Service of Remembrance (From January 3, 2021 worship service):
Today we want to recognize those in our First Congregational Church community who have died during the past 10 months as our nation and world have battled the coronavirus….during this uncertain time when we have been so isolated and separated from one another and unable to safely gather as a community of faith.
Over these past 10 months, 10 of our loved ones have died…and with them a light has gone out of our lives. Therefore we are pausing today to honor the light and life these members have brought into our lives, and to affirm that light is stronger than darkness, that hope is stronger than despair, and that love, and God’s love, is stronger than death.
In this season of Christmas and as we begin a New Year, we remember that the Light of Christ has come into the world and the darkness cannot overcome it.
(Please list the names of the persons who have died.)
Today we light candles to remember and honor those who have died in the past 10 months and are no longer physically present in our everyday world, but who will remain always in our hearts, memories, and love.
Let us pray: O God, we place into your loving hands our loved ones have entered into their eternal rest, in the peace of Christ, these past 10 months. In a very special way, be with their families and loved ones. Help us to live with the hope of life beyond this life, as promised to us in our Savior and Friend, Jesus Christ. We thank you, God, for each and every one of these unique and beloved persons whom we have named, remembered, and commemorated today.
We ask you to comfort those many loved ones who grieve their loss, and we ask you to grant to each of them your peace which surpasses all human understanding. May those who mourn be reunited one day with their loved ones, where together, in your eternal realm, we all will rejoice in the love of God from which we can never be separated.
Surround us with the embrace of your love, as we seek to walk in faith and trust. Amen.
Receive this benediction: And now may the love of God, and the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ, bless and comfort you, and gently wipe away every tear from your eyes. In the name of the Creator, the Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.