Grieving This Christmas

God of compassion, there is such a hole in my heart.
In this season of joy,
I am often empty or overwhelmed.
Please help me at my lowest times.
Please strengthen me with fond memories and hope for tomorrow.
Please surprise me with joy.  Amen.

Among a packed congregation at the Town Service of Lessons and Carols at St. Mary's in Chesham this evening, I suddenly missed Dad terribly and started to feel very tearful.  Christmas will now always be a painful reminder of losing him a year ago.  This is one of five prayers for the Christmas season printed on a card which was given to everyone as we left at the end of the service.  It perfectly reflects how I feel this Christmas.  The other prayers are about giving presents, sharing food, forgiveness and enjoying good things when others aren't.

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