Unveiling

Unveiling

Inspiration

An unveiling is a time to reflect on a life and the memories of lives that touched ours. In Jewish tradition, we return to the cemetery to unveil the grave marker about eleven months after a person is buried.  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.

Prayer

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

Text

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 sew;
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.

Kohelet / Ecclesiastes 3

Poem

A Litany of Remembrance

In the rising of the sun and in its going down,
we remember them.
In the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter,
we remember them.
In the opening of buds and in the rebirth of spring,
we remember them.
In the blueness of the sky and in the warmth of summer,
we remember them.
In the rustling of leaves and in the beauty of autumn,
we remember them.
In the beginning of the year and when it ends,
we remember them.
When we are weary and in need of strength,
we remember them.
When we are lost and sick at heart,
we remember them.
When we have joys we yearn to share,
we remember them.
So long as we live, they too shall live, for they are now a part of us,
as we remember them.

Psalm

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

Other Resources

Shiva.com

Jewish Funerals.org

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