A Prayer for the Dying

Use this prayer to say farewell to a dying loved one. Image by Blend Images/ERproductions/Getty Images

Many mainstream religions have a Last Rite, or something close to it. In the moments before dying, a priest or pastor is called to the individual's side, and offers the blessings and prayers of that particular faith. Wiccans and other Pagans often don't have such an option, for several reasons. First, we don't have a Big Book of Prayer that we all follow. Secondly, in many paths of Wicca, each person is their own High Priest or High Priestess, because we are all in touch with the divine.

Finally, let's just face it -- there aren't a lot of books out there about what to do when a Pagan or Wiccan is dying.

The following prayer is written as one which may be said by the dying person, but realistically, it may be better if someone says it for them -- physically, a dying person may not be capable of speaking a prayer at all. Make sure, if you find yourself facing such a situation, that you have permission to speak to the gods on behalf of the dying individual. Permission may be granted by the person himself, or by a family member.

Feel free to substitute the names of your tradition's deities if you prefer. You may speak this prayer, or sing it -- the choice is yours.

Also, keep in mind that because there's no universal Pagan religion, there's no one right or wrong way to say a prayer for those who are crossing over. This is a prayer I wrote for a friend, and you're welcome to make adjustments as needed, to fit the tenets of your own tradition and background.

A Prayer for the Dying

Time has passed, the Wheel has turned.
It is time for me to move on.
I will walk hand in hand with the Ancient Ones,
and with my ancestors who came before me.


Great Mother, welcome me back into your womb,
I come to you and know I am blessed,
for my life has been one I am proud of.
As I enter your world, wrap me in your loving arms,
and welcome me.

Lord of Death, I wait for you to take me,
I come to you willingly, with eyes wide open,
as my last moment approaches on the horizon.
May I look upon you without fear, without pain,
and knowing that those who walked before me,
await me on the other side.

O Ancient Ones, give me strength to take these final steps,
and allow me to do so with peace and dignity.
Let my family mourn my passing but not my loss,
and let them heal knowing I will see them again.
Time has passed and the Wheel has turned.
It is time for me to move on.


For additional information on death and dying in Pagan and Wiccan traditions, pick up a copy of Starhawk's The Pagan Book of Living and Dying.

If the dying individual is in a hospital or other facility, you may wish to ask if there is a Pagan chaplain available for you to speak with. More and more hospitals are including Pagans and Pagan-friendly clergy on their call list, so if you don't have a priest or priestess of your choice handy, the hospital may be able to provide you someone to offer spiritual services in your family's time of need.

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Wigington, Patti. "A Prayer for the Dying." ThoughtCo, Oct. 12, 2015, thoughtco.com/a-prayer-for-the-dying-2562568. Wigington, Patti. (2015, October 12). A Prayer for the Dying. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/a-prayer-for-the-dying-2562568 Wigington, Patti. "A Prayer for the Dying." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/a-prayer-for-the-dying-2562568 (accessed December 16, 2017).