Prayer in the garden
WHEN? Once the family has received the ashes, a time of prayer can be offered in the presence of some relatives of the deceased, before the subsequent transfer to a cemetery or columbarium.
OR? In the family garden, in front of a beautiful landscape…
HOW? One person leads the prayer time. A musical piece will have been downloaded in advance to a smartphone. Provide candles, a photo of the deceased, the text of the Our Father to distribute.
WELCOME: The funeral urn is placed respectfully on a small table. The photo of the deceased is placed next to it. Everyone is invited to remain in silence, contemplating the surrounding nature.
ANIMATOR: “Dear friends, this world is our great affair. It is to this world that we were each born. It is to this world that we each belong, through our flesh, our blood, our breath. is this world that we work for through the work of our hands, through the bonds that we weave, day after day. It is to him that we return. And along the way, in the many small and large passages of our lives , we meet the One who maintains this world, gives it life, the seed of his love at every moment. Yes, Lord, you are the God creator of everything, of every moment, of all life. Master of heaven and of the earth, blessed are you!” (Silence.)
↘ Small, calm piece of music.
ANIMATOR: “Sometimes we feel like we are almost nothing. Born from ashes, we return to ashes. But you, Lord, it is ashes, water and the Spirit that you bring forth life. It is from ashes, water and the Spirit that you have given us a body. It is from ashes, water and the Spirit that you have given us have entrusted you with a unique place in this universe. Blessed are you!” (Silence.)
↘ Everyone receives a lit candle.
ANIMATOR: “Lord, we give you thanks for our brother/sister… Like each of us, he/she has carried Your light throughout his/her life. Like a small, weak lamp. Or like a great fire that sets everything ablaze. . Only you can keep our lamp burning in the night of death. Blessed are you!” (Silence.) Calmly, the small assembly says the Our Father prayer together.
↘ We turn off the lights which everyone is invited to take home to accompany other times of personal prayer. Then the funeral urn is transported to the cemetery.
Prayer at the columbarium
WHEN? The day on which it is planned to place the funeral urn in the niche of the columbarium or in the family vault.
HOW? Print in advance small images of the deceased, accompanied by a verse from the Gospel that will be read that day: the parable of the grain that fell into the ground (John, chapter 12, verses 24 to 26). Bring a Bible and, for each person, a small cloth bag with seeds of wild flowers, wheat or other edible plants. Ask one or two relatives (P1, P2, etc.) who will invite the assembly to meditate.
WELCOME: The funeral urn is received in silence and placed near the place where it will be delivered. Images of the deceased are placed next to it, as well as the Bible, open to the page of the reading to come. A song is proposed, for example: “Like a fragile breath, your Word is given, like a vase of clay, your love shapes us.”
P1: “Friends, our brother/sister has now reached the final place of his rest. Let us give thanks for the beautiful mystery of life that we share in this way. We believe that our poor bodies, tired, lifeless, reduced to dust, are waiting yet to be raised. It is this expectation that we now share with those who precede us.”
READING OF THE GOSPEL P2: “At that time Jesus said to his disciples: “Amen, amen, I say to you, if the grain of wheat that falls into the ground does not die, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. . He who loves his life loses it; he who detaches himself from it in this world keeps it for everlasting life. If anyone will serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there will be my servant also. . If anyone serves me, my Father will honor him.”
↘ A second song is proposed: “Grain of wheat fallen into the ground, if you do not die, you will remain solitary, will not germinate. Whoever abandons himself to Jesus, finds true life. Happy is the man who gives himself, he will be blessed.” Then, we distribute the packet of seeds to everyone.
P1: “Here, we know that the memory of our brother/sister is honored. Here, the earth becomes hospitable to him until the last times. As for us, let us continue to marvel at the fruits of this earth, since from a grain of wheat fallen in the ground, an ear of corn can then sprout 30, 60 or 100. May our lives welcome this abundance with joy. Lord bless each of us and keep us in the peace of the grain sown in the ground. Amen.”
↘ Everyone is invited, upon returning, to find a place to plant the seeds entrusted to him. As for the image of the deceased, it can be placed in a place of memory or in a book that is close to our hearts.
Prayer at the cemetery
WHEN? During a visit to the grave or to the columbarium. This personal prayer, to be expressed in the secret of one’s heart, is inspired by the final prayer of Pope Francis in his encyclical Laudato si’.
PRAY: Almighty God, who is present in the whole Universe and in the smallest of your creatures, You who surround with your tenderness everything that exists, spread on us the strength of your love so that we protect life and beauty . Flood us with peace, so that we can live as brothers and sisters without causing harm to anyone.
↘ Take a moment of silence to entrust our deceased loved one to the tenderness of the creator God.
PRAY: Teach us to discover the value of each thing, to contemplate in wonder, to recognize that we are deeply united with all creatures on our path towards your infinite light. Thank you because you are with us every day. Please support us in our fight for justice, love and peace.
↘ Take a moment of silence to entrust our loved one to the renewing power of the Holy Spirit. By invoking, on the deceased and on us, this grace of wonder and confidence.
↘ Finish by slowly posing on our body the sign of the cross. And likewise blessing, with the hand or holy water, the place where the deceased was laid to rest.