To remember our dead relatives and friends
To realise that death is not just an ending
To live in hope
A P.E. box or large table covered in yellow cloth
or paper, to act as a haystack
Any, or November, or just after Easter
1. Good morning.
Today's assembly is about what happens when someone we love dies.
Here is a sad story for you.
2. One day, a baby boy was born in a red
and blue caravan. His parents were circus entertainers. They called him
His mother, Gypsy Rose, told fortunes. His father, Mr. Hercules, did a
strong man act. His sister, Elsa, was a daring trapeze artiste.
Neither Leo nor his sister went to school, as the family was constantly
on the move, performing with different circuses all over the country.
3. Leo admired his sister very much, as
he watched her, night after night, swinging on the trapeze eighty feet
above the ground. Three times a night, she went through her act,
looping the loop without a safety net. Leo thought she was very brave.
4. Then a terrible thing happened. When
Leo was ten, his sister was killed. A strong gust of wind rocked the
circus tent and she fell from the trapeze to her death.
Leo felt as though the bottom had fallen out of his world. He had been
so fond of her. Stunned and shocked, he attended her funeral.
5. After the funeral, Leo ran away from
the circus, far into the countryside, with tears running down his
cheeks. He found a haystack and, exhausted, lay down to sleep. When he
woke up in the morning, he started to cry again, with great, gulping
7. Suddenly, a rough voice said,
TRAMP: And what is wrong with you then?
7. Startled, Leo looked around and found
an elderly tramp, who had been sleeping on the other side of the
Leo told the tramp that his sister had died and that he did not want to
stay in the circus, where his parents were training him to be a
The tramp listened and then said kindly,
TRAMP: I understand how you feel, boy,
because, when I was ten, my mother died. I wanted to run away too, but
my father told me that I would see my mother again one day, in heaven.
So, I decided that I had better not run away, because my mother would
not like that.
8. Leo looked at the tramp thoughtfully.
His sister would not like him to throw away his life either. She had
always encouraged him with his tightrope walking and expected him to be
a big star one day. She would be disappointed if he gave it all up.
Leo shook the tramp's hand and said,
LEO: Thank you for telling me that. I
will go back and try to be a credit to my sister.
8. He returned to the circus, where he
worked hard, so that his sister would be proud of him.
9. How does this story apply to us? Many
of us have had relatives who have died. Of course, it is natural to
feel sad, because we miss them. But we should also be brave about it.
We should be happy because our dead relatives are in heaven - where
they lead beautiful, comfortable lives with God - and we will see them
again when we ourselves die.
10. God told us that this was the right
attitude to have, when someone close to us dies.
Death even upset Jesus. He cried when his friend Lazarus died. (Read
part of John 11 including verse 35.)
11. The Apostles and Mary also cried,
when Jesus died. (Read John 20. 11-16 and Mark 16.9-11.)
The Apostles and Mary were sad and scared.
When Jesus came back to life, to prove that he was God, he knew that
they were sad. So he told them that they would all meet again in
Indeed, there is enough room in heaven for everyone. We know this
because Jesus said,
JESUS: Do not let your hearts be
troubled. Trust in God. There are many rooms in my Father's house. I am
going now to prepare a place for you.
12. Let us now say a prayer for all our
relatives and friends who have died.
Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon
them. May they rest in peace. Amen.
We will now sing "Lord of the Dance" by Sydney Carter. (Celebration
Hymnal for Everyone number 275)