O my heavenly Father,
God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
God of all comfort,
I thank you for revealing to me
your dear Son, Jesus Christ,
in whom I believe,
whom I have preached and confessed,
whom I have loved and praised.
I pray, my Lord Jesus Christ,
take my soul into your hands.
I know that
although I will live this body
and be taken from this life,
I will live with you forever,
and that no one can pluck me
out of your hands.
God so loved the world
that he gave his only-begotten Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish,
but have eternal life.
Our God is the God of salvation,
and the Lord delivers from death.
Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.
You have redeemed me, O Lord, the God of truth.
Gracious Father, your holy Word tells us that our times are in your hands. Hear our prayers for __________ and for his family as he nears the end of his earthly life. Comfort them with your gracious promises of the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
In the midst of life we are in death. To whom may we look for help, but from you, Lord, who for our sins are justly displeased?
Yet, Lord God most holy, Lord most mighty, holy and most merciful Savior, deliver us from the bitter pains of eternal death.
[Lord, you know the secrets of our hearts. Do not shut your merciful ears to our prayers, but spare us, Lord most holy, God most mighty, holy and most merciful Savior, most worthy Judge eternal. In our last hour, do not let us fall away from you because of the pains of death.]
Bracketed portion seems to be a later addition included in the Book of Common Prayer. See the variants below. Luther’s hymn seems to reflect the repetition.
Most versions render the last line, “deliver us not into the bitter pains of eternal death.”
Original in Latin:
Media vita in morte sumus quem quaerimus adjutorem nisi te, Domine, qui pro peccatis nostris juste irasceris?
Sancte Deus, sancte fortis, sancte et misericors Salvator: amarae morti ne tradas nos.
In Te speraverunt Patres nostri, speraverunt et liberasti eos. Ad Te clamaverunt Patres nostri, clamaverunt et non sunt confusi.
Sancte Deus, Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto: sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in sæcula sæculorum. Amen.
In you our fathers trusted. They trusted and you delivered them. They cried out to you, and they were rescued. They cried out to you, and they were not disappointed. (from Psalm 22:4-5)
O holy God, glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen.
Ne projicias nos in tempore senectutis cum defecerit virtus nostra ne derelinquas nos Domine. Sancte Deus, Sancte fortis, Sancte et misericors Salvator, Amarae morti ne tradas nos.
Noli claudere aures tuas ad preces nostras. Sancte fortis, Sancte et misericors Salvator, Amarae morti ne tradas nos.
Qui cognoscis occulta cordis parce peccatis nostris. Sancte et misericors Salvator, Amarae morti ne tradas nos.
Do not cast us off in the time of old age; Do not forsake us when our strength fails, Lord. (from Psalm 71:9) Lord God most holy, Lord most mighty, holy and most merciful Savior, deliver us from the bitter pains of eternal death.
Do not shut your merciful ears to our prayers, God most mighty, holy and most merciful Savior, deliver us from the bitter pains of eternal death.
Lord, you know the secrets of our hearts. (from Psalm 44:21) Holy and most merciful Savior, deliver us from the bitter pains of eternal death.
In the midst of life we are in death: of whom may we seek for succour, but of thee, O Lord, who for our sins art justly displeased? Yet, O Lord God most holy, O Lord most mighty, O holy and most merciful Saviour, deliver us not into the bitter pains of eternal death. Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts; shut not thy merciful ears to our prayer; but spare us, Lord most holy, O God most mighty, O holy and merciful Saviour, thou most worthy Judge eternal, suffer us not, at our last hour, for any pains of death, to fall from thee.
Martin Luther expanded this prayer into a hymn, Mitten wir in leben sind.
1. In the midst of earthly life Snares of death surround us; Who shall help us in the strife Lest the Foe confound us? Thou only, Lord, Thou only. We mourn that we have greatly erred, That our sins Thy wrath have stirred. Holy and righteous God! Holy and mighty God! Holy and all-merciful Savior! Eternal Lord God! Save us lest we perish In the bitter pangs of death. Have mercy, O Lord!
