Prelude Benedictus (Karl Jenkins)

Gathering Song Jesus Remember Me (Taizé)
All sing: Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom
Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom

Opening Prayer
All say:
Loving God,

We come here tonight struggling for words to express our feelings,
Lost for words to express our thanks for all that they,
who have died have meant to us.
We come with sorrow as we think of our loss,
with gratitude as we recall the persons they were,
with praise as we remember, all that you have done through them.
with faith as we recommit them to your eternal care.
Loving God,
Draw near to us as we draw near to you
Speak to us
Through words of scripture,
Through our prayers
Through our music
Through all that we share,
So that believing in the Gospel and trusting in Christ,
We may receive the comfort, peace, and strength you long to give us and find hope in this life and in the life to come.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Reading Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
There is a season for everything, a time for every occupation under heaven:
A time for giving birth,
a time for dying;
a time for planting;
a time for uprooting what has been planted.
A time for killing,
a time for healing;
a time for knocking down.
a time for building.
A time for tears,
a time for laughter;
a time for mourning,
a time for dancing.
A time for throwing stones away,
a time for gathering them up;
a time for embracing,
a time to refrain from embracing.
A time for searching,
a time for losing;
a time for keeping,
a time for throwing away.
A time for tearing,
a time for sewing;
a time for keeping silent,
a time for speaking.
A time for loving,
a time for hating;
a time for war,
a time for peace.

Song Ag Críost an Síol (Seán Ó Riada)
All sing:
Ag Críost and síol Christ’s is the seed,

Ag Críost an fómhar Christ’s is the harvest,
In iothlainn Dé to the barn of Christ
Go dtugtar sinn. may we be brought.
Ag Críost an mhuir Christ’s is the sea,
Ag Críost an t-iasc, Christ’s is the fish,
I Iionta De in the nets of Christ
Go gcastar sinn. may we be caught.
Ó fhás go haois, From the growth to age,
Ó aois go bás, from age to death,
Do dhá lámh, a Chríost, your two arms, Christ,
Anall tharainn. around about us.
Ó bhás go críoch, From death to the end,
Ní críoch ach athfhás, not end but re-growth,
I bParthas na nGrás in the heaven of graces
Go rabhaimid. may we be.

Reflection How Long is a Life? (Brian Patten)
How long does a person live, after all?

A thousand days, or only one?
One week, or a few centuries?
How long does a person spend living or dying
and what do we mean when we say, gone forever?

Adrift in such pre-occupations, we seek clarification.
We can go to the philosophers,
but they will weary of our questions.
We can go to the priests and rabbis,
but they might be too busy with administration.

So, how long does a person live, after all?
And how much does he live while he live?
We fret, and ask so many questions –
Then when it comes to us
The answer is so simple after all.

A person lives for as long as we carry them inside us.
For, as long as we carry the harvest of their dreams,
for as long as we ourselves live,

Instrumental Bí’Íosa i’m Chroíse (Trad.)

Litany of Remembrance
Let us remember those who have lived and loved, those who have left us a blessed heritage.

Let us remember the light filled ones who enkindled our spirits with their influence and the spark of their beliefs. We remember them.

Let us remember the risk takers, who faced their fears and took action, who sought justice even though they had to pay a price for it.  We remember them.

Let us remember the vulnerable ones who allowed us to care for them, allowed us to be with them in their time of need. We remember them.

Let us remember the faith-filled ones who led us by word and example into a deeper relationship with God. We remember them.

Let us remember the brave ones, who walked through their struggles with hope, who taught us how to trust. We remember them.

Let us remember the great lovers of life, whose humour and enthusiasm lifted our spirits and brought us joy. We remember them.

Let us remember the nurturers, who gave us birth physically or spiritually, who gave us support by their caring presence.

Presentation of Symbols of Remembrance
Our presentation of the gifts is a journey to symbolize the people whom we have loved and lost and who now enjoy God’s presence forever.

We present wedding rings: some of us may have lost a husband or a wife; these symbolize the unending love that they gave to us over the years of a happy partnership.

We present a teddy bear: some may have lost a son or daughter; this symbolizes the unconditional love and compassion that parents give to their children.

We present a rose: this beautiful flower symbolizes the life and great wisdom that our grand-parents gave and that some of us may have lost this year.

We present a candle: we may have lost a person who was a great inspiration to us over the years. The light of this candle symbolizes the light of their inspiration in our lives.

We present hands: they symbolize for us the close and good friends that we may have lost over our lives.

