And Death is Only a Horizon.

We seem to give him back to you, dear God, who gave him to us. Yet as you did not lose him in giving, so we have not lost him by his returning. Not as the world gives, do you give, O Lover of Souls! What you give, you do not take away. For what is yours is ours always, if we are yours. Life is eternal; and love is immortal; and death is only a horizon; and a horizon is nothing but the limit of our sight.

Lift us up, strong Son of God, that we may see further; cleanse our eyes that we may see more clearly; draw us closer to yourself that we may know ourselves nearer to our beloved who are with you. And while you prepare a place for us, prepare us for that happy place, that where they are, and you are, we too may be; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

This prayer is sometimes called “the horizon prayer.” It is one of my favorite “additional prayers” for the burial liturgy. Yesterday, with deep love, sacred hope, and crushing sadness, I had the privilege to pray this at my son’s committal.

Our son, Brandon

Our son, Brandon

22 thoughts on “And Death is Only a Horizon.

  1. Thank you dear Lord for my sweet husband!!! As Burr said at the service, we all know that this was not Gods will and he is mourning with us!! I am so greatful to have so many people who love me and Brandon!! I am amazed more and more at the amount of people that were blessed to know Brandon. He is forever in my heart and will always be the love of my life.

    • Erin, I was the secretary at Canterbury, A&M, when Max, Teague and Evan worked there. I heard much about you and Brandon! All good, all fun. I moved to Kerrville and became friends with Mike and Cyndi. Monday was sad and joyfilled. I was sitting in the living room of the resource center. An image that will stay with me always is that of you, standing outside, greeting all of those many, many people who had come to stay, “we’re sorry; Brandon is loved; we love you.” Thank you for your grace. God bless.

  2. It is such a beautiful prayer and I had never heard it before yesterday. It was so comforting to hear it, pray it, and believe it. I am so blessed to have know Brandon and to call him my friend.

  3. Mike, With your permission I want to present this prayer to the hospice staff at our meeting. I would love to have a copy go to each family that loses a loved one. It is so comforting. Thanks and much love.

  4. Thank you, Mike, for writing out the prayer. I was also taken by the words, it is a comfort to us all. I will share it in my grief groups and mailings. It helps us to feel hope in the midst of trajedy and the anguish of grief.
    Love and Peace to all who grieve this night for Brandon.

  5. It was a great honor to have known Brandon. He was not only a fantastic guide but fun to be with. I was really looking forward to seeing him again in December at the Nugent hunt. He will be greatly missed. My heart goes out to his wife and family.

  6. Wow! What a beautiful prayer. I’m so happy you were able to pray it at Brandon’s committal. I’m not sure I would have been able to do that. We are thinking about you guys and praying for you all.

  7. What a handsome young man he was! Thank you so much for posting the prayer. Yes, I agree with others that it is a wonderful prayer. I also agree with its thoughts – expressed in ways I haven’t thought before now. I’m thankful to read (and pray) the prayer with you.

  8. What a beautiful prayer….and how you were able to say it, God alone knows. Thank you for sharing it. I found it on All Saint’s Day through a link and it meant more than all the bell tolling and name reading. Thank you! I truly am sorry for you and your family’s loss and can only pray and hope that the God who “loaned” Brandon to you for such a short time will uplift you and support you in your understandable grief.

  9. Thank you Mike for the prayer. Brandon was a very special grandson (my first). I was there through the many hours of Cyndys labor and when he was born God truly had loan us a beautiful boy. He was with us such a short time and I think that is the hardest thing. In that short time I have never know him to be unkind to anyone, I love him so much, and I know you and Cyndy are going through the hardest time of grief but we will all come through our grief with Gods help.

  10. I can’t believe it has been 11 months. I miss him. I remember the pain that was left in my heart when you told me of his passing. I remember the words that I said. “He was supposed to be there. He was supposed to stand next to me.” I miss him terribly. Brandon is my oldest friend, and I miss him. I will be calling you soon to say hi and talk to you about Gloria and my upcoming wedding. I am glad that you are doing it, Mike. Since Brandon can’t be there in person, I want everyone who knew him to help represent his presence.

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