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Cherokee Prayer For The Dead

Today, we review the Cherokee prayer for the dead, Cherokee death rituals and Cherokee prayer for healing in Cherokee. From exclusive traditions to individual processes, the Cherokees have many rituals for commemorating their lost loved ones.

From you comes the sun which brings life to us all; I ask that you have the sun shine on my friends here, and bring a new life to them — a life without the pain and sadness of the world; and to their families, bring your sun for they also need your light for their lives.

These Cherokee prayers, or sagamarks, are used to comfort mourners at funerals and wakes, who would have recited it without fail during the entire time before burial. The ceremony concludes with four personal lines of the deceased, who may have been remembered by their loved ones in the aftermath of their death. This sentiment is reflected in the final lines, where a unified harmony between bereaved and kin reemerges as one body rejoices in another’s departure from this world:

Cherokee Prayer Blessing

Cherokee Blessing Prayer

May the warm winds of heaven

Blow softly upon your house

May the Great Spirit

Bless all who enter there.

May your mocassins

Make happy tracks

In many snows.

And may the Rainbow

Always touch your shoulder.

May the sun

Bring you new energy by day

May the moon

Softly restore you by night

May the rain

Wash away your worries

May the breeze

Blow new strength into your being

May you walk gently through the world

And know its beauty

All the days of your life.

Cherokee Prayer For The Dead

  1. The prayer for the dead in Cherokee is a sacred ritual carried out by the community to show respect and gratitude for the deceased. This prayer is believed to help guide the departed’s spirit on its journey to the afterlife. The prayer includes words of blessing and gratitude for the departed’s life and contributions. It also requests the guidance and protection of the ancestors as the departed’s spirit transitions to the other side.

.2. I am awestruck by the Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the winds, and whose breath is the source of life for the entire planet.
Listen to me! Your sagacity and strength are what I require.
I ask that you allow me to walk in beauty and that you make my eyes forever hold the sunset in crimson and purple.
The things you have built should be respected by my hands, and my ears should be sharp so that I can hear your words.
I pray that you will provide me wisdom so that I may comprehend the things that you have taught my people.
Permit me to discover the lessons that you have concealed in each and every rock and leaf.

Assist me in maintaining my composure and strength in the face of everything that is coming my way.
Please assist me in locating compassion without allowing empathy to overpower me.
It is not to be more powerful than my brother that I seek strength; rather, it is to combat my biggest adversary, which is myself.
Instruct me to always be prepared to come to you with clean hands and eyes that are not squinting.
Therefore, when life begins to fade away, just like the sunset fades away, my spirit may come to you without any guilt.

Cherokee Prayer For Healing In Cherokee Language

Below are six Cherokee prayers for healing in the Cherokee language. These powerful prayers are meant to bring healing and restoration to those in need. As you speak these words, may you feel the presence of the Great Spirit surrounding you with love and healing.


Translation: “Creator of all, heal my body and soul.”


Translation: “Great Spirit, grant me strength and courage to face my challenges.”


Translation: “Heal my heart and give me peace.”


Translation: “Guide me with your wisdom and protect me.”


Translation: “Bless me with good health and happiness.”


Translation: “Heal my spirit and fill me with love and compassion.”

As we recite these Cherokee prayers for healing, let us remember the words of James 5:16: “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” May these prayers bring healing and restoration to all those who utter them.

Cherokee Prayer For The Dead

May your hands be cleansed that they create beautiful things. May your feet be cleansed, that they might take you where you most need to be. May your heart be cleansed, that you might hear its message clearly. May your throat be cleansed, that you might speak rightly when words are needed.

Poems about death that occurs late in life often describe the richness the older person experienced as well as the lessons they learned. 

This can be helpful for younger family members attending the funeral or memorial who may not have a full understanding of death yet. These poems can also provide motivation and support for loved ones to carry on despite their grief. 

1. “A Cherokee Prayer” by Kelly Spiritwind Wood

This poem is a powerful response to the death and destruction of the Cherokee tribe. Though this suggests death occurred in a malicious manner, it is likely still appropriate to share among family members in the Cherokee tribe, especially the elderly. The message of this poem is to want to be strong even when others are leaving the world and the world itself is crumbling.  

2. “Death Song” by David Lee Yellowmoon Rose

“Death Song” discusses the author’s relationship to the earth and its animals and how they’re both dying together. He also talks about how he’ll return to the earth at times that once provided him with “a robe of life.”

3. “Each Time” by Wayne Scott

This poem describes lives as stories and men as histories that write the past. It discusses the act of mourning as well as moving on, bringing us all closer to death ourselves. 

4. “Life Givers” by Katherine Raborn

This poem is written to an audience of younger people or children. It details the sacrifices and tears shed by their ancestors and elders. This would be appropriate to share to honor a late grandmother or grandfather.

5. “Death” by Crisosto Apache

“Death” is a somber poem in response to the dread that comes along with it. The author explains that you shouldn’t repeat the names of the dead, as it causes death itself to linger.

