In Catholic Biblical School we meet often in group session, sharing our thoughts and insights with the same eight people through the year, growing in love and respect for each other. The groups take turns starting each Saturday class with a morning prayer. Last year, Marcie Rankins and Ginger Broussard were in the group leading the prayer of November, All Souls month. Also in the group: Winona Ward, who died that September.
The prayer they used honored all our departed loved ones. Marcie told Ginger how much she loved the prayer and would use it herself this year if November was her group’s month. Instead it was Ginger’s… and we lost Marcie on November 8 to complications from a brain aneurysm.
Here is the prayer Ginger offered on Saturday, November 12, the day of Marcie’s funeral.
November wraps its dampened shroud ‘round nature’s shoulders hunched: Our souls know well the chill Of summer’s passing and winter’s drawing near … Bare limbs scratch against gray skies, and snatch a mourner’s veil From hearts laid bare in shivering loss, Alone, exposed in grief … November, Lord: no other month could better claim the name All Souls Or set the scene for praying, weeping, Remembering those before us gone And marked with signs of faith … So this November morning, Lord, I offer my beloved: created from your hand, Claimed by grace and carried In the everlasting arms of your embrace … I especially offer you my prayer today For family members and friends who have died (pause) I offer you from my heart’s depths The ones I struggle to let go … I offer you a prayer of tears For those whose absence fills my silent hours … I offer from my hands to yours The ones whose hands held mine until you took them home … I offer from a selfish heart The ones I bruised and hurt: I pray you heal the wounds I caused, And for your mercy beg … I offer up a prayer For those with none to pray for them: Brothers, sisters never met; Sisters, brothers mine, For all are one in you … I offer you my grief, O Lord, Refresh me in your tender care; Make deep my faith I’ll see again All those I’ve lost when, Gathered in your kingdom’s joy, Your mercy makes us one again … Beneath November’s canopy Walk others, Lord, who know as well as I The depths of this month’s memories And all the souls for whom we pray: Keep us gentle with each other, Lord, And mindful of what binds us in your love … Accept my mourning offering, Lord, On this November day And through the night until it dies And wakes again, a new day born, The day that you have made …