In A Liturgy Of Grief, Leslie C. Allen explores the biblical book of Lamentations and its theme of grief.
While discerning patterns that have been helpful in dealing with individuals in chaplaincy work, Allen identifies some traits of corporate grief.
Grief comes in many shapes, shades, and sizes. The grief of Lamentations is of a traumatic, collective, and complicated nature, which counsellors and pastoral caregivers distinguish from “normal” grief and which displays exaggerated and prolonged features. Grief is a general term used of the whole process of adjusting to loss and change. It is also used of a particular part of the process, a reaction of distress. In the latter sense, grief, guilt, and grievance represent three trajectories that run through Lamentations.
A Liturgy Of Grief, Leslie C. Allen, Baker Academic, Grand Rapides, 2011, pg 15.
A corporate grief, triggered by an event which represents change, loss, and uncertainty, will mean that a group will experience varying degrees of the emotions mentioned above, leading to a complex matrix which challenges those shepherding the group to deal both with individual and shared needs as the group moves toward a future point of corporate and personal adjustment.