Posts Tagged ‘Yizkor’

 

20 Years: A Liturgy for 9-11

Posted on: September 9th, 2021 by Alden No Comments

National_Park_Service_9-11_Statue_of_Liberty_and_WTCIt’s been 20 years, and this anniversary of 9-11 falls on Shabbat Shuvah. Part of this liturgy was composed for the 10th anniversary of the attacks, and now includes newer prayers written to deepen the liturgy. Here’s a link to a video of “For 9-11 Survivors.”

                                                          

For 9-11 Survivors
G-d of the survivor,
G-d of the mourner and the witness,
Grant solace and peace to those still held by physical, emotional and spiritual distress from the attacks of 9-11. Release them from visions of death and destruction, from guilt or shame, from fear or anger. Bind their wounds with Your steadfast love. Lift them on Your wings of kindness and grace.

Blessed are those who have found peace.
Blessed are those without tranquility.

Blessed are those who speak.
Blessed are those who stay silent.

Blessed are those who have healed.
Blessed are those who suffer.

Blessed are those who forgive.
Blessed are those who cannot forgive.

Blessed are You, Adonai our G-d, Source of strength for survivors of violence and tragedy in every land and in every age. Blessed are You, Rock of Israel, Source of hope and comfort.

                                                      

To the Terrorist
You who would hold the sky captive,
The sea prisoner,
The land in chains…

You who hide in caves,
Retreat to the wilderness,
Disappear behind false names and forged papers…

You who smuggle guns and arms,
Hide rockets in cities and bombs in homes,
Build weapons against the innocent and the bystander…

You whose designs are destruction,
Whose plans are fear,
Whose joy is hate…

You who harden your hearts
And wrap yourselves in death…

What evil has robbed you of your love,
Your compassion,
Your goodness,
Your humanity?
What lies have invaded your minds
So that you choose to die in order to kill?

We who love our lives and liberty
Stand firm and strong against terror.
We will defend our nation and our people.
We will protect our land and our homes.
And we pray for you to find hope and comfort
In lives of peace.

                                                   

At the Hand of Terror: A 9-11 Yizkor Prayer
Creator of all,
Source and shelter,
Grant a perfect rest under your tabernacle of peace
To ______________________ (name),
My [ father / mother / sister / brother / child / wife / dear one/ friend ]
Who died [ in / during / because of ]
The 9-11 attacks on the United States.
Remember the works of his/her hands
And the message of his/her heart
Remember all those who were lost in the terror of that day.
Grant their families peace and comfort for Your name’s sake
And for the sake of those who perished.
Bring an end to violence and terror,
Speedily, in our days.
May the memory of _____________________ be sanctified with joy and love.
May his/her soul be bound up in the bond of life,
A living blessing in our midst.

____________________

At the Hand of Terror II: A 9-11 Memorial Prayer
Creator of all,
Source and shelter,
Grant a perfect rest under your tabernacle of peace
To those who died in the 9/11 attacks on the United States.
Remember the works of their hands
And the message of their hearts.
Grant their families peace and comfort for Your name’s sake
And for the sake of those who perished.
Bring an end to violence and terror,
Speedily, in our days.
May their memories be sanctified with joy and love.
May their souls be bound up in the bond of life,
A living blessing in our midst.

                                                      
Memorial Prayer for 9-11 First Responders
G-d of the selfless,
G-d of the strong and the brave,
Grant a perfect rest among the souls of the righteous
To those who died in service to others because of
The 9/11 attacks on the Unites States.
May their dedication to protecting life serve as a shining lamp of love
And the works of their hands bring us all merit in heaven.
Bless the souls of all who have died to save others,
Civilians and professionals,
The trained and the untrained,
In every age and in every land,
Men and women who answered the call of honor, duty and service.
May their memories be sanctified with joy and love.
May their souls be bound up in the bond of life,
A living blessing in our midst.
____________________

Yizkor for First Responders
G-d of the selfless,
G-d of the strong and the brave,
Grant a perfect rest among the souls of the righteous
To ______________________ (name),
My [ father / mother / sister / brother / child / wife / dear one/ friend ]
Who died in service to others [ in / during / because of ]
_________________________________________________ [name of event such as:
[the 9/11 attacks on the Unites States, the Mount Carmel forest fire, etc.].
May his/her  dedication to protecting life serve as a shining lamp of  love
And the works of his/her  hands bring us all merit in heaven.
Bless the souls of all who have died to save others,
Civilians and professionals,
The trained and the untrained,
In every age and in every land,
Men and women who answered the call of honor, duty and service.
May the memory of _____________________ be sanctified with joy and love.
May his/her soul be bound up in the bond of life,
A living blessing in our midst.

