December 4th, 2017
Grief is the natural and normal response to change or loss.
Everyone deals with grief, but the holidays have a way of bringing our loss to the forefront.
Here are a few things you or someone you know might be grieving:
- The loss of a loved one
- The end of a relationship
- The loss of a job
- The failure of an exciting opportunity
- The loss of a pet
There are also have many reasons to grieve in our broader culture, including:
- The wide-spread pain from sexual assault brought to light by #MeToo.
- Multiple mass shootings and a lack of political will to address them.
- How a political and social divide has invaded daily and family life.
How We Address Grief as a Church Community
At Austin Mustard Seed, we know that grief is normal, unavoidable and significantly impacts our daily lives. We believe that God meets us in our grief and even shares our grief.
One way we address this reality is at “Lament Night.”
Lament Night is an opportunity express our grief or stand in solidarity with others who are experiencing it. Lament Night usually takes place in the privacy of homes.
However, due to the more obvious needs of the holidays, we are hosting a special Lament Night Liturgy this Advent.
How to Invite Someone to Lament Night
Talking about grief is awkward and so talking about Lament Night might be awkward to do. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you invite your friends and neighbors:
- Don’t forget our definition of grief: a normal response to change or loss.
- Be specific! Tell people “We are hosting a one-night event focused on grief.”
- Remember who it is for: anyone experiencing grief and those of us who want to support others in grief.
- Talk about the season. It’s common knowledge that the holidays can be painful, so don’t be afraid to talk about it!
We hope you’ll participate in Lament Night and invite a friend.
Lament Night: An Advent Liturgy of Longing is December 18 at 7pm.