Consider this a liturgy of sorts. Or a prayer. Honestly, I’m not sure what I would call it. What I do know is that it has been on my mind for some time. Throughout the past year or so, I’ve watched as my parents, and people in the same season of life as them, have dealt with loss after loss. My church family in particular has faced a long line of death, as we have seen many Godly followers of Christ move from this life to the next. It has forced me confront the reality of aging and all that means. It’s not just about dealing with your own aches and pains. Aging means you begin the hard process of seeing your loved ones reach the end of their journey here on earth. This process undoubtedly feels overwhelming at times. We all deal with this at various points in our lives, with death feeling like an ever-present companion, but I am confident our elders deal with this on a level most of us simply cannot fully understand. My hope in writing this is to extend the hand of comfort to those who are walking through these valleys of shadow and death. Death will always “taunt and strut and make so much of itself” but we serve the Lord of Life who has conquered death. There is always hope, in this life or the next.
(Liturgical note: This can be used as a liturgy for responsive reading, if so desired. The regular print is read by the worship leader while the bold print is read by the congregation.)
In This Season of Mourning
In this season of mourning, we ask for You to be near us. Our daily routine has become a ritual of ever-present grief. Sickness, pain, and death, our constant companions. We long for a redemption of this season, a supernatural healing of the days in which we live. We are restless, Lord, blanketed by a grief too heavy to carry.
O Spirit, keep our hearts from trouble and fear Dear Spirit, quicken our souls with Your redeeming love
In this season of sadness, we cry for You to walk with us. Our souls melt with sorrow and cling to the dust. Time stands still and we brace our hearts for tomorrow. Each sunrise brings loss and tears anew. Take our hand and walk this path of pain in our stead. We are helpless, Lord, our legs too weak to move us any farther.
O Son, bear our griefs and carry our sorrows Dear Son, take our stripes and heal our broken hearts
In this season of grief, we beg for you to mourn with us. Our souls cry for restoration only You can give. Each day we are reluctant witnesses of death’s vicious sting. It taunts and struts and makes so much of itself. Weep with us, let Your tears be a healing spring for our souls. We are broken, Lord, our spirits crushed by sin’s exacting curse
O Father, lead us through this valley of shadow and death Dear Father, comfort Your children with Your unfailing love
Lord, we know You hear our cries for we are helpless. Stretch out Your hand of comfort and place it on our weary souls. We know You are close to us for we are brokenhearted. Incline Your face so we can see the radiance of Your glory. We know You will renew our hope for we are full of doubt. Condescend to our lowly state so we can feel Your mercies ever new
We cling to Your promises, O Lord, they have never failed us.
We hold to Your name, O Lord, it is a mighty fortress.
We trust in Your grace, O Lord, it is our only hope and expectation.
We live in Your love, O Lord, it is our very present help in times of trouble.
Shape this season of mourning into something pure and holy. May it not come and go and leave us doubting Your Word. Use it to build our faith, grow our love, and deepen our reliance on You. May we be but conduits of Your grace, extending the hand of comfort to those in need.
In this season of mourning, we pray for You to teach us. Help us recognize Your hand even in the midst of unspeakable sorrow. Grant us the grace and peace to face each new day with hope and love. Help us reject the bitterness and anger that so easily threaten to overwhelm. Make Your face to shine upon us, so that we may feel Your presence. We are Yours, O Lord, speak that truth to our hearts each day.
O Spirit, keep our hearts from trouble and fear Dear Spirit, quicken our souls with Your redeeming love O Son, bear our griefs and carry our sorrows Dear Son, take our stripes and heal our broken hearts O Father, lead us through this valley of shadow and death Dear Father, comfort Your children with Your unfailing love