Death is but a transition of one life to the next. As followers of the Resurrected One, we hold true in our faith that those who have passed away are received into God’s eternal loving embrace. Jesus tells us that God is the God of the living and not of the dead (Mark 12:27 and Luke 20:38). By those words of Jesus, we know that our dearly departed are never truly gone. Only a thin veil separates us but love continues to bridge some connection between us and them. We also affirm and believe that some part of their essence continue with us when we live our own lives with joy, love, and generosity. We carry their love with us when we commit to carry on their kindness, compassion, and good works. Whatever is your tradition or lack thereof concerning those who have gone before us, we invite you for prayerful remembering.
We know and believe that God reconciles everything into God’s eternal and loving presence. One day, we shall all be joined together in the company of saints and forever counted in the cloud of witnesses. The Apostle Paul tells us in his letter to the Romans from the 8th chapter, verses 38 and 39:
“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Let us pray: Eternal loving God, we praise you and give you thanks for the gift of life. We also thank you for the gift of family, friends, lovers, mentors, colleagues, and chosen loved ones. Thank you for the gift of community and family where we can remember together those who have gone before us. Thank you for the a faith-community where we can share our pain and grief as well as our joys and celebrations; our sorrows and struggles as well as our stories and dreams; where our lives are weaved together in a colorful tapestry of love that transcends space and time. Today we remember the names, lives, and stories of those who have gone ahead of us into your eternal home. We believe by faith that the love of Christ has reconciled all of them to you, God of the living. Though some of our hearts still weep with longing, we know that they are never truly gone, and by that same love of Christ, we shall one day be together to share in your everlasting joy. We remember with faith, hope, and love:
- Pastor Obdio “Ohj” Ecelean
- Elgin Mallari
- Rolando Mateo
- Stu Barretto
- Mikhaela – sister
- Mama Myrna
- Papa Aristeo
- Nanay Susanita Bravo Solisa – Mother
- Prawita Sugito – Mental Health Expert and Advocate
- Brian U. Tenorio – LGBTQI+ advocate. Founder of LGBT Chamber of Commerce
- Sherwin – Entrepreneur, loving partner, and friend.
- Hermito “Mitoy”– Former teacher
- Lydia – Former teacher and Librarian
- Theodora – Grandmother
- William “Willy” Tiu Navas – Grandfather
- Ms. Jennifer Laude
- Lei Mallari – father, spouse and was an active member of Good Samaritan MCC
- Primo Madolid
- Catalina Macorol
- Alvaro Macorolo
- Blass Macorol
- Kuya Michael Mia – Beloved friend, elder, and ninang ng bayan of Open Table MCC
- Choi Discipulo –HIV Advocate and beloved member of Open Table MCC
- Pastor Edgardo “Egay” Constantino – beloved partner and Pastor of Good Samaritan MCC
- Reverend Larson and the MCC Martyrs of the New Orleans Fire
- Our Queer siblings and allies who were murdered in the Orlando Shooting
- We also lift-up to you loving God, every LGBTQI+ person especially transgender people who have been murdered because of hatred and violence.
- For every person who died because of AIDS, its social stigma, and the lack of care and support.
- For every individual who died because of this COVID Pandemic.
- For every person who died because of war and conflict.
- For every activist, journalist and human rights defender who were murdered and martyred.
- For any person of faith or person of no-faith murdered because of religious intolerance and extremism.
- For those who died of hunger and extreme poverty.
- For every person who died alone and neglected.
- For those who are dying and transitioning at this very moment.
- We lift up to you every soul that has passed away who has no one to remember them.
In remembrance of our dearly departed parents, siblings, friends, mentors, colleagues, and other chosen loved ones, may we learn from the story of their lives. May we learn from their struggles and challenges. May we learn from the love they’ve shown and the good they have done. In remembering them, may we carry on their stories, the wisdom of their lives, and the love they have left in our hearts to share. May we also remember and do our part to create a society where every person is loved and cared for, and each one live and die with dignity. In remembering and praying, teach us, Lord, to always number our days.
Instill into our hearts and minds the truth of our own death so that we may live truly meaningful and loving lives that embody your grace. These are our prayers and may our prayers lead us to live and love in the name of all our departed and in the name of the Resurrected One, Jesus, the Christ. Amen.
Eternal Rest grant unto them oh God.
May your perpetual light shine upon them, always.
In your love, may they all rest in peace. Amen.