A service to remember & be reconciled

Some griefs cannot be named or spoken. There are days when our sense of having failed love, life and God is too large to carry. There are people whose wounds span generations and even death. Here is a service of remembrance (lest we forget) and reconciliation (with what has been and with the God who holds it all)

Kirsty Brown – Chaplain, Aged Care

Service of Remembrance & Reconciliation

Welcome

We come here today to remember X’s mother, X her daughter, and X her son.

We come to grieve.

We come to reconcile with God and, in his grace, process the memories that we are carrying.

Symbols

These photos remind us of those that we love.

These flowers remind us that there is beauty in creation in the midst of despair.

This picture reminds us that Jesus carries us through the storms of mental illness.

This cross reminds us that, through his death, Jesus understands our pain and suffering.

This candle reminds us that Jesus is the Light of the World, shining in the midst of our darkness to bring us hope.


Time to share


Readings

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
    he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the valley of the shadow of death
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    for ever.

Isaiah 43:2

When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.

Revelation 7:17

17 For the Lamb at the centre of the throne
    will be their shepherd;
“he will lead them to springs of living water.” 
    “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”


Reflection 


Prayer

Lord of all,1

We thank you for your work in creation, 

for your love for all that you have made, even in death.

Thank you for X and thank you for taking him into your arms of mercy,

keeping him safe from harm

and surrounding him with your love.

Thank you for your presence in our sorrows.

Take our sadness and fill us with your spirit.

Bring us peace we pray, through Jesus Christ our Saviour.


Lord Jesus Christ,2

You knew the agony of dying alone and abandoned.

We cannot know the agony which led X to take her own life.

We grieve that we could not meet her needs. 

Console us in the face of death’s seeming triumph, 

forgive us for failing X in her time of need.

In the knowledge of your forgiveness in Christ,

we pray for release from guilt,

that our sorrow may be free from self-blame and bitter regrets.

Pour out your compassion and cleansing love

wherever the ripples of hurt and guilt have spread.

We trust in your goodness, compassion and infinite love.

Take us all into your loving purposes

and cleanse us from hopeless grief and self-punishing pain.

Help us to mourn in hope of ultimate healing and release.

Give us the assurance that you can bring hope in our pain.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Blessing

3

May all that is unforgiven for you,

be released through the sacrifice of Christ for all.

May your fears yield

to deeper tranquility by the peace that God gives.

May all that is unlived in you,

blossom into a future,

graced with the atoning love and resurrection of Christ.


Endnotes

1 McClelland, K., Call the Chaplain. Norwich, Canterbury Press, 2014, 137

2 A prayer book for Australia 1995, 769 and Batchelor, M., The Lion Prayer Collection. Oxford, Lion House, 2001, 359 (edited)

3 O’Donohue, J., Benedictus: A Book of Blessings. London, Random House, 2007, 114 (edited)