God who creates and re-creates us,
God who laughs with us and weeps with us,
God who walks with us each step of the way, carrying us when our strength fails,
we gather today with hearts breaking with grief, with voices crying out words of lament.
And so we ask that you would move in and around us today.
As we gather to remember and say good bye to NAME,
be the shoulder we can cry on, the arm we can lean on,
help us to see through the veil of tears that there is hope
for life continuing.
Gracious God, as mysterious and wondrous as you are,
you are also a compassionate God,
as attentive as a hen with her chicks,
as tender as a mother with a newborn child,
as watchful as a shepherd with the sheep,
as protective as a father’s warm embrace.
and so we come into your presence to grieve NAME’s death,
asking that your Holy Spirit would be here to ease our pain.
As we give thanks for all that he/she added to the lives of those around her/him,
as we release our tears and anger,
as we say our good-byes, remind us that we are not alone.
In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
PRAYER FOR GRACE
God of life and death and life beyond death,
we gather together today all too aware of the fragility of life.
We gather today all too aware of the pain in the world,
and of the ways we may not respond to that pain.
We know that we are not perfect,
that we do not always live out Your love as we truly could.
There are times we carry guilt for things we have done,
for things we have not done but could have,
and for things that we only see in hindsight.
Some of this guilt is warranted, and some of it is not,
sometimes we take on things that are not ours.
To deal with the guilt we have earned and the guilt we place on ourselves, we need your grace.
As we open ourselves to you, naming in silence the times we think or feel that we have come short, move in our hearts, remind us that we live in Your grace, remind us that we are loved and forgiven and accepted.
...time of silent prayer...
Here is the Good News! Nothing in death or life separates us from the love of God. We are loved. We are accepted. We are forgiven. Thanks be to God. Amen.