A Ritual of Remembrance

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                       By Christine C. Robinson

The long Summer has faded, now, and these first days of November mark the beginning of the coming of Winter. The frost has taken our tender plants, leaves have begun to fall from the trees, geese begin to arrive from the north. The days are cooler, the weather unsettled, and the evenings are suddenly dark. Christians have marked All Saints and All Souls days, both holidays commemorating the dead. Most of us are far from the grave sites of our ancestors, but we can also remember with love and honor those who have gone before us, giving thanks to the ways in which they have touched our lives and left an imprint on our hearts.

At this darkening time of the year, our thoughts turn to things past, to life retreating, to those who are no longer with us. Images come to our minds; of dear companions, who once graced our lives, loved ones whom we miss, persons whose lives made an impact on our lives; of all those who were here, contributing, caring, and are now gone.

Our memories bring both joy and sadness; let us not push these feelings away. For our recollections attest to the enduring importance of these friends, this love, our memories.

May these brave and lovely spirits live again in our tender thoughts, and prove that death and distance are powerless to sever the bonds that connect truly loving hearts.

And we also recall those precious members of this community who have died in recent years.  We remember Rita Koles and Norma Marshall who died within the past year.  We remember Tom Bancroft, Matthew Poftak, and Marjorie Jamback, and   Hussey? who died in the past few years.

Time of Silence

Spirit of Life, whom we know best in our own loving and being loved, hold us as we remember those we have loved, and those who have loved us. May our gratitude sparkle in our lives, may our tears lubricate our souls. Help us to know that we are not alone in our grieving, and help us also to come to that peaceful place in which we can take what we learned from those who have gone before us into our own lives. Remind us that we, too, are mortal; and that the only enduring legacy we leave is the love that shines through our lives.                                Amen.

This year on All Saints Day and All Souls Day, make a list of your departed loved ones and find one act, one object, one gift that can be your remembrance for each of them as you go about your daily life in the year ahead. This simple spiritual practice becomes an expression of gratitude, wonder, and your continuing love.