10 Biblical Funeral Prayers for a Christian Funeral Service

What is a good prayer for a funeral?

That’s our topic for today. As a committed Christian and trained biblical counselor who loves the Scriptures, I want to help you find good, Scripture-saturated words for funeral, memorial service, and graveside prayers.

Biblical funeral prayers are one important way for Christians to honor God, show their trust and faith in him, and proclaim his goodness and sovereignty over all of life’s affairs.

In life and in death our hope is in God our heavenly Father and in the saving work of Christ Jesus his Son.

So it is right to pray at a Christian’s funeral service.

Prayer is an act of worship, an act of trust, and an act of obedience. As such, funeral prayers are profoundly comforting to believers and a wonderful testimony of the deceased’s faith in Christ.

Also, because we believe that the Bible is our rule of faith and conduct, it is good to pray Biblical prayers for funerals. That is, prayers that are taken directly from the Scriptures.

This, again, is a way to honor God by proclaiming his Word. The Word and prayer are means of grace by which the Holy Spirit encourages and comforts his people.

To help you compose a prayer for a funeral service, we’ve put together the most relevant and beloved Scripture passages and prayers based on those verses.

Here are ten beautiful and biblical prayers to pray at a believer’s funeral.

10 Biblical Funeral Prayers

Any of these biblical funeral prayers can be read by a pastor or clergy, by a close friend or family member, or corporately by all attendees.

You can also divide these up into call-and-response readings, where the leader reads one or more verses and the rest of the funeral service attendees read the next verse or two. Corporate prayers invite participation and allow mourners a way to express grief and faith.

(In Christian terms, “corporate” means “collective” or “the whole congregation.” So a corporate prayer is one said by the whole gathering in unison.)

However, not all who attend a funeral are believers, so unless the funeral is held in a church and officiated by a minister you may want to preface any corporate prayers, readings, or hymns with an invitation to participate but also note that it is not required.

This provides an excellent opportunity to present the the gospel as you encourage those who cannot pray along with you to at least listen and consider the words of Scripture.

See “Example of Call-and-Response Corporate Prayer” at the end of this article for how to do a prayer in this manner.

1. Psalm 23

The Lord is My Shepherd, I Shall Not Want - Psalm 23:1 - Prayers for Funerals

King James Version (Traditional)

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 leadeth me in the paths of righteousness 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 will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

English Standard Version (Contemporary)

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
For you are with me;
Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

2. The Lord’s Prayer

The Lord's Prayer is the perfect biblical prayer for a funeral

From Matthew 6:9-13, where Jesus taught his disciples how to pray.

King James Version (Traditional)

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory. for ever and ever.

English Standard Version (Contemporary)

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

3. 1 Corinthians 15:51-57

Christian Funeral Prayers - I Corinthians 15

Behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed, in an instant, in the blink of an eye, at the last trumpet.

For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

For that which is corruptible must clothe itself with incorruptibility, and that which is mortal must clothe itself with immortality.

And when this which is corruptible clothes itself with incorruptibility and this which is mortal clothes itself with immortality, then the word that is written shall come about: “Death is swallowed up in victory. Where, O death is your victory? Where, O death is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

4. Psalm 27:1, 3-5

Biblical and Scriptural Christian Funeral Prayers - Psalm 27

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear:
Though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.
One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after;
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.
For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion:
In the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me;
He shall set me up upon a rock.

5. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

A time to mourn - Scriptural Prayers for Funerals

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
A time to be born and a time to die,
A time to plant and a time to uproot,
A time to kill and a time to heal,
A time to tear down and a time to build,
A time to weep and a time to laugh,
A time to mourn and a time to dance,
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
A time to search and a time to give up,
A time to keep and a time to throw away,
A time to tear and a time to mend,
A time to be silent and a time to speak,
A time to love and a time to hate,
A time for war and a time for peace.

