Witnessing to the Resurrection: Prayers of Thanksgiving

Yesterday, I had the honor of leading a memorial service for a beloved Central member named Catherine who died peacefully at the age of 93. She lived faithfully, she loved deeply, and she taught me what it means to be thankful. In gratitude for her life and her witness, I wrote and led this prayer of thanksgiving. It is inspired by Psalm 136 and by Catherine’s life, and it could be adapted for any memorial service.

May it bring you peace, and may Catherine teach you what it means to be thankful.

Stained Glass from Central Presbyterian Church

O give thanks to the Lord, for God is good,

     God’s steadfast love endures for ever.

We give you thanks, O God,

even through teary eyes and weary souls.

We give thanks for your servant Catherine:

for the ways she touched our lives and hearts.

We are thankful for the time we had with her,

And we are thankful that we are wrapped in the warmth of your compassion.

O give thanks to the Lord, for God is good,

   God’s steadfast love endures for ever.

We are thankful, O God, for Catherine:

for the ways she reflected your light and your love.

We are thankful, O God, for the truth that Catherine knew:

You are the resurrection and the life, and you create all things good.

We are thankful, O God, for the truth that Catherine lived:

You are a God of love and justice, and we are called to be your servants.

O give thanks to the Lord, for God is good,

   God’s steadfast love endures for ever.

Catherine’s baptism is now complete in death,

for her journey of faith in this life has ended,

and she joins you in communion of the saints.

Catherine belongs to you, O God, and her life reminds us that we do, too.

We now join our voices with the faithful across time and place as we pray the prayer that Jesus taught us, saying,

Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name,

thy kingdom come,

thy will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts,

as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

and the power, and the glory,

forever.

Amen.

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