Jewish Funeral Prayers

El Moley Rachamim

Psalm 23

Psalm 90

Psalm 121

Meditation

Yizkor in Memory of a Mother

Yizkor in Memory of a Father

Yizkor in Memory of a Wife

Yizkor in Memory of a Daughter

Yizkor in Memory of Departed Ones

Prayer at the Grave of a Wife

Prayer at the Grave of a Husband

Prayer at the Grave of a Mother

Prayer at the Grave of a Father

Prayer at the Grave of a Brother / Sister

Prayer at the Grave of a Child

Prayer at the Grave of Departed Ones

Prayer for Visiting Graves

Prayer on Unveiling Monuments

Prayer of our Dear Departed

Mourner’s Kaddish

 

El Moley Rachamim

El malay rachamim shochen bamiromim,
Hamtzey menucha nechona tachas kanfey hashechina,
B’ maalos kedoshim ut’ horim kezohar harakeea
mazhirim es nishma (name).

 

Male:
  Female:
Shehalach 1’olamo
Ba’voor shenadvoo tzedaka b’ad
hazkaras nishmaso
b’ gan eden t’ hay m’ noochaso
lachen baal harachamim
yastirayhoo b’seser kna fav 1’olamim
v’ytzror bitzror hachayim es nishmaso
Adonoy hoo nachalaso, v’yanooach
b’shalom al mishkavo, v’nomar
ah’main.

  Shehalacha 1’olama
Ba’voor shenadvoo tzedaka b’ad
hazkaras nishmasa
b’ gan eden t’ hay m’ noochasa
lachen baal harachamim
yastirah b’seser k’nofaf 1’olamim
v’ytzror bitzror hachayim es nishmasa
Adonoy hoo nachalasa, v’sanuach
b’shalom al mishkava, v’nornar
ah’main.

 

El Moleh Rachamim
O, God, full of compassion, Thou who dwellest on high, grant perfect rest beneath the shelter of Thy divine presence among the holy and pure who shine as the brightness of the firmament to the soul of my beloved who has gone to his (her) eternal home.

Mayest Thou, O God of Mercy, shelter him (her) forever under the wings of Thy presence, May his (her) soul be bound up in the bond of life eternal, and grant that the memories of my life inspire me always to noble and consecrated living. Amen.


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Psalm 23

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 anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

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Psalm 90
(selected verses)

Lord, Thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
Or ever Thou hadst formed the earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God.

Thou turnest man to contrition;
And sayest: `Return, ye children of men.’
For a thousand years in Thy sight
Are but as yesterday when it is past,
And as a watch in the night.

Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as asleep;
In the morning they are like grass which groweth up.
In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up;
In the evening it is cut down, and withereth.

We bring our years to an end as a tale that is told.
The day of our years are the three-score years and ten,
Or even by reason of strength four-score years;
Yet is their pride but travail and vanity;
For it is speedily gone, and we fly away.

So teach us to number our days,
That we may get us a heart of wisdom.
Let Thy work appear unto Thy servants.
And Thy glory upon their children.

And let the graciousness of the Lord our God be upon us;
Establish Thou also upon us the work of our hands
Yea, the work of our hands establish Thou it.

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Psalm 121

I will lift up mine eyes unto the mountains; From whence shall my help come?
My help cometh from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.

He will not suffer thy foot to be moved; He that keepeth thee will not slumber.
Behold, He that keepeth Israel Doth neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is thy keeper; The Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.
The sun shall not smite thee by day, Nor the moon by night.

The Lord shall keep thee from all evil; He shall keep thy soul.
The Lord shall guard thy going out and thy coming in, From this time forth and forever.

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Meditation

O Shepherd of Israel, Who dost neither slumber nor sleep, we are the people of Thy pasture and the sheep of Thy hand. Enfold us safely in Thy love. And if in our grief and loneliness and moments of desolation, we should stray from following Thee, O leave us not, faithful Shepherd, but draw us near unto Thee.

As we face the great mystery of death which called away this our dear friend from our earthly abode, we feel our frailty, our weakness. We do not understand the brevity of life: we cannot understand why such pain and anguish of heart and mind are visited upon those we love.

