Jewish Prayers From the Heart and Pen of Alden Solovy

Hospice Prayers

My family now has three cousins in hospice care, at various stages of disease. Thank you to all the professionals and volunteers who make hospice work. This prayer is to be said by someone entering hospice. A second version of this prayer – one to be said on behalf of an individual who enters hospice treatment – follows below. Also find links to healing prayers and meditations on dying at the end of this post. To listen along, click on the triangle in the bar below the title of each prayer. The text follows.

Upon Entering Hospice
(To be recited by a person entering hospice care.)

G-d of All Being,
The well of cures has run dry.
My physicians have been focused,
My caregivers diligent,
My family tireless
In their efforts to help me battle this disease.
The horizon of my life nears.
There is a single destination.

Ancient One,
G-d of our mothers,
G-d of our fathers,
I surrender my days to You,
As I must,
With the hopes of a dignified death,
A loving death
An easy death.
I make this choice for my own sake,
For the sake of my family and friends,
And for the sake of honoring the life You have given me.

Bless those around me with courage and strength,
Just as I ask You, Holy One,
To grant me the wisdom and ability
To show them my steadfast love,
An inheritance for the generations.

Whatever remains,
The journey hasn’t ended.
Ease my pain.
Reduce my suffering.
And bless me, G-d of my heart,
With days of joy,
With fullness of spirit
With moments of awe and wonder.

Upon Entering Hospice II
(To be recited on behalf of a person entering hospice care.)

G-d of All Being,
The well of cures has run dry.
The physicians have been focused,
The caregivers diligent,
The family tireless
In their efforts to help
My [father / mother / sister / brother / son / daughter / friend /husband / wife / partner]
Battle this disease.
The horizon of his/her life nears.
There is a single destination.

Ancient One,
G-d of our mothers,
G-d of our fathers,
Look with kindness and favor on _________________________ (name in Hebrew or your native tongue)
As he/she surrenders his/her days to You.

Bless us with courage and strength,
Just as I ask You, Holy One,
To grant me the wisdom and ability
To show him/her my steadfast love,
An inheritance for the generations.

Whatever remains,
The journey hasn’t ended.
Ease his/her pain.
Reduce his/her suffering.
And bless him/her with a dignified death,
A loving death
An easy death.

© 2011 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Here are three meditations on the end of life:

  • Near the End: A Meditation – A meditation on preparing for the journey of my own death with grace and dignity, awe and wonder.
  • Remember – Whatever our fears, this is a call back to our deepest sense of peace and well-being.
  • Things Break – We face the flow of endings and beginnings. G-d’s love remains.

Click this link for a list of healing prayers.

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4 Responses to “Hospice Prayers”

  1. Barb Sivek

    Alden – I forwarded the link to your site to my friend who is a hospice chaplain when I read your latest entries. They are beautiful. Here is her response to me below. Hope that all is well in your world.

    ~ Barb Sivek
    Barb,

    THANK YOU for sharing these prayers! Talk about God’s timing. . . I plan to use some at my Interdisciplinary Team Meeting tomorrow AM as the reflection. I’m always on the look out for reflections to share with the hospice team members for these meetings. I’v chosen a series of three: “Leaving”, “Arriving”, and “Now” to read tomorrow. They are meditations on the rhythm and flow of life- something we really face with our work in hospice.
    What a gift he has for writing prayer and reflection. I’ve bookmarked his website to my favorites!!

    Reply
  2. Laurie Brown

    In light of my father’s recent need for hospice care, I searched for these prayers to give me some comfort. Although there’s an urgent need for lots of practical planning at this time, your words remind me of the importance of reflection and prayer. Thank you so much, Alden.

    Reply

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