A Prayer for Back to Church

A Prayer for Back to Church
Written by Helen Cassara

I have no idea what I’m doing.
And I have no idea what to ask for.

Let it be warm enough today
For our children to play outside.
May their laughter
carry through the grounds
Reminding our classrooms,
our nursery,
our sanctuary,
the Earth we rest upon
They are still here –
We are still here,
and we are coming back.

Beloved, let them feel held.
Let them remember exactly
Where their favorite church toys are,
And the names of all their friends –
Even the ones
They haven’t seen
in over a year.

Let them cry when they need to.
Let them wail. Let them grieve.
Especially the teenagers,
Especially the so-called grown.

Young children do this incredible thing
Where they allow themselves to shake
Like a leaf
Still hanging on in December
when they are scared –
It helps trauma leave the body.

May we shake,
May we shiver,
May we draw each other close and mourn,
Breathe a sigh of collective relief
For our gathering.

May we wail from deep in our bellies
For all that has come to pass.

May we take lead
From our youngest fellow travelers –
May we laugh when we are happy,
Weep when we are wounded,
Shake when we are scared.

Today, may I commit my heart
To honoring their wild,
Their beauty,
Their pain,
Their becoming.

Thank you
For whatever it is
still getting us through.

In our wailing
and laughing
and shaking
and song,

May we never forget

Blessed Be.

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