A Prayer for Pain and Joy

Spirit of Renewal, God of Many Names, and One Transforming and Abundant Love,

We gather this hour in community;

A sanctuary of friends, of strangers, of family;

Some seeking an hour of peace,

Some wanting to be challenged,

To be uplifted,

Others hoping for an end to grief,

A commiseration for a sense of loss,

Of loved ones gone.

Each of us know pain and joy in our lives,

Each carry these in our hearts,

turn them over with our minds,

again and again.

May this be a place where we make space

for the burdens our neighbor carries;

celebrate our successes when they have come,

and ease one another’s journey as best we can.

May a Spirit of Newness enter our lives;

Teach us to respect our own grief, and pain,

Give it its due,

And learn to let go, when it is time to let go.

So too, teach us to feel joy when there is cause for celebration,

Allow it to touch our hearts, and enter our lives,

And may we not let it go before its time;

Let us not readily and perpetually sacrifice our joy,

before the idols of work,

Or school, or duty, or even loss.

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