Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas time and grief

Christmas time is often
painful,
pain such as losing a beloved child
such as Lucia;
the last time I saw Kh. Ramia she was beautifully
pregnant with Lucia.
To lose such a daughter is heartbreaking.
*
I think also of the woman in my parish
who lost both parents
41 days apart
and could not go to the funerals;
how we did services for them at my church,
how the woman brought different breads,
we sang,
held the candles,
and loved her.
Thank God that we have the church and prayers therein
to help sustain us through the dark valleys of grief.
Christ is with us in these times,
Christ wept at the death of Lazarus.

(The priest says:)

May Christ our true God, who rose from the dead and as immortal

King has authority over the living and the dead, have mercy on us and save us,

through the intercessions of his spotless holy Mother; of the holy, glorious,

and praiseworthy Apostles; of our venerable and God-bearing Fathers; of the

holy and glorious forefathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; of his holy

and righteous friend Lazarus, who lay in the grave four days;

and of all the Saints, establish the soul of His servant (name) departed from us,

in the dwelling place of the Saints; grant rest to him (her) in the

bosom of Abraham and number him (her) among the righteous.

- from the Trisagion Service by Holy Cross Orthodox Press


Prayer to the Mother of God
O Most Holy Lady Virgin Theotokos, do Thou save and preserve
under Thy protection my children (names), all youths and infants,
baptized and unnamed, and those in their mothers wombs.
Cover them with Thy maternal garment, preserve them in
the fear of God and in obedience to their parents.
Entreat my Lord and Thy Son that He may give them what is
profitable for their salvation. I entrust them to Thy maternal care,
for Thou are a Divine protection for Thy servants.
- prayer written at the back of the small pamphlet,
*
May God be near to all those for whom the
Christmas holidays
are also a time of loss and grief.
*
Christ has come on Christmas Day
so that He could destroy death by death.
May His Resurrection comfort and give courage
to us!

3 comments:

Emily H. said...

Thank you for sharing those prayers. God be with all of us, each and every one!

Matushka Anna said...

God be with you in your grief too.

Sarah said...

Beautifully said.