It is always sad when a loved one dies. But should we be sad? Well, sad for ourselves, maybe, but not sad for the loved one who has died. Our Lord Jesus Christ spent his earthly life showing us just what God’s love for us is like. Unfortunately, our involvement with the world distorts that picture for us and it’s only when we die and meet with God outside the confines of this worldly existence and its many cares that we can really understand for ourselves just how much God love us.
Jesus said (John 14:1-6) I am going to my Father’s house to prepare a place for you and it’s this glorious prospect to which we can look forward at the end of our lives here on earth. It’s in this place that we will finally come face to face with God with no worldly involvements and no cares, no worries and no pain to distract us. Then, for the very first time, we will see how great God’s love is for each and every one of us. God’s love is all embracing; all powerful; everlasting. Although the parting of death is sad for those of us who are left behind, it’s an event of great happiness for the loved one who has died – an event of great happiness for two especial reasons: first, he or she is now reunited with his or her loved ones who have gone before and secondly, because he or she now knows the full extent of God’s love.
Now, be encouraged by the words which St Paul wrote to the Christians at Rome: I am sure (writes St Paul) I am absolutely certain that neither death, nor life, nor angels,
nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38/9)
Always be encouraged by some words from Psalm 16: God will show us the path of life
in His presence is the fullness of joy and at His right hand there is pleasure for evermore (Psalm 16:11)
Your loved one knows the truth of this far better than we can even imagine. May he or she rest in peace and rise in glory. Amen
A prayer on bereavement
Go forth from this world in the love of God the Father who created you, in the mercy of Christ who redeemed you and in the power of the Holy Spirit who strengthens you. May the heavenly host sustain you and the whole company of heaven enfold you so that, in communion with all the faithful departed, you may dwell in peace and rise in glory through Jesus Christ our Lord Amen
The death of a loved one is a very stressful time and I am sure you will want to know that everything will be done to reduce the stress for those left behind to a minimum. I know that it is hard to think ahead to this difficult time but it will be an enormous help if you discuss your requirements with your loved ones while you are able to do so.
It would be good to work out which funeral directors you would prefer to use and it is essential to let your loved ones know whether you want to be buried or cremated and, if cremated, what you would like to have done with your ashes. Where would you like your service to take place: in your parish church or at the crematorium? What hymns and readings would you like? Would you like a friend or relative to deliver a eulogy or would you prefer the vicar to do it for you. Some notes about your life would be very helpful. It would also be good to make a will,
If you would like to discuss your wishes with the vicar or for him to hold a copy of your wishes, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
The vicar does not wish to intrude in your personal grief but, if a loved one is very ill, he would be more than happy to visit.
A prayer for a loved one who is desperately ill
O Lord, support us all the day long of this troublous life until the shades lengthen, the evening comes, the busy world is hushed, the fever of life is over and our work is done. Then, Lord, in your mercy, grant us safe lodging, a holy rest and peace at the last, through Jesus Christ our Lord Amen