Online Monday Candle Ceremony text:
We begin with "The Journey" © Crystal
Ward Kent www.journeyforanimals.com
When you bring a pet into your life, you begin a journey - a journey that
will bring you more love and devotion than you have ever known, yet also
test your strength and courage.
If you allow, the journey will teach you many things, about life, about
yourself, and most of all, about love. You will come away changed forever,
for one soul cannot touch another without leaving its mark. Along the way,
you will learn much about savoring life's simple pleasures - jumping in
leaves, snoozing in the sun, the joys of puddles, and even the satisfaction
of a good scratch behind the ears.
If you spend much time outside, you will be taught how to truly experience
every element, for no rock, leaf, or log will go unexamined, no rustling
bush will be overlooked, and even the very air will be inhaled, pondered,
and noted as being full of valuable information. Your pace may be slower
- except when heading home to the food dish - but you will become a better
naturalist, having been taught by an expert in the field.
Too many times we hike on automatic pilot, our goal being to complete the
trail rather than enjoy the journey. We miss the details - the colorful
mushrooms on the rotting log, the honeycomb in the old maple snag, the
hawk feather caught on a twig. Once we walk as a dog does, we see a whole
new world. We stop; we browse the landscape, we kick over leaves, peek
in tree holes, look up, down, all around. And we learn what any dog knows:
that nature has created a marvelously complex world that is full of surprises,
that each cycle of the seasons bring ever changing wonders, each day an
essence all its own.
Even from indoors you will find yourself more attuned to the world around
you. You will find yourself watching summer insects collecting on a screen.
(How bizarre they are! How many kinds there are!), or noting the flick
and flash of fireflies through the dark. You will stop to observe the swirling
dance of windblown leaves, or sniff the air after a rain. It does not matter
that there is no objective in this; the point is in the doing, in not letting
life's most important details slip by.
You will find yourself doing silly things that your pet-less friends might
not understand: spending thirty minutes in the grocery aisle looking for
the cat food brand your feline must have, buying dog birthday treats, or
driving around the block an extra time because your pet enjoys the ride.
You will roll in the snow, wrestle with chewie toys, bounce little rubber
balls till your eyes cross, and even run around the house trailing your
bathrobe tie - with a cat in hot pursuit - all in the name of love.
Your house will become muddier and hairier. You will wear less dark clothing
and buy more lint rollers. You may find dog biscuits in your pocket or
purse, and feel the need to explain that an old plastic shopping bag adorns
your living room rug because your cat loves the crinkly sound.
You will learn the true measure of love - the steadfast, undying kind that
says, "It doesn't matter where we are or what we do, or how life treats
us as long as we are together." Respect this always. It is the most
precious gift any living soul can give another. You will not find it often
among the human race.
And you will learn humility. The look in my dog's eyes often made me feel
ashamed. Such joy and love at my presence. She saw not some flawed human
who could be cross and stubborn, moody or rude, but only her wonderful
companion. Or maybe she saw those things and dismissed them as mere human
foibles, not worth considering, and so chose to love me anyway.
If you pay attention and learn well, when the journey is done, you will
be not just a better person, but the person your pet always knew you to
be - the one they were proud to call beloved friend.
I must caution you that this journey is not without pain. Like all paths
of true love, the pain is part of loving. For as surely as the sun sets,
one day your dear animal companion will follow a trail you cannot yet go
And you will have to find the strength and love to let them go. A pet's
time on earth is far too short - especially for those that love them. We
borrow them, really, just for a while, and during these brief years they
are generous enough to give us all their love, every inch of their spirit
and heart, until one day there is nothing left.
The cat that only yesterday was a kitten is all too soon old and frail
and sleeping in the sun. The young pup of boundless energy wakes up stiff
and lame, the muzzle now gray. Deep down we somehow always knew that journey
would end. We knew that if we gave our hearts they would be broken.
But give them we must for it is all they ask in return. When the time comes,
and the road curves ahead to a place we cannot see, we give one final gift
and let them run on ahead - young and whole once more. "Godspeed,
good friend," we say, until our journey comes full circle and our
paths cross again.
