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A Gentle Easter Prayer


I beseech you
be gentle.
Be gentle to the men & the women
and to the children,
who hold their life in their hands,
like a flower.

They have all gathered
the flower of life,
and because it is gathered
it is fading,
it fades swiftly,
like the loveliness of a candle
that is lit.

Dying and flowering
are one thing,
but [we], not knowing this,
weep for the dead,
be gentle …….


Come let us pray
that the seed of our life’s flowering,
falls not upon the rock
falls not upon thorns
or the hard frost
or among the weeds.
But that today’s sorrow,
prepare the world’s soil
and sift for sowing tomorrow.

I beseech you be gentle.
Because, when the flame is lit,
the wax is consumed quickly.
When the leaf flowers
swift is the withering.
But if the seed falls
into the heart in fallow,
the passing loveliness,
the flicker of light,
will remain in the dark night
to flower with eternal life.

(This is an extract from Caryll Houselander’s  poem: ‘A Prayer to Creatures’ in her book ‘The Flowering Tree’ first published in 1945).

The image detail is  from the ‘Resurrection Window’, 1987 designed and executed by James Watson.

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