We enter into the month of November when we remember and pray for our dead, especially those we have known and loved. Here is a beautiful meditation on grief by the late Cardinal Basil Hume.
Grief cannot be shared, for it is mine alone.
Grief is a dying within me,
a great emptiness,
a frightening void.
It is loneliness,
a sickening sorrow at night,
on awakening a terrible dread.
Another's words do not help.
A reasoned argument explains little
for having tried too much.
Silence is the best response to another's grief.
Not the silence that is a pause in speech,
awkward and unwanted,
but one that unites heart to heart.
Love, speaking in silence, is the way into
the void of another's grief.
The best of all loves come silently,
and slowly too, to soften the pain of grief,
and begin to dispel the sadness.
It is the love of God, warm and true,
which will touch the grieving heart and heal it.
He looks at the grieving person and has pity,
for grief is a great pain.
He came among us to learn about grief,
and much else too, this Man of Sorrows.
He knows. He understands.
Grief will yield to peace - in time.
This Sunday 1 November, the eve of All Souls’ Day, the bishops and priests of Ireland will lead a short service of prayer at 3.00pm to dedicate the month of November to ‘Remembrance of the Dead and Prayer for the Bereaved’. Bishops invite the whole country to unite in this moment which will be followed by parish liturgies throughout the month of November, reaching out as much as possible to those who cannot be physically present.
The bishops said, “November is a time for remembering and praying for our loved ones who have gone before us and whose loss we feel. It is a time when we are particularly conscious of those in our parishes who are grieving and all those families who have lost loved ones in the past year. More than most years, this November will be especially poignant as we remember all those who have died during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We mark this time of year in our parishes with events like the blessing of the graves, the celebration of remembrance services as well as commemorating All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day. As a result of the current Covid-19 restrictions, it will not be possible for us to gather together for these annual events. We will still reach out in November, a month we traditionally pray for our dead, to offer spiritual support to the bereaved.”
Those wishing to join in the prayer service on Sunday are invited to tune in to their local Cathedral.
For log on to the prayer service led by Bishop Denis Brennan at St Aidan's Cathedral, Enniscorthy, just connect at www.churchservices.tv/enniscorthycathedral