Prayer For Ashes

Lord, we scatter these ashes not just so that we can fulfill the wishes of our loved one, but also as a symbol of acceptance of your will over his life. We wanted him to continue living, but God, you called him back home according to your will. We praise you, O Lord, because no plans of yours can be thwarted. Let your grace be sufficient for us that we may be able to fully accept that our loved one is no longer with us. May your name be glorified forever. In Jesus' name, I pray, Amen.

O Lord, thank you for the seasons and times you gave us with our loved one. We bless your holy name for you have been with us from the time he departed. We live in confidence, knowing that your servant is in your presence. May he find perfect rest in you. Lord, though we are grieving, we are comforted in our hearts because you have brought his pain to an end. Our loved one is resting in your arms of love. In Jesus' precious name, we believe and pray, Amen.

Let us pray.
Faithful God,
Lord of all creation,
you desire that nothing redeemed by your Son
will ever be lost,
and that the just will be raised up on the last day.
Comfort us today with the word of your promise
as we return the ashes of our brother/sister to the earth.
Grant N. a place of rest and peace
where the world of dust and ashes has no dominion.
Confi rm us in our hope that he/she will be created anew
on the day when you will raise him/her up in glory
to live with you and all the saints
for ever and ever.
R. Amen.

Dear God, we are hurting and struggling to accept the loss of our loved one. But even in pain, we know that all things work together for your good. As we scatter these ashes, we release our dear one into your loving hands where she truly belongs. Thank you for filling us with the hope of seeing her again when we come home to be with you. Let your love fill the void in our hearts, and help us to find joy in the times we shared with her. In Jesus' name, we believe and pray, Amen.

The Lord is my shepherd: I shall not want.He maketh me to lie down in green Pastures, he leadeth me beside the still waters.He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake,Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me, thy rod and staff they comfort me.Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointed my head with oil; my cup runneth over.Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Help us, Compassionate God, to let Your ancient and eternal song of death and life be played out in each of us, as we live out our faith that death is but a doorway that opens unto a greater and fuller expression of life, that opens to a final union with You who are life! Blessed are You, Lord of Life, who alone knows the hour of our death and ultimate union with You. Blessed are You, Lord our God, whose messenger is death.

I already feel that I have entered into the spirit of Lent. It is a painful season, especially as I remember the death of those I knew in Christchurch. Here is another prayer to begin the season.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust
All that is not of God must die
All that is crushed will be restored
All that is lost will be made new
God may we repent of ways that do not serve you
And admit to the tensions that tell us where we need to change
Christ is coming walking towards the cross
God may we see him clearly
Pouring out love
Pouring out mercy
Pouring out peace
May we kneel before him in humble adoration
May we take up our cross and follow
And walk with Christ into the ways of life

God, life seems so bleak and useless right now. I don't have any energy. I have no ambition to do much of anything. I am really feeling down. I feel "down on" myself and "down on" everyone around me. Even as I pray, I don't sense your presence. I am going through the motions, knowing that you are still with me.

I know that I am sacred and precious but they are just words right now. I know that my life has been worthwhile, full of many wonderful people and experiences, much happiness and joy. I feel little of this right now. God, all I can do is affirm the goodness of life and try to hold on until the darkness is replaced by your light and love.

Help me to spot the lies that my depressed emotions are telling me. Life is good. I am good. You are good. Grant me hope. My loved ones love me. Life will be beautiful again. Soon, I will see the beauty around me again. Soon, I will again know vitality and purpose, happiness and love. Until then, give me the strength and hope to survive this day.

Help me to smile and laugh, even if just for a moment. Be my strength and salvation. I ask you to restore me and make me whole. Fill me with the Word and the Spirit that I might be recreated anew. I praise and thank you. Amen.