Comfort for the Dying

(Compiled for those who may find themselves in a hospice and seek words of comfort for the dying – as well as themselves.)

From the Psalms

Comfort for the Time Between

Compiled in memory of Peter Owen Bonaventure Martin, Sr.
June 2, 1930 – May 27, 2011

You are a shield around me, O Lord;
You bestow glory on me and lift up my head.
-Psalm 3:3

I will lie down and sleep in peace,
For you alone, O Lord,
Make me dwell in safety.
-Psalm 4:8

Let all who take refuge in you be glad;
Let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
That those who love your name
May rejoice in you.
-Psalm 5:11

O Lord, our Lord,
How majestic is your name in all
The earth!
When I consider your heavens
The work of your fingers,
The moon and the stars,
Which you have set in place,
What is man that you are mindful of him,
The son of man that you care for him?
You made him a little lower than the
Heavenly beings
And crowned him with glory and honor.
O Lord, our Lord,
How majestic is your name in all the earth!
-Psalm 8:1, 3-5, 9

The Lord reigns forever;
He has established his throne for judgment.
He will judge the world in righteousness;
He will govern the peoples with justice.
The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed,
A stronghold in times of trouble.
Those who know your name will trust in you,
For you, Lord have never forsaken
Those who seek you.
-Psalm 9:7-10

I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
Even at night my heart instructs me.
I have set the Lord always before me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my
Tongue rejoices;
My body also will rest secure,
Because you will not abandon me to the grave,
Nor will you let your Holy One
See decay.
You have made known to me the path of life;
You will fill me with joy in your presence,
With eternal pleasure at your right hand.
-Psalm 16:7-11

I love you, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress
And my deliverer;
My God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
He is my shield and the horn of
My salvation, my stronghold.
I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
And I am saved from my enemies.
As for God, his way is perfect;
The word of the Lord is flawless.
He is a shield
For all who take refuge in him.
For who is god besides the Lord?
And who is the Rock except our God?
It is God who arms me with strength
And makes my way perfect.
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
He enables me to stand on the heights.
The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock!
Exalted be God my Savior!
-Psalm 18:1-3, 30-33, 46

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul;
In you I trust, O my God.
Do not let me be put to shame,
Nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one whose hope is in you
Will ever be put to shame, . . .
Show me your ways, O Lord,
Teach me your paths;
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
For you are God my Savior,
And my hope is in you all day long.
Remember, O Lord, your great mercy
And love,
For they are of old.
Remember not the sins of my youth
And my rebellious ways;
According to your love remember me,
For you are good, O Lord.
-Psalm 25:1-3a, 4-7

Test me, O Lord, and try me,
Examine my heart and my mind;
For your love is ever before me,
And I walk continually in your truth.
-Psalm 26:2-3

The Lord is my light and my salvation
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life –
Of who shall I be afraid?
Though an army besiege me,
My heart will not fear;
Though war break out against me,
Even then will I be confident.
Hear my voice when I call, O Lord;
Be merciful to me and answer me.
My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”
Your face, Lord, I will seek.
Wait for the Lord;
Be strong and take heart
And wait for the Lord.
-Psalm 27:1, 3, 7-9, 14

Praise be to the Lord,
For he has heard my cry for mercy.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
My heart trusts in him, and I am helped.
My heart leaps for joy
And I will give thanks to him in song.
-Psalm 28:6-7

Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I am in distress;
My eyes grow weak with sorrow,
My soul and my body with grief.
My life is consumed by anguish
And my years by groaning;
My strength fails because of my affliction,
And my bones grow weak.
But I trust in you, O Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in your hands; . . .
Let your face shine on your servant;
Save me in your unfailing love.
Be strong and take heart,
All you who hope in the Lord.
-Psalm 31:9-10, 14-15a, 16, 24

Blessed is he
Whose transgressions are forgiven,
Whose sins are covered.
Therefore let everyone who is godly
Pray to you
While you may be found; . . .
You are my hiding place,
You will protect me from trouble
And surround me with songs of deliverance.
Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous;
Sing, all you who are upright in heart!
-Psalm32:1, 6a, 7, 11

