Memorial Service for Dennis Flaskerud
June 8, 2000

Terry: We are gathered together as family and friends, remembering the life of Dennis Flaskerud among us. We are gathered together as human beings touched by the death of our brother Dennis with grief and sadness. Yet as believers we gather with faith and hope in eternal life, and so let us pray:

We pray for a few moments in silence.

Terry: Praised be God, the Father of mercies, and the God of all consolation. He comforts us in all our afflictions and thus enables us to comfort those who are in trouble, with the same consolation we have received from him.

Lord God, you are the glory of believers and the life of the just. Like all of us, our brother Dennis was always touched and often puzzled by the mystery of eternal life. In your divine mercy, let him share the joys and blessings of the life to come.

All: Amen.

Terry:

A reading from the Book of Ecclesiastes:

There is a season for everything, a time for every occupation under heaven: A time for giving birth, a time for dying; a time for planting, a time for uprooting what has been planted. A time for killing, a time for healing; a time for knocking down, a time for building. A time for tears, a time for laughter; a time for mourning, a time for dancing. A time for throwing stones away, a time for gathering them up; a time for embracing, a time to refrain from embracing. A time for searching, a time for losing; a time for keeping, a time for throwing away. A time for tearing, a time for sewing; a time for keeping silent, a time for speaking. A time for loving, a time for hating; a time for war, a time for peace.

The word of the Lord.

Terry: The next scripture will be read by Dennis’s sister-in-law Amy Flaskerud..

Amy:

A reading from the Gospel according to St. Matthew:

How happy are the poor in spirit; theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Happy the gentle: they shall have the earth for their heritage. Happy those who mourn: they shall be comforted. Happy those who hunger and thirst for what is right: they shall be satisfied. Happy the merciful: they shall have mercy shown them. Happy the pure in heart: they shall see God. Happy the peacemakers: they shall be called sons of God. Happy those who are persecuted in the cause of right: theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

The word of the Lord.

Terry: Dennis, we’ve chosen this third reading for a special reason. As some of you know, the Catholic church has a three-year cycle of scriptures to be read and explained at Mass. Dennis, this is the one for June 3, 2000, the day you entered eternal life.

A reading from the Gospel according to St. John:

Jesus said to the disciples, "You are sad now, but I shall see you again, and your hearts will be full of joy, and that joy no one shall take from you. Very truly, I tell you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete. I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures, but will tell you plainly of the Father. On that day you will ask in my name. I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; for the Father himself loves you, because you have believed me and have believed that I came from God. I came from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and am going to the Father."

The word of the Lord.

Terry: Dennis, it was only last summer that you were comforting me on the death of my brother Mike. I remember thinking then, as I do now, that dying makes no sense. We’re not rocks or plants. We’re God’s children. We’re supposed to live forever.

At times like this, we ask questions. For answers, we open our Bibles. We read words like those we’ve just heard: “A time for tears, a time for laughter. Happy the pure in heart, for they shall see God. I am leaving the world and am going to the Father.”

These readings aren’t much help. They raise more questions than they answer. Confused, we do what believers have done for thousands of years. We gather to worship the God who made us and who promises to be with us always. We hear his word. We share stories and we hug one another.

Dennis, you’ve been a dear friend during the 30 months that we’ve known each other. You were there in spirit five days ago when your family gathered to celebrate your birthday. It’s not hard to imagine what you were like as a young parent. We see it in the loving care that your sons and daughters give to their own children and nieces and nephews.

Dennis, stay close to us as we continue our travels through this life. Help us to be like you, gentle, dedicated and cheerful. Guide and protect your brothers and their families. Watch over Pat and Wilma, Tracy and Michael, Dennis and Vikki, Kevin and Cindy, Melisa and John, your grandchildren and all of us. We’ll be joining you soon.

Terry: Our brother Dennis has gone to his rest in the peace of God's presence. With faith and hope in eternal life, let us commend him to the loving mercy of our Father, and assist him with our prayers. May the Lord now welcome him to the table of God's family in heaven, and with all the saints may he inherit the promise of eternal life.

Let us also pray to the Lord for ourselves. May we who mourn be reunited one day with our brother. Together may we meet our Creator, who is our life now and always.

Father, into your hands we commend our brother Dennis. We are confident that with all who have died in the hope of eternal life, he will live forever. We thank you for all the blessings you gave him in this life, showing your fatherly care for all of us and the fellowship which is ours with the saints. Lord, hear our prayer: welcome our brother Dennis to paradise, and help us to comfort each other with the assurance of our faith, until we all meet to be with you and with our brother Dennis forever.

Dennis, may the angels lead you into paradise. May the martyrs receive you as you arrive. May they lead you to the holy city, Jerusalem. May the choir of angels welcome you. May you, with Lazarus who once was poor, have eternal rest.

Terry reads the words that Dennis’s wife Pat and his daughter Tracy have written for him. Dennis’s daughters-in-law Vikki and Cindy read what they have written for him. Terry invites others to “tell us how you knew Dennis, and how you want us to remember and honor him."