                                                      

Other prayers that may be useful in tailoring a 9-11 commemoration to your community are:

All of these works are © 2011 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: They original liturgy written at the request of Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder, Ph.D., for the HUC-JIR publication Tzeh U’limad. Thanks to my sister Mara Lund for her insightful comments on drafts of these prayers.

Please check out my CCAR Press Grateful/Joyous/Precious trilogy. The individual books are: This Joyous Soul , This Grateful Heart, and This Precious Life. Here’s a link to my ELItalk, “Falling in Love with Prayer..” 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.


Please consider making a contribution to support this site and my writing.

Photo Source: WikiMedia Commons

A Covid Yizkor Prayer

Posted on: August 22nd, 2021 by Alden No Comments

This is a new Yizkor prayer to be read on behalf of the entire community for those who perished due to Covid-19. The core paragraph is patterned after the traditional El Malei Rachamim. It’s based on a prayer I wrote when the U.S. Covid death toll hit 100,000. Click on the link below to download a PDF of this prayer for your personal use. Contact me at alden@tobendlight.com if you’d like to make multiple copies for communal use. See also: “Pervasive Peace,” a musical blessing for the New Year in the era of Covid, as well as “These Vows: A Covid Kol Nidre.”

A Covid Yizkor Prayer
God of consolation,
Surely you count in heaven,
Just as we count here on earth,
In shock and in sorrow,
The souls sent back to You,
One-by-one,
The dead from the Covid pandemic,
As the ones became tens,
The tens became hundreds,
The hundreds became thousands,
Then hundred-thousands,
And now millions upon millions.
Each soul, a heartbreak,
Each soul, a life denied.

,אֵל מָלֵא רַחֲמִים, שׁוֹכֵן בַּמְּרוֹמִים
,הַמְצֵא מְנוּחָה נְכוֹנָה עַל כַּנְפֵי הַשְּׁכִינָה
,בְּמַעֲלוֹת קְדוֹשִׁים וּטְהוֹרִים כְּזוֹהַר הָרָקִיעַ מַזְהִירִים
.לְכָל הַנְּשָׁמוֹת שֶׁנִּסְפּוּ בְּמַגֵּפַת הַקוֹבִיד

El malei rachamim, shochayn bam’romim,
Ham-tzay m’nucha n’chona al kanfay Hash’china,
B’maalot k’doshim uthorim k’zohar harakia mazhirim,
L’kol haneshamot sheneisfu b’mageifat ha’Covid.

God, full of mercy, who dwells on high,
Provide a sure rest on the wings of the Divine Presence,
Among the holy, pure and glorious, who shine like the sky,
To the souls of all who died in the Covid pandemic.

God of wisdom,
We pray for the souls of those taken too soon,
Those who were vulnerable and unprotected,
Those who were sacred and forsaken,
Those who died on ventilators,
Whose funerals were lonely,
Who didn’t need to die,
And those who died alone,

God of healing,
Put an end to this pandemic,
And all illness and disease.
Bless those who stand in service to humanity.
Bless those who grieve.
Bless the dead,
So that their souls are bound up in the bond of life eternal.
And grant those still afflicted
With disease or trauma
A completed and lasting healing,
One-by-one,
Until suffering ceases,
And we can stop counting the dead,
In heaven
And on earth.

© 2021 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com.

New here? Subscribe here to get my newest prayers by email.
Share the prayer! Email this to a friend.

Please check out my CCAR Press Grateful/Joyous/Precious trilogy. The individual books are: This Joyous Soul , This Grateful Heart, and This Precious Life. Here’s a link to my ELItalk, “Falling in Love with Prayer..” 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.

Prayer for the Jews of Germany

Posted on: October 11th, 2019 by Alden No Comments

A prayer for the Jews of Germany after the Yom Kippur attack on a synagogue in Halle, Germany. This prayer incorporates a line added to the liturgy for the Aseret Yamai Teshuvah, the 10 Days of Repentance/Return. A line from the classic Yom Kippur liturgy: וכתב לחיים טובים כל בני בריתך, And write for a good life all the children of Your covenant. At Ne’ilah, the final service of the day, the line changes to וחתום לחיים טובים כל בני בריתך, “And seal for a good life all the children of Your covenant,” as it does at the end of this prayer.

