“In the midst of death, we are in life.” This little sentence holds so much truth for all of us who journey with grief. Grief comes to us on so many levels. We have grief from the loss of loved ones. We grieve life changes and loss of abilities. We grieve the loss of things and the loss of intangibles, like faith and hope. This time of Covid has brought deep sorrow due to separation and isolation. Many of us carry this grief as a heaviness in our spirits and as a constant mourning in the depths of our being.
This fall, there will be several opportunities to walk together in our grief. It is very important to know that you are not alone. Starting on Wednesday, September 17th, at 1pm, the Cathedral will offer a weekly grief support group called, “Good Grief.” This group is open to anyone who would like the comfort of an understanding circle of people. There will be time for prayer and sharing, as well as focus on a different aspect of the grieving process each week. Betty Logan will be leading the discussion. You can come every week or every once in a while. It will follow the Wednesday noon Eucharist.
Beginning in August, on the first Thursday of the month, the noon Eucharist will be a Requiem Service. Anyone who has lost a loved one and would like them remembered in the month of their death, may submit names to me or send an email to the Cathedral. Once you have submitted a name, they will be remembered every year. Grief has no time limit. At the Eucharist, that veil between this world and the next is very thin. It is hoped that as we remember those names before God in this particular context, those who grieve may find comfort and strength. Our God does not forget. All those whom we love are forever in God’s light and love.
As we have done the last two years, we will set up an Altar of Remembrance, beginning on October 24th. The invitation is to place on the Altar photos of loved ones or to write their names on paper crosses that will be provided. All those saints who have gone on before us will be lifted up on All Saints’ Day as we bless the names and faces represented on the Altar. If you are unable to come to church to bring a photo in person, you can submit names by sending an email to me or to Fr. Spencer, and we will add them for you.
As the holidays approach, this time is often a trigger for deep sadness as those we love are not present as we gather and celebrate as family. Joy and grief seem particularly intertwined as we remember Christmas past. The Cathedral will offer a special service for those who struggle with grief during the holiday season. This “Blue Christmas” service will be held this year on December 8th during the season when the nights are longer and sadness seems to linger in our hearts.
We are people who live by faith and hope and promise. We know that our Redeemer lives and that we will be reunited again on some distant tomorrow. But even those who have the most faith still grieve. It is good to know we will be together in God’s house. It is a blessing to share not only our happy moments, but our sad ones, as this draws us closer together in community. If you are struggling with grief and need help, please do not hesitate to reach out to the clergy. We will be honored to walk the road with you.