Daily Worship

A prayer for visiting someone who has been bereaved

Rhona Cathcart February 03, 2023 1 2
Image credit: Unsplash
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Romans 8: 35, 37-39 (NRSVA)

35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I have always loved this passage, and my job gives me the privilege of saying it regularly, especially at funerals. The pain of bereavement is so often the pain of separation. Regardless of what we believe or don’t believe about the afterlife, what we do know when we lose someone, is that they aren’t here with us any more.

Paul understood this human pain. He reminds us that nothing, nothing, NOTHING, can separate us from the love of God in Christ.

When I visit someone who is grieving, or when I say those words at a funeral, I don’t try to work out what exactly they mean theologically, I simply hold on to the truth of them, which I feel in my bones every time I say them, and pray that some of Christ’s ever present love can and will be felt.

I can do no more, God can do no less.




Lord God,

As I enter this holy place of grief,

remind me that it is not my responsibility to conquer any fear or pain or sadness

I am simply there to be there.


Help me to provide a safe space for tears, and a hospitable space for any stories they wish to share.

I don’t have to say the ‘right’ thing, though if words are needed, I trust you will help me to find them.

I may not need to say anything at all.

I just need to indicate by my presence, that they are not alone.


With the help of your Spirit, may they know that when we lose someone we love, love itself is not lost.

May they know today that not even a sliver of air separates them from the love of Christ.

In his name I pray.