2. In the midst of death’s dark vale Powers of hell o’ertake us. Who will help when they assail, Who secure will make us? Thou only, Lord, Thou only. Thy heart is moved with tenderness, Pities us in our distress. Holy and righteous God! Holy and mighty God! Holy and all-merciful Savior! Eternal Lord God! Save us lest we perish In the bitter pangs of death. Have mercy, O Lord!
3. In the midst of utter woe All our sins oppress us, Where shall we for refuge go, Where for grace to bless us? To Thee, Lord Jesus, only. Thy precious blood was shed to win Full atonement for our sin. Holy and righteous God! Holy and mighty God! Holy and all-merciful Savior! Eternal Lord God! Save us lest we perish In the bitter pangs of death. Have mercy, O Lord!
O Lord God, Lord of life and death,
you turn man to dust and say,
“Return, O children of men,”
we give you thanks for all the mercies
which during his life you bestowed
on this our beloved brother, now fallen asleep.
Especially do we praise you
for having brought him to the knowledge
of your dear Son Jesus Christ.
Comfort the survivors
with your everlasting comfort,
and cheer them with the sweet hope
of a blessed reunion in heaven.
Grant to the lifeless body
rest in the bosom of the earth,
and hereafter, together with us all,
a joyful resurrection to life everlasting.
Teach us all to number our days
that we may apply our hearts to wisdom,
and finally be saved;
through Jesus Christ, your beloved Son,
our Lord and Savior. Amen.
Almighty, eternal God, heavenly Father,
comfort and strengthen this your servant
and save him through your goodness.
Deliver him from all anguish and distress,
release him in your grace,
and take him to yourself in your kingdom;
through Jesus Christ your dear Son,
our only Lord Savior and Redeemer.
Almighty, eternal God,
have compassion on the anxious sighs
and groanings of this dying person.
Receive him into your kingdom
that you have mercifully prepared for him
and all believers from the beginning of the world.
Graciously release him, O Lord,
and comfort him eternally with the elect;
through your dear Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
O almighty and merciful God,
you are our rod and staff in the shadow of death.
We pray, visit this sick person, his body and soul,
with your mercy,
and graciously to forgive all his sins.
Take the sacrifice of the innocent death
of Jesus Christ your dear Son
as payment for his transgressions
since he was baptized in Christ’s name
and cleansed by Christ’s blood.
Deliver him from bodily pains or shorten them.
Sustain him against the accusations of conscience
and all attacks of the wicked one
that he may fight a good fight and overcome.
Grant him a blessed departure for the life everlasting.
Send your holy angels
that they escort him to the gathering
of the elect in Christ Jesus our Lord.
help us to remember you,
your holy life,
your innocent death,
your glorious resurrection,
all that you did to redeem us
and make us your own.
help us to remember your holy Word,
that those who believe in you
have crossed over from death to life,
and that you will raise us up on the last day.
help us to remember
what your gracious promises tell us
about what is to come,
that nothing in all creation
will separate us from your love,
and that one day you will wipe away all our tears
in your kingdom
where there will be no more mourning
or crying or pain.
Make these your truths our solid, and unmovable comfort,
so that with steadfast faith
we face any hardship,
and in spite of our tears,
find joy in you, your Word, your promise.
our heavenly Father,
have pity on your children in great bodily weakness
who are drawing near the gates of death.
Send your dear Son to meet with them on the way,
and to stay with them,
for the day is now far spent,
that he may comfort them with the Word of your goodness,
and break with them the bread of eternal life;
through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
May the Father,
who created all things in the beginning, bless you.
May the + Son of God heal you.
May the Holy Spirit enlighten you,
guard your body, save your soul,
direct your thoughts,
and bring you safe to the heavenly country,
where he lives and reigns,
God, in a perfect Trinity,
forever and ever.