Thursday, March 31, 2005

Prayers For One Who Has Died

From the United Church of Christ Book of Worship. Leader's words in plain text, responses in bold.


Hear the promises of God. "Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious hand." Friends, we gather here in the protective shelter of God’s healing love. We are free to pour out our grief, release our anger, face our emptiness, and know that God cares. We gather here as God’s people, conscious of others who have died and of the frailty of our own existence on earth. We come to comfort and to support one another in our common loss. We gather to hear God’s word of hope that can drive away our despair and move us to offer God our praise. We gather to commend to God with thanksgiving the life of name as we celebrate the good news of Christ’s resurrection. For whether we live or whether we die, we belong to Christ who is Lord both of the dead and of the living.


The peace of Christ be with you.

And also with you.


Let us pray:

Holy God, whose ways are not our ways and whose thoughts are not our thoughts, grant that your Holy Spirit may intercede for us with sighs too deep for human words. Heal our wounded hearts made heavy by our sorrow. Through the veil of our tears and the silence of our emptiness, assure us again that ear has not heard, nor eye seen, nor human imagination envisioned, what you have prepared for those who love you; through Jesus Christ, the firstborn from the dead. Amen.


Let us say now what we believe.

We believe there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, and we know that in everything God works for good with those who love God, who are called according to God’s purpose. We are sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Amen.


God of all mercies and all comfort, in tender love and compassion, embrace your sorrowing servants. Be their refuge and strength, and ever present help in trouble. Show them again the love of Christ that passes all human understanding; for by death Christ has conquered death, and by rising Christ has opened to all of us the gates of everlasting life. Thanks be to you, O God.


SILENCE


Let us pray as Christ our Savior has taught us:

Our Father, who art in Heaven,

hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come,

thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

and forgive us our debts

as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil,

for thine is the kingdom,

and the power and the glory, forever and ever.
Amen.


Holy God, by your mighty power you gave us life, and in your love you have given us new life in Jesus Christ. We now entrust Teresa Schindler Schiavo to your merciful care. We do this in the faith of Christ Jesus, who died and rose again to save us and is now alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit in glory for ever.

Amen.


Into your hands, O merciful Savior, we commend your servant Terri. Acknowledge, we humbly pray, a sheep of your own fold, a lamb of your own flock, and a daughter of your own redeeming. Receive her into the arms of your mercy, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the company of the saints in light.

Amen.


Holy One, now let your servant go in peace; your word has been fulfilled: my own eyes have seen the salvation which you have prepared in the sight of every people: a light to reveal you to the nations and the glory of your people Israel.


May God bless you and keep you.

Amen.


May God’s face shine upon you and be gracious to you.

Amen.


May God look upon you with kindness and give you peace.

Amen.


Alleluia. Christ is risen.

Christ is risen indeed!

Alleluia!



Let us go forth in the name of Christ.

Thanks be to God.

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