All Around The World—A Funeral Prayer In Every Religion
Depending on your religious affiliation, you are most likely familiar with a certain kind of funeral prayer. If you are Christian, you are sure to know all of the funeral prayer said at Christian services. The same can be said for those who are Jewish, Muslim, or Buddhist. But have you ever wondered what a funeral prayer in a different religion sounded like? How similar is their funeral prayer to yours? Learning about other religions inspires tolerance and understanding—the two keys to a better world.
A Christian Funeral Prayer
The following is a Christian Catholic funeral prayer, called the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi, that is commonly said at Catholic funerals: “Lord, make me an instrument of Your Peace; Where there is hatred, let me sow Love; Where there is injury, pardon; Where there is doubt, faith; Where there is despair, hope; Where there is darkness, light; Where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master, grant that I may seek not so much to be consoled, as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; for it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life. Amen.”
A Jewish Funeral Prayer
Next, let’s learn about a funeral prayer commonly said at Jewish funeral services. This one is known as The Words of King David: Psalm 23. The prayer goes: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul; He guideth me in straight paths for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; Thou has anointed my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and Ishall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Because the Christians also recognize the Old Testament of the bible, this prayer can be heard at Christian services as well.
A Muslim Funeral Prayer
The following is a common Muslim funeral prayer: "Glory be to Thee, O Allah, and I praise Thee. Blessed is Thy name and Thou art exalted. Thy praise is glorified, and there is no god other than Thee. O Allah! Have Mercy on Muhammad and on those related to Muhammad, just as Thou hast mercy and Thou sendeth peace and blessings and hath Compassion on Abraham and on those related to Abraham. Surely Thou art Praiseworthy, the Great! O Allah! Forgive those of the us who are still living and those who are dead; those of us who are present and those who are absent, and our minors and our elders. O Allah! Let the one whom Thou keepest alive from among us, live his life according to Islam, and let the one Thou causeth to die from among us, die as a believer. Peace be upon you had Allah's Mercy."
A Buddhist Funeral Prayer
This funeral prayer, known as the Bardo Prayer, is commonly heard at Buddhist funeral services. It reads as follows: “Oh Buddhas and Bodhisattvas abiding in all directions, Endowed with great compassion, Endowed with foreknowledge, Endowed with divine eye, Endowed with love, Affording protection to sentient beings, Please come forth through the power of your great compassion, Please accept these offerings, both actually presented and mentally created. Oh Compassionate Ones, you who possess The wisdom of understanding, The love of compassion, The power of doing divine deeds, And of protecting in incomprehensible measure, …… is passing from this world to the next, [He/she] is taking a great leap, The light of this world has faded for [him/her], [He/she] has entered solitude with their karmic forces, [He/she] has gone into a vast silence, [He/she] is borne away by the great ocean of birth and death .....Oh Compassionate Ones, protect…..who is defenseless. Be to [him/her] like a mother and father. Oh Compassionate Ones, let not the force of your compassion be weak, but aid them. Let……. not go into the miserable states of existence. Forget not your ancient vows.”