For empty spaces at dinner tables. For graduations and weddings and birthdays not attended. For family not met. For hugs that will never be given and calls that will never be answered.
For all the saints who’ve known your love.
For those who died trying to make the world a better place, and for those who died trying to make a better place for themselves in the world.
For those who have died in the broken heart of this city.
For those who have died on the battlefield.
For those who have died as a result of racism, or homophobia, or sectarianism, or gender inequality.
For those who have died at the hand of their own demons.
For the people whose hands I’ve held as they died. For the people who I couldn’t bring back to life.
For the times I send someone into a room to say goodbye to their person, and the ones I can’t get there in time.
For the person for whom the wail of a siren broke from Great Western Road into the middle of Psalm 23, a brief invasion of chaos to remind us that the tragedy goes on, always, and that our humanity is in grieving it, yes, but in fighting it too.
For the names and the names and the names of the people we have remembered by name. For the safekeeping of those names throughout the year. For the people who they were loved by, and are loved by.
For the people who I love and see no longer.
For those who die alone.
For those who will die tonight.
For those who die with no one else to pray for them.
For all who here sought and here found him, whose journey is ended and peril is past.
For everyone who we have ever loved who is now safe with God.
For the tears we cry tonight, and for the promise of the Resurrection too.