Ritual Tuesday–Different Kinds of Grief

Check out this video on a ritual for naming your grief and get further instruction in the text below.

Items you’ll need:

  • a small box or container
  • paper
  • writing instrument
  • symbol of your loss

Light a candle to signify the light of Christ.

Invite God into the space.

You might choose to sing Kum ba ya (which means Come by Here). If you’re familiar with the song, you know there are a number of different verses–someone’s singing, Lord…someone’s crying, Lord…someone’s laughing, Lord. Sub in how you’re feeling into the song. Someone’s grieving…someone’s hurting…

Not a singer?

Try: Incline thine ear, O God. Listen to my cries.

Too formal?

Try: I call on the God who created me to be with me in this time of grief.

Write down what you are grieving and how it is affecting you. Place the that piece of paper, along with the symbol of your grief in the box or container.

Take the container outside and use these words or words of your own.

Today I name my pain and grief, knowing that God, too, knows grief and the pain of loss. The child that God lost taught me to place my burdens in God’s care. So I bury this grief today, knowing that it will not magically disappear, but as I sign that I now entrust it to God. I’m laying down this burden and placing it in God’s care.

Place the container in the earth and bury it.

End with: May the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, be with me as I begin to release myself from this grief.

If you do not have earth available to you, place the container in the bottom of an empty trash to be buried, using the same words as above, but hold the closing words until it is time to remove the trash bag from your home.

You can do this ritual as many times as you need to, as most of are dealing with more than one grief at any given time.

Oh, and never forget to blow out that candle.


Rev. Anne Russ is an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA), currently based in New York City. Doubting Believer provides tools and encouragement for the rollercoaster ride of your faith journey. Follow us on Facebook and get emails to keep up with all that is happening.

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