Prayer for a Dying Teenager

Will there be cars in heaven?
Will there be motors to tinker with and fix,
mechanical problems to figure out?
Will there be siblings to tease?
Will there be dogs to run with?
Will there be a familiar landscape
that feels like home, like this home?
Will there be parents who love me?
Will there be a body that works 
and doesn’t hurt?
Is dying like a great leap
from the diving board of life,
or a quiet settling 

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Prayer for the Grieving

Grief is an atmosphere 
miles high pressing down on us.
It is the air we breathe.
Loss is the country 
thrust upon us,
refugees from the land of
to have and to hold.
We do hold on, we won’t let go,
but it’s to memories 
not flesh and blood.
God, can we find you
in this fierce wanting?

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Prayer after Death During a Pandemic

Almighty God,
we come to you filled to the brim with sorrow
because our loved one, (name), has died.
We can hardly absorb this fact.
This time of quarantine and social distancing
has meant that not everyone was here
who wanted to be here.
We may have different feelings about
the care that was given
or was unable to be given in the hospital.

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Prayer for the Critically Ill in a Pandemic (when you can’t be physically there)

God of infinite care,
how we long for your presence in this heavy time.
Our loved one, (name), is so sick, they may be dying;
we know they are suffering,
and we cannot be at their bedside to hold their hand.
Like so many other family members
who are separated from the sick through travel restrictions,
or levels of quarantine,
our hearts are torn open with grief and anguish.
We need your presence at that bed,

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Last Christmas

To all of us a last Christmas comes.
The cycle of the year, so familiar and dear,
stops cycling for us, but not for those around us.
Some have no idea the end is near,
others look at the calendar,
and know they will not be turning more pages,
and so they enter this season with different eyes.

A last chance to put up Christmas decorations,
enjoying the memories that come with each ornament.
A last chance to taste those specific cookies,

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Suicide: Five Prayers from Those Left Behind

1.  Dear God,
this grief for our loved one has hit us like a truck.
Our lives have not been the same since we heard.
You know the exact weight of our heavy hearts,
you know the volume of tears we shed,
you know the temperature of the places inside of us
that are frozen and numb.
Thank you God that you were with us before we knew this news,
and that you are journeying with us now.

2. God of our minds,
you know the thoughts that knock about our brains.

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Last Good-bye: Prayer for those Choosing MAID*

Eternal and ever-loving God,
we are gathered here in your presence, in this last hour of (name)’s life.
We give you thanks for the gift they are to the world.
You were there when (name) took their first breath,
you have been walking with them their whole life long.
In the good times, in the bad times, in the joy and in the sorrow,
and now here in this final hour, you are with us.
As we gather together in this goodbye time, we say prayers of thankfulness
for all that we have appreciated about (name):

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Prayer for those Choosing MAID*

Jesus, Saviour, we gather here knowing that you are with us,
God our Creator, thank you for giving us life on this earth. 
We gather here around (name),
so thankful for their special particular life.
You created them in their mother’s womb,
you saw them take their first breath,
your love has surrounded them every single day of their lives.
You’ve been with them through hardship and joy,
through sickness and health, through times of plenty and times of want.
You know that they love deeply, and are deeply loved.
And now this beautiful earthly life,
with all its experiences and relationships is coming to an end.
Saying good-bye is breaking our hearts!

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Learning to Die Prayer

Thank you for the gift of time,
unwrapped at birth and lived moment by moment
each and every day of our mortal lives.
We pray today for those who find time too heavy;
their suffering burdens them as they face death.
Choices need to be made about end of life care,
and the possibility of Medical Assistance in Dying.
We need courage on every level.
Courage to live, and courage to die.
Courage to speak the truth we carry
and courage to listen.
Courage to hang on to life,
and courage to let it go….

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About Carol Penner

I am a Mennonite pastor currently teaching theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. I’ve served congregations in Ontario and most recently, Alberta.

I love to write and to lead worship! If you are finding my writing helpful, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to use or adapt the material here, it is all written by me. If printing material, please credit “Copyright Carol Penner www.leadinginworship.com” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at carol@leadinginworship.com

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