A Prayer for the Departed

VICAR

Dear Readers of Country Squire Magazine, I trust that You and Your loved ones are safe and well. There are still several weeks left of what We hope will be the final lockdown. There are some doing better than others. Let Us think of our neighbours, friends and family. Let us reach out as best We can to those who are struggling the most.

This week I would like to focus on the dead.

For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. (Romans 14:7-9)

It is easier to become immune to daily Covid death statistics than to face up to the real pain that each case causes. The same happens in war. We acknowledge the numbers and know that they are serious but we ostrich away the reality so We can get on and live. And in some ways that is the right way to behave.

Others would argue that We should reflect hard on those numbers and learn the individual stories out of respect for the dead. The danger of the latter course of action is that We get bogged down and depressed. We should focus on the living and meet our responsibilities to the living as a priority, especially during times of crisis.

Everyone knows of someone who has died. The act of praying for them is a good act and one that should be performed daily. Talk to them, cherish them and look out for signs of them. The veil between life and death is a thin one indeed. If You feel them in the wind or the sunshine, that is Your privilege and do not let anyone tell You that You are mad. Anniversaries and places that jog memories of the departed are hard at first but soon become treasured milestones in the journey of life. Photographs and mementoes should rightly be saved. We are all to die one day. We must not fear death as much as modern society suggests We should. As Christians We should look to the future with hope not fear, while being responsible and decent.

I ask You to continue to keep safe and to look out for those around You. God Bless You all. Have a peaceful Sunday and a good week ahead. I am praying for You. Stay well, Dear Readers.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

Amen.