Memorial Prayer Examples
Military funerals, memorial services and ceremonies follow honorable military traditions. Each final tribute draws from and adds to that tradition.
The following prayers have been selected from the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faiths as possible models for memorial services or ceremonies in the military tradition.
In the absence of a chaplain representing the same faith group as the deceased, the chaplain assistant, commanding officer, platoon leader, or another soldier may voluntarily read one of the following prayers appropriate to that particular faith group at the time of the burial service.
In the event of the death of a Catholic soldier, the following prayer may be said: “Eternal rest grant unto him (her), O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him (her). May his (her) souls and all the souls of the faithfully departed, through the Mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.”
In the event of the death of a Protestant soldier, the following prayer may be said: “Depart, dear brother (sister), out of this world in the name of the Father who created thee, in the name of the Son who redeemed thee, and in the name of the Spirit who made thee whole. Amen.”
Eastern Orthodox Christian Soldiers
In the event of the death of an Eastern Orthodox Christian soldier, the following prayer may be said: “O God of spirits, and of all flesh, who hast trampled down death and overthrown the Devil and given life to Thy world; do Thou, the same Lord, give rest to the soul(s) of Thy departed servant(s) (state soldier’s name), in a place of brightness, a place of refreshment, a place of repose where all sickness, sighing, and sorrow have fled away. Pardon every transgression which he (she) (they) has (have) committed, whether by word or deed or thought. For Thou art a good God and lovest mankind; because there is no man who lives yet does not sin; for Thou alone art without sin; Thy righteousness is to all eternity; and Thy word is truth. For Thou art the Resurrection, the Life, and the Repose of Thy servant(s) (state soldier’s name) who has (have) fallen asleep, O Christ our God, and unto Thee we ascribe, glory, together with Thy Father who is from everlasting and Thine all-holy good, and life-creating Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.”
In the event of the death of a Jewish soldier, the following prayer may be said: “You sun shall no more go down, neither shall your moon withdraw itself; for the Lord shall be your everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be ended. Amen.”
In the event of the death of a Muslim soldier, the following prayers may be said: (The person who leads in prayer should stand and face toward Mecca, if possible.) “Allah is Great!” (Repeat this phrase four times.) “There is no God but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet.” “Glory be to Thee, O Allah, and praise. Thy praise is glorified, and there is no God other than Thee.” “O Allah! Have mercy on Muhammad, just as Thou hadst mercy and Thou sendst peace and blessing and hadst compassion on Abraham. Surely Thou art Praiseworthy, the Great!” “O Allah! Forgive those of us who are still living and those who are dead’ those of us who are present and those who are absent, and our minors and our elders. O Allah! Let the one whom Thou keepest alive from among us live his life according to Islam, and let the one whom Thou causest to die from among us, die as a believer.” “Peace and Allah’s mercy be upon you. Amen.”