6. 2 Timothy 2:11-13

This saying is trustworthy... a Biblical funeral prayer from II Timothy 2:11-13

This saying is trustworthy:
If we have died with him we shall also live with him;
If we persevere we shall also reign with him.
But if we deny him he will deny us.
If we are unfaithful he remains faithful,
For he cannot deny himself.

7. The Resurrection Prayer

Scriptural Prayers for a Christian Funeral Service

This is an ancient burial prayer taken from multiple Scripture passages. Traditional and anonymous, it is included here because it is simply the words of the Bible in prayer form.

I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. John 11:25-26
I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; and though this body be destroyed, yet shall I see God; whom I shall see for myself and mine eyes shall behold, and not as a stranger. Job 19:25-27
For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For if we live, we live unto the Lord. and if we die, we die unto the Lord. Whether we live, therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s. Romans 14:7-8
Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord; even so saith the Spirit, for they rest from their labors. Revelation 14:13

8. The Beatitudes

Christian Funeral Prayers - The Beatitudes

From Matthew 5:3-12, where Jesus pronounced this series of blessings for the encouragement of the saints.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you because of me.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.

9. Psalm 116

Funeral prayers based on Scripture for a Christian's Funeral

I love the Lord, because He has heard
My voice and my supplications.
Because He has inclined His ear to me,
Therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live.

The pains of death surrounded me,
And the pangs of Sheol laid hold of me;
I found trouble and sorrow.
Then I called upon the name of the Lord:
“O Lord, I implore You, deliver my soul!”

Gracious is the Lord, and righteous;
Yes, our God is merciful.
The Lord preserves the simple;
I was brought low, and He saved me.
Return to your rest, O my soul,
For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.

For You have delivered my soul from death,
My eyes from tears,
And my feet from falling.
I will walk before the Lord
In the land of the living.
I believed, therefore I spoke,
“I am greatly afflicted.”
I said in my haste,
“All men are liars.”

What shall I render to the Lord
For all His benefits toward me?
I will take up the cup of salvation,
And call upon the name of the Lord.
I will pay my vows to the Lord
Now in the presence of all His people.

Precious in the sight of the Lord
Is the death of His saints.

O Lord, truly I am Your servant;
I am Your servant, the son of Your maidservant;
You have loosed my bonds.
I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving,
And will call upon the name of the Lord.

I will pay my vows to the Lord
Now in the presence of all His people,
In the courts of the Lord’s house,
In the midst of you, O Jerusalem.

Praise the Lord!

10. Psalm 121

Scripture Funeral Prayers - Psalm 121 - I lift up my eyes to the hills

I lift up my eyes to the hills;
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
The Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip;
He who watches over you will not slumber;
Indeed, He who watches over Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you.
The Lord is your shade at your right hand;
The sun will not harm you by day,
Nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm.
He will watch over your life;
The Lord will watch over your coming and going
Both now and forever more.

Related: 50 Comforting Sympathy Prayers

Additional Passages to Use for Prayer

Here are some additional biblical funeral prayer Scripture passages ideal for reading or prayer at a funeral.

  • Psalm 32
  • Psalm 34
  • Psalm 46
  • Psalm 130
  • Matthew 11:25-30
  • John 5:24-29
  • 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
  • 1 John 3:1-2

Example of a Call-and-Response Prayer

Here is an example of how to do a corporate prayer (where everyone recites the words of the prayer together) in a call-and-response style. From 1 Corinthians 15:51-57.


Behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed, in an instant, in the blink of an eye, at the last trumpet.


For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.


For that which is corruptible must clothe itself with incorruptibility, and that which is mortal must clothe itself with immortality. And when this which is corruptible clothes itself with incorruptibility and this which is mortal clothes itself with immortality, then the word that is written shall come about: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”


“Where, O death is your victory? Where, O death is your sting?”


The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.


But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Adapted from 1 Corinthians 15:51-57

More Christian Funeral Prayers

The following prayers are appropriate for a believer’s memorial service.

Opening Prayer for Funeral

O Lord, God of all comfort, be honored as we remember the life of our loved one, mourn their passing, and celebrate the hope we have in Jesus.

