NIGHT PRAYER: Tuesday 11/1

NIGHT PRAYER: Tuesday 11/1

This Night Prayer anticipates tomorrow’s feast, All Souls Day, November 2. Indeed, the whole of November is kept as the Month of All Souls, a special time to remember and pray for those who have gone before us…

Ah, November, Lord…

The gateway, in these parts, to shorter
days and colder nights; to “the holidays” and all
that they entail; to this year’s end and all the wonder, worry and mystery
of what the new year holds in store…

But as in all things living, with the season there
comes dying: this inevitable annual ending, sapping the strength of what was bright and beautiful, wonderful and warm…

Comes the harvest, then: a time for raking, burning, plowing under, waiting for the winter… then
waiting through the winter…  then
waiting for the waiting itself to finally end…

I don’t like the end of
things, Lord: the dying, the loss, the giving up, the letting go…  I don’t like the end of things…

My soul mourns the loss of
summer’s warmth and grieves in seeing autumn, in all her beauty, sadly pass away…

I shiver in the chill
November brings… And December’s pledge of colder days clouds my hope of

Ah, November, Lord…

What other month might
better bear the prayers we offer up for those who’ve gone  before us: precious
leaves, fallen from our family trees…

All those holy souls: lost from this world, found and claimed by you, harvested for life that never ends…

Ah, November, Lord… the month to
pause and face our loss of those we prayed might never go – but did…
  the month to stop
and face the truth: dying’s part of living…   But after death there comes a time when we will know your reign of peace and find again the love of those we’ve lost, the ones who’ve gone before us… 

Ah, November, Lord…   the month of souls
whose loss has touched our hearts in ways we cannot bring to speech – but bring to
prayer – for you to touch with healing, with hope that sees beyond
the summer’s end, beyond the fall, beyond the winter’s wait for spring and life that has no end…

We lift to you the lives and souls, our love and all our memories, of those who’ve gone before us…  In the
quiet of our prayer, Lord, we lift them
up by name…

(Take some time, in God’s presence,
    to name, remember and pray 
        for family and friends who have died…)

We lift them up in
prayer, Lord: welcome them in mercy to the place that you prepared for them, long
before all time began…
Hold them in your arms, Lord – hold them in your everlasting arms…

And shape our lives according to your word, that one day we might join them when your mercy brings us home to live with you in peace and in joy that has no end…

Protect us, Lord, while we’re awake, watch over us while we sleep, that awake we might keep watch for you, and asleep, rest in your peace…


Tonight’s musical offering is a little different: composer Liam Lawton reads a remarkably beautiful prayer against the background of simple music…

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My heart is numb 
Because the one I love has
And I have cried and
There is an empty
space in my heart
That I long to fill
As you wept for
Lazarus your friend
Your human heart was
Now I take your place
Lift the veil that I
might see
Beyond my grief 
Where love is pure
Light will reach
These empty walls
May no harm come to
They who have taken
The pilgrims of
May their journey be
And blessed memory 
Lighten their way
May they see the
Of Heaven’s light 
Calling them deeper
and deeper
Into eternal beauty
May they recognize
the kindly faces
Of loved ones, old
friends and neighbors
Who’ve gathered to
greet them
And take them by the hand
To the
land of eternal summer


And may they see you
As you are 
Radiant in beauty
With a gaze from
beautiful eyes
That will never ever
leave them
And may they know the
sweet embrace
Of your soft, tanned
So Lord, in my empty
May blessed memory 
Be the bridge 
From my heart to
So rest in peace O
gentle soul
Until that day 
When love will call
us home