Marking Milestones and Letting Go: A Liturgy For Grief

This resource is something that you can use to work through independently or within your SCM group. Alternatively, you can join SCM SOC for a special service on Weds 10th June at 8pm. Details on how to join the zoom call will be on the SCM Facebook group. What you will need: pen, paper, bowl of water.

Please respond with the words in bold.

Opening Prayer

God of our days and years, we set this time apart for you.

Form us in the likeness of Christ so that our lives may glorify you.



All Are Welcome

Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the hills—
from where will my help come?
My help comes from the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
He who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD is your keeper;
the LORD is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in
from this time on and forevermore.
Glory be to the Father, and to the son: and to the Holy Spirit;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end. Amen.

Reflecting on the Final Term

This final term has been different to how any of us will have expected it to be. COVID-19 has impacted our lives in ways we could never have imagined when we first heard reports of it surfacing. This reflection is aimed to help us acknowledge the pain of losing what was to be. Yes, there is hope in the future but right now it is important to sit with God in the grief.

Draw a gingerbread person on your piece of paper.

On the outside write the events that have been cancelled, the plans missed, the people you miss etc.

On the inside write how you feel about all these changes, how did you feel when we went into lockdown, how do you feel now?

This activity can be done in silence or whilst listening to some reflective music.

Bible Reading – Isaiah 61:1-7

The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
because the LORD has anointed me;
he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,
to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and release to the prisoners;
to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
to provide for those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a garland instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the LORD, to display his glory.
They shall build up the ancient ruins,
they shall raise up the former devastations;
they shall repair the ruined cities,
the devastations of many generations.
Strangers shall stand and feed your flocks,
foreigners shall till your land and dress your vines;
but you shall be called priests of the LORD,
you shall be named ministers of our God;
you shall enjoy the wealth of the nations,
and in their riches you shall glory.
Because their shame was double,
and dishonor was proclaimed as their lot,
therefore they shall possess a double portion;
everlasting joy shall be theirs.
This is the word of the Lord
Thanks be to God

Reflecting on University

For this reflection we will reflect on something different on each finger. You could get a bowl of water and wash each finger as we reflect on something different, alternatively you can just hold each finger.

Between each reflection:

Leader: God in your mercy
All: Hear our prayer

Leader: God of love, we bring you our joys and our memories; our struggles and our insights.

- Little finger: something you’ve learnt about yourself at university
- Ring finger: something you’ve learnt about other people at university
- Middle finger: communities you have been part of and people you have met whilst at university
- Index finger: something you have found difficult at university
- Thumb: something you have learnt about your faith whilst at university


When We Face an Unknown Future

Letting Go

Read the following and do the actions as you go through the reflection.

I struggle with letting things go - I tend to grasp them tightly to myself.

clench your fist, palm facing the ground

And I've got it (the thing I can't let go of) then, but I can't see it, I can't do anything with it, there's no space for it to grow, and if I try to look at it or show it to someone else - if I release my grip - it'll fall to the floor. And gripping things makes me mean and scared. And it takes a lot of effort just to keep the thing in your clenched hand. But if I turn my hand over and open my hand,

turn your palm to face up and open your hand,

I still have the thing, and yes - I could now more easily lose it - I have to take more care of it in the open hand, but I can see it, appreciate it, I can use it, I can share it with other people - it can grow if it has to and holding things in the open hand invites sharing, welcome, it's less fearful. Less controlling. It's less tiring and ultimately, a happier stance to take.

Looking to the Future

Right now the future can feel quite uncertain. We are mourning the lost time at university and the final goodbyes that we didn’t have in the way we had hoped. However, it is important that we look forwards and outwards to what the future holds.

Let’s take some time to think about three things we are looking forward to over the coming week and months. You can use the on screen whiteboard and the annotate function if you would like to share these or you can use the chat function as another way to share. If you are using this resource individually you could write these things down on paper and then stick it somewhere that you will see it regularly as a reminder of what there is to look forward to.


Blessed are they who wash their hands, for they shall hold living water;
blessed are those who keep their distance, for they shall draw closer to God;
blessed are they who self-quarantine, for they shall help others;
blessed are those who do not hoard, for they shall feed families;
blessed are those who sing songs to sheltering neighbours, for they shall be members of the heavenly host;
blessed are parents who learn to teach at home, for they shall learn from their children;
blessed are they who shop for older folk, for they shall receive everlasting thanks;
blessed are the frontline health workers, for they shall be called healers of humanity.

(Tom M. Shuman)


Hymn Be Thou My Vision

Written by Jack Woodruff with help from Yordanos Gebremichael and Annie Sharples.

New Patterns for Worship, which the opening prayer is from, is copyright © The Archbishops' Council 2002 and published by Church House Publishing. Other aspects are adapted from a liturgy created by Northern Leg of Student Cross.

You can download this resource as a PDF below.

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Resource type: 
Prayer and Liturgy
Resource theme: 
Doubt and Worry
Christian Faith