In times of true tragedy, I turn to the Bible and the Episcopalian Book of Common Prayer. I find that the words express what I want to say, and what I need to hear.
From the Prayers of the People:
Have compassion on those who suffer from any grief or trouble;
That they may be delivered from their distress.
Give to the departed eternal rest.
Let light perpetual shine upon them.
We praise you for your saints who have entered into joy;
May we also come to share in your heavenly kingdom.
A prayer for the departed:
O God of grace and glory, we remember before you this day our brother (sister). We thank you for giving him to us, his
family and friends, to know and to love as a companion on
our earthly pilgrimage. In your boundless compassion,
console us who mourn. Give us faith to see in death the gate of eternal life, so that in quiet confidence we may continue
our course on earth, until, by your call, we are reunited with those who have gone before; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A prayer for parents (and others who are grieving):
Most merciful God, whose wisdom is beyond our understanding: Deal graciously with (Parents) in their grief.
Surround them with your love, that they may not be
overwhelmed by their loss, but have confidence in your
goodness, and strength to meet the days to come; through
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.