Community-Wide Memorial Service
On Sunday night April 22, 2018 at 7 P.M. CBC will be hosting a Community-Wide Memorial Service. Remembering and honouring loved ones and friends who have died between November 2015 and the present. This event is sponsored every two years by the Stephen Ministry of CBC. You are all cordially invited. The advertisement is included in this email with all the relevant information.
The word “remember” or one of its variations appears a total of 237 times in the Bible. God places a high premium on his people remembering. We love remembering happy things! Winning the game; sinking the long putt; that overtime last second goal; a birth; a wedding; a dear friend. The lord does not shrink back from telling us that we also need to remember the hard things we face. In Deuteronomy 16:12 the people of God are commanded to remember that they were slaves and what that entails. Also in Deuteronomy 24:9 they were exhorted to remember what happened to Miriam (she was smitten with leprosy). In Joshua 7 following the disastrous defeat at Ai and the judgment that fell on Achan and his family, the people raised up a “heap of stones” as a memorial … to remind them. 49 times in the Psalms words for remember are used. Psalm 42:6 the Psalmist is remembering the past when he joined the throngs in worship, and now is unable. In Ecclesiastes 11:8 the preacher states that “ if a person lives many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember that the days of darkness will be many.” To a people in exile the prophet Jeremiah states “You who have escaped from the sword, go, do not stand still! Remember the Lord from far away, and let Jerusalem come into your mind.” Remember the Lord AND Jerusalem. Here the presence of God is linked with Jerusalem … and they are not there. That must have been painful. But remember they must. Then we come to the New Testament and the most horrific death ever publically portrayed on the canvas of human history – Christ’s Death on the Cross. Every time we share in communion we REMEMBER that death.
As I was pondering our upcoming Memorial Service I came across an article that helped me think through remembrance especially as it relates to Death. The author states:
There are many reasons to celebrate and mourn the life of a loved one, but for many, these six things sum up why remembrance is important:
- To acknowledge the reality of death.
- To acknowledge the emotions associated with the death.
- To acknowledge that the relationship with the person who died has shifted from physical presence to memory.
- To acknowledge changes in personal self-identity.
- To ponder and search for new meaning in life.
- To receive the loving support of remaining family and friends.
Sadness at the loss of a loved one may never entirely go away, but remembrance lives on.
These are some of the reasons we host the memorial service. In her article “How to help a grieving child” Judy Blore states that “grieving cannot be completed in a lesson, a lecture, or an appointment. Such structured commitments can be useful parts within a whole helping relationship, but grieving takes place over a long period of time, and helping must also be a process over time. Grief does not usually happen on a schedule.”
What an opportunity for us to invite a friend or loved one who has experienced loss and help them in the continuing process of grief and healing. What an opportunity for ourselves to do the same. Mark April 22nd on your calendar.
Ponder the Words of Ecclesiastes 7:1-2 as you consider the Community-Wide Memorial Service (verses I share at nearly every funeral I conduct).
A good name is better than precious ointment,
and the day of death than the day of birth.
It is better to go to the house of mourning
than to go to the house of feasting,
for this is the end of all mankind,
and the living will lay it to heart.
See You Sunday,
*Sunday we will be looking at Psalm 119 and Suffering