Members of RetreatsIreland usually mark November in many ways, offering support and encouragement to the bereaved through retreats and opportunities for prayer, reflection and conversation.
This year sees the disruption of many of our usual patterns and family practices as we may be unable to follow and find comfort in our familiar traditions. we are glad to offer you the makings of a time of prayer and reflection for use at home.
In Loving Remembrance
We have made a selection of music from Spotify and offer some scripture and prayer texts for your use as you remember your departed. Together with texts and thoughts that you associate with your loved one, we hope that you can find the time this November to be blessed in your recollection of those who have gone before us.
While remembering the dead is deeply rooted in ancient Irish traditions and customs, it is sometimes discomfiting and seems best avoided. Taking some intentional time to recall the departed acknowledges the blessing that they have been for us and helps us to notice how our lives have been changed, our memories enriched and our hopes Have been affected by those with whom we have shared our lives. A time of prayer is an opportunity for us to be blessed again as we grow in gratitude, to pray for our departed and to imagine what their prayer for us might now be.
- When you have submitted your email address, you will receive a link to a second form to allow you to make your selection of music and texts. Once you have done that, wait for the email summary and having read over it, think about the place and time that will help you to use it well.
- To prepare for this prayer time, you might like to select some item you associate with the person and hold it in focus. You may have a memorial card or photograph to hand other maybe some small memento that reminds you of them.
- What might their prayer for you be now?
- What do you ask them to secure for you?
- What is the gift of their life to you?
- Choose a time and place That will be suitable for you to gather your thoughts and be recollected. While the pandemic conditions may limit those who can be present with you, there may be somebody who would like to join you in prayer – in person, by phone or using Zoom, Skype or similar.
- Arrange to be undisturbed, putting your phone on ‘airplane mode’.
- Pick a place that will be comfortable, perhaps not your usual spot but somewhere that will allow you to be present in a slightly different way.
- Light a candle, placing your chosen photograph or memento near it.
- Take a few moments of quiet, noticing how you feel, naming the feeling, acknowledging what it is like, seeing if you can put words on it.
- There may be time to converse with someone else if you are not praying alone – time to recall and appreciate the person you are remembering prayerfully.