Keep ringing the bells of holy hope

Benediction at the memorial service for Glenda Sehested

by Nancy Hastings Sehested

Beloveds, now we know for sure. Every day is grace and every night is gratitude.

May you live and embody the holy and daring word of God’s everlasting love for you and all of creation.

May you never lose heart.

May you challenge your mind and cherish your body.

May you commit to life-long learning.

May you wear down the pathway to the sanctuary of your soul.

May you speak up for the silenced.

May you befuddle the brutal,

Bewilder the bullies,

Be intolerant of the intolerable.

Lament and laugh

And may laughter get the best of you.

Confuse the controlling.

Comfort the confused.

Caress the broken-hearted.

Rock to sleep the agitated.

Halt the hell-raisers of inhumanity.

Recklessly splash mercy on friend and foe and self alike.

Ring out with truth.

Ring out with justice.

Ring out with joy.

And may you keep on ringing the bells of holy hope*

Until the circle of love stretches wide enough for all people to join in.

In the name of the One who won’t let go of us in showing us this way

Both now and forevermore, Jesus Christ our Peace.


{Dr. Glenda Sehested, sister and a sociology professor at Augustana for 38 years, was a collector of miniature bells. More than 200 of those were on tables in the chapel during her memorial service. Following the benediction, all were invited to take a bell and, on cue, rang them together.}

May 3, 2013
Augustana University Chapel, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

©Ken Sehested @