Common prayers said during time of bereavement

MOUrner's Kaddish

The word Kaddish means sanctification of God’s name and does not mention death. By  a mourner reciting it at a time when they could be bitter shows the acceptance of Divine judgment and righteousness. Also by saying it publicly, the mourners increase the merit of their deceased loved one. The Mourner’s Kaddish is said at graveside and at the end of a memorial service. Depending upon the relationship of the person in mourning and their level of observance, Kaddish is recited for eleven months after death and on the yearly Yartzeit (anniversary).



Yis’ga’dal v’yis’kadash sh’may ra’bbo, b’olmo dee’vro chir’usay v’yamlich malchu’say, b’chayaychon uv’yomay’chon uv’chayay d’chol bais Yisroel, ba’agolo u’viz’man koriv; v’imru Omein.

Y’hay shmay rabbo m’vorach l’olam ul’olmay olmayo.

Yisborach v’yishtabach v’yispoar v’yisromam v’yismasay, v’yishador v’yis’aleh v’yisalal, shmay d’kudsho, brich hu, l’aylo min kl birchoso v’sheeroso, tush’bechoso v’nechemoso, da,ameeran b’olmo; vimru Omein.

Y’hay shlomo rabbo min sh’mayo, v’chayim alaynu v’al kol Yisroel; v’imru Omein.

Oseh sholom bimromov, hu ya’aseh sholom olaynu, v’al kol yisroel; vimru Omein.


May the great Name of God be exalted and sanctified, throughout the world, which he has created according to his will. May his Kingship be established in your lifetime and in your days, and in the lifetime of the entire household of Israel, swiftly and in the near future; and say, Amen.May his great name be blessed, forever and ever.

Blessed, praised, glorified, exalted, extolled, honored elevated and lauded be the Name of the holy one, Blessed is he- above and beyond any blessings and hymns, Praises and consolations which are uttered in the world; and say Amen. May there be abundant peace from Heaven, and life, upon us and upon all Israel; and say, Amen.

He who makes peace in his high holy places, may he bring peace upon us, and upon all Israel; and say Amen.

Psalm 23

This psalm speaks of God’s protection and care, especially during death. Both Jews and Christians use this psalm as a hymn, and it has been called the best known of the psalms for its universal theme of trust in God. For Jews, Psalm 23 is often recited during Shabbat and other religious occasions.



The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:he leadeth me beside the still waters.He restoreth my soul:he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

El Moley RachamiM

This prayer is recited at funeral services in a haunting chant and after one has been called up to the reading of the Torah on the anniversary of the death of a close relative. The prayer, stating that God is full of compassion, is a plea that the soul of the departed be granted menucha nechonah (proper rest).  Originating in the Jewish communities of Western and Eastern Europe, it was recited for the martyrs of the Crusades and of the Chmielnicki massacres. 



O God, full of mercy, Who dwells on high,Grant proper rest on the wings of the Divine Presence –In the lofty levels of the holy and the pure ones,Who shine like the glow of the firmament –For the soul of (…….) who has gone on to his world,Because, without making a vow,I will contribute to charity in remembrance of his soul.May his resting place be in the Garden of Eden –Therefore may the Master of MercyShelter him in the shelter of His wings for Eternity,And may He bind his soul in the Bond of Life.

The Lord is his heritage,And may he repose in peace on his resting place.