For the Jews of Germany
Author of life,
Man has turned violent,
Attacking the heart of prayer
In Halle, Germany,
Murdering and wounding innocents
In the name of antisemitism,
With a passion for bloodshed
And the destruction of the Jewish people.

וכתב לחיים טובים כל בני בריתך
And write, for a good life, all the children of Your covenant
Uc’tov l’chaim tovim kol b’nai britecha

To the traumatized in Halle,
We pray for healing,
For the Jews of Germany,
And all of the Jews of the world,
We pray for an end to antisemitism.
For the people of Germany,
And all of the people of the world,
We pray for shelter and solace,
Comfort and consolation,
Blessing and renewal.

וכתב לחיים טובים כל בני בריתך
And write, for a good life, all the children of Your covenant
Uc’tov l’chaim tovim kol b’nai britecha

Heavenly Guide,
Hand of love and shelter,
Put an end to anger and hatred,
Bigotry and fear,
And lead us to a time when no one
Suffers at the hand of another.

For the sake of our people,
And for the sake of Your Holy Name,
Grant the Jews of Germany Your protection,
Your wholeness and healing,
And Your peace.

וחתום לחיים טובים כל בני בריתך
And seal, for a good life, all the children of Your covenant
U’chatom l’chaim tovim kol b’nai britecha

© 2019 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: This is an adaptation of “For the Jews of France.”

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. Please take a moment to explore my book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.

Photo credit: Associated Press

Yizkor after a Suicide

Posted on: June 10th, 2018 by Alden No Comments

My family doesn’t know the full circumstances of my wife Ami’s z”l death, but it was probably suicide. This is another prayer about suicide, following the recent celebrity suicides of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade. Optional language appears in [brackets]. May all who struggle with thoughts of suicide find relief, speedily, and comfort in their hours of need. If you are thinking about suicide, please get help.

Yizkor after a Suicide
Oh grief,
How deep was the pain,
That my __________ (relationship, such as: mother, child, friend)
Could take his/her/their own life?
G-d of old,
Grant a perfect rest under your tabernacle of peace
To ______________________ (name),
Whose life was cut off by sorrow,
By hopelessness, depression and despair,
In a moment of inconceivable horror.
Even in this darkness,
Even in this grief and void that seems beyond repair,
Help us to remember his/her/their wisdom, talents and skills,
Our times together,
Our joy, laughter and tears.
[Give me respite from this profound sense of guilt.]
In this hour of desolation,
Bring our family comfort and consolation
As we pray for him/her/them to find a new peace
In the world to come,
[A peace he/she/they did not enjoy in this world].
May his/her/their soul be bound up in the bond of life,
A living blessing in our midst.

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

Postscript: Here are some related prayers: “My Depression,” “Mental Illness,” “These Troubled Children,” “Suicide Attempt by My Spouse/Partner,” “My Child’s Suicide Attempt” and “Yizkor after my Child’s Suicide.”

New here? Subscribe here to get my newest prayers by email.
Share the prayer! Email this to a friend.

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: Suicide Prevention Lifeline

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.

Hello! New here? Want more? Subscribe here to receive my newest prayers by email. 

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

Death of a Horrible Relative

Posted on: February 12th, 2017 by Alden No Comments

imageWhen family members die, we strive to remember the best moments of their lives. We must also recognize the complexity of mourning when a person has suffered trauma at hand of a newly-departed relative. Although a response to death, this is a personal prayer of healing. It is intended for private use. Optional verses appear in [brackets]. Alternative word choices are separated with a slash (“/”).

Death of a Horrible Relative
Dad/Mom/_________ (other relative, name or relationship),
So many moments of pain,
So many chances for healing that you abandoned,
So much suffering that you caused,
And now, you are dead.
What is it that I/we mourn?
The dad/mom/_________ (other relative) we never had?
The loss of so much time and energy
To the misery you caused?
The hope that one day you would become
A person of integrity and valor,
Kindness and love?

As in life,
Your death brings mixed emotions,
Different for each of us in our family as we grapple to understand,
As we grapple to find comfort and peace.