Make us not despair, Eternal Father; we are called by Thy Name, we are Thine, Thou hast set thoughts of Thee in our hearts, though we; creatures of flesh and blood, can but dimly apprehend Thy purposes. Teach us not to neglect the task of today because we cannot see its eternal effect. O teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts to wisdom; to lengthen our brief life by intensity of living; to fill swift hours with worthy deeds.

Besides the still waters, through the green pastures, and in the valley where dark shadows lie, be Thou our strength and shield, and may we find Thy rod and Thy staff a stay and comfort to us in the days that lie ahead. Amen.

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Yizkor
In Memory of a Mother

Yizkor elohim nishmas eemee morasi (name) shehalacha 1’ olama, baavoor sheani noder tzedaka baada, bischar zeh, t’hay nafsha tzerurah bitzrov hachayim im nishmos Avraham, Yitzchak, v’ Yaakov, Sarah, Rivka, Rachel, v’ Leah, Vim shear tzadikim v’tzid kaniyos she b’ gan eden, v’ nomar ah’ main.

May God remember the soul of my respected mother (name) who has passed to her eternal rest. I pledge charity in her behalf and pray that her soul be kept among the immortal souls of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Leah, and all the righteous men and women in paradise. Amen.

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Yizkor
In Memory of a Father

Yizkor elohim nishmas avee mori (name) shehalach 1’ olamo, baavoor sheani noder tzedaka baado, bischar zeh, y’ hay nafsho tzerurah bitzrov hachayim im nishmos Avraham, Yitzchak, v’ Yaakov, Sarah, Rivka, Rachel, v’ Leah, vim shear tzadikim v’tzid kaniyos she b’ gan eden, v’ nomar ah’ main.

May God remember the soul of my respected father (name) who has passed to his eternal rest: I pledge charity in his behalf and pray that his soul be kept among the immortal souls of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Leah, and all the righteous men and women in paradise. Amen.

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Yizkor
In Memory of a Wife

Yizkor elohim nishmas ishtee hayekarah (name) shehalacha 1’ olama, baavoor sheani noder tzedaka baada, bischar zeh, t’ hay nafsha tzerurah bitzrov hachayim im nishmos Avraham, Yitzchak, v’ Yaakov Sarah, Rivka, Rachel, v’ Leah, Vim shear tzadikim v’tzid kaniyos she b’ gan eden, v’ nomar ah’ main.

May God remember the soul of my beloved wife (name) who has passed to her eternal rest . I pledge charity in her behalf and pray that her soul be kept among the immortal souls of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Leah, and all the righteous men and women in paradise. Amen.

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Yizkor
In Memory of a Daughter

Yizkor elohim nishmas beetee hayekarah (name) shehalacha 1’ olama, baavoor sheani noder tzedaka baada, bischar zeh, t’ hay nafsha tzerurah bitzrov hachayim im nishmos Avraham, Yitzchak, v’ Yaakov Sarah, Rivka, Rachel, v’ Leah, Vim shear tzadikim v’tzid kaniyos she b’ gan eden, v’ nomar ah’ main.

May God remember the soul of my beloved daughter (name) who has passed to her eternal rest. I pledge charity in her behalf and pray that her soul be kept among the immortal souls of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Leah, and all the righteous men and women in paradise. Amen.

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Yizkor
In Memory of the Dear Departed Ones

May God remember the soul of my beloved (grandfather) (grandmother) (uncle) (aunt) (brother) (sister) (Name) who has passed to his (her) eternal rest. I pledge charity in his (her) behalf and pray that his (her) soul be kept among the immortal souls of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Leah, and all the righteous men and women in paradise. Amen.

Yizkor Meditation
Our God and God of our fathers, may the memories of those whom we lovingly recall as we say Yizkor this day influence our lives for good and direct our thoughts away from the vain and fleeting toward that which is eternal. Teach us to emulate the virtues of our dear ones so that we too may be inspired to devote ourselves to the Torah, to Israel and to Thee, the source of all our aspirations. Thus shall the historic chain of Judaism remain unbroken, our departed mothers and fathers and all our loved ones be united with us. They live in us, in our hopes, and shall their influence continue in our children. In Thee, O Lord, they and we are one.

