Jake’s grandma passed away on Thursday.

For an event that was merciful and expected, it took us by surprise. We were unprepared for the loss. We were unprepared for the sense of distance.

Tonight, while our family was attending a morning memorial service, we held our own vigil. It was a way of setting aside time for reflection and mourning. 

We have come here today
to remember before God our grandmother;
to give thanks for her life; 
to commend her to God our merciful redeemer and judge; 
to commit her body to the earth,
and to comfort each other in our grief.   

God of all consolation,
your Son Jesus Christ was moved to tears
at the grave of Lazarus his friend.
Look with compassion on your children in their loss;
give to troubled hearts the light of hope
and strengthen in us the gift of faith,
in Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy.

God of mercy, Lord of life, you have made us in your image to reflect your truth and light: we give you thanks for Grandma, for the grace and mercy she received from you, for all that was good in her life, for the memories we treasure today. Lord, in your mercy hear our prayer.

You promised eternal life to those who believe. Remember for good your servant, Grandma Quick, as we also remember her. Bring all who rest in Christ into the fullness of your kingdom where sins have been forgiven and death is no more. Lord, in your mercy hear our prayer. 

Your mighty power brings joy out of grief and life out of death. Look in mercy on the Quicks and all who mourn. Give them patient faith in times of darkness. Strengthen them with the knowledge of your love. Lord, in your mercy hear our prayer.

You are tender towards your children and your mercy is over all your works. Heal the memories of hurt and failure. Give us the wisdom and grace to use aright the time that is left to us here on earth, to turn to Christ and follow in his steps in the way that leads to everlasting life. Lord, in your mercy hear our prayer.

 

We read the words, because we have never conducted a funeral order. We prayed. We lit candles. We made hot chocolate. We read a letter to her. We sang.

 

When I can read my title clear
To mansions in the skies,
I bid farewell to every fear,
And wipe my weeping eyes.
And wipe my weeping eyes,
And wipe my weeping eyes
I bid farewell to every fear,
And wipe my weeping eyes.

That is all we can do. Comfort each other. Memorialize the lovely, petite, implacable woman who took pride in her children and liked to mention her volunteerism and never failed to make Jake’s favorite apple pie every time he came to visit. Grandma Quick was a small force to be reckoned with. That’s what it takes to build a faith and a family as sturdy as hers. 

Let cares, like a wild deluge come,
And storms of sorrow fall!
May I but safely reach my home,
My God, my heav’n, my all.
My God, my heaven, my all,
My God, my heave’, my all,
May I but safely reach my home,
My God, my heaven, my all.

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