The Mass should be our first resort in time of loss. Baptism unites us with Jesus’ death and resurrection, and the Eucharistic prayers reminds us that, as members of Christ’s body, we look forward not only to everlasting life with Jesus but with all our loved ones who have died. The third Eucharistic prayer, for example, asks, “To our departed brothers and sisters and to all who were pleasing to you at their passing from this life, give kind admittance to your kingdom. There we hope to enjoy forever the fullness of your glory.”

The Rosary, too, especially the Glorious Mysteries, is filled with promise for those who mourn the deaths of loved ones.

St. Joseph is the patron of a happy death because tradition says he died in the presence of Jesus and Mary; we might turn to him for consolation. Widows have several patrons, but one of the more interesting is St. Paula, who befriended St. Jerome, accompanied him to Bethlehem and underwrote a number of charitable enterprises there.

The Daily Roman Missal contains prayers to prepare us for our own death, but the resignation they ask for might easily equip us to deal with another’s death.

Prayer for Mercy for our Dearly Departed
Our heavenly father, we pray that You will find mercy on the soul of our loved one. We pray that with their unexpected death, their soul may find peace that as they lived a good life and did their best serving their family, workplace and loved ones while here was on earth. We also earnestly seek for the forgiveness of all their sins and all of their shortcomings. May they find assurance that the family will remain strong and steadfast in serving the Lord as they move forward in their journey to eternal life with Christ, our Lord and Savior. Dear Father, take their soul into Your kingdom and let perpetual light shine upon them, may they rest in peace. Amen.