|Unsplash Saad Chaudhry|
(Bell sounds to call everyone’s attention)
Leader 1: Whether we know it or not, we transmit the presence of
everyone we have ever known, as though by being in each other’s presence we exchange our cells, pass on some of our life force, and then go on carrying that other person in our body, not unlike springtime when certain plants in fields we walk through attach their seeds in the form of small burrs to our socks, our pants, our caps, as if to say “Go on, take us with you, carry us to root in another place.” This is how we survive long after we are dead. This is why it is important who we become, because we pass it on. (Natalie Goldberg)
Leader 2: God of our ancestors, today we gather to our hearts all those who have influenced our lives with their love and goodness. Although they have passed on to the other side of this life, their lives continue to affect who we are and what we do. Like the sound of a bell resounding in the welcoming air, so has the goodness of these holy ones resonated in our lives. Thank you for these people and the bond we have with them.
Reader 1: Revelation 7:9-17
There before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before God and the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God and to the Lamb”
All the angels were standing around the Mighty One as well as the elders and other living creatures. They fell down on their knees worshipping God, saying: “Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!”
Then one of the elders ask me, “These in white robes-who are they, and where did they come from?” I answered, “You know! These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white, purified through their faith in God. They will never hunger or thirst again; neither the sun nor scorching wind will ever plague them, because the Lamb will shepherd them and will lead them to springs of living water; and God will wipe away all tears from their eyes.”
(Pause for reflection during musical interlude) You may use an introduction to Blest Are They.
Response: Blest Are They vs.1-3 (YouTube.com)
Reader 4: The Fallen Limb, (Poem, author unknown)
A limb has fallen from the family tree.
I keep hearing a voice that says, “Grieve not for me.
Remember the best times, the laughter, the song,
The good life I lived while I was strong.
Continue my heritage, I’m counting on you.
Keep smiling and surely the sun will shine through.
My mind is at ease, my soul is at rest,
Remembering all, how I truly was blessed.
Continue traditions, no matter how small.
Go on with your life, don’t worry about falls.
I miss you all dearly, so keep up your chin,
Until the day comes we’re together again.
(Pause for reflection during musical interlude) You may use an introduction to Saints And Beloved of God.
Leader 1: Let us listen now as each of us remembers a special person or persons, or group of people. Please take as much time as you wish to remember the person with a story, or relating qualities or skills that were significant to you. You may mention more than one person, or take more than one turn speaking. After each person speaks, we will pause for moment of silence.
Leader 2: Following the moment of silence our response after each person speaks will be the chorus of Saints and Beloved of God. (YouTube.com).
Let us begin. Source of all Being, Eternal Word and Holy Spirit, Let us remember the ones who lived and loved deeply, who found their inner strength from you, Divine Beloved.
I remember ........
( Each Person in the circle takes time to talk, followed by a moment of silence, and the musical response.)
Concluding Prayer (All)
Sacred One, Giver and Sustainer of Life,
Thank you for the holy ones whom we have known.
As they embrace you in the white-robed home of eternity
We give you thanks for them.
May our lives model their virtues.
May our hearts resonate with their goodness. Amen.
End with Blest Are They, vs. 4
Adapted from Joyce Rupp, Out of the Ordinary, “Remembering Our Spiritual Ancestors” by J. LoGalbo