Parents’ Prayer at the Death of a Child
Master, Lord my gracious and merciful God,
who long ago heard the grieving voice of Your servant Jacob as he wept for Joseph,
saying: I shall go, mourning, into the grave next to my son.
You yourself, O compassionate Lord, comforted David,
the king and prophet as he said in his grief:
Absalom! My son, Absalom! It would have been better for me to have died in your place, O my son, Absalom!
Your divine Son and our Savior, in His mercy for the grief which a parent suffers,
raised Jairus’ daughter and the son of the widow from Nain;
and in this same compassion and loving kindness,
He healed the daughter of the Canaanite woman.
O gracious and merciful Master and Lord,
look down from heaven and behold the grief in my heart,
the heart of a parent,
as it sees its hope for life snatched away:
The good and righteous life of my child through whom I had longed to praise the power,
wisdom and goodness of Your holy name.
But as I stand before the impenetrable mysteries which You alone understand,
my mind turns to the fervent prayer which Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
offered before the holy Passion, in the garden of Gethsamane,
saying: Father, if it is Your will, take this cup from me!
Like Him, I also bow my head before You today and cry out: Lord, let Your will be done!
Like the righteous Job hearing of the death of his children long ago,
I also cry out in humility and confess: The Lord gives, the Lord takes away;
blessed be the name of the Lord.
Though I am torn by grief,
yet my faith in You and Your ineffable mysteries remains unshaken as I now beseech Your mercy and compassion,
Grant forgiveness, Lord,
to his (her) soul for whatever sins he (she) may have committed in work, deed or thought;
and bring him (her) to that place of eternal blessedness,
together with Your Holy Angels.
At the time which You shall choose,
grant that I too may join him (her), so that together we may sing of Your immeasurable glory.
For You are the God of mercy and compassion and the Lover of mankind,
and we offer glory, thanksgiving and worship to You:
To the Father and the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.