In the Midst of Life We Are in Death

In the midst of life we are in death.
To whom may we look for help,
but from you, O Lord,
who for our sins
are justly displeased?

Yet, O Lord God most holy,
O Lord most mighty,
O holy and most merciful Savior,
deliver us from the bitter pains of eternal death.

Source: Notker the Stammerer, battle song from the year A. D. 912, based on the English translation in the Book of Common Prayer.

Most versions render the last line, “deliver us not into the bitter pains of eternal death.”

Original in Latin:

Media vita in morte sumus
quem quaerimus adjutorem
nisi te, Domine,
qui pro peccatis nostris
juste irasceris?

Sancte Deus,
sancte fortis,
sancte et misericors Salvator:
amarae morti ne tradas nos.

Book of Common Prayer 1559 text in traditional English:

In the midst of life we be in death: of whom may we seek for succor but of thee, O Lord, which for our sins justly art displeased. Yet, O Lord God most holy, O Lord most mighty, O holy and most merciful savior, deliver us not into the bitter pains of eternal death.

Martin Luther expanded this prayer into a hymn, Mitten wir in leben sind.

1. In the midst of earthly life
Snares of death surround us;
Who shall help us in the strife
Lest the Foe confound us?
Thou only, Lord, Thou only.
We mourn that we have greatly erred,
That our sins Thy wrath have stirred.
Holy and righteous God!
Holy and mighty God!
Holy and all-merciful Savior!
Eternal Lord God!
Save us lest we perish
In the bitter pangs of death.
Have mercy, O Lord!

2. In the midst of death’s dark vale
Powers of hell o’ertake us.
Who will help when they assail,
Who secure will make us?
Thou only, Lord, Thou only.
Thy heart is moved with tenderness,
Pities us in our distress.
Holy and righteous God!
Holy and mighty God!
Holy and all-merciful Savior!
Eternal Lord God!
Save us lest we perish
In the bitter pangs of death.
Have mercy, O Lord!

3. In the midst of utter woe
All our sins oppress us,
Where shall we for refuge go,
Where for grace to bless us?
To Thee, Lord Jesus, only.
Thy precious blood was shed to win
Full atonement for our sin.
Holy and righteous God!
Holy and mighty God!
Holy and all-merciful Savior!
Eternal Lord God!
Save us lest we perish
In the bitter pangs of death.
Have mercy, O Lord!

This prayer has its own page on Wikipedia.

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Prayer Before a Funeral

Lord Jesus,
help us to remember you,
your holy life,
your innocent death,
your glorious resurrection,
all that you did to redeem us
and make us your own.

Lord Jesus,
help us to remember your holy Word,
that those who believe in you
have crossed over from death to life,
and that you will raise us up on the last day.

Lord Jesus,
help us to remember
what your gracious promises tell us
about what is to come,
that nothing in all creation
will separate us from your love,
and that one day you will wipe away all our tears
in your kingdom
where there will be no more mourning
or crying or pain.

Make these your truths our solid, and unmovable comfort,
so that with steadfast faith
we face any hardship,
and in spite of our tears,
find joy in you, your Word, your promise.
Amen.

Source: © 2016 Paul C. Stratman

This translation is licensed by Paul C. Stratman under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International LicensePlease contact for permission for any commercial use.

When Someone Dies in the Lord

Prayer Book Bible Reading Book Of Common Prayer

Almighty God,
the spirits of those who die in the Lord live with you,
and the souls of the faithful,
after they are delivered from the burden of the flesh,
are in joy and bliss in your presence.
We give you humble thanks
that it has pleased you to deliver this our brother
out of the miseries of this sinful world.
We pray, in your goodness
fill up the number of your chosen ones and hasten your kingdom,
that with all those who have departed in the true faith of your holy name
we also may have our perfect fulfillment and bliss,
both in body and soul,
in your eternal glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source: Freely modified from The Book of Common Prayer (1662), Burial of the Dead

For Those in Sorrow and Affliction

Prayer Book Bible Reading Book Of Common Prayer

O heavenly Father,
your blessed Son Jesus Christ
wept at the grave of Lazarus his friend.
Look with compassion on those
who are now in sorrow and affliction.
Comfort them, O Lord, with your gracious consolation.
Make them to know that all things
work together for good to those who love you;
and grant them always a sure trust and confidence
in your fatherly care;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Source: Modified from The Scottish Book of Common Prayer (1912), Burial of the Dead.

“all things work together for good to those who love you” is a reference to Romans 8:28

A Trinitarian Blessing

The Lord God almighty, Father, + Son and Holy Spirit,
the holy and undivided Trinity,
guard you, save you,
and bring you to that heavenly city,
where he lives and reigns for ever and ever.

Original source: Unknown, used in the Church of England

Source of this version: https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-worship/worship/texts/principal-services/holy-communion/presedseasonal/trinity2.aspx

Also found here: http://justus.anglican.org/~ss/commonworship/funeral/prayers2.html

A Prayer for Comfort

Almighty God,
Father of all mercies and giver of all comfort:
deal graciously, we pray, with those who mourn,
that, casting all their care on you,
they may know the consolation of your love;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen

Source: http://funeralhelper.org/prayer-almighty-god.html

Also found here: http://www.beliefnet.com/prayers/christian/death/prayer-for-those-who-mourn.aspx#hwckbYYCie2SB1v1.99