God of Christmas, we gather here today
while the world continues to celebrate and sing joyful songs
with hearts that are heavy with grief.
There was a face missing at our Christmas this year,
and so we have come to say our farewells.
God who is with us in our joys and our sorrows,
you are one who gives us the gift of Life-in-Abundance
and so we come here today to celebrate life,
giving thanks especially for the life of NAME
God, you are mysterious beyond our full understanding,
and wonderful beyond our wildest expectation
yet you are also compassionate,
as protective as a mother watching her children at play,
as tender as a father holding his newborn child,
as watchful as a shepherd with the sheep,
as comforting as a grandparent’s warm embrace.
Today as we come into your presence to grieve NAME’s death,
we ask that your Holy Spirit would be here to ease our pain.
Be with us now, as we sing and pray and remember.
Through the shadow of death may we see the light and peace
promised in the birth of the Babe of Bethlehem, Amen.