G-d of Old,
[Where were You when our family needed healing?]
[Where were You in the pain the sorrow?]
Help me to let go of the false hopes and empty promises
That never came to be.
Teach me to accept my past as it was
So I can embrace a richer tomorrow.
Teach me to release my anger and pain
So that I may lead a life of awe and wonder,
Full of joy and laughter.
Help me to move on.
[Help me to forgive. So that one day I can say:]
May his/her soul be bound up in the bond of life,
[At long last,]
A living blessing in our midst.

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

Postscript: See also “Grieving the Living.” Here’s a link to all of my Yizkor and memorial prayers.

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 Source: Alden Solovy

On Lighting a Yizkor or Yartziet Candle

Posted on: September 22nd, 2016 by Alden No Comments

imageThis is a simple new meditation, appropriate for both Yizkor and a Yartziet, to be said before or after lighting a memorial candle. The language is inclusive, accessible to persons of all faiths. Let all who mourn find peace. This piece appears in my book This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day from CCAR Press.

On Lighting a Memorial Candle
A candle.
A flame.
A memory.

G-d of generations,
Grant a perfect rest under Your tabernacle of peace
To ____________________ (name),
Who has left this life and this world.
Let his/her/their soul find comfort.
Let his/her/their memory be a blessing.

This candle is for healing,
This flame is for hope,
Calling forth our joys and sorrows,
Calling forth our hours and our days.

G-d of our ancestors,
Bring me and my family solace and consolation
In this moment of remembrance.
Let all who mourn find peace.

© 2017 CCAR Press from This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers For a New Day

Postscript: Here’s a link to my other yizkor prayers and prayers of mourning. Thanks to Rabbi Paul Kipnes for suggesting that I write a new prayer for lighting a memorial candle.

Please check out my Meet the Author video 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.

15 Years: A Liturgy for 9-11

Posted on: September 7th, 2016 by Alden No Comments

National_Park_Service_9-11_Statue_of_Liberty_and_WTCIt’s been 15 years. This is a 9-11 liturgy composed for the 10th anniversary of the attacks, including newer prayers written to deepen the liturgy. They were written at the request of HUC-JIR’s Tzeh U’limad editor Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder, Ph.D. Here’s a link to a video of “For 9-11 Survivors.”

                                                          

For 9-11 Survivors
G-d of the survivor,
G-d of the mourner and the witness,
Grant solace and peace to those still held by physical, emotional and spiritual distress from the attacks of 9-11. Release them from visions of death and destruction, from guilt or shame, from fear or anger. Bind their wounds with Your steadfast love. Lift them on Your wings of kindness and grace.

Blessed are those who have found peace.
Blessed are those without tranquility.

Blessed are those who speak.
Blessed are those who stay silent.

Blessed are those who have healed.
Blessed are those who suffer.

Blessed are those who forgive.
Blessed are those who cannot forgive.

Blessed are You, Adonai our G-d, Source of strength for survivors of violence and tragedy in every land and in every age. Blessed are You, Rock of Israel, Source of hope and comfort.

                                                      

To the Terrorist
You who would hold the sky captive,
The sea prisoner,
The land in chains…

You who hide in caves,
Retreat to the wilderness,
Disappear behind false names and forged papers…

You who smuggle guns and arms,
Hide rockets in cities and bombs in homes,
Build weapons against the innocent and the bystander…

You whose designs are destruction,
Whose plans are fear,
Whose joy is hate…

You who harden your hearts
And wrap yourselves in death…

What evil has robbed you of your love,
Your compassion,
Your goodness,
Your humanity?
What lies have invaded your minds
So that you choose to die in order to kill?

We who love our lives and liberty
Stand firm and strong against terror.
We will defend our nation and our people.
We will protect our land and our homes.
And we pray for you to find hope and comfort
In lives of peace.

                                                   

At the Hand of Terror: A 9-11 Yizkor Prayer
Creator of all,
Source and shelter,
Grant a perfect rest under your tabernacle of peace
To ______________________ (name in Hebrew or your native tongue),
My [ father / mother / sister / brother / child / wife / dear one/ friend ]
Who died [ in / during / because of ]
The 9-11 attacks on the United States.
Remember the works of his/her hands
And the message of his/her heart
Remember all those who were lost in the terror of that day.
Grant their families peace and comfort for Your name’s sake
And for the sake of those who perished.
Bring an end to violence and terror,
Speedily, in our days.
May the memory of _____________________ be sanctified with joy and love.
May his/her soul be bound up in the bond of life,
A living blessing in our midst.

