Jewish Prayers & Meditations
Specific Jewish prayers are spoken during the funeral, burial and when lighting the Yahrzeit candle. For your convenience you can download the attached for reference and printing. Included are the Mourners’ Kaddish, traditional graveside prayers, and prayers for the Yizkor service.
Prayer At A Husband’s Grave
O God, behold and see the sorrow of my heart. Willowed and bereft I mourn the loss of the dear companion of my life.
Help me, O God, to bear this burden bravely. Teach me to bend my will to Thy supreme will that doeth all things for the best, for all Thy ways are right and all Thy judgments just. Thou didst send me untold blessings through the gift of his loving care. For these my heart overflows with thankfulness. May I not mar the gratitude I here offer by murmuring and complaints.
Grant that I may live true to the hope and prayers which bound our hearts together. Fill me with zeal to carry out every noble thought he cherished and to fulfill every duty to my home and my dear ones which he bequeathed to me. May the memory of his love and faithfulness ever aid and inspire me.
I cast my burden upon Thee, O Lord; uphold me in the hours of my weakness, for Thou art near to the broken and contrite heart. May my life prove that love is as strong as death. Grant me one more and more of the comforting faith in life immortal. May Thy blessing of peace attend me through all my days. – Amen.
Prayer At A Wife’s Grave
“Give her the fruit of her hands; and may her deeds praise her within gates”- Proverbs XXXI
My heart cries unto Thee, Almighty God, out of the depths of my distress. Thou alone knowest the loneliness of my days, bereft of whom Thou gavest me as my companion my helpmate. Let me not yield to despair! Help me be loyal to every trust she reposed in me, steadfast to every duty her passing away has left to me. Fill me with manly courage to live true to the ideas of purity and nobility with which she inspired me.
Grant unto me strength and unto our dear ones the steadfast resolve to cherish faithfully the spirit of love with which she filled our home. May the example of her goodness live on as an impulse to every good endeavor. May the bonds of our common sorrow unite more firmly the ties of our family affections. Teach me, O God, the lesson of resignation. Fill me with the firm trust that death does not end all, but that in death, as in life, all are in Thy keeping. May I say with sincere humility: Thy thoughts are not our thoughts; nor are Thy ways our ways. For high as are the heavens above the earth, so high are Thy ways above our ways, and Thy thoughts are above our thoughts. – Amen
Prayer 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; it whose eyes a vile person is despised, but he honored them that fear the Lord; he that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not; he that putteth not out his money on interest, nor taketh a bribe against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.”- Psalm XV
In this silent grave repose the earthly remains of my best friend, my dearest benefactor appointed by God Himself to love and protect me during the tender years of my life, my dear and beloved father. Oh, to hear thy voice again, to clasp thy hand and look into thy fatherly eyes for comfort! How can I repay thee for all the devotion and loving kindness which I have received at your hands.
O Lord, show me the way and give me the will to live and to work so that I may reflect honor upon my dear father’s memory. Thus will also glorify Thy name, for Thou are the father of the fatherless, and in thy keeping are the souls of all our dear ones. – Amen
Prayer At A Mother’s Grave
“Lord my heart is not haughty, nor mines eyes lofty; neither do I exercise myself in things too great, or in quieted my soul is with me like a weaned child with its mother in the Lord from this time fourth and forever.”- Psalm CXXXIO mother dear, I cannot think of thee as dead, though I stand before thine earthy grave, thy spirit livest and thy love is everlasting. Yea a mother’s love is eternal, even as God is eternal who implanted that love in her heart! O mother dear, how can I begin now to thank thee or to repay thee for all that thou hast suffered and endured in order to give me life and to shelter, protect and rear me until I had reached the age of discretion and independence. And even unto the last thou hast been my loving guide and my ever present inspiration. And now, O sacred spirit of my mother, I can offer thee only the tender tear of loving and devoted memory. O God, help me to live a life of worthy of my mother’s hope and prayer. Preserve her soul in Thine all-loving peace, and may her spirit ever keep me pure and clean so that when my time comes to leave this earthly dwelling, I may be found worthy to join my mother in her eternal abode of bliss in which the noble and the pure in spirit may behold Thy countenance in everlasting joy. – Amen
Prayer At A Brother’s Grave
“I will bless the Lord, who hath given me counsel; yea, in the night seasons my rein instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me; surely He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth; my flesh also dwelleth in Safety; for Thou wilt not abandon my soul to the netherworld; neither wilt Thou suffer Thy godly one to see the pit. Thou makest me to know the path of life; in Thy presence is fullness of joy, in Thy right hand bliss for ever more.”- Psalm XVI. Tender memories fill my thoughts as I stand here by the grave of my brother. Precious was the blessing that God gave me in his life. A brother indeed, was he at all times, kind and considerate in his words, thoughtful and generous in his deeds. O God, in Thine infinite wisdom and justice Thou has taken him from me. I sorely miss him. But the influence of his character is and ever shall be upon me. I pray Thee, O God, to strengthen my soul with abiding faith in life hereafter; and give me courage to bear whatever Thy providence sends unto me. According to my power, may I never fail to aid others who are in need of sympathy and help. – Amen
Prayer At A Sister’s Grave
“Out of the depths have I called Thee, O Lord. Lord, hearken unto my voice: Let Thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. If Thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? For with Thee there is forgiveness, that Thou mayest be feared. I wait for the Lord; my soul waiteth for the Lord, more than watchmen for the morning; yea, more than watchmen for the morning.”- Psalm CXXX How precious to me was the deep love of my sister! And now, O God, that Thou has taken her from me there is a void which I often feel can never be filled. Her kindness, her patience, her comforting words softened the trails of many a day. As I think of all this, how heavily is my heart bowed down by the sorrow of her taking away.
As I stand in the peaceful quiet of this spot, divine hope whispers in my soul that she is at rest in Thy keeping. May this thought sustain me. May I be thankful unto Thee, O God, for the life of my dear sister; and may every thought of her incline my soul to deeds of kindness, mercy and righteousness. – Amen
Prayer At A Child’s Grave
“In Thee, O Lord, have taken refuge; be Thou to me a rock of refuge; Therefore for Thy name’s sake lead me and guide me. Into Thy hand, I commit my spirit; Thou hast redeemed me, O Lord, Thou God of truth. For Thou hast seen mine affliction; Thou hast taken cognizance of the troubles of my soul.”- Psalm XXXIO God, from the depths I cry unto Thee. Thou has taken away from me my dear child. O help me to feel that the ways of Thy providence are wise and good, though we understand them not. Thou, O God, knowest that my soul would not question Thy justice; I would not rebel against Thy decree. It is the tender and deep love which my dear child brought into my heart that draws me hither. O merciful Father, have mercy upon me and send the healing balm of Thy consolation in my grieving spirit.
In this moment my soul feels, but little strength to praise. Yet if Thou didst take away this life, Thou also didst give it. O may the light of love which my child kindled within my heart continue to burn brightly, so that as I regain strength of soul, I may bring cheer unto all my dear ones. Praised by Thou, O God, who comfortest the mourner with hope in life eternal. – Amen