Posts in Group Readiness
Yizkor Reading

Shall I cry out in anger, O God,
Because Your gifts are mine but for a while? Shall I forget the blessing of health
The moment there is pain?

Shall I be ungrateful for the laughter,
the seasons of joy, the days of gladness,
when tears cloud my eyes and darken the world and my heart is heavy within me?

Shall I blot from my mind the love
I have rejoiced in when fate
leaves me bereft of shining presences that have lit my way through the years of companionship and affection?

Shall I, in days of adversity, fail to recall the hours of glory You once did grant me?

Shall I, in turmoil of need and anxiety,
Cease blessing You for the peace of former days? Shall the time of darkness put out for ever
The glow of light in which once I walked?

Give me the vision, O God, to see
that embedded in each of your gifts
is a core of eternity, undiminished and bright,
an eternity that survives the dread hours of affliction.

Those I have loved, though now beyond my view, Have given form and quality to my being.
They have led me into the wide universe
I continue to inhabit, and their presence

is more real to me than their absence.

What You give to me, O Lord, You never take away.
And bounties granted once Shed their radiance evermore. —by Morris Adler

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Marge Piercy's Kaddish

Look around us, search above us, below, behind.
We stand in a great web of being joined together.
Let us praise, let us love the life we are lent
passing through us in the body of Israel
and our own bodies, let’s say amein.

Time flows through us like water.
The past and the dead speak through us.
We breathe our children’s children, blessing.

Blessed is the earth from which we grow,
blessed the life we are lent,
blessed the ones who teach us,
blessed the ones we teach,
blessed is the word that cannot say the glory
that shines through us and remains to shine
flowing past distant suns on the way to forever.
Let’s say amein.

Blessed is the light, blessed is the darkness
but blessed above all else is peace
which bears the fruits of knowledge
on strong branches, let’s say amen.

Peace that bears joy into the world,
peace that enables love, peace over Israel
everywhere, blessed and holy is peace, let’s say amein.

-- Marge Piercy
 

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AfterWards

Take her not from me.
Let it be this hand
Who wipes the folds of her flesh —
A final encore to fading days.
With each tender stroke,
May her seasoned soul unwind its threads
from this mortal coil.
With each grieving caress,
May her enduring love weave more tightly
into the whole of my being.

Take her not from me,
Until the last essence of who she was is truly gone,
And I have captured only what she left for me —
In this hand and heart.

 -- Pashta MaryMoon

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Blessed Are Those Who Give Meaning to Our Lives

Blessed are those who give meaning to our lives;

holy and precious is the example they leave behind.

We pray: May our sorrows diminish as we recall their strength.

May their wisdom protect us and help us to live.

Let our grief be transformed into tenderness for those who are still with us.

-- Jewish prayer

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Reading from The Song of Songs, Psalms Chapter 2

I am the rose of Sharon, the lily of the valleys.

As a lily among the thistles, so is my beloved among girls.

As an apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my love among young men. In his delightful shade I sit, and his fruit is sweet to my taste.

He has taken me to his cellar, and his banner over me is love.

Feed me with raisin cakes, restore me with apples, for I am sick with love.

His left arm is under my head, his right embraces me.

I charge you, daughters of Jerusalem, by all gazelles and wild does, do not rouse, do not wake my beloved before she pleases.

BELOVED: I hear my love. See how he comes leaping on the mountains, bounding over the hills.

My love is like a gazelle, like a young stag. See where he stands behind our wall. He looks in at the window, he peers through the opening.

My love lifts up his voice, he says to me, 'Come then, my beloved, my lovely one, come.

For see, winter is past, the rains are over and gone.

'Flowers are appearing on the earth. The season of glad songs has come, the cooing of the turtledove is heard in our land.

The fig tree is forming its first figs and the blossoming vines give out their fragrance. Come then, my beloved, my lovely one, come.

'My dove, hiding in the clefts of the rock, in the coverts of the cliff, show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet and your face is lovely.'

Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that make havoc of the vineyards, for our vineyards are in fruit.

My love is mine and I am his. He pastures his flock among the lilies.

Before the day-breeze rises, before the shadows flee, return! Be, my love, like a gazelle, like a young stag, on the mountains of Bether.

