Today, while looking for something completely different (that I didn’t find), I came across the notebook in which I’d written the prayer I composed for my mum’s funeral. One of her favourite prayers was the Prayer of St Francis, so that was the framework that I used.
as we celebrate a life that was lived as a channel of your peace flowing into countless lives, may we dedicate ourselves anew to your service.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
as she spread the love whose source she found in you, so may we not hide from the evil reality of hatred, but seek it out and destroy it with the love that only you can give. Where there is injury, let me sow pardon mum showed us that to forgive was a surer way to find love than to harbour hatred. So, Lord, we ask you to forgive us our sins that we may forgive those who sin against us. Where there is doubt, let me sow faith in the very process of dying mum took the doubts that led us to injured tears and gently showed us the blessed assurance of the faith she held in you. May we be pardoned for doubting and be given the grace to stand fast in that faith and to share it with others. Where there is despair, let me sow hope mum’s hope in you was not just wishful thinking, but the confidence that all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well. May we too carry into an often despairing and doubtful world that hope that faithfully fixes its gaze beyond the shifting fortunes of mere time and space. Where there is darkness, let me sow light as mum strove to shine with the light of Jesus, so may we seek to light even one small candle of hope rather than curse the darkness of despair. And where there is sadness, let me sow joy as mum made clear that even this, her funeral, should be a time of celebration rather than mourning, so we seek the grace to bring the joy of your loving presence to those people and places where the brooding darkness of sadness seems to obscure the light of joy. O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love in confronting cancer, mum never gave in to self-pity or sought the pity of others. In her we saw something of the self-giving, sacrificial love of Christ as she continued, right to the end, to give of herself in love to all around her. May we in turn seek to turn outwards from our own self-possession — to feed the hungry; to comfort the afflicted; to pardon offences; to bear wrongs patiently; and to pray for the living and the dead. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.