____________________

At the Hand of Terror II: A 9-11 Memorial Prayer
Creator of all,
Source and shelter,
Grant a perfect rest under your tabernacle of peace
To those who died in the 9/11 attacks on the United States.
Remember the works of their hands
And the message of their hearts.
Grant their families peace and comfort for Your name’s sake
And for the sake of those who perished.
Bring an end to violence and terror,
Speedily, in our days.
May their memories be sanctified with joy and love.
May their souls be bound up in the bond of life,
A living blessing in our midst.

                                                      
Memorial Prayer for 9-11 First Responders
G-d of the selfless,
G-d of the strong and the brave,
Grant a perfect rest among the souls of the righteous
To those who died in service to others because of
The 9/11 attacks on the Unites States.
May their dedication to protecting life serve as a shining lamp of love
And the works of their hands bring us all merit in heaven.
Bless the souls of all who have died to save others,
Civilians and professionals,
The trained and the untrained,
In every age and in every land,
Men and women who answered the call of honor, duty and service.
May their memories be sanctified with joy and love.
May their souls be bound up in the bond of life,
A living blessing in our midst.
____________________

Yizkor for First Responders
G-d of the selfless,
G-d of the strong and the brave,
Grant a perfect rest among the souls of the righteous
To ______________________ (name in Hebrew or your native tongue),
My [ father / mother / sister / brother / child / wife / dear one/ friend ]
Who died in service to others [ in / during / because of ]
_________________________________________________ [name of event such as:
[the 9/11 attacks on the Unites States, the Mount Carmel forest fire, etc.].
May his/her  dedication to protecting life serve as a shining lamp of  love
And the works of his/her  hands bring us all merit in heaven.
Bless the souls of all who have died to save others,
Civilians and professionals,
The trained and the untrained,
In every age and in every land,
Men and women who answered the call of honor, duty and service.
May the memory of _____________________ be sanctified with joy and love.
May his/her soul be bound up in the bond of life,
A living blessing in our midst.

                                                      

Other prayers that may be useful in developing a 9-11 commemoration are:

All of these works are © 2011 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Special thanks to my sister Mara Lund for her insightful comments on drafts of these prayers. Thanks also to Rabbi Ruth for the invitation to write.

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. Connect with To Bend Light on Facebook and on Twitter.

Photo Source: WikiMedia Commons

Hard Mournings

Posted on: August 9th, 2015 by Alden No Comments

YahrzeitThis is a prayer about the rhythm of mourning. Those first days – perhaps months or more – are often reminders of sorrow, emptiness and loneliness, especially in the quiet times. The closing line is a reference to Psalm 30:12: “You turned my mourning into dancing; You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness.” This piece appears in This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day from CCAR Press.

Hard Mournings
Mornings are the toughest,
That between time
When I’m not quite awake,
When my mind settles
Back to the familiarity and
The certainty of you.
Until I remember your passing.
Hard mornings,
Hard mournings,
Blend into evenings
Of solitude and sorrow.

Perhaps I’m wrong.
Evenings are the problem,
When the quiet crushes my breath
And the growing darkness
Shadows my heart
Until blessed sleep
Descends from heaven.

Mornings are the toughest
New beginnings,
Each day an echo of loss.
Evenings are the roughest reminders
Of your absence.
Each night a hollow silence,
Emptiness in the space you once held.

One day
I will breathe again.
The Soul of the Universe
Will turn my sorrow into dancing.
I will remove this sackcloth
And live again.

© 2017 CCAR Press from This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day

Postscript: Here’s an annotated list of my yizkor, memorial and mourning prayers.

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: Nahalot

“Alden has become one of Reform Judaism’s master poet-liturgists…" - Religion News Service, Dec. 23, 2020

“Mesmerizing, spiritual, provocative, and thoughtful, Alden was everything you would want in a guest scholar and teacher.” – Rabbi Denise L. Eger, Congregation Kol Ami, Los Angeles, and Past President, CCAR

"Alden Solovy has become one of the most revered liturgists of the last decade…" - Jewish Post & Opinion, March 29, 2023

“Alden left everyone feeling inspired.” – Cantor Jeri Robins, Shabbat Chair, NewCAJE6