Death in context

Last evening a dear friend passed away. The myriad of human emotional response to the email sharing that news has passed through me, and I did the only thing I could. I sought out the Saturday morning Eucharist.

It’s not that personal prayer would not have gotten me to the place I needed to be with God, it has on many occasions. But in providing his church, God gave us the gift of each other. He also shows the beauty of life of our fellowship.  Today marked the birthday of an 81 and 89 year old parishioner. This occasion marked with a blessing, and in the Saturday fellowship hour includes champagne, cake, and a birthday song.

I didn’t know this group well as Saturday is not my usual service. But they welcomed me and included me in this celebration as if I were always there. They gave context to what it is to cherish our life and our deaths as members  in the body of Christ.

Eternal Lord God, you hold all souls in life: Give to your whole Church in paradise and on earth your light and your peace; and grant that we, following the good examples of those who have served you here and are now at rest, may at the last enter with them into your unending joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Watch over thy child, O Lord, as his days increase; bless and guide him wherever he may be. Strengthen him when he
stands; comfort him when discouraged or sorrowful; raise him up if he fall; and in his heart may thy peace which
passeth understanding abide all the days of his life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 Amen.

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