Rose for a Memorial Service

Best Memorial Card Poems & Prayers


Memorial cards are made to honor the deceased and make a thoughtful keepsake for those who attend the service. The card may include an image of the deceased and some relevant details of their life. They are also a good place to include a poem or prayer that pays tribute to your loved one.

Here is a collection of poems and prayers that might be right for your memorial card or inspire you to write your own.

About Memorial Cards

Roses and text that reads "In loving memory"

Memorial cards are usually disbursed at memorial services or other ceremonies such as the celebration of life.

They can also be mailed to those who were not able to attend the service in person. The card will act as a personal memento of the deceased.

Memorial cards usually include a portrait of the deceased, a brief biography, and a scripture passage, prayer, or poem. Memorial cards are typically religious or spiritual, but they can also be designed with secular themes and personalized in any way that the family wishes.

In general, memorial cards are usually small, laminated, and double-sided. Because of the small size, text is limited and memorial poems and prayers are usually short.

The front side features:

  • Photo of the deceased
  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Date of death

Other tributes can be found on the reverse side such as:

  • Eulogy
  • Message
  • Verse
  • Poem
  • Prayer

Memorial Cards vs Funeral Cards

Memorial cards are also referred to as funeral cards. However, the latter is also used to refer to the funeral program which is lengthier and provides the order of service for the funeral.

Funeral cards can be made into booklets or pamphlets depending on the extent of the content that will be included. Funeral cards also tend to be more devotional because they list the religious rites in celebration of the deceased.

We also have a collection of funeral poems and funeral hymns, both of which can be included in memorial cards, or read or sung during the service.

Memorial Card Poems

Old-Fashioned Typewriter

As we mentioned, memorial cards can have secular themes. The poems you can include in a memorial card can be non-religious and personal to the deceased or meaningful to your relationship with them.

Keep in mind that the memorial card will be distributed to many different mourners. Consider selecting a poem that will easily resonate with other people as well.

Choose poems that have some connection or representation of the deceased. This will help people share the sentiment, remember the life and celebrate the memory of your loved one.

Lastly, choose shorter poems. These cards are usually wallet sized so space for text is limited. You might want to include a poem that can easily fit into the dimensions of the card.

When selecting poems, common styles or themes to choose from are joy, encouragement, hope, inspiration, remembrance or mourning and healing itself.

Poems about Sorrow

To Daffodils by Robert Herrick

Fair Daffodils, we weep to see
You haste away so soon;
As yet the early-rising sun
Has not attain’d his noon.
Stay, stay,
Until the hasting day
Has run
But to the even-song;
And, having pray’d together, we
Will go with you along.
We have short time to stay, as you,
We have as short a spring;
As quick a growth to meet decay,
As you, or anything.
We die
As your hours do, and dry
Like to the summer’s rain;
Or as the pearls of morning’s dew,
Ne’er to be found again.

Source: Poetry Foundation

Death Has Parted Us by Kelly Roper

Death has parted us my dear,
Something no mortal could do.
And I am left behind now,
Feeling oh so lost and blue.

No more will I rise each morning,
To see your dear, sweet face,
To hear you say good morning,
And fold me in your embrace.

We’ve kissed our final good night,
And we’ve said our last goodbye.
And now there’s nothing for me to do
But remember you my love, and cry.

She is Gone by David Harkins

You can shed tears that she is gone,
or you can smile because she has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that she’ll come back,
or you can open your eyes and see all she’s left.
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her,
or you can be full of the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember her only that she is gone,
or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind,
be empty and turn your back.
Or you can do what she’d want:
smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

Poems about Missing Loved Ones

There is No Light Without a Dawning by Helen Steiner Rice

No winter without a spring
And beyond the dark horizon
Our hearts will once more sing ….
For those who leave us for a while
Have only gone away
Out of a restless, care worn world
Into a brighter day

You Meant So Much by Cassie Mitchell

You meant so much to all of us
You were special and that’s no lie
You brightened up the darkest day
And the cloudiest sky

Your smile alone warmed hearts
Your laugh was like music to hear
I would give absolutely anything
To have you well and standing near

Not a second passes
When you’re not on our minds
Your love we will never forget
The hurt will ease in time

Many tears I have seen and cried
They have all poured out like rain
I know that you are happy now
And no longer in any pain.

Someone So Dearly Loved by Jacqueline Ryan

Someone so dearly loved
So popular with his friends
We should not cry forever,
For this is not the end.

His memory lives amongst us,
Times we both laughed and cried,
I cannot bare to lose him,
But one day, we all must die

I hear his voice within me,
and his funny little laugh
So many things remind me;
Of times that are now gone past.

I knew of no-one who hated him,
He was the apple of every eye
Any conflicts, we all once had
are now by the by.

Memorial Poems about Hope

Warm Summer Sun by Mark Twain

Warm summer sun,
Shine kindly here,
Warm southern wind,
Blow softly here.
Green sod above,
Lie light, lie light.
Good night, dear heart,
Good night, good night.


