Month of All Souls: you knit us together as one...

Image: Prairie Spinner
I don't know how people without faith face the death of a loved one. I could not have faced the death of family members and friends without the hope and trust, without the belief I have that death is not the end.

Two texts from the Vigil for the Deceased (the wake) give voice to this faith which sustains me.  I'm always pleased when I can lead these prayers when gathered with a grieving family...

My brothers and sisters,
we believe that all the ties of friendship and affection
which knit us as one throughout our lives
do not unravel with death.

Confident that God always remembers the good we have done
and forgives our sins,
let us pray, asking God to gather John to himself.

Lord our God,
the death of our sister, Joan,
recalls our human condition
and the brevity of our lives on earth.

But for those who believe in your love
death is not the end,
nor does it destroy the bonds you forge
in our lives.

We share the faith of your Son's disciples
and the hope of the children of God.
Bring the light of Christ's resurrection
to this time of testing and pain
as we pray for Joan
and for those who love her
through Christ our Lord.

Our God "knits us as one" throughout our lives in ties of love and affection. Not even death can unravel what God has knit together. God forges bonds of love among us that cannot be destroyed. Neither our loss or pain, neither our grief nor our sadness can separate us from the love of those who have gone before us nor from the love of God.

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