Throughout November the Church remembers those who have died and rest eternally with God. Here is one way you can remember them each day.
Both the Apostles and Nicene Creed contains the phrase 'the communion of Saints', which affirms our faith that we are spiritually connected with all of our brothers and sisters, including those who have passed from this life. In charity, we pray that those who have died are forgiven of any and all sin and intercede for us in heaven.
You may wish to remember your loved ones, in the same manner. To do so, you will need a bowl filled with water and some small stones.
Each morning you might start the day by placing a stone into the water in memory of a loved one. As you place the stone into the water, you notice ripples that move outwards. Although the life of your loved one has ended in this world, their spirit lives on and moves outwards. Just as the ripples move through the water, their spirit moves outwards also. Through the love they offered in life and the memories that are treasured and are held within your heart.
Let the ripples also remind you that their spirit lives on. As much as ripples subside and disappear; they do not end. Although no longer visible they move through the entire body of water. Just as the spirit of those who have died moves through the universe and is present with us, through faith today.
I hope this practice brings you peace and is cathartic.
Here also is a piece of Scripture that might help in your reflection:
'Listen to this secret truth: we shall not all die, but when the last trumpet sounds, we shall all be changed in an instant, as quickly as the blinking of an eye. For when the trumpet sounds, the dead will be raised, never to die again, and we shall all be changed. For what is mortal must be changed into what is immortal; what will die must be changed into what cannot die. So when this takes place, and the mortal has been changed into the immortal, then the scripture will come true: “Death is destroyed; victory is complete!”?“Where, Death, is your victory??Where, Death, is your power to hurt?”?' (1 Corinthians 15:51-55)
Brendan Nicholls is the liturgy coordinator at St Ignatius College, Geelong.