Gabriel's funeral was 2 years ago today. It is hard to believe that I have come this far, that this much time has passed, that he has been gone for so very long. I remember this day not with sorrow, but rather joy at the promise of the resurrection. I remember tears that last for a moment, and eternity forever. If I struggle with anything, it was a death so close to a birth. It is hard to reconcile the death of your child at a time in the year that we celebrate the birth of the Messiah. It is hard to bury your son on the shortest day of the year, it is strange to recognize that this is the turning point in the year. Darkness before, and light again.
I went to the U of A Chaplain's Festival of Lessons and Carols, which was, as always, spectacular. I have heard the text many times: the prayers and the lessons don't change from year to year. This year, for the first time, I heard, really heard, part of the bidding prayer.
The church, or rather the people who make her, are so often unkind to the grieving, especially those grieving children. We are the forgotten, the left behind, and in a church desperate to increase membership through birth rate, we are the unwelcome and the unworthy. We don't fit in, and so often churches aren't a place of care and concern for us.
There was such comfort, to find in the words of the liturgy, space enough for me.
Lastly let us remember before God all those who rejoice with
us, but upon another shore and in a greater light, that multitude
which no man can number, whose hope was in the
Word made flesh, and with whom, in this Lord Jesus, we for
evermore are one.
Bidding Prayer, Festival of 9 Lessons and Carols.