Prayer Services - In Gratitude for the Grace and Wisdom of Our Seniors

November-December 2009

BY: MIKE GARRIDO

Leader
We open our gathering with a video reflection based on Psalm 90. Please feel free to join in singing the refrain.

Reader 1
"God, you have taught me from my youth; to this day I proclaim your wondrous deeds. Now that I am old and gray, do not forsake me, God, that I may proclaim your might to all generations yet to come, your power and justice, God, to the highest heaven. You have done great things; O God, who is your equal? You have sent me many bitter afflictions, but once more revive me. From the watery depths of the earth once more raise me up. Restore my honor; turn and comfort me." Psalm 71:17-21

Reader 2
In many places around the world, human longevity is a rarity. Many die before their time from war, illness, or hunger. Yet in our nation, even as we rejoice that more and more people are living well into their senior years, our culture often glorifies youth, stereotypes the elderly and overlooks the gifts that aging bestows. In Scripture, the witness of someone reaching old age was lifted up as a sign of what God's reign would look like in its fullness.

Let us call to mind older persons who have touched our lives with their wisdom and love.

(Pause)

Let us become aware of our own hopes and dreams for our senior years, considering what our relationship with God and with others may look like in this new stage of our life, considering the gifts that we would want to pass on to others. (Pause)

Let us pray, (Side one on my left, side two on my right.)

SIDE 1:
Loving God, look with mercy on those we love who have reached old age with grace and wisdom.

SIDE 2:
Renew your benefits toward them, and comfort them over and over.

SIDE 1:
We give you thanks for the gift that they have been in our lives and for all that they continue to teach us.

SIDE 2:
Renew your benefits toward them, and comfort them over and over.

SIDE 1:
Be with us now as we journey toward maturity in our own lives.

SIDE 2:
Renew your benefits toward us, and comfort us over and over.

SIDE 1:
Teach us to learn from the lessons that life provides for us and to draw ever nearer to you.

SIDE 2:
Renew your benefits toward us, and comfort us over and over.

ALL:
In your Word, O God, we meet many models who show us what it means to age with grace. We call now upon these ancestors in the faith to intercede for us as we progress along life's journey. May Abraham and Sarah, Moses and Hannah, Elizabeth and Zechariah, Simeon and Anna walk beside us and those we love as we approach the senior years. May we learn from them how to embrace the path that you have set before us without fear, without anxiety. May we learn to welcome the changes of old age with trust and endless hope. In the faith of the psalmist, we pray. Amen.

Mike Garrido
Director, Mission Services
Catholic Health Association

 

Copyright © 2009 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States
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