We carry up a brother and sister sculpture: this, for us, represents the loss of a beloved sibling who has grown up with us and now rests in Gods loving arms.

Song Take Me Home (David Haas)

All sing: Take me home to your dwelling place,
in your sweet embrace ready to hold me in your arms
Take me home to your loving eyes with you alone I’ll rise,
singing forever, in your arms, take me home.

Poem Hope (Emily Dickenson)
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune–without the words,
And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
Ive heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

Song The Lord is my Shepherd (Liam Lawton)
All sing:
The Lord is my shepherd there is nothing I’ll want,

nothing I’ll want, fresh and green are God’s rich pastures
The Lord is my shepherd there is nothing I’ll want,
nothing I’ll want , for God guides me to living waters.

Reading: John 11:17-26
When Jesus arrived at Bethany, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 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.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ Martha said to him, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Jesus wept and the Jews said, ‘See how much he loved him.

Reflection You Can Shed Tears (Denis Harkins)
You can shed tears that they are gone,
Or you can smile because they have lived.
You can close your eyes
And pray that they’ll come back
Or you can open your eyes
And see all that they left.
Your heart can be empty
Because you can’t see them,
Or you can be full of the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow
And live yesterday.
You can remember them
And only that they have gone,
Or you can cherish their memory
And let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind,
Be empty and turn back,
Or you can do what they would want;
Smile, open your eyes, love, and go on.

Song In Death There Is No Sorrow (J.S. Bach)

Invitation to Remember
Wisdom 3:1-3
The souls of the virtuous are in the hands of God,
no torment shall ever touch them.
In the eyes of the unwise, they did appear to die,
their going looked like a disaster,
their leaving us, like annihilation;
but they are in peace.

Song Quietly, Peacefully (Adapted Dvorak – Lori True)
All sing:
Quietly, peacefully let them rest in you

Quietly, peacefully bring them home to you

Song Voice of an Angel (Liam Lawton)

Song In Silence and Peace (Liam Lawton)

Litany of Remembrance 2 We remember them
In the rising of the sun and its going down,  We remember them.
In the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter, We remember them.

In the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring, We remember them.
In the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of autumn, We remember them.
In the beginning of the year and when it ends, We remember them.

When we are weary and in need of strength, We remember them.
When we are lost and sick of heart, We remember them.
When we have joys and special celebrations we yearn to share, We remember them.
So long as we live, they too shall live, for they are part of us,  We remember them.
When we sing God’s praises for our deceased church musicians, We remember them.

Song Soon and Very Soon (Spiritual)

Reflection Grief (John O’Donohue)
Though the silent weeping of your heart lessens, you get on, more or less, with your life; a place is kept within you for the one who is gone. No other will ever be given the key to that door. As the years go on you may not remember the departed every day with your conscious mind. Yet below your surface mind, some part of you is always in their presence.
From their side, our friends in the unseen world are always secretly embracing us in their new and bright belongings. Though we may forget them, they can never forget us; their secret embrace unknowingly shelters and minds us.
The bright moment in grief is when the sore absence gradually changes into a well of presence. You become aware of the subtle companionship of the departed one. You know that when you are in trouble, you can turn to this presence beside you and draw on it for encouragement and blessing.
The departed is now no longer restricted to any one place and can be with you any place you are. It is good to know the blessings of this presence.

Concluding Prayer
All say:
May the Lord support us all the day long ‘til the shades lengthen and the evening comes and the busy world is hushed and the fever of life is done.

Then in his mercy may He grant us a safe lodging, a holy rest and peace at the last. Amen. (John Henry Cardinal Newman)

Blessing Celtic Blessing
May the God of gentleness be with you,
caressing you with sunlight and rain and wind.
May his tenderness shine through you to warm
all those who are hurt and lonely.
may the blessing of Gentleness be upon you.
May the God of Strength be with you,
holding you in strong-fingered hands
and may you be a sacrament of His strength
to those whose hands you hold.
May the blessing of Strength be upon you.
May the God of Peace be with you,
taking away your fears and doubts and
may the mantle of your peace cover those who are troubled and anxious.
May the blessing of Peace be upon you.
The guarding of the God of life be on you,
the guarding of the Loving Christ be on you,
the guarding of the Holy Spirit be on you to aid
And uphold you each day and night of your lives.

Song Night Has Fallen (Malawi)
All sing: God our maker, guard us sleeping

Song May The Road Rise To Meet You (Lori True)
All sing: May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be at your back,

May the sun shine always on your face.
May the rain fall softly on your fields, And until we meet again.
May we keep safe in the gentle, loving arms of God.