We wait in hope for the Lord;
He is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice,
For we trust in his holy name.
May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord,
Even as we put our hope in you.
-Psalm 33:20-22

Taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
Fear the Lord, you his saints,
For those who fear him lack nothing.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
And save those who are crushed in spirit.
The Lord redeems his servants;
No one will be condemned who takes refuge in him.
-Psalm 34:8-9, 18, 22

Your love, O Lord,
Reaches to the heavens,
Your faithfulness to the skies.
Your righteousness is like
The mighty mountains,
Your justice like the great deep.
O Lord, you preserve both man and beast.
How priceless is your unfailing love!
Both high and low among men
Find refuge in the shadow of your wings.
The feast on the abundance of your house;
You give them drink from your
River of delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
In your light we see light.
-Psalm 36:5-9

Commit your way to the Lord;
Trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteousness
Shine like the dawn,
The justice of your cause
Like the noonday sun.
Be still before the Lord and wait
Patiently for him; . . .
The salvation of the righteous comes
From the Lord;
He is their stronghold
In time of trouble.
-Psalm 37:5-7a, 39

All my longings lie open before you,
O Lord;
My sighing is not hidden from you,
My heart pounds, my strength fails me;
Even the light has gone from my eyes. …
O Lord, do not forsake me;
Be not far from me, O my God.
Come quickly to help me,
O Lord my Savior.
-Psalm 38:9-10, 21-22

Many, O Lord my God,
Are the wonders you have done.
The things you planned for us
No one can recount to you;
Were I to speak and tell of them,
They would be too many to declare. …
Do not withhold your mercy from me,
O Lord;
May your love and your truth
Always protect me. …
May all who seek you
Rejoice and be glad in you;
May those who love your salvation
Always say,
“The Lord be exalted!”
Yet I am poor and needy;
May the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
O my God, do not delay.
-Psalm 40:5, 11,1 16-17

Blessed is he who has regard for the weak;
The Lord delivers him in times of trouble. …
I said, “O Lord, have mercy on me;
Heal me, for I have sinned against you.” …
In my integrity you uphold me
And set me in your presence forever.
Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
From everlasting to everlasting,
Amen and Amen.
-Psalm 41:1, 4, 12-13

As the deer pants for streams of water,
So my soul pants for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,
For the living God.
Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
For I will yet praise him,
My Savior and my God.
By day the Lord directs his love,
At night his song is with me –
A prayer to the God of my life.
Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
For I will yet praise him,
My Savior and my God.
-Psalm 42:1-2; 5-6a; 8; 11

Send forth your light and your truth,
Let them guide me;
Let them bring me to your holy mountain
To the place where you dwell.
Then will I go to the altar of God,
To God, my joy and my delight.
I will praise you with the harp,
O God, my God.
-Psalm 43:3-4

God is our refuge and strength,
An ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, . . .
Be still, and know that I am God;
-Psalm 45:1-2a; 10a

God will redeem my life from the grave;
He will surely take me to himself.
-Psalm 49:15

Have mercy on me, O God,
According to your unfailing love;
According to your great compassion
Blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
And cleanse me from my sin.
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
Or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
And grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and contrite heart,
O God, you will not despise.
-Psalm 51:1-2; 10-12; 17

I trust in God’s unfailing love
Forever and ever.
I will praise you forever
For what you have done;
In your name I will hope,
For your name is good.
-Psalm 52:8b-9b

Save me, O God, by your name;
Vindicate me by your might.
Hear my prayer, O God;
Listen to the words of my mouth.
Surely God is my help;
The Lord is the one who sustains me.
I will praise your name, O Lord,
For it is good.
-Psalm 54:1-2; 4; 6b

Listen to my prayer, O God, …
My heart is in anguish within me; …
Fear and trembling have beset me; …
Cast your cares on the Lord
And he will sustain you;
He will never let the righteous fall.
-Psalm 55:1ba; 4a; 5a; 22

