On the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare on 23rd April 1616, a prayer which follows the Seven Ages in ‘As you like it’.
There is also a reference to the text on his gravestone in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon, “Good Friend for Jesus sake forebeare to digg the dust enclosed heare…”.
From one son of Stratford to another.
Through all our ages on this stage of life,
your loving hand O God
guides and redeems us in our many parts.
From infancy and childhood’s learning,
in loving and struggle
towards justice and wisdom’s insights,
and if time permits
restful age to reducing vigour,
in your mercy we return to your embrace,
our source and goal, entrance and exit.
For Jesus’ sake, our true ‘good friend’,
bring us to rejoice in your eternity;
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
© Ian Black 2016