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Creating Meaningful Memorial Prayer Cards

Updated on September 19, 2014

Memorial prayer cards are keepsakes distributed at funerals and memorial services in honor of a deceased person who died. Commonly called holy cards or In Memoriam Cards, they usually have a picture of a saint or religious figure on the front. However, nowadays, it is common to put a picture of your loved one on the front of the card. On the back, you can have a prayer, poem, quote or Bible scripture, along with your loved one’s name and dates of birth and death.

Since they are about the size of a deck of cards, these memorial prayer cards can be kept in your wallet or purse or tucked into the corner of a picture frame or inside a favorite book or Bible. Besides funeral or memorial services, prayers cards are also distributed at other religious occasions such as baptisms, First Communions or anniversaries.

Families usually keep a stack of memorial prayer cards near the guest book at funeral wakes, or they hand them out at memorial services. They are designed in conjunction with funeral programs and similar stationery, all which normally have the same designs.

Creating a Memorial Prayer Card

Do-it-Yourself prayer cards are becoming commonplace as more people are finding it easier and cheaper to create them via downloadable template than by having a professional such as a funeral home director taking care of it. You can simply choose the design and text you want and print them at home or an office store or print shop.

When selecting an image for a memorial prayer card, select a high-resolution, colorful image of your loved one. Head shots are best (shoulders and above). Many times, a current photo of the deceased person is used; however, families sometimes choose a younger picture, especially if the loved one is very elderly. If an image isn’t available, a religious or nature scene can work well too. The following is commonly printed on the back of the prayer card:

  • Full legal name
  • Dates of birth and death
  • Prayer, scripture of Biblical verse
  • Favorite quote
  • Inspiration poem
  • Name of cemetery or mausoleum
  • Vault or plot space number
  • Name and address of mortuary or funeral home

When printing the memorial prayer cards at home, make sure you have an ample amount of ink and sturdy standard-sized paper such as cardstock, The cards typically come eight per sheet and measure 4.25” x 2.5”.


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