A Service of Remembering for the Month of November
(Appropriate music may be used during the candle ceremony and a psalm may be sung between the readings as well as a hymn at the end of the service.)
We gather at this time of year to recall with gratitude those who have passed away and whose memory is dear to us. We remember family, friends, staff members and students who have been part of our school community. While we may have sadness in our hearts that they are no longer with us, we trust that we can hand our dear ones over to the eternal Father in whose loving presence they will live forever.
(Students and/ or staff may be invited to light a candle in memory of named loved ones or members of the school community who have died in the last year)
A Reading from the Book of Proverbs 6:20-22
Honour the wisdom of those who went before you.
Bind it ever to your heart
Tie it around your neck.
When you walk, it will lead you,
When you lie down, it will watch over you,
When you wake it, it will talk to you!
This is the word of the Lord
A Reading from the Gospel of Matthew
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-29)
This is the Gospel of the Lord
In our Catholic tradition of remembering the dead we are living out our faith in the fact that we belong to a community that goes way beyond our family, our school or our parish. We belong to a community that reaches beyond the grave and which reminds us that: “Love never ends” (1Cor 13:8). We belong to the Communion of Saints, the Mystical Body of Christ. This is a community that invites to know that in times of great sadness we are never alone, that we are linked to one another through an unbreakable bond of love. The month of November begins with the two days of remembering which give us a chance to recall this – All Saints Day and All Souls Day. These are days of great hope and love because they invite us to think about how blessed we have been in the family members and friends who have gone before us. They have given us so much and taught us so much and these are treasures that are not lost with the passage of time as the first reading reminds us.
These days also allow us to feel the pain of our loss, something we must do if we are to grieve properly. We are reminded in the Gospel reading that Jesus asks us to not be afraid to bring our burdens to him. He knows our pain and wants us to find our peace in him. These days also encourage us not only to pray for our departed friends but also to pray to them, knowing that through our faith we are linked by a love that never ends. They also remind us of how we in our school community might support and encourage one another at times of suffering and loss. We are not only a community of teaching and learning we are also a community of care and compassion. So in that spirit let us pray now in faith.
Let us pray for those who parted from this life and whose soul continues to live with God. Let us give thanks for their lives, their gifts and the love we shared.
Lord hear us
We pray for those who are grieving. Our grief is a sign of our deep love for those we have lost. We ask God to comfort those who mourn and touch the depth of their sadness with tenderness and a sense of peace. We call on our Mother, Mary to comfort those of us who grieve and to hold us as one who understands our deep loss.
Lord hear us
Lord we remember those who died suddenly or through violence. We ask you to be with their loved ones in a special way as they come to terms with the tragedy of their loss. We pray in a special way for peace in our world; in our communities and in our homes. May we learn to love one another with the compassionate love of God.
Lord hear us
We gather all our prayers together as we pray in the words that Jesus taught us
Concluding Prayer: Loving God, we thank you for the opportunity to come together with you to remember those of our families and friends that have gone before us. We trust in your love for all people and pray that each of those we have remembered will always be in your loving presence and that we may know and share your love at all times during our lives. This prayer we make through Christ Our Lord.