|Image: George Mendoza|
November is the month of All Souls, a special time to pray for those who have died. Since we're in a month of remembering those who have gone before us, I'll be posting on this theme a few days each week....
In the middle of today's prayer there's a place for you to name family members and friends who have died - you might want to call those names to mind and heart, even to write them down, before you begin to pray...
Good morning, gracious God...
November wraps its dampened shroud
‘round nature’s hunched shoulders:
our souls know well the chill
of summer’s passing and winter's drawing near...
Bare limbs scratch against gray skies,
and snatch the mourner’s veil
from hearts laid bare in shivering loss,
alone, exposed in grief…
November, Lord: no other month
could better claim the name All Souls
or set the scene for weeping, praying,
rememb'ring those before us gone
and marked with signs of faith…
So this November morning, Lord,
I offer you my loved ones:
created from your hand,
claimed by grace and carried now
in your arms' strong embrace...
I lift to you in prayer today
my family members and friends
who've died, for whom I grieve...
(remember your loved ones here, by name...)
I offer you from my heart's depths
the ones I struggle to let go…
I offer you a prayer of tears
for those whose absence fills my silent hours…
I offer from my hands to yours
the ones whose hands held mine
until you called them home…
I offer from a contrite heart
the ones I bruised and hurt:
I pray that all the wounds I caused
your mercy now might heal...
I offer up a prayer
for those who've none to pray for them:
brothers, sisters never met yet
sisters, brothers mine,
for all are one in you...
Receive into your arms, O Lord,
receive into your peace and joy
the souls of those who've gone before
who wait to meet you face to face...
I offer you my grief, O Lord,
refresh me in your tender care;
make deep my trust I'll see again
all those I've lost when,
gathered in your kingdom's joy,
your mercy brings us home...
Beneath November’s canopy walk others, Lord,
who know as well as I the depths
of this month’s memories,
the souls for whom we pray:
keep us gentle with each other, Lord,
and mindful of what binds us in the grief we share
and holds us in your love…
Accept my mourning offering, Lord,
this day and through the night
until it dies and wakes again, a new day born,
a day that you have made...
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