A companion for 15 years, he leaves a big whole in the family and is greatly missed.
As we buried him, we said these prayers (prayers written by Rev Robert Stiefel and the Rev. Frank Logue):
A Liturgy in Remembrance of Alef
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, a gentle Father, and the God of all consolation, who comforts us in our sorrows, so that we can offer others, in their sorrows, the consolation that we ourselves received from God. -2 Corinthians 1:3-4
O God, you created all that is, and you love all that you have made: we come to you this day in grief and with thanksgiving. We grieve the death of our beloved Alef, who has been our companion on the way, and we thank you for the gift of his presence among us as an effective sign of the richness of your creation and of the generosity of your love; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
And if thy heart be straight with God, then every creature shall be to thee a mirror of life and a book of doctrine, for there is no creature so little or so vile, but that sheweth and representeth the goodness of God.-Thomas à Kempis
O God our Maker, from the beginning you have permitted us, the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve, to name our brother and sister creatures of earth, sea, and sky: We commend Alef to the arms of your everlasting love. Amen.
O Christ our Savior, in your love you gave yourself to death that the whole world might have life: Console us who grieve, and by the sign of the rainbow help us to trust in your everlasting love. Amen.
O Spirit and Giver of Life, you abandon no creature that the flame of your presence has enlivened: Abide with us in this world and sustain in us the hope that we may yet again rejoice in the companionship of Alef in the world to come. Amen.
Most merciful God, we return to you Alef, a creature of your own making and your gift into our lives. We praise you for his beauty and strength, for his grace and power; we thank you for his faithful companionship in our joys and sorrows; and we bless you for the time during which you entrusted him into our care. Receive now Alef back into the arms of your everlasting love, O Giver of life, through whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ all that is lost to death is restored to life, and in whose Name we pray. Amen.
May Christ the Good Shepherd enfold us with love, fill us with peace, and lead us in hope, this day and all our days. Amen.