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It is difficult during this time of the pandemic to do what we would usually do when someone dies and it is good to see how some parishes are being very creative in holding their annual bereavement Mass or service.

The leaflet below contains details of how we can support those by telephone who are living with a bereavement and a short video about grief by Fr Chris Thomas.

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In these difficult times it matters more than ever that we reach out to those who are suffering after someone dies. So, what can we offer in the way of support?

The leaflet below contains ideas of some things we can do, some prayers for reflection and other useful contact details.


You might like to give it out as some people may find it useful.

Further details of a place to be, a new initiative of the Irenaeus Project, are also provided below.

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Readings and reflections for people who are bereaved

Used with kind permission of Barry Coyne from his booklet ‘Bereavement and Beyond’.

We believe that Jesus died and rose again;

and so it will be for those who died as Christians;

God will bring them to life with Jesus.

Thus we shall always be with the Lord.

Comfort one another with these words

1 Thessalonians 4:14,18


Grieving is as natural as crying when you are hurt,

sleeping when you are tired,

eating when you are hungry

or sneezing when your nose itches.

It is nature’s way of healing a broken heart.



Peace I leave with you;

my peace I give you.

Do not let your hearts be troubled

and do not be afraid.

John 14:27


May the raindrops fall lightly on your brow,

may the soft winds freshen your spirit,

may the sunshine brighten your heart,

may the burdens of the day rest lightly upon you

and may God enfold you in the mantle of His love.

An old Irish wish

Night is coming on.

The last birds fly hurriedly to their nests.

Slowly but surely darkness takes possession of the world.

However, no sooner has darkness fallen,

than the lights begin to come on –

below us, around us, above us,

near us and far away from us –

a candle in a window, a lamp in a cellar,

a beacon in a lighthouse, a star in the sky.

And so we take heart and find our way again.


When a good person dies, darkness descends on us.

We feel lost, bereft, forlorn.

But gradually the lights begin to come on

As we recall the good deeds done by the deceased.

They spring up all over the place.

We are amazed at how much light is generated,

And in this strange and beautiful light

we not only find our way,

but find the meaning of life itself.


May your memories bring you comfort,

may your faith give you hope,

and may God watch over you,

bringing light into your lives at this time of sadness.

Archbishop Derek Worlock


If God sends us on stony paths,

He provides strong shoes.

Corrie Ten Boom


As we look back over time

we find ourselves wondering…

Did we remember to thank you enough

for all that you have done for us?

For all the times you were by our sides

to help and support us…


to celebrate our successes,

to understand our problems

and accept our defeats?

Or for teaching us by your example,

the value of hard work, good judgement,

courage and integrity?


We wonder if we ever thanked you

for the sacrifices you made

to let us have the very best?

And for the simple things

like laughter, smiles and times we shared?


If we have forgotten to show

our gratitude enough for all the things you did,

we’re thanking you now.

And we are hoping you knew all along,

just how much you meant to us.


Bidding Prayers

Let us call trustingly upon God the Almighty Father
who raised Christ His Son from the dead,
that those who are grieved and tested by this death
may be given comfort and renewed confidence.

Let us pray for those who have to suffer the death of those they love,
that they may be given help to courageously continue their lives.
Lord hear us,

R. Lord, graciously hear us.

Let us pray for those who are unable to overcome their sorrow,
that God will be with them to share the burden they bear.
Lord hear us,

R. Lord, graciously hear us.

Let us pray for those who have to go on living alone
after the death of their partner:
for those who mourn the death of a child or a close friend
and all who have suffered a great loss.
Lord hear us,

R. Lord, graciously hear us.

Let us pray for those who die and are not mourned;
for those who are lonely in life and death,
that God may keep them in his heart.
Lord hear us,

R. Lord, graciously hear us.

Let us turn to Mary who stood by the cross of her son as he died.
Let us pray that she will console those who mourn this death today.  
Hail Mary…


Let us now add our own personal prayers in a moment of silence.

God our Father, you are always close to us 
and you hear the cries of those who mourn.
Listen now to our prayers and grant them
through Christ our Lord.


Art of dying well.jpg

Deathbed etiquette

during COVID-19

Dealing with bereavement

and grief during COVID-19

Grief after

bereavement or loss

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