`When I stray far from Thee, O God, my life is as death; but when I cleave unto Thee, even in death I have life.’ With Thee are the souls of the living and the dead. Teach us to live wisely and unselfishly in truth and understanding, in love and peace, so that those who come after us may likewise remember us for good, as we this day affectionately remember them who were unto us a blessing. Amen.

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At the Grave of a Wife

With a sorrowing heart, O beloved wife, I fondly recall your love and companionship, your tenderness and devotion and the many comforts and joys you brought into my life. As I stand now before your grave, my heart cries out for the gentle touch of your hand and your sweet compassion. Never will I forget the hardships and the pleasures, trials and triumphs, joys and sorrows, we shared together. You helped dispel my fear and in time of need encouraged me and stood by my side. I pray that our children may ever be inspired by your precious memory. May they always remember, and strive to imitate thy gentleness, piety and virtue.

O God, grant unto her for whom I mourn, all the joys of eternity, grant that her soul may watch as a guardian angel over my bereaved children, remove every evil influence from them, and lead them in the way of righteousness, so that we may one day be all deemed worthy of being numbered among the blessed.

O heavenly Father, grant that the soul of my beloved wife be bound up in the bond of eternal life, together with the souls of all the righteous that are in Thy keeping. Amen.

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At the Grave of a Husband

O God, behold and see the sorrow of my heart. Widowed and bereft I mourn the loss of the dear companion of my heart. Thou sleep beneath this tomb, dear husband, and while thou cannot hear me, neither can thou see my tears. My existence is now a void, joy and happiness have fled with thee, and I must bear the burden of life alone, for thy hand can no longer protect me, nor my heart repose on thine. All is cold and sorrow, and I come to pour out my grief at thy grave.

May God support me in this heavy trial, may He in mercy pardon the words of bitterness which have escaped from my widowed heart. O God, protect my bereaved children, deprived of their earthly father’s care. Heavenly Father, extend thy omnipotent protection, and inspire them with a love of duty and fidelity to our faith, and veneration for their father’s memory.

I pray, O Lord, that the precious memories of our happy years together, may ever be an incentive to noble and sanctified living. May my endeavors to practice what is good atone for my errors, and be accepted in order to assume the salvation of my soul.

Father of all, grant that the soul of my beloved husband be bound up in the bond of eternal life, together with the souls of all the righteous that are in Thy keeping. Amen.

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At a Mother's Grave

Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty; neither do I exercise myself in things too great, or in things too wonderful for me. Surely I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, my soul is with me like a weaned child. O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and for ever. - Psalm 131

Though we are separated, dear mother, at this solemn moment when I stand before your grave, I call to mind the love and solicitude with which you tended and watched over my childhood, ever mindful of my welfare, and ever anxious for my happiness. I feel the closeness of your spirit, mother dear, and my heart is filled with tender emotion as I recollect the many sacrifices you made to ennoble my heart and instruct my mind. I am grateful for your every blessing, your kindly deeds, your understanding heart, your sacrificial devotion and your warm love so freely given. What I achieved is because of your influence, and what I am, I have become through you. Indeed, the wisdom that you imparted unto me shall ever remain with me.

If at times, I have failed in showing you the love and appreciation which you so worthily deserved; if I have been thoughtless and ungrateful; I ask to be forgiven. In tribute to your beautiful memory, I implore your inspiration to noble and intelligent living as I cherish the recollections of your lifetime.

I pray, O God, that the soul of my dear mother be bound up in the bond of eternal life, together with the souls of all the righteous that are in Thy keeping. Amen.

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At a Father's Grave

Lord, who shall sojourn in Thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell upon Thy holy mountain? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh truth in his heart; That hath no slander upon his tongue, nor doeth evil to his fellow nor taketh on a reproach against his neighbor . . . He that doeth these things shall never be moved. - Psalm 15

The memory of your life, dear father, rises before me this solemn moment as I stand before your grave and recall all the years of unselfish devotion, kindness, love and encouragement which you have shown me during your life. I recall all the sacrifices you made for my welfare, and the many comforts with which you provided me. You rejoiced in my achievements, you guided me in my perplexities, and strengthened me in my trials and disappointments. The passing of time will never diminish the blessed memories of your life.

