Practical - Index > Companion Animals & Urban Wildlife > Pet Loss Index

The Burial of a Cat or Memorial Service for a Cat

Opening Anthem

And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the

throne and the living creatures and the elders: and the number of them

was ten thousands times ten thousands, and thousands of thousands,

Saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive

power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory,

and blessing.

And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth, and under the

earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I

saying, "Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power be unto him that

sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever."

And the four beasts said, "Amen." And the twenty-four elders fell

down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever. (Rev. 5:11-14,

KJV)

(In the prayers below, the Leader says the deceased catís name where the prayers say N., and changes the italicized

pronouns as appropriate for the catís gender. )

Leader: The Lord be with you.

People: And also with you.

Leader: Let us pray.

O God of grace and glory, we remember before you this day this

beloved cat, N., who was pleased to dwell with us during his life. We

thank you for giving him to us to be a source of love, affection and joy

on our journey in this life. In Your compassion, comfort us in our grief.

Give us faith to commit our beloved cat to Your care, as you gave him

to us to care for during his life, and give us hope that we may one day

be reunited around Your throne, for You live and reign for ever and

ever. Amen.

The Liturgy of the Word

One or more of the following passages of scripture may be read. The Leader should choose

appropriate passages before the service and if desired they may be read by anyone present.

Old Testament

Genesis 9:12-17

Isaiah 11:6-9

Job 12:7-10

Psalm 104:1, 21-23, 28-32 or 145:14-22

New Testament

Romans 8:19-25

Acts 2:16-17 KJV or RSV or NRSV

Revelations 4:1-2,6b-7,9-11,5:5

Gospel

Matthew 10:27-31

Mark 16:14-15 (KJV)

Sharing of Memories

At this time the Leader may invite those present to share their memories of the life of the deceased

cat, remembering especially the affectionate nature, intelligence, gracefulness, dignity and courage of

the departed animal and its other good traits. And also invite those attending to share more difficult

memories of the catís faults, and humorous stories; for our beloved animal friends, unlike human

beings, are morally innocent, but like us, they are imperfect.

When all have finished what they desire to say, the Leader says:

Let us pray.

Gracious God, you gave to us the responsibility and blessing of the

care of this cat during his earthly life. If in any way we failed in that

responsibility, we ask for your pardon, and trust in Your mercy,

through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Creator of all, you gave us the rainbow as the sign of Your everlasting

covenant with every living creature of all flesh: help us to trust in your

covenant of faithfulness to N., our beloved cat. Amen.

The Apostles Creed (optional)

Leader: For our companion, N., let us pray to our Lord Jesus Christ,

who said, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every

creature." Please respond after each petition, "Lord, hear us."

Lord, you consoled Martha and Mary in their distress; be close to us

as we mourn for our feline friend, who loved and trusted us.

Lord, hear us.

You wept at the grave of Lazarus, your friend, comfort us in our

sorrow.

Lord, hear us.

You are the Lion of Judah, and the Lamb who was slain, yet you live

forever; give us faith to commit N. to your loving and tender care.

Lord, hear us.

Father of all, you have made an everlasting covenant with every living

creature of all flesh; receive our beloved cat into your heavenly

dwellings.

Lord, hear us.

A period of silence may be kept.

Creator of the Universe, you love everything that you have made. We

pray to you for N. and for all those whom we love but see no longer.

Grant to them eternal rest. Let light perpetual shine upon them. May

their souls, and the souls of all the departed, by the mercy of God, rest

in peace. Amen.

The service closes with the Peace, and with the singing of one or more

hymns or songs, such as "Amazing Grace," "How Great Thou Art," or,

especially appropriate for children, "Somewhere over the Rainbow."

At the discretion of the Leader, the service may be shortened,

especially if small children are present.

Scripture Readings

Genesis 9:12-17 (RSV) And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant

which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with

you, for all future generations: I set my bow in the cloud, and it shall

be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring

clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will

remember my covenant which is between me and you and every living

creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood

to destroy all flesh. When the bow is the clouds, I will look upon it and

remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living

creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. God said to Noah, "This is

the sign of the covenant which I have established between me and all

flesh that is upon the earth."

Isaiah 11:6-9 (RSV) The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the

leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the lion and the

fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the

bear shall feed; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall

eat straw like the ox. The suckling child shall play over the hole of the

asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adderís den. They

shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be

full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.

Job 12:7-10 (RSV) Ask the beasts, and they will teach you, the birds of

the air, and they will tell you; or the plants of the earth, and they will

teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all

these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his

hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.

PSALM 104:1, 21-23, 28-32 (BCP)

Bless the Lord, O my soul;*

O Lord my God, how excellent is your greatness!

you are clothed with majesty and splendor.

You make darkness that it may be night,*

in which all the beasts of the forest prowl.

The lions roar after their prey*

and seek their food from God.

The sun rises, and they slip away*

and lay themselves down in their dens.

O Lord, how manifold are your works!*

in wisdom you have made them all;

the earth is full of your creatures.

All of them look to you*

to give them their food in due season.

You give it to them; they gather it;*

you open your hand, and they are filled with good things.

You hide your face, and they are terrified;*

you take away their breath,

and they die and return to their dust.

You send forth your Spirit, and they are created;*

and so you renew the face of the earth.

May the glory of the Lord endure for ever;*

may the Lord rejoice in all his works.

PSALM 145:14-22 (BCP)

The Lord is faithful in all his words*

and merciful in all his deeds.

The Lord upholds all those who fall;*

he lifts up those who are bowed down.

The eyes of all wait upon you, O Lord,*

and you give them their food in due season.

You open wide your hand*

and satisfy the needs of every living creature.

The Lord is righteous in all his ways*

and loving in all his works.

The Lord is near to those who call upon him,*

to all who call upon him faithfully.

He fulfills the desire of those who fear him;*

he hears their cry and helps them.

Romans 8:19-25 (NSRV) For the creation waits with eager longing for

the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to

futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in

hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay

and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. We

know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until

now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first

fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the

redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is

seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for

what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Acts 2:16-17 (NRSV) This is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:

ĎIn the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit

upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and

your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream

dreams."

Revelations 4:1-2,6b-7,9-11,5:5 (KJV) After this I looked, and lo, in

heaven an open door! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking

to me like a trumpet, said, "Come up hither, and I will show you what

must take place after this." At once I was in the Spirit, and lo, a throne

stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne! And he who sat there

appeared like jasper and carnelian, and round the throne was a

rainbow that looked like an emerald. And round the throne, on each

side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and

behind: the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature

like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the

fourth living creature like a flying eagle. And whenever the living

creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the

throne, who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down

before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives for

ever and ever; they cast their crowns before the throne, singing,

"Worthy art thou, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and

power, for thou didst create all things, and by thy will they existed and

were created." Then one of the elders said to me, "Weep not; lo, the

Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he

can open the scroll and its seven seals."

Matthew 10:27-31 (RSV) Jesus said, "What I tell you in the dark, utter

in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim upon the

housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the

soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are

not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the

ground without your Fatherís will. But even the hairs of your head are

all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many

sparrows."

Mark 16:14-15 (KJV) Afterwards Jesus appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. And he said unto them, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."

This service is intended for use by families and friends of the deceased cat in communal prayer, in a private burial or memorial service. It has not been formally adopted by any denomination or church body, but the liturgist believes it to be in accord with Holy Scripture.

Bible translations and copyright information:

RSV:Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

NRSV:New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

KJV:King James Version, in the public domain.

The Psalms are from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer (BCP), in the public domain, and some of the prayers have been modified from prayers in the BCP.

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