Treasured Seasons

For everything there is an appointed season,
And a time for everything under heaven-
A time for sharing, a time for caring.
A time for loving, a time for giving;
A time for remembering, a time for parting.
You have made everything beautiful in its time
For everything You do remains forever.

A Song Of Living by Amelia Josephine Burr

Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.
I have sent up my gladness on wings, to be lost in the blue of the sky.
I have run and leaped with the rain, I have taken the wind to my breast.
My cheeks like a drowsy child to the face of the earth I have pressed.
Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.
I have kissed young love on the lips, I have heard his song to the end,
I have struck my hand like a seal in the loyal hand of a friend.
I have known the peace of heaven, the comfort of work done well.
I have longed for death in the darkness and risen alive out of hell.
Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.
I gave a share of my soul to the world, when and where my course is run.
I know that another shall finish the task I surely must leave undone.
I know that no flower, nor flint was in vain on the path I trod.
As one looks on a face through a window, through life I have looked on God,
Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.

Source: Poem Hunter

Poems about Encouragement

Afterglow by Helen Lowrie Marshall

I’d like the memory of me to be a happy one,
I’d like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done.
I’d like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways,
Of happy times and laughing times and bright and sunny days.
I’d like the tears of those who grieve, to dry before the sun
Of happy memories that I leave when life is done.

Just a Memory Away by Rita S. Beer

I’m no longer by your side, But there’s no need to weep;
I’ve left sweet recollections, I’m hoping you would keep.
Eternal joy and memories Stay in our hearts forever,
Strengthening our special bond that parting cannot sever.
Now it’s time to journey on, So let your faith be strong,
For I am in a better place…I’m home where I belong.
And if times of loneliness Bring sorrow and dismay,
Don’t despair, for I am there…Just a Memory Away

One At Rest by Unknown

Think of me as one at rest,
for me you should not weep
I have no pain no troubled thoughts
for I am just asleep
The living thinking me that was,
is now forever still
And life goes on without me now,
as time forever will.

If your heart is heavy now
because I’ve gone away
Dwell not long upon it friend
For none of us can stay
Those of you who liked me,
I sincerely thank you all
And those of you who loved me,
I thank you most of all.

And in my fleeting lifespan,
as time went rushing by
I found some time to hesitate,
to laugh, to love, to cry
Matters it now if time began
If time will ever cease?
I was here, I used it all,
and now I am at peace.

Memorial Poems about Goodbyes

Parta Quies by A.E. Housman

Good-night; ensured release,
imperishable peace,
have these for yours,
while sea abides, and land,
and heaven endures.
When earths foundations flee,
nor sky nor land nor sea
at all is found.
Content you, let them burn:
It is not your concern;
Sleep on, sleep sound.

If I Should Go Tomorrow by Unknown

If I should go tomorrow
It would never be goodbye,
For I have left my heart with you,
So don’t you ever cry.

The love that’s deep within me,
Shall reach you from the stars,
You’ll feel it from the heavens,
And it will heal the scars.

Goodbye My Friend by Karla Bonoff

Though we never know
Where life will take us,
I know it’s just a ride
On the wheel.
And we never know
When death will shake us
And we wonder how
It will feel
So Goodbye my friend.
I know I’ll never see you again.
But the time together
Through all the years,
Will take away these tears.
It’s OK now – Goodbye my friend.
I see a lot of things
That make me crazy,
And I guess I held on to you,
You could have run away
And left – well maybe,
But it wasn’t time
And we both knew.
So Goodbye My friend.
I know I’ll never see you again.
But the love you gave me
Through all the years
Will take away these tears.
I’m OK now – Goodbye my friend.

Poems about Acceptance

A Beautiful Life by Unknown

A beautiful life
that came to an end,
She died as she lived,
everyone’s friend.
In our hearts a memory will always be kept,
Of one we loved,
and will never forget.

To Those Whom I Love And Those Who Love Me by Unknown

When I am gone, release me, let me go
I have so many things to see and do
You must not tie yourself to me with tears
Be happy that I have had so many years

I gave you my love, you can only guess
How much you gave me in happiness
I thank you for the love each have shown
But now it is time I travelled on alone

So grieve a while for me, if grieve you must
Then let your grief be comforted by trust
It is only for a while that we must part
So bless the memories in your heart

I will not be far away, for life goes on
So if you need me, call and I will come
Though you cannot see or touch me, I will be near
And if you listen with your heart, you will hear
All of my love around you soft and clear
Then, when you must come this way alone
I will greet you with a smile and welcome you home.

Involuntary Acceptance by Paula Lahey

Even though
We’re far apart,
You’ll always be
In our heart.

He loved you then,
We love you now.
Kept from your life,
We don’t know how.

Perhaps one day
A chance we’ll be given.
Until that time,
You’ll be missed where we’re living.

We’ll hope for the best
But expect the worst,
That you’ll change your mind,
For this we’ll thirst.

Whether you do or don’t
We may never know,
But never forget,
We still love you so.

