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Summary: A funeral sermon written about my niece who died at 17 days.

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Goodnight, My Angel

Allena Michelle Perry 2-21-05

- Play "The Dance" & "When I'm Gone"

Friends and family of Allena Perry let us pray:

Heavenly Father, your will is sovereign. May we be able to look back at Allena and think fondly of the time that we shared together. Lord, may we not be bitter for the loss of our young sister in Christ. May we be happy that she is now with you, where she has a whole body and she is waiting to meet us again. In the name of the one who conquered death we pray, Amen.

Allena's mother, Erin asked me to read this poem she wrote about Allena:

The candles are lit but no song will be sung

No laughter, no glee, of my little one

Who would have been three weeks

If you only knew the plans that would be made by your dad and me

The cake to be baked; the presents wrapped

And all the funny party hats

The pictures taken by your dad of course

As loving friends filled the house

All of this is not meant to be

Since you were taken away from me

No birthday cake

No presents unwrapped

No pictures of you in your party hat

But the candles are lit, never to go out

For they burn forever in my heart

Certain people are associated with songs all of their lives, Bob Hope is associated with Thanks for the Memories, Jimi Hendrix will always be known for his rendition of the National Anthem, and Elton John will always be remembered for Candle in the Wind, the song he wrote about Princess Diana and Marilyn Monroe. I also think that each of us in life can be characterized by a song. In Allena's case, I think that song would be Goodnight, My Angel by Billy Joel.

Listen to some of the lyrics:

"Goodnight my angel, now it's time to sleep, and still so many things I want to say. Remember all the songs you sang for me when we went sailing on an emerald bay. And like a boat out on the ocean, I'm rocking you to sleep. The water's dark and deep inside this ancient heart; you'll always be a part of me. Someday we'll all be gone, but lullabyes go on and on; that's how you and I will be."

Leeny (Lee-Knee), as her family knew her, was a beautiful child that fought up to the end, when Erin, her mother cradled her, and told her that it was all right to go now and fall asleep.

It's always tragic to lose a little one like Allena, however we can find comfort in the scripture. In Revelation 21 we read,

"And I saw the holy city, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'See the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.' ”

Leeny was a girl that we had all prayed over and for, hoping that the Lord would see fit to make her better so that she could come home. And while the answer wasn't entirely like we had wanted it to be, she is home now. She is a flower in the slowerbed of Heaven, and she is a wonderful reminder of who we have to look forward to seeing in Heaven.

Jesus himself, if very fond of children; we see this in Matthew 19:13-15:

"Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them

and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them. Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.'

We think of choruses such as Jesus Loves the Little Children and Jesus Loves Me. These are all appropriate and remind us that Jesus loves the children of the world and would not like any to suffer. He let Leeny come home to be with him so that she would not be in pain any longer. He also reminds us that should we live our lives the way we should, that we too can be with Leeny in Heaven and be able to see her and hold her and be reunited with her. The song, How Beautiful Heaven Must Be, tells us of Heaven saying,

"We read of a place that's called Heaven. It's made for the pure and the free. These truths and God's work He had given, how beautiful Heaven must be. How beautiful Heaven must be; sweet home of the happy and free; fair haven of rest for the weary; how beautiful Heaven must be. Pure waters of life there are flowing and all who will drink may be free. Rare jewels of splendor are glowing, how beautiful Heaven must be. The angels so sweetly are singing up there by the beautiful sea. Sweet chords from their gold harps are ringing. How beautiful Heaven must be.”

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