This is the time of the year when many observe Hanukkah, Solstice, Kwanzaa, Christmas and expect to feel joy, but cannot because of loss: loss of … a loved one … job … family pet … relationship … home … finances … health … hope.

“Make Time to Mourn – Make Time to Grieve©” was created to be used at any time when the experience of loss is present and particularly now at this holiday time in the pandemic.

It is shared with love and all are welcome to use and share with accreditation. May healing, grace, hope and peace surround and infill you.

June Maffin
www.soulistry.com/blog www.soulistry.com
www.facebook.com/groups/soulistry http://www.facebook.com/groups/soulistrychurchyear
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“MAKE TIME TO MOURN. MAKE TIME TO GRIEVE”
© june maffin www.soulistry.com

Before you begin, I encourage you to find some matches and candles. As each candle is lit (hopefully in a darkened or semi-darkened room to get the effect of the light emanating from the candle), you may want to have some quiet music playing in the background. Or, you might want to do the ritual in silence. Try not to have the tv, loud music on, or do this at a time when children/family/friends could make demands on you.

If you want some symbolism, choose your candles accordingly. I prefer to use royal blue (the colour of hope), but you may find that white (the colour of wholeness), red (the colour of Spirit), green (the colour of new life) offers deeper significance for you. Use whatever coloured candles you like or have on hand. Speak / think / pray each phrase slowly, reflectively. There is no need to hurry. This is your time.


To begin … take a few slow, deep breaths from your abdomen, inhaling a sense of peace and exhaling that which brings anxiety. When you find your breathing has slowed down, light the first candle.

LIGHT FIRST CANDLE AND SAY/THINK/PRAY …
I light this candle to remember those who have been loved and lost.
I pause to remember them … their face, their voice, their name.
GIVE YOURSELF TIME TO REMEMBER THEM.

THEN SAY/THINK/PRAY
I give thanks for the memory and circumstance that binds them to me.
May Eternal Love surround them.
[Silent time for reflection and simply “be-ing”]

LIGHT THE SECOND CANDLE AND SAY/THINK/PRAY
I light this second candle to redeem the pain of loss:
the loss of relationship, the loss of job, the loss of health, the loss of finances.
GIVE YOURSELF TIME TO THINK OF WHATEVER YOU ARE EXPERIENCING AS ‘LOSS’ THIS DAY.

THEN SAY/THINK/PRAY:
As I gather up the pain of the past,
I offer it, asking that into my open hands the gift of peace, of shalom, of wholeness be placed.
GIVE YOURSELF TIME TO DO THIS

THEN SAY/THINK/PRAY:
May I be refreshed, restored and renewed
[Silent time for reflection and simply “be-ing.”]

LIGHT THE THIRD CANDLE AND SAY/THINK/PRAY…
I light this third candle to remember myself.
I pause and remember the past weeks, months (years):
… the down times
… the poignancy of memories
… the grief
… the sadness
… the hurt
… the anger
… the numbness
… the shock
… the pain of reflecting on my own mortality
… the fear
GIVE YOURSELF TIME TO DO THIS

THEN SAY/THINK/PRAY:
May I remember that dawn defeats darkness.
May I remember the words written on a wall at Dachau prison — “I believe in the sun even when it’s not shining. I believe in the stars even when I see them not. I believe in God even when I don’t see God.” (OR FOR A FINAL SENTENCE: “I believe in hope even when I don’t feel it.”
[Silent time of reflection and simply “be-ing.”]

LIGHT THE FOURTH CANDLE AND SAY/THINK/PRAY …
I light this fourth candle to remember the gift of hope.
I lean on the Holy One who shares my life,
and who promises a place and time of no more pain and suffering
and who loves unconditionally.
GIVE YOURSELF TIME TO DO THIS OR SUBSTITUTE ANY PHRASING THAT WILL BE MEANINGFUL FOR YOU.

THEN SAY/THINK/PRAY:
May I not forget the One who shows the way and Who goes with me into my tomorrows
(or substitute any phrasing of gratitude that will be meaningful for you)
[Silent time of reflection and simply “be-ing.”]

CLOSE BY SAYING/THINKING/PRAYING
Amen. So be it. Amen. (“Amen” means is “So be it.”)

[Silent time of reflection and simply “be-ing” in the darkness]


When you’re ready, transition back to your regular activities by doing something for yourself if you’re able: a long leisurely bath; a hot cup of tea/hot chocolate; listen to some gentle music … and know that there are people who care and that even though you may feel alone, you are not alone.

An aside: revisiting the “Make Time to Mourn. Make Time to Grieve” ritual (whenever experiencing loss) can bring healing and hope and adapting this Gaelic blessing (using ‘me’ instead of ‘you’) can be a gentle way to re-connect to the peace experienced as you moved through the “Make Time to Mourn. Make Time to Grieve” ritual. Not just a one-time opportunity for helping to move through grief/loss because we experience various kinds of loss throughout our lives so print it out, file it, share it, use it. May it bless you in your moments of grief.

Deep peace of the running wave to you (me).
Deep peace of the flowing air to you (me).
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you (me).
Deep peace of the shining stars to you (me).
Deep peace of the infinite peace to you (me).


© june maffin www.soulistry.com
www.soulistry.com/blog
www.facebook.com/groups/soulistry
www.facebook.com/groups/soulistrychurchyear