Our senior community member, Sr. Margaret Harrison--who entered our community in 1928, 80 years ago--passed on to eternal life this week. Her memory service was Wednesday, funeral today and the burial will be tomorrow morning.
The memory services are something special--just family (albeit a large one) sitting around sharing stories and memories. These are especially significant experiences for those of us who haven't known the sister for her entire religious life. We only know one small part--maybe just the last 20 years or so. The other parts, the younger adult years, we didn't share and they are a delight to hear about.
About 10 years ago we developed a new prayer card with a photo of the sister on the front and a specially written prayer on the back. Here's Sr. Margaret's:
"O God of life, of all life, of each life,
embrace with love our sister, Margaret.
She yearned to be in the fullness of your presence.
Her life was one of fidelity to the monastic way of life.
May her example of faithfulness give us courage for our monastic journey.
Her cheerful smile, twinkling eyes and kind words
brought us joy.
May we give the gift of love and compassion to others
as she did to us.
Lover of music and sewer of fine fabric she delighted in the surprises of life.
May we learn to be attentive to the hymn of the universe and the beauty of all creation.
We praise you, O God of all life.
Bless us who celebrate the life of Margaret.
Give us the grace of fidelity to our monastic way of life.
May we witness to your faithfulness as you hold us in your love."