A Ceremony for Dying


Ceremony for Dying

A ceremony for dying will be different depending on if the dying person is in the last few hours, days, weeks or months of their life. This can be shortened to the length that the dying person is comfortable with. The musical youtube links are to songs you might learn beforehand.

Bring a small dish and some sandalwood or lavender or non-scented oil. Pour a bit of oil into the dish.

A favourite song could be hummed together with everyone holding hands around the person’s bed.


Navajo Blessing:
When you were born you cried and the world rejoiced.
Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice
Click here to see a YouTube Video of this song

Blessing of the hands

(Family members take hands of dying person they can also hold their feet and the leader says)

These are the hands that have created a marriage.

These are the hands that have given love through (list the person’s hobbies).

These are the hands that have given strength in times of tragedy and loss.

These are the hands that nourished and supported through hard times and good times.

These are the hands that have completed countless tasks with patience and perseverance.

These are the hands that have tenderly held children and grandchildren.

These are the hands that have created a life and given love.

These are the hands that have always shown compassion

These are the hands whose touch will never be forgotten.


He did not say “You will not be troubled, you will not be belabored, you will not be afflicted”; he said “you will not be overcome.” – Mother Julian of Norwich.


Sufi Song from the mystical tradition of Islam

“All I ask of you is forever to remember me as loving you”.

In Arabic “Ishq’Allah, ma abud L’illah

Click here to listen Sufi Chant


To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die;

A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted

A time to kill, and a time to heal;

A time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh.

A time to mourn, and a time to dance.


Sharing of memories

Go around the circle – each person can anoint the dying person with oil.  On the forehead, hands, or feet and speak a memory.

Closing reading

Death is at once the end of the body`s old journey

And the beginning of the soul`s new journey.

  • Sri Chinmoy


Take me back oh hills I love,

Lift me from this lonely bed,

Light my way with stars above

Curl soft winds about my head

Wash my feet in crystal streams

Cradle me arms in boughs of oak

Wrap me tight in earthen cloak

-Appalachian Round

Click here to listen to the Round