Rituals are a helpful way to move through grief. One of the most powerful rituals I’ve experienced – other than baptism and marriage – occurred as a way to experience comfort and healing following my divorce. The church was there at my marriage but not there when it dissolved, so the ritual done in a retreat center’s worship space filled that gap. Elements included lighting and later extinguishing a unity candle; reading psalms and other scriptures; praying; singing; reaffirming my parental covenant and lighting candles for each of my children; and writing down the losses from my divorce and burning the list. One hymn especially underscored the resurrection promise for me and helped me move on:
In Christ, a new creation;
in Christ we are made new;
For Christ, the Lord of
nations is calling me and you.
In Christ, a new creation is
rising from the old;
Let’s start the celebration,
and let our lives unfold.
(Used by permission. Copyright 1982 John Ylvisaker, c/o Fern M. Kruger, [email protected]).
This message is excerpted from “Loss comes in many forms” by Sonia C. Solomonson in the October 2019 Gather magazine.
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