Thursday, June 10, 2010

Prayer of Commendation

Commendation for a Service of Life, Death, and Resurrection for
Olivia Rose Belfiglio
at St. James United Methodist Church, Kingston
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Pastors: Rev. David M. Jolly, St. James UMC
and Dora Janeway Odarenko, Town of Esopus UMC

The following were the concluding words offered by Pastor Dora:

Today we are praying for Olivia Rose and for ourselves. We can pray because we are a community of hope and we are not alone! Heaven and earth touch one another in an awesome and mysterious way at the time of death. There is comfort for us that Olivia is now in the eternal camaraderie of heaven into which she has been received as a friend and not as a stranger. We know that Olivia is now safe in the blessed company of the faithful, surrounded by hymns of joy and praise and victory.

When we celebrate the life of Olivia, we celebrate her continuing life with God and her new life in the true home to which she has been called and to which we too one day can go. This is our real cause for celebration today. Olivia is now a tenderly nurtured lamb of our Lord’s flock. Scripture assures us that “the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.” Our Savior can lose none of the children that God has entrusted to His mercy and care. Olivia has been received “into the arms of mercy, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the glorious company of the saints of light.”

Olivia now knows so much more than we do! For us still here below, perhaps it is heaven enough to imagine the heaven to which Olivia has been called, a heaven now filled with Olivia’s energy! Imagine the special gifts that she is bringing to heaven, her joy and spontaneity among them! Let us cry Alleluia for the full security that she now enjoys. We have work ahead of us, but Olivia is at rest from her labors. We are still wayfarers, but Olivia is living in her own country eternally. For us the Alleluia is sung in hope, but Olivia is singing it in hope’s fulfillment. Let us join her in that great song, all saying together, “Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!” AMEN.

And now with the security of the children of God, let us pray,
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by thy name….

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