Native American Quotes On Death of A Loved One

Oh, Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the wind, whose breath gives life to all the world. Hear me; I need your strength and wisdom. Let me walk in beauty, and make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset. Make my hands respect the things you have made and my ears sharp to hear your voice.

Native American Poems for a Spouse or Partner’s Funeral

Of course, sentiments of love are common at all funerals and memorials, but love holds particular weight at funerals for a spouse or a partner. Some of the Native American poems suggested below can be appropriate in other settings as well, while others have a strong theme of romance. 

6. “Back in the Day” by David Kaw

This poem describes a courtship and the love between great-grandparents. It’s a nice choice for a wife to share about a late husband or vice versa. The tone of this poem is uplifting and full of gratitude for how things used to be.

7. “Cherokee Women” by Katherine Raborn

“Cherokee Women” details times when warriors do not return back home. It also talks about how Cherokee women are dedicated to both supporting warriors as well as praying for no more battles or tears. You may also be interested in these funeral poems for a husband.

8. “My Nakota Woman” by Ray 

This poem describes a man’s love for his woman. It would be a great poem to share about a late wife. 

9. “Star” by Jack Scoltock

“Star” discusses Manitou, the spiritual and fundamental life force of Algonquian tribes. The author hopes that Manitou will bring him home, as he is old and tired. 

10. “Going Home” by Ray

The author describes returning to land and “the one” he loves, so it’s appropriate to share at a spouse’s funeral. 

11. “You Are Part of Me” by Lloyd Carl Owle

“You Are Part of Me” is an intimate poem that describes being touched by love and kindness. It would be great to share at a spouse’s funeral among close friends. This poem also has a nice message, as it suggests that because we have experienced life and love with those we care about, they never truly leave us. 

Native American Poems for a Child’s Funeral

Finding poems for a child’s funeral can be especially difficult, as losing a child is one of the most painful experiences anyone can go through. However, the following poems lend a bit of joy that’s most likely needed. They also describe the dreams and the freedom from pain that a late child can experience through death.  

12. “Dream Catcher” by Jack Scoltock

“Dream Catcher” describes a sweet relationship between a child and a father who made a dream catcher to keep evil spirits away. This is a nice sentiment to share as you lay a child to rest. 

13. “Eagle Feathers” by Dinah Serritelli

Though not about death, this poem is a beautiful sentiment to share from a father to a son, as it’s written from the point of view of a father giving advice. Now, as a father himself, he gently encourages his own son and says that he believes in him.

14. “Pale and Small” by Melissa Fry Beasley

“Pale and Small” describes a granddaughter wanting to dance forever to the beat of her grandmother’s drum. It’s a beautiful poem with an uplifting sentiment. After all, it suggests that a child who has passed away is simply dancing into eternity with a grandparent who may have also died. You may also be interested in these other funeral poems for a daughter.

15. “Sister Moon” by Dara Heller

This poem describes the love we receive from children and how it’s what parents want the most. It does not have a theme of death, but it can be fitting to share for a child who left the earth too early. After all, the parents were given a chance to receive their child’s love for a time, still making it powerful. 

16. “The Lord’s Prayer in Choctaw” by Mike Davis

As you may know, the Lord’s Prayer is a fundamental prayer in Christianity. It’s common to share at Christian services — either a regular service or for a memorial. Reciting this prayer in Choctaw can provide another level of cultural depth to a funeral, as long as you can find someone who can do so correctly. Sharing a more general prayer with everyone may be more fitting than one written specifically for a child. It may be too difficult to do so. 

Poems Help You Honor Loved Ones

You may not be the most confident writer or know too much about Native American culture. However, Native American funeral poems are a great way to capture spirit and wisdom — especially in dealing with death. Native American writings are profound and filled with love, too, as well as an appreciation for the earth that we must someday leave behind. 

Not only is Native American poetry powerful in its messaging, but it is also powerful in its quiet confidence. You may find further solace in reading more Native American poems as you grieve. The collection of poems we suggested is just the beginning, as you’re free to use them as inspiration to write your own or conduct more research on the writings of specific tribes, for example. 

You can also honor your parent, grandparent, spouse, or child in another way that’s relevant to Native American culture. You may also be interested in Native American death rituals. For more resources related to funeral services and end-of-life planning, learn more at Cake. 

Cherokee Death Rituals

The Cherokee believe that there are four souls in the body, and as such, there are four stages of death. The first is the soul of conscious life, which leaves the body immediately after death has occurred. This soul can sometimes be seen as a ghost but is considered Page 3 harmless and powerless.

The Cherokee people believe that when a person dies, they are reborn into the next life. This faith is reflected in their prayers for the dead.

The Cherokee prayer for the dead is one of gratitude and remembrance. It’s not a time to be sad or dwell on the loss of someone dear to you. Instead, it’s a time to celebrate the lives that have passed on and remember all of the good things about them.

The prayer begins by asking for blessings for those who are left behind; those who are still living on this earth. The prayer then goes on to ask for blessings for those who have passed away so that they may be reborn into something new and wonderful.

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