When I am afraid,
I will trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise,
In God I trust; I will not be afraid.
-Psalm 56:3-4b

Have mercy on me, O God,
Have mercy on me,
For in you my soul takes refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of
Your wings . . . .
My heart is steadfast, O God,
My heart is steadfast; . . .
For great is your love, reaching
To the heavens;
Your faithfulness reaches
To the skies.
Be exalted, O God,
Above the heavens;
Let your glory be over all the earth.
-Psalm 57:1b-7a; 10-11

O my Strength, I watch for you;
You, O God, are my fortress,
My loving God.
I will sing of your strength,
In the morning I will sing of your love;
For you are my fortress,
My refuge in times of troubles.
O my Strength, I sing praise to you;
You, O God, are my fortress,
My loving God.
-Psalm 59:9; 16-17

Hear my cry, O God;
Listen to my prayer.
From the ends of the earth I call to you,
I call as my heart grows faint;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For you have been my refuge,
A strong tower against the foe.
I long to dwell in your tent forever
And take refuge in the shelter of your wings.
-Psalm 61:1-4

My soul finds rest in God alone;
My salvation comes from him.
He alone is my rock
And my salvation;
He is my fortress,
I will never be shaken.
-Psalm 62:1-2

O God, you are my God,
Earnestly I seek you;
My soul thirsts for you,
My body longs for you, . . .
Because your love is better than life,
My lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live,
And in your name I will lift up my hands.
Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.
My soul clings to you;
Your right hand upholds me.
-Psalm 63:1; 3-4; 7-8

Let the righteous rejoice in the Lord
And take refuge in him;
Let all the upright in heart praise him!
-Psalm 64:10

O you who hear prayer,
To you all men will come.
When we were overwhelmed by sins,
You forgave our transgressions.
You answer us with awesome deeds
Of righteousness, O God our Savior,
The hope of all the ends of the earth . . . .
-Psalm 65:2-3; 5b

May God be gracious to us and bless us
And make his face shine upon us,
That your ways may be known on earth,
Your salvation among all nations.
-Psalm 67:1-2

Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior,
Who daily bears our burdens.
Our God is a God who saves;
From the Sovereign Lord
Comes escape from death.
-Psalm 68:19-20

Hasten, O God, to save me;
O Lord, come quickly to help me.
May all who seek you
Rejoice and be glad in you;
May those who love your salvation
Always say, “Let God be exalted!”
Yet I am poor and needy;
Come quickly to me, O God.
You are my help
And my deliverer;
O Lord, do not delay.
-Psalm 70:1; 4-5

In you, O Lord, I have taken refuge;
Let me never be put to shame.
Do not cast me away when I am old;
Do not forsake me
When my strength is gone.
Be not far from me, O God;
Come quickly, O my God, to help me.
But as for me, I will always have hope;
I will praise you more and more.
My mouth will tell
Of your righteousness,
Of your salvation all day long,
Though I know not its measure.
-Psalm 71:1;9; 14-15

When my heart was grieved
And my spirit embittered,
I was senseless and ignorant;
I was a brute beast before you.
Yet I am always with you;
You hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
And afterward you will take me
Into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire
Besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength
Of my heart
And my portion forever.
-Psalm 73:21-26

Help us, O God our Saviour,
For the glory of your name;
Deliver us and forgive our sins
For your name’s sake. …
Then we your people,
The sheep of your pasture,
Will praise you forever;
From generation to generation
We will recount your praise.
-Psalm 79:9; 13

How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints,
For the courts of the Lord;
My heart and my flesh cry out
For the living God. …
Better is one day in your courts
Than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper
In the house of my God
Than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
The Lord bestows favor and honor;
No good thing does he withhold
From those whose walk is blameless.
O Lord Almighty,
Blessed is the man who trusts in you.
-Psalm 84:1-2; 10-12

Show us your unfailing love,
O Lord,
And grant us your salvation.
I will listen to what God the Lord
Will say;
He promises peace to his people,
His saints– …
Surely his salvation is near those
Who fear him,
That his glory may dwell
In our land. …
Righteousness goes before him
And prepares the way for his steps.
-Psalm 85:7-8b; 9; 13

