if in the presence of death
our thoughts are startled
and our words flutter like frightened birds,
bring us stillness
that we may cover the sorrow of our hearts
with the folded hands of prayer.
Give us grace to wait on you
silently and with patience.
You are nearer to us than we know,
closer than we can imagine.
If we cannot find you,
it is because we search in far places.
Before we felt the pain, you suffered it;
before the burden came upon us,
your strength lifted it from our shoulders;
before the sorrow darkened our hearts,
you felt its betrayal.
As we make our way
through the valley of the shadow of death,
be our good shepherd—
sustain us and walk by our side,
lest in weakness we falter.
Though the pain deepens,
keep us on your path
and guide us past every danger,
through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.
—UCC Book of Worship (alt.)