Long Funeral Poems

And Death Shall Have No Dominion by Dylan Thomas

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan’t crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

Because I Could Not Stop For Death by Emily Dickinson

Because I could not stop for death
He kindly stopped for me
The carriage held but just ourselves
And immortality.

We slowly drove – he knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For his civility

We passed the school, where children strove
At recess – in the ring
We passed the fields of gazing grain
We passed the setting sun

Or rather – he passed us
The dews drew quivering and chill
For only gossamer, my Gown
My tippet – only tulle

We paused before a house that seemed
A swelling of the ground
The roof was scarcely visible
The cornice – in the Ground

Since then – ’tis centuries – and yet
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses’ heads
Were toward eternity

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night by Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that goodnight,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right.
Because their words have forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that goodnight.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that goodnight,

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that goodnight.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Memorial Card Prayers

Memorial Candles

Comforting prayers are also meaningful to include on memorial cards. You may want to include a special verse to be printed on the card.

When choosing a memorial prayer, look for inspiration from the deceased as well as the survivors and their emotions.

The same goes for the verses—consider a verse that holds a special meaning to the deceased or words that fit the situation of the person who died.

For further ideas, read our list of readings from the old testament. (Includes passages from the New Testament.)

Memorial Prayers with the Name of the Deceased

Father In Heaven

Father in heaven,
We thank you because you made us in your own image and gave us gifts in mind, body and spirit.
We thank you now for – – – – – – – and what he/she meant to each of us.
As we honor his/her memory, make us more aware that you are the one from whom comes every perfect gift, including the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ.

Lord God Creator Of All

Lord God, creator of all,
you have made us creatures of this earth
but have also promised us a share in life eternal:
receive our thanks and praise
that, through the passion and death of Christ,
your child – – – – – , our brother/sister,
whom we commend into your hands today,
shares with your saints in the joy of heaven,
where there is neither sorrow nor pain
but life everlasting.

God Our Father

God our Father,
we thank you that you have made each of us
in your own image,
and given us gifts and talents with which to serve you.
We thank you for – – – – – – ,
the years we shared with him/her,
the good we saw in him/her,
the love we received from him/her.
Now give us strength and courage
to leave him/her in your care,
confident in your promise of eternal life
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Memorial Prayers from the Bible

1 Corinthians 15:20-23

“But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.”

1 Thessalonians 5:9-11

“For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”

Hebrews 2:14-15

“Since the children have flesh and blood, He too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.”

Common Prayers

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right If I surrender to His Will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him Forever and ever in the next.

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures;
He leadeth me beside the still waters. He
restoreth my soul; He leadeth me in the
paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of
the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for
Thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they
comfort me. Thou preparest a table before
me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou
anointest my head with oil, my cup runneth
over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow
me all the days of my life: and I shall dwell
in the house of the Lord forever.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Long Prayers

A Prayer For The Dead

God our Father,
Your power brings us to birth,
Your providence guides our lives,
and by Your command we return to dust.
Lord, those who die still live in Your presence,
their lives change but do not end.
I pray in hope for my family,
relatives and friends,
and for all the dead known to You alone.
In company with Christ,
Who died and now lives,
may they rejoice in Your kingdom,
where all our tears are wiped away.
Unite us together again in one family,
to sing Your praise forever and ever.

Compassionate And Loving God

Compassionate and loving God, yours is the beauty of childhood and yours is the fullness of years.
Comfort us in our sorrow, strengthen us with hope, and breathe peace into our troubled hearts.
Assure us that the love we had for . . . . . was not in vain
indeed make it a part of the store of goodness you are even now pouring out upon
him/her in your eternal kingdom.
Indeed help us to bless you for the gift you gave us in him/her,
for the joy he/she gave all who knew him/her,
for the memories that will abide with us,
and for the assurance that he/she lives forever in the joy and peace of your presence.
Guide us through this time of sadness with the light of your love and the strength of your compassion
we ask it in the name of Christ Jesus.

We Give Them Back

We give them back to you, O Lord,
who first gave them to us;
yet as you did not lose them in the giving,
so we do not lose them by their return . . .
For what is yours is ours also,
if we belong to you.
Love is unending, and the boundary
of this mortal life is but a horizon,
and a horizon is nothing
save the limit of our sight.
Lift us up, strong Son of God,
that we may see more clearly . . .
And while you prepare a place for us,
prepare us also for that happy place,
that we may be with you
and with those we loved for evermore.


What does a memorial card contain?

A memorial card usually includes an image of the deceased, name, date of birth, and date of death. It may also include a short bio and a memorial poem, prayer, or a message in tribute of the deceased.

Do memorial cards have to be religious?

No. You can personalize a memorial card according to your wishes. You may add themes and include secular passages in dedication to your loved one.

Are there other uses for a memorial card?

Yes. Memorial cards are usually distributed at the memorial service. They may also be mailed to friends who are unable to attend. Mourners may hold on to them as a keepsake of remembrance. They may put it in a Bible, journal, or even in a wallet.


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