National Day of Mourning and Lament for those who have died of COVID-19
Monday, June 1, 2020
Monday, June 1, 2020
Dear Friends in Christ,
Last Monday, Memorial Day, we remembered the men and women of our nation who died in service to their country, giving thanks for their witness, their lives and their sacrifices. In the time of pandemic, we honored them without our customary parades and ceremonies, but with heartfelt prayer. Today we commemorate another day of memorial, a National Day of Mourning and Lament for those who have died in our nation of COVID-19 since it first came to our shores in the winter. By the middle of May, the novel coronavirus had killed more Americans than the Vietnam War, Gulf War, Afghanistan War, and Iraq War combined. The more than 100,000 people confirmed to have died in the US in this pandemic are our siblings, our parents and grandparents, our children and friends. We mourn them. We pray for them. We pray for their loved ones. We grieve together for each life lost.
We also recognize and acknowledge growing statistics which demonstrate that COVID-19 has taken the lives of brown and black persons in numbers that are disproportionate to the population. This reality lays bear the inequities in our social and political structures as surely as the recent killings of unarmed black men has done. We grieve our brokenness. We grieve divisions. We grieve our losses.
In our grief, we turn to God in prayer. Pray this day for:
All who have died of COVID-19
The loved ones of those who have died
All who are ill with COVID-19
All who are afraid
Healthcare workers who are on the front lines of response
Researchers and scientists who seek treatments and an effective vaccine
Civic leaders who seek to offer sound wisdom and guidance
Funeral industry workers
All whose jobs put them in harm's way during this time
Let us also pray for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and all who have died in racial violence. Let us commit ourselves to the Way of Love for the healing of our nation. Our Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry, offers concrete actions that are deeply rooted in our faith in the living, breathing, loving Christ. (Read his op/ed article in yesterday's Washington Post.)
Let us pray. God of all hope, God of all goodness, we are a people hurting, lost and divided. Our world seems a strange and foreign land, our days a blur of separation and isolation. Gather us to your very heart as we pray for our nation, receive all who have died into the fulness of your heaven, guide the hands of all who serve others. Bless our efforts to love all people in concrete action and, in your powerful ways and in your perfect time, make us whole for the sake of a world so desperately in need of You. Amen.
The Rt. Rev. Susan E. Goff
Bishop Suffragan and Ecclesiastical Authority