Harvest, chrysanthemums and memories

Chrysanthemum festival "atsumono" by sigusr0

"The chrysanthemum is a flower of remembrance..." Rev Sue Starkings - photo: Chrysanthemum festival "atsumono" {a title="Attribution License" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" }Some rights reserved{/a} by {a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/sigusr0/"}sigusr0{/a}

Assistant Curate for the G7 Benefice, Rev Sue Starkings writes about harvest, remembrance and chrysanthemums “…a flower of remembrance… cheerfulness… and [to celebrate] a wonderful friend”, and she shares with us a prayer to remember loved ones.

Dear Readers

At the time of writing all our parishes are looking forward to their Harvest Festival Services where we give thanks for all the wonderful food that we produce that we grow and harvest.  There is a comfort in the annual cycle of celebration that our churches follow.  In the harvest celebrations we sing familiar hymns and remember all those who are involved in the harvest of our food.

At the end of October we have our services of commemoration where we especially remember our loved ones who have passed away.  During the Service your loved ones name will be read out and a candle lit, with prayers, soft music, poems, readings and time for remembering and reflection.  Do please join one of our services -  see services/events listings on the churches page or on the relevant church pages: Charing, Charing Heath, Egerton, Hothfield, Little Chart, Pluckley, and Westwell, for times – and let us know of a loved one who you wish to be remembered.  Christ died for us so that we might have eternal life.

Chrysanthemum festival "atsumono" [yellow] by sigusr0

"Chrysanthemum, according to the language of flowers, also stands for - Cheerfulness; or you are a wonderful friend." Rev Sue Starkings - photo: Chrysanthemum festival "atsumono" {a title="Attribution License" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" }Some rights reserved{/a} by {a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/sigusr0/"}sigusr0{/a}

The following short prayer can be used for you to remember your loved ones:

O Lord, grant those who have died the joy of Your Presence, and us who are living the happiness of knowing this.

Father in heaven, you have gathered in your keeping and celebration of our loved ones through the ages and from every nation.

Not one is lost, and every one of them lights up the halls of heaven with their beauty and faithfulness.

Thank you for the brightness of their witness to you and their inspiration to us.

The chrysanthemum is a flower of remembrance and is often used to remember a loved one. In general the Chrysanthemum, according to the language of flowers, also stands for – Cheerfulness; or you are a wonderful friend.  So remember your loved ones and that Jesus was and still is a wonderful friend to us all.

My prayers are with you all. Love and best wishes.

Rev Sue Starkings, Assistant Curate for the G7 Benefice