This is a post on Grieving for Divorced couples.
In our western society we are not great when it comes to rituals, customs or marking significant seasons in our lives.
One of my closest friends was journeying a divorce the same time that I was working through the death of my husband. It was an interesting parallel for me. We were both facing the loss of the men that we loved most in our lives. We were grieving over the death of relationship, plans, visions, hopes and futures. Yet the way that our community held us was worlds apart.
I was embraced, loved, held and given sympathy. Flowers, cards, casseroles, offers of help for the children and the household. On the other hand my girlfriend was offered silence, distance, even in some cases disapproval. Neither of these events were planned or hoped for. Both were out of our control. Why as a society do we frame some life changing occasions as acceptable and others not? You would think that by now we would have language and education enough to journey well with those who are grief stricken with Divorce, disability, suicide and other life events that we often remain silent and uncommitted on.
So in the hope of giving you language, ritual and liturgy, I re-post this Divorce Liturgy by Rowland Croucher. Liturgy just means, ceremony, practise, sacrament, rite or custom. I pray with you that this helps ease the pain and the suffering of those who are grieving and for those of you who have been lucky enough not to have suffered this magnitude of loss, I pray that this will educate and inform you to walk with compassion, comfort and love with those who are in this dark valley.
The Grieving Originally posted by Rowland Croucher. APRIL 27, 2015
As we remember the wonder of Christ’s love, we know that we are humble and fallible human beings. When we grieve our failures, Christ is beside us in that moment and gives us pardon and strength.
Silent reflection and confession
Loving God, when a marriage has ended, we face an experience of death; the death of hope for a relationship, the death of what we saw as our future the death of an image we had of ourselves as people who would always honour the commitment we made before you and our family and friends.
O God, sometimes we are wrong in our beginnings and sometimes wrong in our endings. We come into your presence now, believing that we have faced things that were too great for us and knowing that you understand and never forsake us. We come before you, the Christ who has entered all the painful experiences of our life, and we grieve that, in the complexities of human relationship, we have failed to sustain our vows.
We have wounded ourselves and those we love.
Forgive us, O God.
In our brokenness, we need your healing and your recreating, your power to restore to us the hope of the fullness of life. Forgive us, O God.
Readings: Isaiah 40: 28-31- her scripture for him Revelation 21:3-5a – his scripture for her
Addressing each other with words of confession and affirmation
Communion Play U2‘s song ‘Grace’
Prayers of Intercession Gracious God, in you we see the promises of all that is new. We see the barren earth grow green in the spring and new leaves when the winter has passed. We see the generations of humanity, living and dying, struggling and failing, despairing and hoping, held safe by the rock of your faithfulness to us through the ages. We pray for all who grieve a loss in their lives this day. May they be comforted. We pray for all who are bowed down by guilt or pain and for all who look to the future with anxiety. May they experience your loving presence.
Specific prayers for the couple Hold us all in your loving hand, Parent God, and remind us of the hope to which we are called.