We continue with a selection from the website's collection of Healing and
Inspirational poetry: Beyond The Rainbow by Cate Guyan © 1995
As much as I loved the life we had and all the times we played,
I was so very tired and knew my time on earth would fade.
I saw a wondrous image then of a place that's trouble-free
Where all of us can meet again to spend eternity.
I saw the most beautiful Rainbow, and on the other side
Were meadows rich and beautiful -- lush and green and wide!
And running through the meadows as far as the eye could see
Were animals of every sort as healthy as could be!
My own tired, failing body was fresh and healed and new
And I wanted to go run with them, but I had something left to do.
I needed to reach out to you, to tell you I'm alright
That this place is truly wonderful, then a bright Glow pierced the night.
'Twas the Glow of many Candles shining bright and strong and bold
And I knew then that it held your love in its brilliant shades of gold.
For although we may not be together in the way we used to be,
We are still connected by a cord no eye can see.
So whenever you need to find me, we're never far apart
If you look beyond the Rainbow and listen with your heart.
And now, The Candle Ceremony..
THE MONDAY CANDLE CEREMONY...... WE GATHER TOGETHER TO HONOR AND REMEMBER
Tonight, Monday, we join hands, hearts and souls across the land as one
large extended family to pray for our sick and dying pets and to pay tribute
to our furbabies who have gone ahead to Rainbow Bridge.
Someday, we will meet them again, with hugs, tears and kisses, as we walk
together, in eternity, to our new home.
Until that blessed day, we honor these precious souls and remember them
with the warm glow of flickering candles, sending a message of love, light
and healing, and the faith to believe in miracles.
PRAYER: God, Creator of all living things, we ask that as we light our
candles, the healing warmth of love will flow into the brokenhearted who
are tending their ailing pets.
Give to them Your strength and comfort. We also pray that the soft glow
of light will part the clouds of grief and sorrow to surround our furbabies
at the Bridge.
May excitement REIGN SUPREME as wagging tails, ecstatic purrs and flapping
feathers feel our gentle touch once again. May they know the gratitude
we hold in our hearts for their faithfulness and gift of unconditional
love as they are forever remembered.
We are temporarily separated for only a short while. The silver cord that
connects us through time and space can never be broken. AMEN.
CANDLE 1: PERSONAL FURBABY.... Anything you wish to say..... I will not
look back for there is sorrow. I will not look for today for there is longing.
I will look forward for there is OUR tomorrow.
CANDLE 2: FURBABIES OF FRIENDS AND FAMILY.... Read the names of those who
are ill or have gone on before us as a tribute to them and their loving
parents. As we all meet here, our Bridgekids will be meeting all newcomers,
easing their way.
CANDLE 3: FOR ACKNOWLEDGMENT AND PEACE...In honor of all the homeless,
forgotten, abandoned, abused animals. For the nameless furchildren who
gave their lives for others, for research and as a result of humankind's
inhumanity. May the Higher Powers that be forgive the cruelty. We light
this candle for them.
As our lights shine brightly through the galaxy, may the angels smile upon
us, and know that for a brief moment, we have put aside worldly differences
to bond as ONE.
CLOSING: I have sent you on a journey to a land free from pain, not because
I did not love you, but because I loved you too much to force you to stay.
MOMENT OF SILENCE. ......"Blessed are they that mourn, for they will
be comforted." Love, light and healing to all. Amen.
The candles being lit tonight;
Cast a soft and welcome flame.
And draw our loved ones to the light,
As we call to them by name.
Imagine spirits taking flight,
For a moment our souls entwine.
Say not Good Night, but in some Brighter Time
Bid them all- Good Morning.
Let thoughts of peace waft softly thru our hearts.
Let the light of our candles bring gentle memories of our love.
Let the glow of love guide our days; in all our moments.
As we cry,
As we smile,
As we walk on,
As we carry within us the legacy of love we received;
Knowing the love we gave;
Living in the presence of their spirit
With us -
wherever we go,
however we are,
at dawn and at dusk
and the deep hours of the night.
With thank-full hearts -
That concludes the Ceremony. Peace love and light to all.