This litany for the dying, printed below, comes from several old prayer books in which it was featured as part of a series of prayers said by a priest (along with loved ones or others) called to administer what were traditionally known as the Last Rites for the dying. Today, the Last Rites are also referred to as the Anointing of the Sick, a sacrament that can be received, fortunately, not just when we’re at death’s door.

(Keep in mind also that this change reflects the fact that, thanks to the medical advances over the last century, people are living longer and not being felled by illnesses that had a much higher mortality rate back in the days before vaccines and antibiotics.)

Note the appeal to the Church Triumphant, (the Angels and Saints in heaven) as well as to Our Lord through the merits of His Passion, death and resurrection.

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, pray for him/her (repeat after each line)
All ye holy Angels and Archangels,
Holy Abel,
All ye choirs of the just,
Holy Abraham,
St. John the Baptist,
St. Joseph,
All ye Patriarchs and Prophets,
St. Peter,
St. Paul,
St. Andrew,
St. John,
All ye holy Apostles and Evangelists,
All ye holy Disciples of our Lord,
All ye holy Innocents,
St. Stephen,
St. Lawrence,
All ye holy Martyrs,
St. Sylvester,
St. Gregory,
St. Augustine,
All ye holy Bishops and Confessors,
St. Benedict,
St. Francis,
St. Camillus,
St. John of God,
All ye holy Monks and Hermits,
St. Mary Magdalen,
St. Lucy,
All ye holy Virgins and Widows,
All ye holy Saints of God, make intercession for him (or her).
Be merciful, spare him (or her), O Lord!
Be merciful, deliver him (or her), O Lord!
Be merciful, deliver him (or her), O Lord!
From Thy anger, deliver him (or her), O Lord! (repeat after each line)
From the danger of death,
From an ill end,
From the pains of hell,
From all evil,
From the power of the devil,
Through Thy nativity,
Through Thy cross and passion,
Through Thy death and burial,
Through Thy glorious resurrection,
Through Thy admirable ascension,
Through the grace of the Holy Ghost, the Comforter,
In the day of Judgment,
We sinners, beseech Thee hear us.
That Thou spare him (or her), We beseech Thee, hear us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ have mercy on us.
Lord have mercy on us.

We hope this litany for the dying can help you or a loved one be better prepared for Eternity in those last hours here on earth!



Return from A Litany for the Dying
to Prayers About Death

Return from A Litany for the Dying
to Litanies

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