When I was a baby,

my grandmother started an add-a-pearl necklace for me.

Each year she’d gift me with a tiny new pearl

and have the chain restrung.

Somehow, I ended up with more pearls

than years our lives overlapped.

Last weekend I wore my necklace

as my brother,

surrounded by a handful of family,

wed his love

and gave his new stepdaughter

her first three add-a-pearls.

I could almost hear my grandmother’s full-throated laugh of delight

at the whole scene.

This weekend, God,

we remember before you all the saints

who have given us their pearls of wisdom,

whose cumulative impact is more than we can make sense of,

whose spirit is still with us even though their bodies are not.

Thank you for ways you have loved and shaped us through them.

May we honor their legacy with all we say and do.

God, as the church observes All Saints’ Day,

I pray especially for the ministers and loved ones

who will light candles on Sunday

on behalf of people

whose funerals were postponed or restricted

because of Covid-19.

Their grief has been complicated – even compounded –

by the inability to share tears and hugs with those who get it.

Assure them that nothing and no one is lost in your economy.

Inspire them to live in ways that incorporate all the good

that comes from having been linked to your saints.

Wrap them in the warmth of memories.

In the hope of your peace

and the belief that we are surrounded

by so great a cloud of witnesses I pray. Amen.

Image courtesy of dragonariaes, from rgbstock.com.

Laura Stephens-Reed is a clergy and congregational coach working with ministers and churches across the ecumenical spectrum. Having served in a variety of pastoral roles and denominations, she is primarily affiliated with the Alliance of Baptists and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and has ministerial standing in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Based in northwest Alabama (United States), Laura is married to a United Methodist pastor, and they have a seven-year-old son. She blogs weekly at laurastephensreed.com.

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3 thoughts on “Friday prayer: for all the saints

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