Tuesday, July 14, 2009

sunrise over the beach

today is the last day of our week of rememberance. i have struggled through this anniversary more than in those past and i think i have nailed down why, finally. i haven't really had any sort of tradition or way of really thinking about him. until this year. matt came up with the idea, after boxing class, that he should write a liturgy for our son. a liturgy, for those of you who are not familiar with this part of a church service, is "a communal response to the sacred through activity reflecting praise, thanksgiving, supplication, or repentance. Ritualization may be associated with life events such as birth, coming of age, marriage, and death. It thus forms the basis for establishing a relationship with a divine agency, as well as with other participants in the liturgy." --wikipedia

it was a relief to realize that there was in fact a way to name what it was i felt i was missing...that was having a ritual. i needed some kind of ritual that i could count on every year. a week set aside to remember him, which will change, but i also realized i needed it to a have a begining and an end. something to mark it so that i could mentally turn it on and off. knowing that he was being remembered and being remembered well.

this morning we got up right before sunrise. loaded the sleepy-eyed, pajama wearing yet smiley kids into the car and headed to the beach. i felt my blood racing as i knew that there was something special about to happen. we lit a white candle for finn and then read this beautiful liturgy below that was written for us by calvin seerveld. matt did write one, but he wasn't happy with it yet. i think we should use his to start the week and end with cal's. anyway, it was a beautiful morning and just as we were giving each other communion the sun peeked over the clouds...it was perfect.

for those who have followed my writings this past week....thank you for your love, prayers and comments to me. i have felt held up by you and so loved and listened to. this year was unusually tough and i needed you. so thank you.... i value your love and friendship.

blessings to you and to those who you love. tell them every day that you do.

the liturgy follows below if you would like to read it.
A Brief Service of Remembrance for our son Finnigan Scott Harrison
born July 7th 2004 and died July 10th, 2004
written by Calvin Seerveld July 12th, 2009


We have come together to remember Finnigan who was born into God's world out of our love on July 7th. God took him from us much too soon, after just three days. So we are sad, but without reproach to the LORD. We trust God knows what God is doing with our lives, and that Finnigan has redemptive meaning for us even today.


Psalm 139 (whole, including the imprecation, since early death is God's enemy!)


reader - Lord Jesus, teach us, as we remember our beloved Finnigan, to number our days so we are grateful for the breath of life which comes from your hand.
ALL - The LORD's steadfast love endures forever.
Thank you, LORD God, for letting us be sad about Finnigan in faith, since it hurts that he touched our lives so briefly and then went to be with you before he could grow up to be our child.
The LORD's steadfast love endures forever.
O Holy Spirit, please take our sorrow about missing Finnigan, and convert it into a deep love for our family and friends, for those who are healthy and for those who are sick, so we may celebrate our love for him as your child.
The LORD's steadfast love endures forever.


We ask, Lord, for your blessing on our lives, on our memories, on our trust in You, and our hope for the day when we will be reunited with our son.
We pray in Jesus'name.
Deal with us gently, O Lord, for we too are fragile. And give us good surprises that will testify of your love for us.
We pray in Jesus'name.
Thank you that we are safe in your covenanting care, and teach us to live out of faith with joy in anticipation of your coming again, to wipe away all our tears.
We pray in Jesus'name.


Question: What is your only comfort in life and in death?

Answer: That I am not my own,
but belong--body and soul, in life and in death--
to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.
He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood,
and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil.
He also watches over me in such a way
that not a hair can fall from my head
without the will of my Father in heaven:
in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.
Because I belong to him,
Christ, by his Holy Spirit,
assures me of eternal life
and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready
from now on to live for him.

Benediction (Numbers 6:24-26)

May the LORD God bless you.
May God keep you safe.
May the LORD God turns Gods friendly face toward you,
ánd be gracious to you.
May the LORD God give you God's smile of love,
and present you with shalom.

Doxology (all present sing)

Isaac Watts' text ,"O God, Our help in Ages Past" (1719) to William Croft tune (1708).


Stephanie said...

What a wonderful idea! Thanks for sharing your day with us. The liturgy was beautiful.

Angela said...

beautiful...very touching...I have been praying for you.