“When Death Comes” — UUS:E Virtual Service, October 23, 2022

Gathering Music





by Down Like Silver
Performed by Paul Shumsky & Jeannette LeSure


Chalice Lighting and Opening Words

Excerpt from Die Wise
by Stephen Jenkinson

Opening Hymn

“Return Again”
by Shlomo Carlebach
#1011 in Singing the Journey

Return again, Return again,
Return to the home of your soul.

Return to who you are, 
Return to what you are,
Return to where you are
born and reborn again.

Reading: “When Death Comes” by Mary Oliver

Musical Meditation

Joys and Concerns

Musical Meditation


The recipient of our community outreach offering is the University of Connecticut’s Native American Cultural Program or NACP. NACP provides resources, services, and community for UCONN’s Native and Indigenous students and faculty, helps foster relationships with local tribal nations, and works towards building good relations between UCONN and the land.

Offering Music

“Autumn Leaves”
by Joseph Cozma
Performed by Paul Shumsky

Homily and Poetry Dive: Penny Field with music by Paul Shumsky

Poetry Dive credits

Rumi: A Man Talking to his House
Marie Howe: My Dead Friends
Maria Sante-Croce: Sono’s Death Poem
Mary Oliver: from Gravel
Erica Jong: Is Life the Incurable Disease
Penny Field: When I’m Gone
Naomi Shihab Nye: Adios

Closing Hymn

“Dark of Winter”
by Shelley Jackson Denham
#55 in Singing the Living Tradition

Dark of winter, soft and still, your quiet calm surrounds me.
Let my thoughts go where they will; ease my mind profoundly.
And then my soul will sing a song, a blessed song of love eternal.
Gentle darkness, soft and still, bring your quiet to me. 

Darkness, soothe my weary eyes, that I may see more clearly.
When my heart with sorrow cries, comfort and caress me.
And then my soul may hear a voice, a still, small voice of love eternal.
Darkness, when my fears arise, let your peace flow through me.

Extinguishing the Chalice

Closing Circle

May faith in the spirit of life
And hope for the community of earth
And love of the light in each other
Be ours now, and in all the days to come.