Church of England Diocese of Birmingham St. Paul Blackheath

A service remembering those who have died Sunday 1st November 2020

Sunday 1st November 2020


Today we remember with thankfulness those we have known and loved who have died.

We give thanks for all that they have meant to us.

We come seeking to learn of God’s love and to open our lives to the help and strength

that he can give us as we continue on the journey of life without them.

We pray for ourselves and all who mourn that they would be comforted.


The King of love my shepherd is,

Whose goodness faileth never;

I nothing lack if I am his

And he is mine for ever.

Where streams of living water flow

My ransomed soul he leadeth

and where the verdant pastures grow

with food celestial feedeth.

Perverse and foolish oft I strayed,

But yet in love he sought me,

And on his shoulder gently laid,

And home, rejoicing, brought me.

In death’s dark vale I fear no ill

With thee, dear Lord, beside me;

Thy rod and staff my comfort still,

Thy cross before to guide me.

Thou spread’st a table in my sight,

Thy unction grace bestoweth:

And O what transport of delight

From thy pure chalice floweth!

And so through all the length of days

Thy goodness faileth never;

Good Shepherd, may I sing thy praise

Within thy house for ever.


Eternal God and Father,

we praise you that you have made people

to share life together

and to reflect your glory in the world.

We thank you for those who are no longer with us.

for all that we saw of your goodness and love in their lives

and for all that they have meant to us.

As we too journey towards death

may we do so in the company of Jesus, who came to share our life

so that we might share eternal life with him.

Glory to God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.

BIBLE READING: Jeremiah 29:11

I know what I have planned for you says the Lord. I have good plans for you,

I don’t plan to hurt you. I plan to give you hope and a good future.

THOUGHTS from Mary Evans, Licensed Reader

All of us experience grief at sometime in our lives. Someone we love dearly dies, for some it’s a child, for others a brother or sister, for others a husband or a wife, for some a mother or a father or another family member or a friend.

Each of us has loved and lost, and the grief we feel is overwhelming sometimes, and persistent at all times.

The depth of our grief depends on the depth of the love we have for the person who has died. When we lose someone we love greatly, it is natural to deeply grieve. Deep grief never passes quickly and never passes completely. At the moment with the COVID19 crisis grief seems to be even more unbearable. We are unable to sit by the hospital bedside and hold our loved ones hand. There is a limit on those able to attend the funeral service and we have to sit separated from others at that service. It almost feels too much to bear.

We cannot change yesterday; we can only live today. To live today, despite our loss, we have to begin to replace the regretful words “if only” with the words “but we did”

“If only” we had told them more often that we loved them;

“but we did” speak to them and show our love and they knew we loved them.

“If only” we had done more for them;

“but we did” a lot for them and they were grateful and felt loved.

We cannot change the painful past or bring back our loved one; But we can live with thankfulness for the love we had and for the life we shared – even though that life ended too soon the love for them continues. How will we live with the grief that has rocked our world? Will we get stuck in yesterday with the words “if only” or will we move ahead towards tomorrow with the word “but we did”?

We have loved and been loved and our love continues for the one we have lost. Everyone’s path of grief is different but all of us know grief at sometime in our lives. That path at the moment with COVID19 is more painful than usual. We have been told not to visit others not to meet together, not to hug. But I believe we need to be able to talk to others. Call your family and friends on the phone or text them and keep in touch with one another in a new way, share the way you’re feeling, and tell yourself it is OK to feel like this. If you feel you have no-one to talk to phone one of the St Paul’s ministry team.

We need to grieve with tears over our loved ones. We need to find healthy and healing ways to let out our grief. It is good to find others who can understand and who are willing to listen to you. However your grief is affecting you it is OK. It is painful and unfortunately unavoidable, the more we have loved the more it hurts. But be kind to yourself how you are feeling is OK, this is the path of grief.

Will our loss lead us to be open to God? When God is mentioned in connection with our loss, most of us immediately want to ask: Why? Why, God? Why did you allow this to happen?

Like you, I have asked that “why” question. But I realised rather than needing an explanation for my loss, I needed to experience God’s presence in my loss. For me, Christ on the cross reminds me that God knows my pain.

