Call To Worship:
One: Joy in the air, breathless anticipation.
All: and we feel our loss keenly, our sense of aloneness, intensely.
One: Celebration in the air, there is partying, renewal of friendship.
All: and we feel our loss keenly, our avoidance of a “Happy Holidays!” response is clear.
One: Family reunions eagerly anticipated,
All: and we feel our loss keenly, the gap in our
family circle, acutely.
One: We name in our losses before God,
the loss of a partner in life,
the loss of a well-loved family member,
the loss of a friend,
the loss of a loved one,
the loss of a pet,
the loss of health,
the loss of a cherished dream,
the loss of self-confidence.
We name our own particular losses in silence before God: moments of memory – the good ones and the hard ones, and reflection on the feelings that have been ours in loss.
We pause and remember and reflect……
(a time of silence)
One: We believe you care, O God.
You have been with us in the suffering up to this moment; you will not leave us now.
All: In the initial shock of loss,
you were with us.
In those moments when we feel blazing anger, you are with us.
In those moments when we feel nothing at all, you are with us.
In those days and weeks when we long for life to feel good again, you are with us.
And today, when we remember our loss and contrast our sadness with the prevailing Christmas joy, today in this service, you are with us.
One: We dare to hope; we dare to believe;
All: your love will never leave us;
no, your love will never leave us.
But there are times when the darkness seems too thick – too dark. There are times when it seems like the light simply will not come …
The question we must face – the challenge we must live as people who have known, experienced and endured the darkness – is not WILL the light come? But rather – when will we know the light has come …
The first students said - It is dawn when the sun breaks over the horizon. The rabbi shook his head. Another student said - it is dawn when you can see your hand at arms length. Again the rabbi shook his head. Another student said - it is dawn when the sky is blue in the west, Again the rabbi shook his head. Another student said - it is dawn when you can tell a horse from a donkey in the field. Again the rabbi shook his head. Another student said - It is dawn when you can tell an olive tree from a fig tree. Then the other students offered their best guesses. For each guess the Rabbi shook his head sadly …
The dawn we all long for will come … that is a promise given to us through our faith … But it is not a dawn that will suddenly break upon us, it is a dawn that comes slowly … It comes when we see in the faces of those around us our sisters and our brothers. … It comes when we see in the faces around us a family – a community where we are cared for and cared about without condition and without question …
In our sadness – we are NOT alone.
One Candle, One Flame
Each person is invited to light a candle and say:
“I light this candle for (name/s optional), a person who was a light to my life.”
All: In your loss we are with you.
In your loss God is with you.
One: You guide our way, O God, when the darkness surrounds us.
All: You give us your Word of hope in our fear and aloneness.
One: You guide our way, O God, when life feels dull and joyless.
All: You give us family and friends with whom to share our feelings of loss.
One: You guide our way, O God, when we long for someone no longer with us.
All: You give us memories which will be ours to relive forever.
One: You guide our way, O God, when we feel our confidence slipping.
All: You give us fresh awareness of our talents and our ability to use them for good.
One: You guide our way, O God, when we think of the losses of others.
All: You give us the courage to stand beside the suffering and listen to their story.
One: You guide our way, O God, when your Spirit seems gone from us.
All: You give us the blessing of Jesus crucified and risen, and the pledge of your presence in time and beyond time. Amen.
(The Lord’s Prayer )
One: God goes with you as you feel your loss:
In your vivid remembering, God sustains.
In the gap that still remains, God is there.
In the support of family and friends, God’s love is felt.
In your moments of doubt, God is faithfully present.
God will never leave you.
All: God will never leave us. Amen.
Acknowledgements and Thank You’s …
Thanks to Nathan, Jennifer, Dean and Rick of Minnedosa Funeral Services for providing for the time of refreshments and fellowship to follow this service.
Thanks too, to the women who once again prepared the refreshments for us.
Thanks to Louise MacDonald for sharing her talents tonight.
And special thanks to Eleanor Taylor for offering her musical talent and leadership for tonight’s service.
As you go from this place tonight,
and in the coming days …
May You Find The
Blessings of this Holy Season,
and in spite of the darkness,
May you continue to find
The Abundant Light of