Remembrance Service 2013

 Opening Song         Quietly, Peacefully (Dvorak Adapt. Lori True)

All sing:  Quietly, peacefully may they rest in you
Quietly, peacefully bring them home to you.

Opening Prayer     Let us pray
All say:          Into your hands, Father of mercies,
we commend all those who have died in Christ
in the sure and certain hope
that they will rise with him on the last day.
May those carrying heavy burdens of grief and loss
find a resting place in your loving heart where they can be restored and renewed. Amen.

Commentary 1
All people don’t have hope in life after death and even people of strong Christian faith struggle with the finality of the passing of a loved one. Their world seems to have ended and they find it hard to do ordinary tasks in work or at home. What is the point of it all? Why keep on going? The English writer W. H. Auden captures that sense of hopelessness in his poem – Stop All The Clocks while the Irish composer Liam Lawton in the Clouds Veil sees God’s presence even in dark moments and Psalm 46 has given strength and courage to countless generations.

Poem  Stop all the clocks (W.H. Auden)
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone, Silence the pianos and with muffled drum Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come. Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead, Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves, Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves. He was my North, my South, my East and West, My working week and my Sunday rest, My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song; I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong. The stars are not wanted now: put out every one; Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun; Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood. For nothing now can ever come to any good.

Psalm Prayer          You light a lamp for me.
The Lord, my God, lights up my darkness.

Song   The Clouds Veil (Liam Lawton)
All sing: Even though the rain hides the stars
Even though the mist swirls the hills
Even when the dark clouds veil the sky
God is by my side.
Even when the sun shall fall in sleep
Even when at dawn the sky shall weep
Even in the night when storms shall rise
God is by my side, you are by my side.

Psalm 46  God is our refuge and strength,
An ever-present help in trouble.

All say: Therefore I will not fear, though earth give way
And the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
Though its waters roar and foam
And the mountains quake with their surging

All say: There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God
The holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
He lifts his voice, the earth melts.

All say: The Lord almighty is with us;
The God of Jacob is our fortress.
Come and see what the Lord has done,
The desolations he has brought on the earth.

All say: He makes war cease
To the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
He burns the shields with fire.

All say: He says, “Be still and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth”.
The Lord Almighty is with us;
The God of Jacob is our fortress.

Reflection  Footprints (Mary Stevenson)

One night I had a dream…
I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord, and across the sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand; One belonged to me, and the other to the Lord. When the last scene of my life flashed before us, I looked back at the footprints in the sand. I noticed that many times along the path of my life, there was only one set of footprints.
I also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in my life. This really bothered me, and I questioned the Lord about it. “Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, You would walk with me all the way; But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, There is only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why in times when I needed you the most, you should leave me.
The Lord replied, “My precious, precious child. I love you, and I would never, never leave you during your times of trial and suffering. When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.

Psalm Prayer  The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.

Song  Footprints in the Sand (Magnusson/Kreuger/Page/Cowell)

I promise you I’m always there when your heart is filled with sorrow and despair.
I’ll carry you when you need a friend. You’ll find my footprints in the sand.

Commentary 2
That promise of being carried through difficult times fills us with hope especially when our drooping spirits need to be revived. Hope in the resurrection of the dead has been a hallmark of Christian communities down through the centuries. The Paschal Candle is a symbol of the triumph of light over darkness and a beacon of promise.

Reading  I Thessalonians 4: 13-14
We want you to be quite certain, about those who have died, to make sure that you do not grieve about them, like the other people who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again, and that it will be the same for those who have died in Jesus: God will bring them with him.

Song   The Lord is my Shepherd (John Rutter)

Reflection Miss me but let me go (Anonymous)
Miss me, but let me go:
When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me,
I want no tears in a gloom-filled room,
Why cry for a soul set free?

Miss me a little – But not for long
And not with your head bowed low,
Remember the love that we once shared,
Miss me – But let me go.

Song  Tranquillity Prayer (Cara Davey)

All sing:  God grant me serenity to accept the things I can’t change,
Courage to know the things I can and wisdom to know the way,
Wisdom to know the way.

Reading John 14:1-6
 Jesus said to his disciples:
Do not let your hearts be troubled
Trust in God still, and trust in me.
There are many rooms in my Father’s house;
if there were not I should have told you.
I am going now to prepare a place for you,
and after I have gone and prepared you a place,
I shall return to take you with me;
so that where I am
you may be too.
You know the way to the place where I am going.’
Thomas said, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way? ‘Jesus said:
‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.
No one can come to the Father except through me.’

Song Do not let your hearts be troubled (David Haas)
All sing: Do not let your hearts be troubled, have faith in me.
I will go forth to prepare a place for you.
Then I’ll come back to take you with me,
That where I am you may also be.

Song Jerusalem (Kilmore Carol)
Jerusalem our happy home, When shall we come to thee? When shall our sorrows have an end? Thy joys when shall we see?
Thy walls are all of precious stones, thy streets are paved with gold, Thy gates are all of pearls unheard, most glorious to behold.
For evermore the trees bear fruit, and evermore they spring, And evermore the Saints are glad and evermore they sing.
Until that happy, happy day we’ll join them with a hymn, Having for comfort and recourse, this house of God and gate of heaven.

Commentary 3       As we remember in a particular way those who have died let us recall that they were each called and chosen by God who has now taken them home. We hold them in our hearts, we treasure the memories we shared and we feel their strength in our lives.

Song Fields of Gold

Quotations  Just because you cannot see me does not mean that I am not here.
To live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die.
Those who die in grace go no further than God and God is always near.
Your life was a blessing, your memory a treasure
You are loved beyond words and missed beyond measure.

Song   You Are Mine (David Haas)

All sing: Do not be afraid I am with you, I have called you each by name.
Come and follow me, I will bring you home.
I love you and you are mine.

Reflection  It’s not the end
It’s not the end of the trail for me
I’ve just travelled on, you see, up ahead where greener pastures grow and cool water streams dance as they flow.
Flowers in bloom of every sort kind, colours more vivid than any I left behind, family friends I haven’t seen in years, hugs and no more tears. They’ve welcomed me home here today, a place of peace for me to stay, they say it’s my home for eternity.
No, it’s not the end of the trail for me.

Instrumental A Iosa Mhic Mhuire (Traditional)

 Reflection  Guardian of the Grieving (Joyce Rupp)
You do much more than stand there attentive to heart-sore spirit
You lovingly embrace and closely guard those who feel bereft and lonely
You vigilantly attend to each one lest they be overtaken by their sadness
Your protective gaze of compassion softens the blows of their sorrow
Guardian of those who have lost much watch devotedly over those who mourn.

Song  You Raise Me Up (Brendan Graham)

Prayer Hail Mary

Song  Bogoroditse Devo (Rachmaninov)

Reflection  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 echoes on in sweet refrain
For every joy that passes
Something beautiful remains.

Final   Prayer  Let us pray,
All say: God of the living and the dead,
Grant eternal rest to all who we remember tonight
Comfort and support those who are broken-hearted
Give hope to all whose world is darkened by grief and loss
Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Prayer/Blessing     May He support us all the day long, till the shades lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then in His mercy may He give us a safe lodging, and a holy rest and peace at the last. (Blessed John Henry Newman)

Song Dona Eis Requiem (Owen Lynch)
All sing: Dona eis requiem, Dona eis requiem,
Dona eis requiem, Dona eis requiem,
Pacem domini.