Monday, September 20, 2010

Yizkor - Remembrance

During Yom Kippur services (which took place this year on Saturday), Jewish communities around the world recite Yizkor, which means "remembrance" in Hebrew.  We pray for our individual loved ones whom we have lost and then we pray as a community for those who have no one to pray for them. I love this prayer, although it's intensely emotional to recite it.

The congregation reads together "Our generations are bound together as children now remember their parents. Love is strong as death as husbands and wives now remember their mates, as parents now remember their children. Memory conquers death's dominion as we now remember our brothers and sisters, grandparents and other relatives and friends.

"The death of those we now remember left gaping holes in our lives. But we are grateful for the gift of their lives. And we are strengthened by the blessings which they have left us, by precious memories which comfort and sustain us as we recall them this day."

The prayer for my mother "May God remember the soul of my mother who has gone to her eternal home. In loving testimony to her life I pledge charity to help perpetuate ideals important to her. Through such deeds, and through prayer and memory, is her soul bound up in this bond of life. May I prove myself worthy of the gift of life and the many other gifts with which she blessed me. May these moments of meditation link me more strongly with her memory and with our entire family. May she rest eternally in dignity and peace. Amen."

To all who have lost loved ones, may their memory endure as inspiration for deeds of charity and goodness in our lives. May they rest in peace. Amen.

10 comments:

  1. Amen. That is beautiful! Thanks for sharing

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  2. so, so peaceful and gentle.
    thank you for sharing it with us today.

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  3. Amen. What a beautiful prayer. Thank you so much for sharing it.

    Jan

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  4. These are beautiful and very moving prayers. The last paragraph is something I really try to practice. Thanks so much, Paula!

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  5. Paula, I was in tears as I read this. What a beautiful prayer for your mother. I have had some deep losses in the last few years and this prayer was a warm and loving tribute. Thank you.

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  6. Beautiful prayers which brought tears to my eyes. Thank you.

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