Posts in Inurnment
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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When a Great Soul Dies

When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.

When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.

When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
examines,
gnaws on kind words
unsaid,
promised walks
never taken.

Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
nurture,
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
radiance,
fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold
caves.

And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.

-- Maya Angelou

 

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Reading, Ecclesiastes 3, vv 1 - 14

There is a time for everything,  and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die,  

a time to plant and a time to uproot,  

a time to kill and a time to heal,  

a time to tear down and a time to build,  

a time to weep and a time to laugh,  

a time to mourn and a time to dance,  

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,  

a time to embrace and a time to refrain,  

 a time to search and a time to give up,  

a time to keep and a time to throw away,  

a time to tear and a time to mend,  

a time to be silent and a time to speak,  

a time to love and a time to hate,  

a time for war and a time for peace. 

 

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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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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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At a Grave

They who stand with breaking hearts around this [little] grave, need have no fear. The larger and the nobler faith in all that is, and is to be, tells us that death, even at its worst, is only perfect rest. We know that through the common wants of life—the needs and duties of each hour—their grief will lessen day by day, until at last this grave will be to them a place of rest and peace—almost of joy. There is for them this consolation: The dead do not suffer. If they live again, their lives will surely be as good as ours. We have no fear. We are all children of the same mother, and the same fate awaits us all. We, too, have our religion [belief], and it is this:
Help for the living—Hope for the dead.

-- Robert G. Ingersoll, adapted

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