I can pay you the tribute which you so richly deserve, by cherishing the ideals and principles you have taught me, by continuing the noble work you have left unfinished, by loyally upholding the heritage of Israel which you have transmitted unto me, and by serving my people and all who need me. Though you are gone from my physical presence, the bond of love which unites us can never be severed.

May God grant that my father’s memory ever inspire me, and may his soul be bound up in the bond of eternal life, together with the souls of all the righteous that are in Thy keeping. Amen.

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At the Grave of a Brother or Sister

O merciful God, standing here at the grave of my dear brother (sister), I fondly recollect the happy years we spent together, sharing the love and traditions of our home and family. Alas! death claimed thee too soon, and removed thee too early from those who loved thee. Though Thou hast called him (her) back, O God, I shall always hold sacred memories of his (her) kindness and sincerity, love and devotion. O Lord, grant that the recollections of his (her) life provide an incentive to righteous living. I place my trust in Thee who are the source of all life and my strength in time of sorrow. Though a link has been severed from our family chain, help me, O God, to be more closely united with those dear ones who remain. May the soul of my beloved brother (sister) be bound up in the bond of eternal life together with the souls of all the righteous that are in Thy keeping. Amen.

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At the Grave of a Child

Almighty Father, as I stand at the grave of my beloved child, I tenderly recall the joys that he (she) gave me during his (her) lifetime. How I delighted in his (her) physical and mental growth. How I planned for his (her) future. Though few and brief were the years wherein I rejoiced with my beloved child, many indeed were the blessings he (she) brought into our home. The passage of years will never fill the void in my heart, nor can time soften the pain of bereavement. Though he (she) is no longer in our midst, his (her) memory shall forever be enshrined in my heart.

O merciful God, Giver of life, Thou hast recalled what is Thine own, and hast taken him (her) into Thy loving care and keeping. Though my heart still grieves, may I, who have known the joys of parenthood, bring love and cheer into the lives of others. I pray that the soul of my dearly beloved child be bound up in the bond of eternal life, together with the souls of all the righteous that are in Thy keeping. Amen.

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Meditations and Prayers at the Graves of our Dear Departed

Peace be to thy spirit dear one. Well do I know, that safely thou dwellest under the shadow of God. And yet, to think that thou no more art with me on earth, grieves the heart and saddens the thought.

I have come to the place where the earthly part of thee has been laid to rest and at thy grave I pray unto Him, who has revealed Himself to us as a Father, that he grant me the strength and the will to emulate the good example set by thee, that I may practice the good thou hast taught, and lead a pure and virtuous life, so that, when my time shall come to enter eternity my soul may be found worthy of salvation.

May thy love and faithfulness that guarded and guided me, be forever written upon my heart and set us as a memorial before my eyes, that I may ever find grace and favor in the eyes of God and man.

The glory of God be upon thee, and His peace surround thee. Amen.

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Prayer on Visiting Graves
(This prayer in addition to any of the Meditations, the Psalms, the El Moley Rachamim and the Kaddish may be recited.)

We Remember Them

At the rising of the sun and at its going down We remember them.
At the blowing of the wind and the chill of winter We remember them.
At the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring We remember them.
At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of summer We remember them.
At the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of autumn We remember them.
At the beginning of the year and when it ends We remember them.
As long as we live, they too will live; for they are now a part of us, as we remember them.
When we are weary and in need of strength We remember them.
When we are lost and sick at heart We remember them.
When we have joy we crave to share We remember them.
When we have decisions that are difficult to make We remember them.
When we have achievements that are based on theirs We remember them.
As long as we live, they too will live; for they are now a part of us, as we remember them.

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Prayer on Unveiling Monuments

Read one of the following passages:
Psalm 23 from page 25, Psalm 121 from page 27, or any of the selected verses from pages.

The body has died; the spirit it housed will never die.
On earth our dear ones do live on through those of us to whom they were so very precious.

(the covering is removed)

We now fondly dedicate this monument (plaque) to the blessed memory of (name) realizing that his (her) remains lie not only in this plot of ground but in every heart his (her) life did touch.

O God, we are grateful for the years we were privileged to share with him (her) - years when he (she) brought us so many pleasures and taught us so very much by example.

