Death & Mourning

Unveiling

Inspiration

An unveiling is a time to reflect on a life and the memories left behind. In Jewish tradition, we mark our cemetery visits not with flowers, but with small stones, placed beside or atop this larger stone. A cut flower is a symbol of death and impermanence; a stone is a symbol of what lasts and what remains. Our lives are as fleeting as the flowers, but our love for one another remains, permanent as the earth from which these stones were taken, the earth to which we all return.

Text

Psalm 23

A psalm of David: God is my shepherd; I shall not want.
God makes me lie down in green pastures,
and leads me beside still waters to restore my soul;
God leads me in paths of righteousness for the sake of God’s name.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear
no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You set a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Truly goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life
And I will dwell in the house of Adonai forever.

 

Benediction 

Adonai Natan. Adonai Lakach. Yehi shem Adonai M’vorach.
The Holy One gives. The Holy One takes.
Blessed be the name of the One.
And we say together: Amen.

from Job

Poem

A Psalm 23

 

The Holy one is my Guide;
my life is whole.
We journey together
over fertile hillsides
and rest
beside nourishing springs.
This is my spirit
ever renewed,
for my Guide leads me
down paths of fullness.
Even when my steps lead
into the kingdom of death
I do not fear
for I know you are with me.
Your presence
your shelter
is a comfort to me.
With you I can set myself aright
in the face of
deepest sorrow;
and soon my joy is filled to overflowing.
As I journey on,
nothing but kindness and love
shall follow
until the day I finally return.
To my Source,
my destination.

Rabbi Brant Rosen

Prayer

To everything there is a season,
And a time to every purpose under heaven.

A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather them together;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and a time to sow;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate;
A time of war, and a time of peace.

To everything there is a season,
And a time to every purpose under heaven.

from Kohelet / Ecclesiastes