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May the Arms of God

May the arms of God raise her from the darkness of this planets' earth and surround her with light; 

If she is thirsty, give her water in the clearing.  

If she is hungry, give her food in the clearing. 

May her life on this Earth and the pain of her passing become as a dream to her waking soul, and let her eyes fall upon every lovely sight; let her find her family and friends that have been lost to her, and let everyone whose name she calls call her in return. 

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Death is Just Another Path

Pippin said: ‘I didn't think it would end this way.’
‘End?’ said Gandalf. ‘No, the journey doesn't end here. Death is just another path... one that we
all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back,
And all turns to silver glass...
And then you see it.’
‘What?’ Said Pippin, ‘Gandalf?... See what?
‘ White shores... and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise.’
‘Well,’ said Pippin smiling, ‘that isn't so bad.’
‘No’... replied Gandalf softly. ‘No it isn't.’
-- JRR Tolkein

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Invocation Prayer

I give thanks to those that I am about to invite!
I ask that this room, this home or building and the grounds become a sacred space.
I invite the Divine to be present.
I invite Great Spirit, Mother Father God to be present.
I invite Great Mystery to be present.
I invite the Compassionate and loving Ancestors to be present and I give thanks to them,
because without them we couldn't be here.
I invite the Great Teachers and Masters to be present, especially those that we have
connections to and affiliations with.
I invite the Angels, the great beings of light, especially the Archangels, the guardian angels
angels of love and the angels of healing.
I invite the Power Animals, the Totems, and I give thanks to them for loaning their power, their
qualities, their protection and for relationship.
I invite the Healing Spirits of all the realms and give thanks for the healing that I know is going
to happen.
I invite the Elements: Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Sacred Space...and I ask for a balancing and
harmonizing of the Elements.
I invite the Compassionate Spirits and Devas.
I Invite the Earth, the Sun and the Moon.
I give thanks to the Stars and the Compassionate Star People.
I invite the Directions and the Guardians of the Directions
I invite the Four Great Winds.
I give thanks to the Great Spirits of the Land and I ask to be in harmony with you and to prosper
here.

I give thanks to the Spirits of this place for allowing this work and this prayer to happen here in
a good way.
And as always, I give thanks in advance for the blessings that I know will happen here.
Thank you!


-- Betsy Bergstrom
 

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The Trees

The trees are coming into leaf
Like something almost being said;
The recent buds relax and spread,

Their greenness is a kind of grief.
 
Is it that they are born again
And we grow old? No, they die too.
Their yearly trick of looking new
Is written down in rings of grain.
 
Yet still the unresting castles thresh
In fullgrown thickness every May.
Last year is dead, they seem to say,
Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.


-- Philip Larkin
 

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On Death

You would know the secret of death.
But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?
The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.
If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.
For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.

In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;
And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.
Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.
Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king?
Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?

For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?

Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

-- Kahlil Gibran

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Our Lives Matter


We come together from the diversity of our grieving,
to gather in the warmth of this community
giving stubborn witness to our belief that
in times of sadness, there is room for laughter.
In times of darkness, there always will be light.
May we hold fast to the conviction
that what we do with our lives matters
and that a caring world is possible after all.

-- M. Maureen Killoran

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Mystery of Life

Before the sublime mystery of life and spirit,
the mystery of infinite space
and endless time, we stand in reverent awe . . .
This much we know:
we are at least one phase of the immortality of life.
The mighty stream of life flows on, and, in this mighty stream,
we too flow on . . .
not lost . . . but each eternally significant.
For this I feel: The spirit never betrays the person
who trusts it.
Physical life may be defeated but life goes on;
character survives,
goodness lives and love is immortal.

-- Robert G. Ingersoll

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Simplicity

I’ve walked along this road
For a long time now.
I know I’ll have to turn somewhere,
Or, perhaps
Turn back
To my beginnings.
Along the way
The leaves have fallen off me,
So I walk this road
With only the bare bark
Of my own winter.
It’s the last that is left of me
And the best

- Unknown

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To Everything There is a Season

To everything there is a season, 
and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; 
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; 
a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 
A time to get, and a time to lose; 
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; 
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; 
a time of war, and a time of peace.

- Ecclesiastes Chapter 3, verses i-ii, iv, vi-viii  (Before Death, After Death, Funeral, poem, religious)

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