O Holy One, as one great saint, Meister Eckhart, said, “If the only prayer you say in your life is ‘thank you,’ that will be sufficient;” so today we gather in this sacred space to give thanks to you:
Thanks for this holy ground and for those who had the vision to create this memory garden.
Thanks for the memories of those who have finished the course of their mortal lives and joined the great cloud of witnesses in your presence.
Thanks that the earth here contains all of them that it can, and that we know their eternal souls have been set free of the pain and struggle and limits of human existence.
Thanks for the assurance to us who remain that nothing in all creation can separate us from your love in Christ Jesus. As another saint, Julian of Norwich said, “My own sin will not hinder God’s working goodness.”
Because of Christ’s triumph over death we dare to live as your humble saints and servants because we know we have been created in your image from the dust of the earth. That dust from those whose ashes have been tenderly laid to rest here continues to nourish your good earth as you nourish our souls, surrounding us with the power of the Holy Spirit in this life and the next.
Thank you creator God for all the saints laid to rest in this sacred space. In holy silence we now give thanks for all the memories of their lives on earth.
Renew your blessing, we pray, on this place, on those we honor today, and on us all as we strive to be your saints on earth. By the power of the Holy Spirit we will share the precious gift of hope and trust in you to others by the example of our lives until we too are set free to fully live in your heart with those who have gone before us.
We offer our prayers of thanksgiving in the name of the one who conquered death and is the way, the truth and eternal life. Amen
[Prayer for a service in the memory garden, Northwest UMC, Columbus, OH]