Many churches choose the longest night to invite those with losses, plus family and friends, to come for a time of worship. Usually the services include readings from scripture and prayers, but a common element of most is the lighting of candles. Even in the darkest time of year, when sadness wraps its arms around us tight, we can gather to light candles of memory and candles of hope. Liturgy affirms that God is a God who knows our grief and invites us to walk through the valley of death, loss, and grief. We do not escape the valleys in our lifetime, but scripture points to moving through grief with the courage to mourn.
—Larry J. Peacock, The Living Nativity: Preparing for Christmas with Saint Francis (Upper Room Books, 2018)
“God heals the brokenhearted
and bandages their wounds.”
—Psalm 147:3 (CEB)
Prayer for the Week
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(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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