How to Pray in a Hospital Room for Gravely Ill Friend


I’m visiting a friend who is gravely ill and I need advice. I have never seen or visited a very sick person. Apparently, it is frightening to see how she looks. I’m getting on a plane tomorrow; I feel very much like I am being drawn to go see her.

And I want to help her in any way I can.

She is very sedated and cannot really communicate.

She is “Catholic” but not practicing.

Is it okay to pray for her in her presence? Do I ask her permission? My inclination would be to hold her hand, kneel down, and pray right then and there. But then I’m thinking: how arrogant and presumptuous of me.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

God Bless you.

Yours in Christ (I hope :blush:), cawbs


If she can’t really communicate, then you can’t really ask for permission. And you don’t need to.

My mother died earlier this year. We all spent the last several hours with her. About an hour before she died, my siblings left me alone with her, holding her hand. I didn’t have a rosary with me so I counted on my fingers. When she could hear my praying, she started to get agitated, so I prayed silently. Also, when it became obvious that the end was coming very soon, (and we were all there at her side), I just kept praying Hail Marys over and over again silently.

It really depends on what you come into when you get there. But even if you are in a room of people that aren’t supportive of your praying, you can still pray.

No, I wouldn’t necessarily kneel when I took her hand and start praying. That’s just me though. But after awhile (saying hello to her, etc), I’d probably pray without kneeling.


Check with the hospital and see if there is a Catholic chaplain assigned to them, and get in touch with him; I would also bring a rosary and pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy as often as possible. :gopray2:


I would call a priest and have them administer the last rites. Even if it is presumptuous, better safe than sorry. Plus if she is not conscious, she can’t really complain.


For the past 4 months, I have spent a lot of time traveling to and sitting in hospital rooms with my gravely ill father. Most of my family is not particularly religious and would have been uncomfortable if I had just broken out in prayer. I would sit by the side of the bed and like reginacaeli pray the rosary over and over silently in my head - counting the decades on my fingers, toes, whatever - each time meditating on an image of the Blessed Mother holding and comforting my father in her arms. But many times, I would just say Hail Mary(s) and Our Fathers in bits and spurts, as my father hit many highs and lows in his convalescence and I came to the realization that the best prayer was to pray for God’s will to be done.

Also, the chaplain’s at the hospitals he was admitted to were all non-denominational and they had to be “prodded” a bit to call the local Catholic priests, but I strongly urged them to do so. Your friend may have been unwilling or unable to request last rites, but maybe this is the reason you are feeling so strongly pulled to go to your friend?


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