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A Prayer for the Dying


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. Pagans and Wiccans 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 themself 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.

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


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