Lent is a time to think about our own mortality and how Jesus brings us from death into life through His sacrifice on the cross. With children, especially young children, it is best not to be to heavy handed about this though. We don’t want to scare them. But taking them to a cemetery to visit the graves of loved ones can be a positive experience for them.
They can remember how much they loved their deceased relatives and friends and say a prayer for them. It might help to take a few photos to look at. And then talk about how Jesus died so we could all be together again in the Resurrection. For older children, you can tie this in to one of the Corporal Works of Mercy: “Bury the dead.”
While there, say a rosary or read a scripture passage aloud. There are some good suggestions for scripture on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops site.
Here is a suggested prayer to say. Then conclude with the well known Catholic prayer for the dead at the bottom. Change the pronouns to fit.
Prayer for a Deceased Loved One
God our Father, we entrust our dear (name) to your care.
We remember with love and thanksgiving the time we spent together.
In your mercy, grant him entrance into your heavenly kingdom
Where we hope to meet again.
Meanwhile we who remain here
Request the courage and strength to continue the work of your Kingdom.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ Our Lord
Who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
One God forever and ever. Amen.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon him.
May the souls of all the faithful departed,
Through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.