Saturday, October 9, 2010


In Vespers tonight, when Father read out "the newly-departed child of God, Mary" during a litany, I couldn't get the response out past the lump in my throat. I was holding onto my prayer rope, not really using it, and realized that tonight, for the second time in 24 hours, I would add a child's name to the list of departed on my prayer list.

Needless to say, I probably was looking pretty sad at this point.

I was holding my youngest who turned to look at me and asked (in a stage whisper), "What's wrong Mommy?"

I told him I was sad.

He grinned and said, "No you're're happy!" and pushed his little hands into either side of my face, forcing me to make a fish-face.

I admit I did smile a bit.  I asked him why I should be happy.

He smiled very big and said, "Because of communion!"

Now even at three this child knew that we were at Vespers, not at Liturgy, and that there would be no communion tonight. He didn't mean one instance of receiving communion. I think he meant the fact that we as a Church receive the Body and Blood of Christ together. I was forced to remember that the Church, the Body of Christ, contains the living and the departed. We are still in communion with the departed.

Well, he's right. I guess I'm happy, or at least, getting there.


  1. Yes, and esp. when in church we are with them. I know various priests who have felt the presence of the departed priests who had served the parish before with them in the Altar.

    One of my friend's priests saw the newly departed spouse standing in line for communion with the spouse who was still alive...

    If we are IN Christ than we are very close indeed.

    It is hard and remember that Jesus wept too; grief is real and tears are important. God holds each tear, keeps them all in a bottle, as one of the Psalms puts it.

    love to you.

  2. Thank you, Elizabeth for your post. Grieving is a difficult emotion,but necessary. I do find that grieving brings me into a more spiritual realm with God, but joy is much easier isn't it?

    Love the Vespers post--

  3. I often take comfort in knowing that I come into communion with lost loved ones at every Liturgy... and it's wonderful how our children pull us out of deep sorrow... When my son died, people frequently said, "I don't know how you get out of bed in the morning" and I would answer truthfully, that my two year old daughter would come to my bed demanding toast, and that's how I got out of bed. She pulled me, thank God.

  4. Elissa, I'm praying that the work of keeping two sixteen-week twins inside will sustain my sister's friend. Part of me thinks, she can't lose THREE children...

  5. This post, and the comments, point out the beauty of sorrow, grief, and life in Christ.

    May sweet Mary's Memory be Eternal. I am so hearbroken.

  6. Yes... "out of the mouths of babes"... we are still in communion... Glory to God for all things... "Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down Death by death, and upon those in the tombs - bestowing life." Pascha is the joy in our Grief... We feel the reality of a loss that is only "virtual reality" as my boys would say... praying for you all...
    Memory Eternal...


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