Friday, May 27, 2022

Prayer for Grief and Anguish on Loss of a Child - prepared by Dennis McDonald ARCWP

Prayer song to honor victims of mass shootings in Uvalde and Buffalo

What Is Lost by Robert Gass, video by Mary Theresa Streck ARCWP

Prayer for Grief and Anguish on Loss of a Child

Since I Lost You by Genesis written by Phil Collins 

First Reading: Left Behind... by Wesley Nash

I'd never ever felt this way since you had to say goodbye, a feeling of loss so intense it's like I actually might die.

I can't eat, I can't sleep, your face is all that I see. My chest feels so tight that sometimes I can't even breathe.

For its not like you've just moved from one town to the next, where you've gone I cannot follow unless I take drastic steps.

Just carrying on as normal feels like I'm saying that I don't care. But I don't know what else to do. My god this isn't fair!

I'm told I need to get through this, that things get easier in time. But it's the worst feeling I've ever known, to be the one who's left behind...

Heaven Got Another Angel by Gordon Garner 

Second Reading: “For Grief” by John O’Donohue

When you lose someone you love,

Your life becomes strange,

The ground beneath you gets fragile,

Your thoughts make your eyes unsure;

And some dead echo drags your voice down

Where words have no confidence.

Your heart has grown heavy with loss;

And though this loss has wounded others too,

No one knows what has been taken from you

When the silence of absence deepens.

Flickers of guilt kindle regret

For all that was left unsaid or undone.

Gradually, you will learn acquaintance

With the invisible form of your departed;

And, when the work of grief is done,

The wound of loss will heal

And you will have learned

To wean your eyes

From that gap in the air

And be able to enter the hearth

In your soul where your loved one

Has awaited your return

All the time.

Precious Child, Gone Too Soon by Karen Taylor Good 

On the Death of the Beloved by John O’Donohue

“Though we need to weep your loss,
You dwell in that safe place in our hearts,
Where no storm or night or pain can reach you.

Your love was like the dawn
Brightening over our lives
Awakening beneath the dark
A further adventure of color.

The sound of your voice
Found for us
A new music
That brightened everything.

Whatever you enfolded in your gaze
Quickened in the joy of its being
You placed smiles like flowers
On the altar of the heart.
Your mind always sparkled
With wonder at things.

Though your days here were brief,
Your spirit was live, awake, complete.

We look towards each other no longer
From the old distance of our names;
Now you dwell inside the rhythm of breath,
As close to us as we are to ourselves.

Though we cannot see you with outward eyes,
We know our soul’s gaze is upon your face,
Smiling back at us from within everything
To which we bring our best refinement.

Let us not look for you only in memory,
Where we would grow lonely without you

You would want us to find you in presence,
Beside us when beauty brightens,
When kindness glows
And music echoes eternal tones.

When orchids brighten the earth,
Darkest winter has turned to spring;
May this dark grief flower with hope
In every heart that loves you.
May you continue to inspire us:

To enter each day with a generous heart.
To serve the call of courage and love
Until we see your beautiful face again
In that land where there is no more separation,
Where all tears will be wiped from our mind,
And where we will never lose you again.”

– John O’Donohue

Closing Prayer

May God bless you with discomfort...
at easy answers, hard hearts, 
half-truths ,and superficial relationships. 
May God bless you so that you may live 
from deep within your heart
where God's Spirit dwells.

May God bless you with anger...
at injustice, oppression, 
and exploitation of people.
May God bless you so that you may 
work for justice, freedom, and peace.

May God bless you with tears...
to shed for those who suffer from pain, 
rejection, starvation and war. 
May God bless you so that you
may reach out your hand 
to comfort them and turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless you with 
enough foolishness 
to believe that you can make a difference 
in this world, in your neighborhood, 
so that you will courageously try 
what you don't think you can do, but,
in Jesus Christ you'll have all the strength necessary.

May God bless you to fearlessly
speak out about injustice, 
unjust laws, corrupt politicians,
unjust and cruel treatment of prisoners,
and senseless wars, 
genocides, starvations, and poverty that is so pervasive.

May God bless you that you remember 
we are all called
to continue God's redemptive work
of love and healing 
in God's place, in and through God's name,
in God's Spirit, continually creating
and breathing new life and grace
into everything and everyone we touch.

Source: "Troubadour: A Missionary Magazine," published by the Franciscan Missionary Society, Liverpool, UK: Spring 2005.

Closing Song: Choose to Hope by Marty Haugen, Video by MT Streck 

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