Remembering Those with Mental Illness – Worship Resources
Recently, the students at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary
were reminded that there are many in our society who suffer with mental illness when a local university student died by suicide. During the following days, prayers and songs were spoken and sung as the community remembered the student and also to lift up to God prayers for all who suffer – those living with mental illness, parents, friends, and support people.
As a worshipping community and Christian church, how do we respond and remember those living with mental illness? What are the words that we use that give hope in the midst of despair?
The Wednesday evening Open Door service at WLS was carefully crafted to include times of silence, prayers and song, which recognized the pain of those who are hurting, while showing light and hope amid the darkness.
Stay With Us is a song from an Easter Cantata by Ron Klusmeier and Walter Farquharson, based on the Emmaus story found in Luke 24. “Stay with us through the night. Stay with us through the pain. Stay with us, blessed stranger, ’till the morning breaks new bread.” Congregations may use this song for free, as a gift from Ron and Walter.
“Between Darkness and Light” also expresses the reality of walking in the in-between places, while opening the “window of light” and “planting the seeds of love.” This song is available in the Inshallah songbook, Sing the Circle Wide, available at Sperlings Church Supply.
One of the prayers used was “A Prayer for People Living with Mental Illness”, by Amy Simpson. Notice all the different people that are included in the prayer.
The Synod of Alberta and Territories has crafted worship resources under the title “A Day to Remember Those With Mental Illness.” Here you will find helpful suggestions and guidelines, a service outline and a sermon. The link will also take you to other resources collected by C.A.RE (Congregational Action and REsponse for Mental Health.
What other resources have you used? Send to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can keep the conversation going.