Kirkepiscatoid

Random and not so random musings from a 5th generation NE Missourian who became a 1st generation Episcopalian. Let the good times roll!

 
("Jesus is Buried," by Doug Blanchard)


The Seventh Sorrow--The Body of Jesus Is Placed in the Tomb

Jesus, may her deep devotion
stir in me the same emotion,
Fount of love, Redeemer kind;
that my heart fresh ardor gaining,
and a purer love attaining,
may with thee acceptance find.


Any of us who have buried a loved one--particularly a young person who never had the chance to live what we'd consider a full lifespan--knows what certainly must have been Mary's lament--"Why him, God? Why could you have not spared him and taken me instead?"

Each day, all over the world, mothers weep for the lives that will never be lived fully because they were snuffed out prematurely by the gangster's stray bullet, the indifferent car bomb, and the drunk driver. Lives that ended because of a mosquito's sting, the swing of an executioner's hand, or the calculated, executive decision of a general halfway across the world. Whether one is wicked or noble, in death they are all the same, and a mother's tears flow with equal force. We too often forget that someone's hopes and dreams for the future often go in that tomb, as well.  But tomorrow will come, and each of us, in our own way, and in our own spaces, will be faced with the task of walking away from the tomb and leaving those old hopes buried, to see new hopes in tomorrows yet to come, in the presence of each other.

Let us pray. (silence)

God of all the tomorrows not yet lived, we do not always understand why we are left to live on while those we love die prematurely.  We can fathom no purpose for why these things happen in our sometimes torn and desolate world.  We are grieved over what we would have done, had we known better.  We lament what we should have done and didn't.  Forgive us for our blindness to what we could have done.  Grant us strength to hold our arms out wide enough to accept your embrace, and the embrace of those around us acting in your stead.  Rouse us in our inertia, to be able to walk away from the tomb despite our desire to crawl inside it ourselves.  In the name of He Who Rolled Away The Stone, something no one could dare ask or imagine, we pray.  Amen.


Concluding Prayers:

God of all mercies, we thank you for the witness of Mary, the mother of Jesus, God-bearer for us all;
who witnessed not by acts of mighty power, but by tears of deepest sorrow.

We thank you for her witness of trust in God despite Simeon's prophesy that her own soul would be pierced;
help us to trust in God's mercy even when our lives look uncertain.

We thank you for her witness despite fear during the Holy Family's flight into Egypt;
keep us ever mindful that you are present even in our own deepest fears.

We thank you for her witness of perseverance as she searched for the lost child Jesus and found him in the temple;
uphold us in our own times of searching.

We thank you for her witness of presence as her son traveled the Via Dolorosa;
grant us serenity and grace in those times we are impotent to help those we love.

We thank you for her witness of faithfulness unto death as her son died on the cross;
strengthen us in the times we feel unable to bear any more sorrow.

We thank you for her witness of acceptance as she received the body of Jesus;
steady our hands as we accept the things we cannot change.

We thank you for her witness of grief as the stone rolled over the tomb;
empower us to put away what is dead, and await the Resurrection, though we cannot yet imagine it.

Hear our petitions, Lord, as we reflect on these seven sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary:
(the people add their petitions as desired.)

We fly, O God, to the witness of Mary, the God-Bearer;
in your mercy hear the petitions and sorrows of our heart,
and deliver us from all danger.
In the name of the Father who loves us, the Son who redeems us,
and the Holy Spirit who comforts us,
we humbly pray.  Amen.

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Kirksville, Missouri, United States
I'm a longtime area resident of that quirky and wonderful place called Kirksville, MO and am wondering what God has hiding round the next corner in my life.

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