THIS IS THE LEADER'S EDITION
Conceived and created in the midst of the global Covid-19 pandemic which began in early 2020 and continues as this edition goes to press, the resource, Amen. Alleluia! A resource for praying farewell, grows out of reality and necessity. All individuals, families and institutions have been affected by the pandemic, including the church. Congregations responded in offering pastoral care in numerous ways when a gathering of people was not possible or permissible. It seems inevitable that some of these initiatives will now become a normative experience in the life of a congregation. These initiatives include the streaming or broadcast of services, increased ministry to those who cannot be present, providing resources for home prayer, adaptation of worship services in denomination resources, and relevant to this publication, the growing experience of delayed or postponed funerals.
Amen. Alleluia! A resource for praying farewell offers clergy, pastoral ministers, congregations, families and individuals a collection of prayer services, Scripture passages, other texts, and music to mourn the death, and celebrate the life, of the deceased. While many of the services are framed in the structure of Western liturgical traditions, the collection is truly ecumenical. The material within may be used in conjunction with a congregation’s or denomination’s principal worship resource, or as an alternative to established liturgies. With adaptation, this resource can be used at interfaith memorials, as well as with those who have no affiliation in a faith tradition.
CONTENTS: Graveside Funeral and Service of Committal; Graveside Funeral and Service of Committal for a Child; Graveside Committal Following a Funeral; Brief Service for the Scattering of Ashes; Prayer Service When a Funeral Is Delayed; Anniversary Visit to a Grave; Meditation for a Personal Visit to a Gravesite; Prayer and Meditation When Tending a Grave; Remembering and Naming the Saints of the Congregation; A Congregational Ritual of Loss and New Beginnings; Brief Service for the Death of a Beloved Animal; Other Liturgical Texts; Scripture Readings; Psalms; Poetry and Reflections; Hymns.