Posts Tagged ‘meditation on death’

 

In Memoriam, Our Matriarch

Posted on: March 13th, 2018 by Alden No Comments

This is a new memorial prayer for the family matriarch. Here’s a link to the companion prayer, “In Memoriam, Our Patriarch.” These prayers are based on similar pieces for our living patriarch and matriarch. (In case anyone is worried, my mom is healthy, happy and aging with grace.)

In Memoriam, Our Matriarch
In memory of our matriarch,
A song of strength and hope.

Guardian of generations,
Keeper of traditions,
Hand of guidance and love,
We were blessed,
Throughout your days,
By your wisdom and steadfast purpose,
Your work to bind us to our heritage,
Your dedication to peace in our homes
And joy in our lives.
You reminded us to open our hearts
To our brothers and sisters,
Fathers and mothers,
Daughters and sons.
You reminded us to honor and cherish
Cousins of cousins of cousins,
And to live together, in harmony,
By G-d’s holy word.

G-d of motherly wisdom and grace,
Bless our family with health.
May the memories of our matriarch
Provide us with vision, endurance and hope.
May her unending devotion
Inspire us to live by our highest ideals,
Guided by Torah,
To help lift her soul to the highest heavens.
Bless our lives with laughter
And our days with purpose,
So that we bring radiance and splendor to our family
And to the world, in her honor.

Blessed are You, G-d of our mothers,
Who provides just and righteous women
In every generation.

© 2018 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

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Postscript: This prayer is based on my prayer “For the Matriarch.”

Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: Solovy Family Photo

In Memoriam, Our Patriarch

Posted on: September 13th, 2017 by Alden No Comments

This is a new memorial prayer for the family patriarch. The companion prayer, “In Memoriam, Our Matriarch,” will be posted in the next few weeks.

In Memoriam, Our Patriarch
In memory of our patriarch,
A song of dignity and honor.

Guardian of mitzvot,
Keeper of truths,
Hand of protection and peace,
We were blessed,
Throughout your days,
With your humor and compassion,
Your zest for life
And your zeal for family.
You reminded us to open our lives
To majesty and mystery,
To G-d’s justice and mercy.
You reminded us to seek radiance and splendor,
To live in awe of creation
And with compassion for each other.
You were a beacon of light,
Reminding us to choose joy over grief,
Laughter over tears.

G-d of fatherly patience and strength,
Bless our family with love.
May the memories of our patriarch
Provide us with vision, endurance and hope.
May his unending devotion
Inspire our family to deeds of righteousness and charity,
Guided by Torah,
To help lift his soul to the highest heavens.
Bless our lives with abundance
And our days with vigor,
So that we bring majesty and mystery to our lives,
And into the world, in his honor.

Blessed are You, G-d of our fathers,
You provide just and righteous men
In every generation.

© 2017 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: This prayer is based on my prayer “For the Patriarch.”

Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: Solovy Family Photo

Blessings Now a River: A Meditation on Death

Posted on: October 25th, 2015 by Alden No Comments

This is a difficult meditation on facing death. It’s blunt yet loving in its message, but not necessarily for someone who’s suffered a recent loss. Then again, as stark as it is in declaring the finality of death, the message is also one of consolation and love, comfort and hope.

Blessings Now a River
And one day,
You will be gone.
Simple as that.
Gone.
A blank space,
The flow of life filling the spot
Where you once were.

Or could it be
That the love once held within you
Will finally be free?
That your old container,
Now broken,
Will no longer bind you?
That your blessings now a river
Will flow freely?
That your sacred spirit
Will fill the universe?

And on that day,
You will be here.
More here than ever.
Simple as that.
Here unbounded,
As unimaginable as infinity,
As radiant as light,
A holy space most present
In this sacred place,
Here where hearts dwell.

© 2015 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Here’s a link to my other prayers and meditations on death and mourning.

