Service of Memories

8:30 am

December 7, 2020

Virtual Service

Welcome to our virtual Service of Memories!

Today’s service will be offered in 2 formats – a video and text. If you wish, you can download and print the service from this document – link – or you can read the complete service below and on our website.



Call to Worship

One: All around us, lights are lit and carols play.
All: The season heaps joy upon us.

One: Yet we who come here carry more than joy.
All: We carry fear, worry, grief and loss.

One: We come weary, seeking rest from expectations.
All: We also seek a holy presence to be with us.

One: We come to this virtual service, led by the resilient grace of God:
All: We come looking for the love that never lets go.

Lighting of the Christ Candle

May the flame of this candle serve to remind us that Jesus Christ, light of the world, is present in our midst.

Hymn: “Lord of All Love” 495VU

Lord of all love, all life, and death,
giver of time and place and breath,
hear us, as now we bring our loss
into the presence of your cross.

Sing us the songs we cannot sing,
pardon the praise we cannot bring,
conquer once more, dear Lord, death’s sting,
pray for us, Lord, we humbly pray.

That darkest mystery is here,
sorrow and pity, anger, fear;
conquer once more, dear Lord, death’s sting,
faith, trust and consolation bring.

Though precious dust return to dust,
in your good purpose we shall trust,
content to place within your care
she/he whom we love and grieve for here.

Prayer of Approach

One: Loving God, our spirits are weary and heavy-laden.
All: Brokenness and sorrow overwhelm us, and we yearn for your healing power, O God.

One: We have come, tentatively and fearfully, as people of faith who know there is hope.
All: Help us to find peace for our souls, Prince of Peace. Help us to uncover the seed of comfort, Mighty Counsellor. Help us to discover companionship, God-with-Us. Help us to share humility with Jesus, a weak baby, cradled in a manger, cradled in our hearts. Amen

God speaks to us through word:

Scripture Reading: Luke 2: 8-20

The Shepherds and the Angels
8 In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11 to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah,[a] the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host,[b] praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”[c]

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17 When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Scripture: Psalm 23 Responsively

One: The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
All: He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters.

One: He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
All: Yea, though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

One: Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
All: Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Meditation Rev. Jim Gill

We wish you could be here today with us. For years this Walton’s Service of Memories has been an important source of comfort and support for so many people during these upcoming December holidays. Rather than being canceled due to Covid we are offering this year a Virtual Service to bring you the light of hope, faith and love in your life .

Grieving in the Holidays is a challenge. Covid makes it even more challenging with very limited hugs, gatherings or live services. However this virtual service is about what you can do for comfort and support in 2020.

While we cannot gather here in the Walton Sanctuary to light a candle live with all of us you can still light your own candle safely at home or wherever you are watching this video. Let me tell you a few move helpful acts you can due this year.

You can still look at photos and videos of your loved one you are remembering in this service. Whether a print on paper or on a screen we can still cherish the comforting memories that photos and videos can bring us. They are a gift that can bring both tears as well as laughter. They call us to say things like “ Remember that time we did this together? “ or “ Wasn’t that hilarious when they did that on vacation? Or “ Everytime I see this shot it brings back the story of”.

You can still play the music of your loved one whether big band, rock and roll, country and western, folk, religious music, opera, show tunes, rap, heavy metal or classical. I do not know about you but hearing that song or singer or band brings back to me many comforting memories of the ones I am personally remembering in the service today. Music is a gift. A gift of loving us through songs imprinted on our hearts.

You can still if in this general area visit the cemetery, niche, headstone, scattering grounds, columbarium, waters, memorial plaque, mantle, marker, bench or wherever their final resting place or memorial might be. You can spend time there and remember that special place. If out of province or country there are still photos or videos for the same purpose.

Even with Covid you can still prepare your loved ones favorite dish, drink their favorite drink or enjoy their favorite flower. You can also cheer on their favorite team, watch videos of their favorite type of pet or put up their favorite ornament on a tree.

Remembering a loved one at this time of year you see is not canceled. Sure you cannot gather with us in this yearly traditional service but so many aspects of this service you can not only participate in virtually today but you can experience live where you live. Also with this recorded service you can play it over again as many times as you wish. You can send it to family and friends and share it together.

Grieving in the Holidays is a challenge. We hope this service has made it that much less of a challenge. Bless you today and in the days ahead. Thanks for being part of this act of love today.
Solo: “You Raise Me Up” Jeff MacLean

Lord’s Prayer

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

A Liturgy of Remembering

One: The first candle we light to remember those whom we have loved and lost. We pause to remember their name, their face, their voice, the memory that binds them to us in this season.
All: May God’s eternal love surround them.

One: The second candle we light is to redeem the pain of loss: the loss of relationships, the loss of jobs, the loss of health.
We pause to gather up the pain of the past and offer it to God, asking that from God’s hands we receive the gift of peace.
All: Refresh, restore, renew us, O God, and lead us into your future.

One: This third candle we light is to remember ourselves this Christmas time. We pause and remember these past weeks and months; the disbelief, the anger, the down times, the poignancy of reminiscing, the hugs and handshakes of family and friends, all those who stood with us. We give thanks for all the support we have known.
All: Let us remember that dawn defeats darkness.

One: This fourth candle is lit to remember our faith and the gift of hope which the Christmas story offers to us.
We remember that God, who shares our life, promises us a place and time of no more pain and suffering.
All: Let us remember the one who shows the way, who brings the truth and who bears the light.

Hymn “Silent Night, Holy Night” 67VU

Silent night! holy night!
All is calm, all is bright
’round yon virgin mother and child.
Holy infant so tender and mild,
sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night! Holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight;
glories stream from heaven afar;
heavenly hosts sing Hallelujah,
Christ the Saviour is born, Christ the Saviour is born.

Silent night! Holy night!
Son of God, love’s pure light
radiant beams from thy holy face,
with the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth, Jesus, Lord. at thy birth.


We return to the world from which we came: a world of pain, a world of promise; the world God so loved that the Bethlehem baby was born. May we listen to the voice of the angel who says, “Fear not.” May we be filled with the Good News God sent in the child of Mary and Joseph, God’s gift of new life for all. Amen.

“No time on Earth is long enough to share with those we love or to prepare our hearts for that last goodbye.”