church may be provided.

A Prayer for a Person near Death

Almighty God, look on this your servant, lying in great weakness, and comfort him with the promise of life everlasting, given in the resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Litany at the Time of Death

When possible, it is desirable that members of the family and friends come together to join in the Litany.

  • God the Father,
  • Have mercy on your servant.
  • God the Son,
  • Have mercy on your servant.
  • God the Holy Spirit,
  • Have mercy on your servant.
  • Holy Trinity, one God,
  • Have mercy on your servant.
  • From all evil, from all sin, from all tribulation,
  • Good Lord, deliver him
  • By your holy Incarnation, by your Cross and Passion, by
  • your precious Death and Burial,
  • Good Lord, deliver him
  • By your glorious Resurrection and Ascension, and by the
  • Coming of the Holy Spirit,
  • Good Lord, deliver him
  • We sinners beseech you to hear us, Lord Christ: That it may
  • please you to deliver the soul of your servant from the power
  • of evil, and from eternal death,
  • We beseech you to hear us, good Lord.
  • That it may please you mercifully to pardon all his sins,
  • We beseech you to hear us, good Lord.
  • That it may please you to grant him a place of refreshment
  • and everlasting blessedness,
  • We beseech you to hear us, good Lord.
  • That it may please you to give him joy and gladness in your
  • kingdom, with your saints in light,
  • We beseech you to hear us, good Lord.
  • Jesus, Lamb of God:
  • Have mercy on him
  • Jesus, bearer of our sins:
  • Have mercy on him
  • Jesus, redeemer of the world:
  • Give him
  • Lord, have mercy.
  • Christ, have mercy.
  • Lord, have mercy.

Officiant and People

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass
against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,
forever and ever. Amen.

The Officiant says this Collect

Let us pray.

Deliver your servant, N., O Sovereign Lord Christ, from all evil, and set him free from every bond; that he may rest with all your saints in the eternal habitations; where with the Father and the Holy Spirit you live and reign, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

A Commendation at the Time of Death

Depart, O Christian soul, out of this world; In the Name of God the Father Almighty who created you; In the Name of Jesus Christ who redeemed you; In the Name of the Holy Spirit who sanctifies you. May your rest be this day in peace, and your dwelling place in the Paradise of God.

A Commendatory Prayer

Into your hands, O merciful Savior, we commend your servant N. Acknowledge, we humbly beseech you, a sheep of your own fold, a lamb of your own flock, a sinner of your own redeeming. Receive him into the arms of your mercy, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the glorious company of the saints in light. Amen.

May his soul and the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Prayers for a Vigil

It is appropriate that the family and friends come together for prayers prior to the funeral. Suitable Psalms, Lessons, and Collects (such as those in the Burial service) may be used. The Litany at the Time of Death may be said, or the following

Dear Friends: It was our Lord Jesus himself who said, “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” Let us pray, then, for our brother (sister) N., that he may rest from his labors, and enter into the light of God’s eternal sabbath rest.

  • Receive, O Lord, your servant, for he returns to you.
  • Into your hands, O Lord,
    we commend our brother (sister) N.
  • Wash him in the holy font of everlasting life, and clothe
  • him in his heavenly wedding garment.
  • Into your hands, O Lord,
    we commend our brother (sister) N.
  • May he hear your words of invitation, “Come, you blessed of"
  • my Father.”
  • Into your hands, O Lord,
    we commend our brother (sister) N.
  • May he gaze upon you, Lord, face to face, and taste the
  • blessedness of perfect rest.
  • Into your hands, O Lord,
    we commend our brother (sister) N.
  • May angels surround him, and saints welcome him in peace.
  • Into your hands, O Lord,
    we commend our brother (sister) N.

The Officiant concludes

Almighty God, our Father in heaven, before whom live all who die in the Lord: Receive our brother N. into the courts of your heavenly dwelling place. Let his heart and soul now ring out in joy to you, O Lord, the living God, and the God of those who live. This we ask through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Reception of the Body

The following form may be used at whatever time the body is brought to the church.

The Celebrant meets the body at the door of the church and says

With faith in Jesus Christ, we receive the body of our brother (sister) N. for burial. Let us pray with confidence to God, the Giver of life, that he will raise him to perfection in the company of the saints.

Silence may be kept; after which the Celebrant says

Deliver your servant, N., O Sovereign Lord Christ, from all evil, and set him free from every bond; that he may rest with all your saints in the eternal habitations; where with the Father and the Holy Spirit you live and reign, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Let us also pray for all who mourn, that they may cast their care on God, and know the consolation of his love.

Silence may be kept; after which the Celebrant says

Almighty God, look with pity upon the sorrows of your servants for whom we pray. Remember them, Lord, in mercy; nourish them with patience; comfort them with a sense of your goodness; lift up your countenance upon them; and give them peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

If the Burial service is not to follow immediately, the body is then brought into the church, during which time a suitable psalm or anthem may be sung or said. Appropriate devotions, such as those appointed for the Vigil on page 465, may follow.

When the order for the Burial of the Dead follows immediately, the service continues on page 469 or 491.

A member of the congregation bearing the lighted Paschal Candle may lead the procession into the church.