My dear childhood friend lost her mother yesterday, and her dad a year ago. I am reminded that it was not my generation who began openly kicking church-going life to the curb, it started long before, back to our parents, the "greatest generation," the WWII generation.
In this group, the family is so disconnected with church in all three living generations that *I've* been tapped to lead a prayer service at the memorial this week. I did the same last year for the dad.
I'm honored to be asked, but I know it's because I'm the only religious person they know!
Anyway, prayers for all those people who are so unchurched, so adrift (and whose lives and worldview reflect it in many ways), and here's the service I put together, for your critique:
Friend and Husband honored me with their request to lead us in prayer, as we remember Friend's Mom today. Let us begin in the memory of our Baptism, In the Name of the Father.....
The prayers we've known since childhood "light up" in different spots when we say them in unity at times of sadness and joy. Listen to the words as we say them together, to know where our treasure lies, and to where we commend the soul of Friend's Mom: Our Father, Who Art in Heaven.....
I read this Psalm at Friend's Dad's service last year, and Friend's Mom was sitting right in that seat. We've been given another year with her but we come together to listen to this comfort from Scripture: The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.....
Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord,
And may perpetual light shine upon her.
May her soul, and the souls of all the faithfully departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace, Amen.
(Is it ironic to pray for a woman who forced her teen-aged daughter into a late-term abortion, professed to scorn the church as money-making, hypnotizing nonsense, and whose very nice children think religion is an archaic hobby that helps insecure people feel better? I have grave concerns about her immortal soul, but have to trust in the Mercy of God. I feel sorry for clergy who say these words over and over to waves of unbelieving but superstitious faces.)