Candles for sorrows and celebration

I invite you to join in a time for prayerful reflection together.
We have two candles which will be lit from our single chalice flame.
We will use the first candle to reflect on the sorrows of a troubled world.
I’ll ask (………name member of congregation) to come forward to light this candle from the chalice.

We remember those trying to survive in war-torn areas of the world.
In particular we think of (…………name country or areas at war).
The heartbreak and fear that people suffer having seen loved ones die, education and health systems destroyed, forced to flee from their homes where there is little left and they are under threat for their lives.
We are sad to see conflicts where a war of words has led to fear and tension between nations states, and the impact this can have, costing lives and damaging health.

We think of those affected by natural disasters (…….name areas).
For the loss of lives and homes, and the heartbreak this causes.
Closer to home we pray for those who have lost loved ones recently, (……name local or national losses).
We hold dear the personnel in emergency and rescue services who themselves often pay a heavy price in health, wellbeing or even loss of life. We owe them and their families a debt of gratitude for the work they do.
Let’s pause for a few moments of silence to hold those affected by such
events in our hearts.

Our second candle is lit for celebration.
I’ll ask (………name member of congregation) to come forward to light this candle from the chalice.

We have a planet which is worth taking care of, and there is more each of us can do in our daily lives to protect it.
Let us celebrate the joy of living in this green land.
We pray for wisdom and careful thought so that we will tread lightly on our world.

For our church we celebrate the peace we enjoy- the freedom to worship as we choose. We pray for our supporters and friends, and our congregation in the coming weeks and years.
We gather together in search of the divine spirit and look for the light in each other and in ourselves. We hope that every step we take on this earth will be lit with love for our planet, and that we will deal compassionately with all those we meet along the way.
We seek the path to a life of truth, wisdom and right living. It’s there in the known and in the unfamiliar faces and places of daily existence, in the daily challenges and demands of life. We sometimes need help to recognize it.
We will not always make the right decisions.
We look for ways of living the best way we can, giving and receiving support from fellow pilgrims.
We seek refreshment of our souls in community.
May we find transforming love in our daily lives.
All will be well, Amen

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