ALL SOULS – remembering those whom we love but see no longer.
The death of someone we know and love can be a very confusing time.
It raises all sorts of questions in our minds –
‘Why?’ ‘Couldn’t God have stopped it happening?’
We feel lost. We worry that we haven’t ‘got over it’.
Martha is more ‘down to earth’. Mary is more emotional and tearful.
These verses show us Jesus responding sensitively to both of them.
He joins Mary in her tears.
He too feels grief at the death of someone he loves.
He also assures them of eternal life, and demonstrates the truth of that
by raising Lazarus from the dead, to the astonishment of everyone.
Lazarus will in time die like everyone else but a few weeks later,
after he had been crucified, Jesus is himself raised to life.
In dying he dealt with our sin;
In rising he has conquered death.
John 11.17-22, 32-36. When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.
When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’ When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. He said, ‘Where have you laid him?’ They said to him, ‘Lord, come and see.’ Jesus began to weep. So the Jews said, ‘See how he loved him!
GOD OF CONSOLATION AND HEALING
God of all consolation,
your Son Jesus Christ was moved to tears
at the grave of Lazarus his friend.
Look with compassion on your bereaved ones in their loss;
give to troubled hearts the light of hope
and strengthen in us the gift of faith
in Jesus Christ our Lord.
God of all life and of what comes beyond the life we know,
We come to you with our gratitude
for the love we have known,
for joys and sorrows shared with those
whom we love but no longer see.
Bring your gentle healing
to the hurt that comes with parting,
and rebuild our lives until our work is done
and our own earthly life complete;
through him who suffered death
and rose to bring us new life, Jesus our Lord.
WE REMEMBER THEM
When we are weary and we need strength;
When we are lost and sick at heart;
When we have joy we ache to share;
When we have decisions that are hard to make;
When we have achievements that are based on theirs;
At the blowing of the Autumn wind, in the chill of Winter;
At the opening of buds in the rebirth of Spring;
In the warmth of the Summer sun;
at sunrise and sunset;
As long as we live, they will live;
For they are part of us as we remember
© Jewish Prayer Book - From The Yizkor Service – Adapted
The memory of beauty
is not erased by death.
God makes a blossom of it
in our hearts,
and in the rich soil
of the lonely watches of the night.
“The tide recedes, but leaves behind bright seashells on the sand. The sun goes down, but gentle warmth still lingers on the land. The music stops, and yet it lingers on in sweet refrain. For every joy that passes, something beautiful remains.” Martha Pearson
Consoling God, who can turn darkness into light;
Be a source of strength to those who mourn,
with the assurance that one day
we shall be reunited with those who have gone before us,
through Him who wipes away every tear,
the same Jesus Christ our Lord.
I commend you, [name] to Almighty God, and entrust you to your Creator.
May you rest in the arms of the Lord who formed you from the dust of the earth. May holy Mary, the angels and all the saints welcome you now that you have gone forth from this life. May Christ who was crucified for you, bring you freedom and peace. May Christ who died for you admit you into his garden of paradise. May Christ, the true Shepherd, embrace you as one of his flock.
May he forgive all your sins, and set you among those he has chosen. May you see your Redeemer face to face, and enjoy the vision of God, forever.
Eternal rest grant unto them , O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon them. May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace and rise in glory. Amen.