“Lord, you consoled Martha and Mary in their distress; draw near to us who mourn, and dry the tears of those who weep.” (BCP, page 497)
This week, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Catherine Gilbert, the Program Director of Walking the Mourner’s Path, and Rev. Dorian Mulvey, the Rector of St. Anthony on the Desert in Scottsdale. Walking the Mourner’s Path is a “Christ-centered grief program” consisting of eight weeks of workshops facilitated by lay and clergy leaders. The program is a ministry of St. Anthony on the Desert.
We do grief really well liturgically in the Episcopal Church. Our prayers and rituals for dying, to me, always strike the right balance between acknowledging the enormity of loss and proclaiming confidently our sure and certain hope in the resurrection.
And after the funeral, many churches offer support through meals, phone calls, and loving community. But the path of grief is long and winding, and having an intentional process and community is helpful for many people. And loss is not limited to loss of a loved one from death: we grieve losses surrounding divorce, unemployment, retirement, illness, and moving.
You can learn more about Walking the Mourner’s Path on their website.