Closing Prayer

Eternal Father, today we reflect on your works and praise you for your wonderful deeds. Thank you for the life of [name], and may he live on in our hearts even as he now lives so fully in your presence. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Benediction: Irish Blessing

May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sunshine warm upon your face.
May the rains fall upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.

Benediction: Priestly Blessing

May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you.
May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.
– Numbers 6:24-26

Celebration of Life Prayer

Our Father in heaven, thank you for the time we had here on earth with [name]. Today we celebrate her legacy, and see your hand so richly in her life and faith. Encourage and comfort our hearts as we grieve, as we remember, and as we pay tribute to one of your beloved followers.

Testimony Prayer

Almighty God, the one who creates all things and grants eternal rest, we come before you today remembering and celebrating your work in your servant [name].

With the beloved apostle we proclaim that this is the testimony: that you have given us eternal life, and this life is in your Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

O God of all mercy, as we recall your tender love towards our dear friend, we recognize that this testimony is true for [name]. He looked to Jesus, the author and finisher of his faith, and in so doing has been found righteous in Christ.

In this testimony, may we all find hope: Whoever has the Son has life. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Prayer for the Journey

Eternal God and Father,
we praise you that you have made people
to share life together
and to reflect your glory in the world.
We thank you now for [name],
for all that we saw of your goodness and love in his/her life
and for all that he/she means to each one of us.
As we, too, journey towards death,
may we do so in the company of Jesus,
who came to share our life
that we might share the life of eternity with him and with one another.
To him be glory with you and the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever.

Prayer of Comfort

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.
– 2 Corinthians 1:2-5

Christian Funeral Prayer of God’s Promises

Almighty God, you love everything you have made and judge us with infinite mercy and justice. We rejoice in your promises of pardon, joy, and peace towards all who love you.

In your mercy turn the darkness of death into the dawn of new life; in your faithfulness, turn the sorrow of parting into the joy of heaven; through our Savior Jesus Christ, who died, who rose again, and who lives forevermore.

Short Funeral Prayers for Family

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.
2 Thessalonians 3:16

Dear Lord, may your everlasting love rest on this family as they mourn. We thank you that they do not grieve as others do, who have no hope, for we know that just as Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, you will grant new life to those who have fallen asleep in Christ. May they walk in the light of your love today.

Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
– Hebrews 13:20-21

Read next: 50+ Best Funeral Scriptures & Bible Readings

Bible Funeral Prayers for a Christian's Funeral Service

11 thoughts on “10 Biblical Funeral Prayers for a Christian Funeral Service”

  1. Thanks very much for your site, and all the useful information and help you offer.
    May I share it on Facebook?

  2. Thank you for the information it was very helpful,God bless
    Kind regards.Reverend (Pastor)FiLEO.
    UGAP International Ministries

  3. My brother and I will hold a funeral for our little brother in 2 days. Thank you for giving me the power of Gods word to comfort us and realize that those that die in Gods fellowship do not die but live forever. Thank you, Rob

  4. Thank you for your helpful site. Great guide in the inurnment garden ceremony we are hoping to conduct for our dad’s urn this coming Sunday. It is very assuring that Psalm 23 is #1 and it is the very Psalm I read in my Dad’s ear in the final moments before his life ebbed away. Thank you.

  5. Thank you for this site. I am speaking at my dad’s funeral and having things written and scripture put together like this helps. Thank you and God bless.

  6. This has been very helpful. And more scriptures to speak. Thank you so much.for sharing them. God bless you

  7. I am doing my first prayers at a funeral service and felt the need to pray a scriptural prayer. This was very helpful as I didn’t want to say my words but pray God’s word

  8. Hi Adrian,

    The prayers are all drawn straight from the Bible, so they are certainly Protestant (Sola Scriptura! E.g., Scripture Alone is our authority) while others, such as Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians, would be able to use them as well since they also adhere to the Scriptures. Some verses are from the Old Testament, others are from the New Testament. Hope this helps!

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