A prayer from the Heidelberg Catechism

I used this prayer at our Service of Remembrance earlier this week. It’s adapted from Q/A 1 of the Heidelberg Catechism. The PC(USA) is a confessional church, which means that we believe in the value of theological tradition. Using our theological tradition in liturgy is a valuable way to pray in accord with prior generations, but also to provide a theological vocabulary for parishioners.

Gracious Father,

Our only comfort
in life and in death is that we are not our own, but we belong—body and soul,
in life and in death—to our faithful Savior Jesus Christ.

He has fully paid for all our sins with his precious blood
and has set us free from the tyranny of the devil.

He also watches over us—and all those whom he loves–in such a way
that not a hair can fall from our head
without the will of our Father in heaven;
in fact, all things must work together for our salvation.

We pause to recall, to remember, to grieve, to mourn, even to celebrate…. those whose lives have touched our own, and who have this year departed from this life into the life which is to come,

Because we belong to Christ–by his Holy Spirit–we may be assured of life eternal.

And in our remembering may our risen Christ make us wholeheartedly willing and ready 
from now on to live for him and honor the memory of those who have died in the Lord.


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