I believe that my tears and my pain over my loss were exceeded by God’s tears and God’s pain over my loss. God knows, for God has been there where we are in our loss. Grief can drive us away from God in bitter disappointment or grief can lead us to God in longing hope. The choice is ours!

In the Old Testament we read of the prophet Jeremiah, God spoke to the people of Israel when they had lost everything and were exiled in a foreign land. To those ancient people grieving their loss and to us modern people grieving our loss, God says: “I know what I have planned for you says the Lord. I have good plans for you, I don’t plan to hurt you. I plan to give you hope and a good future. ” (Jeremiah 29:11) You and I, who have loved and lost, need a future with hope.

Feel no guilt in laughter David Harkins (1959 – )

Feel no guilt in laughter,

They’d know how much you care.

Feel no sorrow in a smile

that they are not here to share.

You cannot grieve forever;

they would not want you to.

They’d hope that you could carry on

the way you always do.

So, talk about the good times

and the way you showed you cared,

The days you spent together,

all the happiness you shared.

Let memories surround you,

a word someone may say

Will suddenly recapture

a time, an hour, a day,

that brings them back as clearly

as though they were still here,

and fills you with the feeling

that they are always near.

For if you keep those moments,

you will never be apart

And they will live forever locked

safely within your heart.

Be still and reflect for a moment.


Let us affirm the good news we have received,

in which we stand, through which we are saved

and which we hand on to others.

Christ died for our sins

in accordance with the scriptures;

he was buried;

he was raised to life on the third day

in accordance with the scriptures;

afterwards he appeared to his followers,

and to all the apostles:

this we have received,

and this we believe. Amen.


God of grace and glory,

we come to remember especially before you today ….

PAUSE for a moment and name before God

those whom you are separated from by death.

We thank you for giving them to us

to know and to love as companions

in our pilgrimage on earth.

In your boundless compassion

console those of us who mourn.

Thank you that you grant those who believe

and trust in you, everlasting life.

Help us to continue our course on earth following,

Jesus Christ our Lord, the Life and the Resurrection of all

who put their trust in him.

Take a moment to remember those who have died and affirm that they are in God’s keeping,

You may like to light a candle as a prayer and as a symbol that Jesus is the Light of the World.


God, our Father,

we thank you that you sent your Son Jesus Christ

to die for us and rise again.

His cross declares your love to be without limit;

his resurrection, that death our last enemy is doomed.

By his victory we are assured of the promise

that you will never leave us or forsake us;

that neither death nor life,

nor things present nor things to come,

can separate us from your love

in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

We say the prayer that Jesus taught us:

Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name;

thy kingdom come; thy will be done;

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

and forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those

who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation;

but deliver us from evil,

for thine is the kingdom,

the power, and the glory,

for ever and ever. Amen.


Guide me, O thou great Redeemer,

Pilgrim through this barren land;

I am weak, but thou art mighty,

Hold me with thy pow’rful hand:

Bread of Heaven, Bread of Heaven,

Feed me till I want no more,

Feed me till I want no more.

Open now the crystal fountain,

Whence the healing stream doth flow;

Let the fire and cloudy pillar

Lead me all my journey through;

Strong deliv’rer, strong deliv’rer,

Be thou still my strength and shield,

Be thou still my strength and shield.

When I tread the verge of Jordan,

Bid my anxious fears subside;

Death of death, and hell’s destruction,

Land me safe on Canaan’s side;

Songs of praises, songs of praises,

I will ever give to thee,

I will ever give to thee


The Lord God almighty is our Father:

he loves us and tenderly cares for us.

The Lord Jesus Christ is our Saviour:

he has redeemed us and will defend us to the end.

The Lord, the Holy Spirit is among us:

he will lead us in God's holy way.

To God almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:

be praise and glory today and for ever. Amen.


May God’s blessing be upon all who grieve

May God’s blessing be upon us all,

as we journey through life.

Let us go out into the world

Let us live our lives well

And let us not be afraid.

Go in the love and peace of Christ

Thanks be to God

If it would help you to chat to one of the Ministry Team at St Paul’s Church

please contact us we would be happy to chat to you.


The Holy Bible NIV - Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

Common Worship – Copyright © The Archbishops’ Council 2000

CCLNo: 282054

© 2013 Ruth Burgess

c Wild Goose Publications 2009

Reproduced with permission.