A prayer for my friend.

A dear, almost lifelong friend of mine passed from earthly life last night, on the feast of St. Brendan the Navigator. I found comfort in praying for him the Akathist to Jesus Christ for a Loved One Who has Fallen Asleep. Every phrase of the prayer is full of meaning, but something about the following section made me want to share it.

It makes reference to the “soul stripped bare.” This image follows from the fact that the soul and the body are aspects of a whole person, made in God’s image and designed to be a unity; and when you think about how the soul and the body have never had to be fully separated before death, it seems natural that the soul, no matter how pure, should grieve at this loss.

We don’t think of the body as a shell from which our soul ultimately emerges — our bodies are us, and they are temples of God at the same time, in which we worship. If at the end of our lives our Lord takes our spirits from our bodies, it is not because they aren’t precious. They will be resurrected at the end of time.

O Thou Who wast crucified for us and Who for us wast tormented: Stretch forth Thy hand from Thy Cross and with the drops of Thy poured-forth blood wipe away his sins without a trace; and with Thy beautiful nakedness warm his soul, now stripped bare and orphaned:

Jesus, Thou didst know his life from birth and didst love him.
Jesus, Thou didst see him from afar from the height of Thy Cross.
Jesus, suffering painfully on the Cross, Thou didst stretch forth to embrace him as he came from afar.
Jesus, Thou didst cry out for his forgiveness on blood-stained Golgotha.
Jesus, Thou didst in grievous torments meekly die for him.
Jesus, Who didst suffer to be laid in the tomb, sanctify his repose in the grave.
Jesus, Risen, raise up to the Father his soul which was embittered by the world and saved by Thee.
Jesus, All-merciful Judge, vouchsafe Thy servant the sweetness of Paradise.

From The Akathist to Jesus Christ for a Loved One who has Fallen Asleep

15 thoughts on “A prayer for my friend.

  1. Memory eternal! Many of my friends are closer to me than family, so their separation from us is a terrible thing. Every week, we recite “I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life in the world to come” because we live in the hope that this separation is not forever. I’ve always found the letters of Alexander Schmorell from prison beautiful here – it’s a terrible situation, because he’s writing his parents knowing he’s going to die, and he’s trying to comfort them. At the same time, he’s confident in the life to come, and he tells them he’ll be waiting for them there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I’ve been following Fr. Guite for a long time, and frequently post his sonnets on my blog. I have one of his poems in draft right now for an upcoming feast day 🙂 I haven’t shared his Ascension poem before, though.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “Jesus, union of love placed between those fallen asleep and those among the living.”
    This Akathist is balm to the grieving soul. Memory Eternal to your dear friend!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.