Spring flowers push their way through the soil, birds build their nests, buds bring forth a subtle dab of colour to the bare trees, and the sun stays longer and burns a little brighter. Yes, springtime signals the emergence of life and light as Creation is once again liberated from the frozenness and darkness of winter.
During the Spring, and as the full moon begins to form, the Jewish people celebrate the defining moment in their life: the liberation from slavery and bondage at the hands of the Egyptians as they are led by God to freedom, to a land flowing with milk and honey: the great Exodus, the Passover over the Lord!
Jesus, as a faithful son of the Jewish covenant, sets within this Passover his own Exodus which he would accomplish in Jerusalem (Luke 9:31). When he sits to celebrate the Passover meal with his disciples, the weight of the liberating power of the Lord is heavy in that upper room. His hour has come. This is the great Exodus, the Passover of the Lord!
As the natural world begins to live again, the creative, saving and liberating power of God is celebrated by the church throughout the world in those three days known as 'The Triduum.' These days begin with the Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper on Maundy Thursday, continues with the Liturgy of the Lord's Passion on Good Friday and reaches its high point in the Easter Vigil. Everything that takes place during these three days is part of one celebration played out in three movements.
This is the great Exodus.
This is the Passover of the Lord!
The Triduum is at the heart of our liturgical year. It is the most important time, the defining moment of our life. Therefore, it should be celebrated with all our hearts. All of us should have a heartfelt commitment to participate in these sacred days, for we are celebrating the Exodus, the Passover of the Lord, who leads us to freedom and gives us life.
We hope these prayers will offer some help for you in your time of pain and sadness.
Here you will find
prayers of comfort and assurance,
prayers that help to express anger or hurt or pain,
prayers to strengthen and console,
prayers, too, for your departed loved one and to commend them to God.
May the love of God
and the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ
and gently wipe away every tear from our eyes.
And may Almighty God bless us,
the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Lord, in our grief we turn to you.
Are you not the God of love
always ready to hear our cries?
Listen to our prayers for (insert name)
whom you have called out of this world.
Lead him/her to your kingdom of light and peace
and count him/her among your saints in glory.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayers of Trust
in darkness and light,
in trouble and in joy,
help us to trust your love,
to serve your purpose
and to praise your name;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen,
hear our prayers and comfort us;
renew our trust in your Son,
whom you raised from the dead;
strengthen our faith
that (insert name, and) all who have died
in the love of Christ
will share in his resurrection;
who lives and reigns with you, now and forever. Amen.
Prayers of Hurt and Anger
you know our hurts and share our sorrows.
We are hurt by our parting from (insert name) whom we have loved:
when we are angry at the loss we have sustained,
when we long for words of comfort,
yet find them hard to hear,
turn our grief to truer living,
our affliction to firmer hope
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Father, the death of (insert name)
brings an emptiness into our lives.
We are separated from him/her
and feel broken and bewildered.
Give us confidence that he/she is safe
and his/her life complete with you,
and bring us together at the last
to the wholeness and fullness of your presence in heaven,
where your saints and angels enjoy you for ever and ever. Amen.
When Lonely or Afraid
Risen Lord Jesus,
draw near to us as we walk this lonely road.
Pierce our weary sorrow
and gladden our heavy hearts as you go with us,
and bring us in the end to your heavenly table. Amen.
whose Son Jesus Christ said,
“Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid”,
take away our fear of death;
bring us to the place that he has gone to prepare for us;
and give us his peace for ever. Ame
Even when Easter is celebrated early in the year
and the land still seems frozen by a winter
which extends its cold breath across the land,
there are signs of life emerging.