Capital Punishment Prayers

A Prayer to Abolish the Death Penalty

God of compassion,
You let your rain fall on the just and the unjust.
Expand and deepen our hearts
So that we may love as You love,
Even those among us
Who have caused the greatest pain by taking life.

For there is in our land a great cry for vengeance
As we fill up death rows and kill the killers
In the name of justice, in the name of peace
Jesus, our brother
you suffered execution at the hands of the state
But you did not let hatred overcome you.
Help us reach out to victims of violence
So that our enduring love may help them heal.

Holy Spirit of God,
You strengthen us in the struggle for justice,
Help us to work tirelessly
for the abolition of state-sanctioned death
and to renew our society in its very heart
So that violence will be no more.


Sister Helen Prejean CSJ


For the men and women who sit on death row, awaiting the end of their life: that we might pray for them with compassion and care; We pray to the Lord:

For those who have lost hope, and especially for those condemned to die: that we might work to save their lives;
We pray to the Lord:

For those condemned to die, and especially for men and women on death row: that their plight might move the hearts of the people of this nation; We pray to the Lord:

For guards on death row, and all who touch the lives of those condemned to die: for compassion, respect, and an appreciation of the dignity of all human life; We pray to the Lord:

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

Prayer to End the Use of the Death Penalty

Merciful Father, we ask your blessing on all we do to build a culture of life. Hear our prayers for those impacted by the death penalty.

We pray for all people, that their lives and dignity as children of a loving God may be respected and protected in all stages and circumstances.

We pray for victims of violence and their families, that they may experience our love and support and find comfort in your compassion and in the promise of eternal life.

We pray for those on death row, that their lives may be spared, that the innocent may be freed and that the guilty may come to acknowledge their faults and seek reconciliation with you.

We pray for the families of those who are facing execution, that they may be comforted by your love and compassion.

We pray for civic leaders, that they may commit themselves to respecting every human life and ending the use of the death penalty in our land.

Compassionate Father, give us wisdom and hearts filled with your love. Guide us as we work to end the use of the death penalty and to build a society that truly chooses life in all situations.

We ask this Father through your Son Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.


US Conference of Catholic Bishops

Click on these links for more prayers:

Catholic Relief Services

The Forward Movement of the Episcopal Church