Prayer for the Shomerim*
As you travel towards the funeral home,
May you be blessed with patience.
As you enter the chapel,
May you be blessed with slowing.
As you relieve your predecessor,
May you be blessed with hugs and knowing silence.
As you gather near the presence of the meit(ah),
May you be blessed with stillness.
As you bring voice to ancient texts,
May you be blessed with kavanah.
As you chant long into the night,
May you be blessed with peaceful feelings.
As your voice grows weary,
May you be blessed with the courage to sing.
As you struggle to stay awake,
May you be blessed with renewed strength.
As the noises of the night disturb you,
May you realize G-d is your shomer.
As the sun rises on your shift,
May you be blessed with insight.
As you accompany the meit(ah) to their final resting space,
May you be blessed with humility.
As you return to the land of the living,
May the meit(ah) be forever blessed,
And may you be forever changed.
* Shomerim (or Shomrim) are those persons who stay with the body of the meit/ah (deceased), usually reciting Tehillim/Psalms. Their role is to guard the body, honor the meit/ah, and many would say, to comfort the soul of the deceased, which is still near the body, until the time of burial. A male is called a shomer, a female is called a shomeret. Shomrim is the plural masculine form, which is generally used to speak of any group, even if only potentially mixed. — Editor
D.L. Lang is a poet residing in Vallejo, CA who has authored three poetry books: Tea & Sprockets, Abundant Sparks, and Personal Archeology. Lang is also known for her films, including The Hebrew Project. She loves being Jewish and volunteering for her synagogue’s Chevrah Kadisha and Sisterhood.
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