AT DEATH includes poems and prayers to read and reflect just after death. LAST BREATH is not known until it is known: a breath, a long wait...will there be another? Finally, no breath is left. IMMEDIATELY AFTER DEATH is a time to become still and to be with whatever is. Find ceremony templates here.
Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury
of compassion, inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and
increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we
might not despair nor become despondent, but with
great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will,
which is Love and Mercy itself.
Peace, my heart, let the time for
the parting be sweet.
Let it not be a death but completeness.
Let love melt into memory and pain
Let the flight through the sky end
in the folding of the wings over the
Let the last touch of your hands be
gentle like the flower of the night.
Stand still, O Beautiful End, for a
moment, and say your last words in
I bow to you and hold up my lamp
to light you on your way.
Know that everything you do and everything you have done has been a contribution to The Whole. Bless-ed be who you are.
When the time comes for your Eternal Spirit to leave this Earthly body …
Your wings will unfurl, the breath of the wind will uplift you, and you will be born anew without effort. For where you are going there is no pain, no fear, no heartache. There is only love.
You will breathe one last breath while your spirit occupies your physical body, and with the next in-breath you will breathe a breath of great Light. You will feel more love than you have known for a long, long time. For you are going Home.
In the turning of the seasons, the love within your heart, the love of your being has expanded into fullness and now settles in peace to rest.
In the dawn of ages, your spirit has celebrated your essence which, once again, is to be made new.
In the flowing of the rivers, know beyond a doubt of doubts the truth that your spirit is truly one with the Divine Whole.
One Heart … One Mind … One Spirit … One.
You are the blessing. You are the peace. You are the love.
You are the Light within the holiness.
You are the Flight within the freedom.
You are the Essence in the center of the blossom.
This is who you are, and much, much more.
Much, much more.
--Anara Solray, Healing Potentials Unlimited, Copyright 1999
I am the rose of Sharon, the lily of the valleys.
As a lily among the thistles, so is my beloved among girls.
As an apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my love among young men. In his delightful shade I sit, and his fruit is sweet to my taste.
He has taken me to his cellar, and his banner over me is love.
Feed me with raisin cakes, restore me with apples, for I am sick with love.
His left arm is under my head, his right embraces me.
I charge you, daughters of Jerusalem, by all gazelles and wild does, do not rouse, do not wake my beloved before she pleases.
BELOVED: I hear my love. See how he comes leaping on the mountains, bounding over the hills.
My love is like a gazelle, like a young stag. See where he stands behind our wall. He looks in at the window, he peers through the opening.
My love lifts up his voice, he says to me, 'Come then, my beloved, my lovely one, come.
For see, winter is past, the rains are over and gone.
'Flowers are appearing on the earth. The season of glad songs has come, the cooing of the turtledove is heard in our land.
The fig tree is forming its first figs and the blossoming vines give out their fragrance. Come then, my beloved, my lovely one, come.
'My dove, hiding in the clefts of the rock, in the coverts of the cliff, show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet and your face is lovely.'
Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that make havoc of the vineyards, for our vineyards are in fruit.
My love is mine and I am his. He pastures his flock among the lilies.
Before the day-breeze rises, before the shadows flee, return! Be, my love, like a gazelle, like a young stag, on the mountains of Bether.
I lay my head to rest
and in doing so
lay at your feet
the faces I have seen
the voices I have heard
the words I have spoken
the hands I have shaken
the service I have given
the joys I have shared
the sorrows revealed.
I lay them at your feet
and in doing so
lay my head to rest
--A Cornish blessing
May the arms of God raise her from the darkness of this planets' earth and surround her with light;
If she is thirsty, give her water in the clearing.
If she is hungry, give her food in the clearing.
May her life on this Earth and the pain of her passing become as a dream to her waking soul, and let her eyes fall upon every lovely sight; let her find her family and friends that have been lost to her, and let everyone whose name she calls call her in return.
You would know the secret of death.
But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?
The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.
If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.
For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.
In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;
And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.
Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.
Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king?
Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?
For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.
We come together from the diversity of our grieving,
to gather in the warmth of this community
giving stubborn witness to our belief that
in times of sadness, there is room for laughter.
In times of darkness, there always will be light.
May we hold fast to the conviction
that what we do with our lives matters
and that a caring world is possible after all.
--by M. Maureen Killoran
Before the sublime mystery of life and spirit,
the mystery of infinite space
and endless time, we stand in reverent awe . . .
This much we know:
we are at least one phase of the immortality of life.
The mighty stream of life flows on, and, in this mighty stream,
we too flow on . . .
not lost . . . but each eternally significant.
For this I feel: The spirit never betrays the person
who trusts it.
Physical life may be defeated but life goes on;
goodness lives and love is immortal.
As sometimes in a dead one's face,
To those that watch it move and more,
A likeness, hardly seen before,
Comes out—to someone of the race.
So, dearest, now thy brows are cold,
I see thee what thou art, and know
Thy likeness to the wise below,
Thy kindred with the great of old.
But there is more than I can see,
And what I see I leave unsaid,
Nor speak it, knowing Death has made
All darkness beautiful with thee.
--by Lord Alfred Tennyson