Tweetable! Click here to tweet this: “Blessings Now a River,” a moving new meditation on death from @ToBendLight. https://tobendlight.com/?p=13451

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Photo Source: Alden Solovy

Near the End: A Meditation (Clergy Version)

Posted on: July 14th, 2013 by tobendlight No Comments

Lake_mapourika_NZ_jpegThis is meditation to prepare for the journey of death, rewritten for use by clergy with those in need. It moves gently to a place for the individual to speak to G-d, where the prayer includes an allusion to the death bed Vidui, the confessional. The prayer closes with a reading in unison, allowing the clergy member to support the individual. It is based on “Near The End: A Meditation,” which appears in my book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.

Near the End: A Meditation (Clergy Version)
For use by clergy with an individual near the end of life.

Clergy:
When our days fade,
And our eyes dim,
When darkness settles,
And the veil is lifted…

Together:
Remove my fear
My doubt,
My shame.
Remove my hesitation and longings,
So I may go gracefully into
The unknown,
The unknowable,
The secret tomorrow of my soul.

Clergy:
Ancient One,
Foundation and Shelter,
Cradle of life,
You wait for our return.

Individual:
Holy One,
Companion and Guide
Guardian of spirit,
I confess my weaknesses and mistakes,
My errors of judgment and
My lapses of conscience,
So that I may return to you in joyous surrender.

Together:
Source of life
Holy and exalted
You have called us to service on this earth.
You will call us back to You,
As You call all Your children,
To return from this life,
This journey,
This place of sea and sky,
Of happiness and heartbreak.
Let me go in peace.
Let me go in peace.

© 2013 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Other prayers with a similar theme include: “Things Break” and a prayer to be said “Upon Entering Hospice.”

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Photo Source: WikiMedia Commons

Vayechi 5773: Near the End, A Meditation

Posted on: December 28th, 2012 by tobendlight No Comments

And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years; so the days of Jacob, the years of his life, were a hundred forty and seven years. And the time drew near that Israel must die…
– Genesis 47:28-29

Here’s a meditation on the journey home. Listen along by clicking on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows. This prayer appears in my book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.

 

Near the End: A Meditation
When my days fade,
When my eyes dim,
When darkness settles,
And the veil is lifted,
Remove my fear
My doubt,
My shame.
Remove my hesitation and longings,
So I may go gracefully into
The unknown,
The unknowable,
The secret tomorrow of my soul.

Ancient One,
Foundation and Shelter,
Companion and Guide,
Cradle of life,
Guardian of spirit,
I confess my weaknesses and mistakes,
My errors of judgment and
My lapses of conscience,
So that I may return to You in joyous surrender.

Source of my life
Holy and exalted
You have called me to service on this earth.
You will call me back to You
As You call all Your children
To return from this life,
This journey,
This place of sea and sky,
Of happiness and heartbreak.
Let me go in peace.
Let me go in peace.

© 2011 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Here are other prayers about transitions and transformations: “Leaving,” “River” “Rhythms” and “Transitions.” For an annotated list of Memorial and Yizkor prayers, click here. This prayer was first posted on February 20, 2011.

Please consider making a contribution to support this site and my writing. For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Credit: WikiMedia Commons

Near the End: A Meditation

Posted on: February 20th, 2011 by tobendlight No Comments

Since death is certain, and the date of death is uncertain, what do I do to prepare? Here’s a meditation on the journey home. Listen along by clicking on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows. This appears in my book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.

 

Near the End: A Meditation
When my days fade,
When my eyes dim,
When darkness settles,
And the veil is lifted,
Remove my fear
My doubt,
My shame.
Remove my hesitation and longings,
So I may go gracefully into
The unknown,
The unknowable,
The secret tomorrow of my soul.

Ancient One,
Foundation and Shelter,
Companion and Guide,
Cradle of life,
Guardian of spirit,
I confess my weaknesses and mistakes,
My errors of judgment and
My lapses of conscience,
So that I may return to You in joyous surrender.

Source of my life
Holy and exalted
You have called me to service on this earth,
You will call me back to You
As You call all Your children
To return from this life,
This journey,
This place of sea and sky,
Of happiness and heartbreak.
Let me go in peace.
Let me go in peace.

© 2011 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: If you liked this, try “Remember” and “Come Walk,” another prayer/poem in the voice of the spiritual traveler.

Please consider making a contribution to support this site and my writing. For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

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