For over a decade, the Ignatian Spirituality Project in Chicago, along with Old. St. Patrick’s Church, Harmony, Hope & Healing, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless and Franciscan Outreach, gathered around the longest night of the year to host the Homeless Persons’ Memorial Service. This year, we’ve excepted the service and invite you and your families to pray and remember our brothers and sisters on December 21st, National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day.

 

Homeless Persons’ Memorial Prayer

(As you begin the prayer you may want listen to a reflective instrumental or sing an Advent song. Suggestion: Taize, “Prepare the Way of the Lord”)

Tonight, we remember and honor our brothers and sisters who have died while living on the streets. We lift them up to God in prayer.

God of faithfulness and love, you created all of us in your own image and call us Children of God. Bless us this night as we bring to light the precious memory of our brothers and sisters who were homeless and now rest eternally with You.

(Light a candle and take a few moments to hold the memories of our departed brothers and sisters within the silence of our hearts.)

Our friends are no longer with us on earth but because their spirit lives within our memories, we know they are not forgotten.  May their memory stir in us a greater compassion for those who are still experiencing homelessness. May their memory ignite within us a greater desire to confront the injustices that lead to homelessness.

(Reflect on a call to action: what can you do to help end the injustice of homelessness?)

Bless the memory of those we remember this night, O good and gracious God.  Bless us, too. May love take root in our hearts and guide us through the holidays and into the new year. Give us eyes of compassion, that we may see Your face in the faces of all we meet.  This we ask, for you are God, forever & ever.

Amen.

Closing song: Silent Night (Mohr/Gruber)

 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.