Honest Christianity – singing with integrity

Funeral

Today is our annual memorial service at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. When we were planning our first service 11 years ago we asked ourselves what can we invite bereaved families to sing that would take their circumstances seriously? We found only a few hymns
that we thought took seriously the families loss and our Christian faith. The severity of their pain, and the power of the comfort of the Holy Spirit we remember on this Pentecost Sunday. Today we will be singing one of the original songs we found and one of the new ones our team wrote for a children’s funeral which we included in our funerals and memorial resource booklet (available from http://www.bch.nhs.uk/cpsc. Here are the words to
one of those hymns which is sung to the tune of morning has broken:

Lord of compassion, tender and caring,
Holding our children, hid from our sight,
Starts in the bright sky, angels in heaven,
Gathered around you, maker of light.

These are our loved ones, shining in heaven,
These are our children, held in our hearts,
Candles still burning, softly but safely,
Each light still shining, deep in our hearts.

Lord, may your kindness reach all your people
Give to us mourners help with our tears.
Lord as we travel, hopeful and grieving,
Lighten our journey all of our years. (Written by Nick Ball).

Please pray that these words and other expressions of compassion and love will bring these families some solace, comfort and solidarity on their difficult journey. May they know they don’t travel alone.

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