Hear, O Lord, and answer me,
For I am poor and needy.
Guard my life,
For I am devoted to you.
You are my God; save your servant
Who trust in you.
Have mercy on me, O Lord,
For I call to you all day long.
Bring joy to your servant,
For to you, O Lord,
I lift up my soul.
You are forgiving and good,
O Lord,
Abounding in love to all
Who call to you.
Hear my prayer, O Lord;
Listen to my cry for mercy.
In the day of my trouble
I will call to you,
For you will answer me.
Among the gods
There is none like you, O Lord;
No deeds can compare with yours.
All the nations you have made
Will come and worship
Before you, O Lord;
They will bring glory to your name.
For you are great
And do marvelous deeds;
You alone are God.
Teach me your way, O Lord,
And I will walk in your truth;
Give me an undivided heart,
That I may fear your name.
I will praise you, O Lord my God,
With all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever.
For great is you love toward me;
You have delivered me
From the depths of the grave.
… you, O Lord, are a compassionate
And gracious God,
Slow to anger,
Abound in love and faithfulness.
Turn to me and have mercy on me,
Grant your strength
To your servant . . . .
-Psalm 86:1-13; 15-16b

I will sing of the Lord’s
Great love forever;
With my mouth I will make your
Faithfulness known
Through all generations.
I will declare that your love
Stands firm forever,
That you established your
Faithfulness in heaven itself. …
Righteousness and justice
Are the foundation of your throne;
Love and faithfulness go before you.
Blessed are those who have learned
To acclaim you,
Who walk in the light
Of your presence, O Lord.
They rejoice in your name
All day long;
They exult in your righteousness.
For you are their glory and strength . . . .
-Psalm 89:1-2; 14-17a

Lord, you have been our dwelling place
Throughout all generations.
Before the mountains were born
Or you brought forth the earth
And the world,
From everlasting to everlasting
You are God.
-Psalm 90:1-2

He who dwells in the shelter
Of the Most High
Will rest in the shadow
Of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord,
“He is my refuge and my fortress,
My God, in whom I trust.”
-Psalm 90:1-2

It is good to praise the Lord
And make music to your name,
O Most High,
To proclaim your love
In the morning
And your faithfulness at night, …
For you make me glad
By your deeds, O Lord;
I sing for joy at the works
Of your hands.
How great are your works,
O Lord,
How profound your thoughts! …
“The Lord is upright;
He is my Rock,
And there is no wickedness in him.”
-Psalm 92:1-2; 4-5; 15

The Lord reigns,
He is robed in majesty;
The Lord is robed in majesty
And is armed with strength.
The world is firmly established;
It cannot be moved.
Your throne was established
Long ago;
You are from all eternity. …
Your statutes stand firm;
Holiness adorns your house
For endless days, O Lord.
-Psalm 93:1-2; 5

Come, let us sing for joy
To the Lord;
Let us shout aloud to the
Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him
With thanksgiving
And extol him
With music and song.
For the Lord is the great God,
The great King above all gods.
In his hand
Are the depths of the earth,
And the mountain peaks
Belong to him.
The sea is his, for he made it,
And his hands
Formed the dry land.
Come, let us bow down in worship,
Let us kneel
Before the Lord our Maker;
For he is our God
And we are the people
Of his pasture,
The flock under his care.
-Psalm 90:1-7

Sing to the Lord a new song;
Sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, praise his name;
Proclaim his salvation
Day after day. …
For great is the Lord
And most worthy of praise; . . .
Splendor and majesty
Are before him;
Strength and glory
Are in his sanctuary. …
Worship the Lord
In the splendor of his holiness; . . .
-Psalm 96:1-2; 4a; 6; 9a

Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us,
And we are his;
We are his people,
The sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
And his courts with praise;
Give thanks to him
And praise his name.
For the Lord is good
And his love endures forever;
His faithfulness continues
Through all generations.
-Psalm 100:3-5