And even though he (she) has left our midst, we know he (she) will never leave our hearts where his (her) memory will endure as a blessing forever.

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Meditations and Prayers at the Graves of our Dear Departed

Peace be to thy spirit dear one. Well do I know, that safely thou dwellest under the shadow of God. And yet, to think that thou no more art with me on earth, grieves the heart and saddens the thought.

I have come to the place where the earthly part of thee has been laid to rest and at thy grave I pray unto Him, who has revealed Himself to us as a Father, that he grant me the strength and the will to emulate the good example set by thee, that I may practice the good thou hast taught, and lead a pure and virtuous life, so that, when my time shall come to enter eternity my soul may be found worthy of salvation.

May thy love and faithfulness that guarded and guided me, be forever written upon my heart and set us as a memorial before my eyes, that I may ever find grace and favor in the eyes of God and man.

The glory of God be upon thee, and His peace surround thee. Amen.

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Mourner's Kaddish

Readers and Mourners
Magnified and sanctified be the great name of God throughout the world which He hath created according to His will. May He establish His kingdom during the days of your life and during the life of all the house of Israel, speedily, yea, soon; and say ye, Amen.

Congregation
May His great name be blessed for ever and ever.

Reader and Mourners
Exalted and honored by the name of the Holy One, blessed be He, whose glory transcends, yea, is beyond all blessings and hymns, praises and consolations which are uttered In the world; and say ye, Amen. May there be abundant peace from heaven, and life for us and for all Israel; and say ye, Amen. May He who establisheth peace in the heavens, grant peace unto us and unto all Israel; and say ye, Amen.

EL MALEY RACHAMIM
O God, full of compassion, Thou who dwellest on high! Grant perfect rest beneath the sheltering wings of Thy presence, among the holy and pure who shine as the brightness of the firmament unto the soul of who has gone unto eternity. Lord of mercy, bring him (her) under the cover of Thy wings, and let his (her) soul be bound up in the bond of eternal life. Be thou his (her) possession, and may his (her) repose be peace, Amen.

Transliteration
Yit-ga-dal ve-yit-kadash she-mei ra-ba, Be-al-ma di-ve-ra
chi-re-u-tei, ve-yam-lich
mal-chu-tei, Be-cha-yei-chon u-ve-yo-mei-chon u-ve-cha-yei
de-chol beit Yis-raeil,
Ba-aga-la u-vi-ze-man ka-riv, ve-i-me-ru: a-mein.

Congregation
Ye-hei she-mei ra-ba me-va-rach, le-a-lam u-le-al-mei
al-ma-ya.

Mourners
Yit-ba-rach ve-yish-ta-bach, ve-yit-pa-ar ve-yit-ro-mam,
Ve-yit-na-sei ve-yit-ha-dar, ve-yit-a-leh, ve-yit-ha-lal
she-mei de-ku-de-sha, be-rich hu,
Le-ei-la min kol bir-cha-ta ve-shi-ra-ta, tush-be-cha-ta
Ve-ne-che-ma-ta, daa-mi-ran be-al-ma ve-i-me-ru: a-mein.
Ye-hei she-la-ma ra-ba min she-ma-ya ve-cha-yim a-lei-nu
Ve-al kol Yis-ra-eil ve-i-me-ru: a-mein.
O-seh sha-lom bim-ro-mav, hu ya-a-seh sha-lom alei-nu
Ve-al kol Yis-ra-eil, ve-i-me-ru: a-mein.

El Maley Rachamim
Elmaley rachamim shochen bamromim, Hamtzey menucha nechona tachat kantey hashchina, Bemaalot kdoshim uthorim kezohar Harakeea mazhirim, et nishmat (name) Shehalach lolamo (shehalcha lolama), Baavur shenadvoo tzedaka Bad hazkarat nishmato (nishmata), Bgan ayden thay menuchato (menuchata), Lachen baal harachamim Yastireyhu (yastireha) Bseter knafav lolamim Vyitzror bitzror hachayim Et nishmato (nishmata), Adonai hu nachalato (nachalata), Vyanuach (vtanuach) bshalom Al mishkavo (mishkava), Vnomar Amen.


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