Today I did my first overdose funeral. It was so very hard – made worse by my own sister dying from complications of alcoholism many years ago now. So if, like me, you are struggling to know what to say, here is what I said. Please do not just repeat it. I mean, I can’t stop you, but that would at least be tacky and lazy. Instead, hopefully this can help you figure out how to tackle addiction and sudden loss. Fortunately the family really appreciated it, and I didn’t cry until I gave a sob leaving the room. This problem will get worse before it gets better. A lot of funerals are yet to come. Continue reading
I have been quiet – too quiet – and I am sorry. The crazy month of June is over, and I hope to be getting back to more writing beyond just discourses on student leadership. And although it is Saturday and I am just now getting to the bulletin for tomorrow (typical), here is an Invitation to the Table that I just wrote which rests well with me. May this find you all well, and if you are singing any national hymns tomorrow, I hope you have included Lift Every Voice and Sing. The work is not yet done.
We gather at this table today that unifies and, sadly, divides. As God’s people we have decided that differences can not come together into one, and so we come to this table remembering all of our brothers and sisters who do not sit together. But we also come as descendants of Abraham, the longed-for promises kept more numerous than the stars. We come to gather strength in order to go out and be the face of Christ to the world around us. We come to find company, make peace, and prepare ourselves until we come here again. No matter whether or not you feel your name should be on the guest list, it is. Come. Be fed. Be loved.
In case you haven’t noticed, a new liturgy isn’t coming this week, or for a couple of weeks. I have final papers to write which are taking up all my brain space. New liturgies will be back the middle of May, but in the meantime I’m lost in Higher Education Chaplaincy, mentoring Students of Color at Predominantly White Institutions, splitting students’ spirituality into practical steps towards meaning-making and worldview expansion, and whatever the fourth class will be (oh my goodness she hasn’t even told us yet!).
May your worship be blessed and your lives filled with love. I’ll see you on the flip side.
This service is not my own, but it is the one that, quite literally, I inherited from my mother. Who knows where it was before that. I am copying here from a 2004 bulletin, but this could be any year since. The changes come with what music is used in between be it sung by a choir or hymns. Note: make sure that there is enough light left by the end to be able to see the hymns as needed and especially to keep reading the scriptures. That was an awkward year yup.
Each of the readings can be read by one voice, or as a good alternative is to have a very simple readers’ theater where the evangelist, Judas, Disciples etc. each are spoken by different voices.
- First Reading Isaiah 52:13-53:12
- Psalm 22:1-31
- Second Reading Hebrews 10:16-25
- Or alternate Second Reading Hebrews 4:14-16, 5:7-9
- Gospel John 18:1-19:42
CALL TO WORSHIP
One: Scripture said the servant would be exalted and lifted high.
All: We never thought that he would be lifted high onto a cross.
This is basically the same as last year’s but hopefully easier to find here.
- First Reading Exodus 12:1-4 (5-10) 11-14
- Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19
- Second Reading 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
- Gospel John 13:1-17, 31b-35
CALL TO WORSHIP
One: Tonight we sit down to dinner with our Lord.
All: We remember the story of how God saved our people in a time of trial.