On March 11th, the world marked the one year anniversary of the declaration by the World Health Organization of the pandemic caused by the COVID-19 virus. While we here in Newfoundland and Labrador were able to keep things more or less open and running for another week beyond that, it was still a grim reminder of how long this worldwide crisis has been going on, of how much we have lost, and of how we have had to adapt and grow to learn new ways to do everyday activities. It has been a long and difficult year for most of us, and many within the church felt that it would be appropriate to gather together online to pray and mark this commemoration.
In two of our dioceses, a shared livestream was organized and presented so that people at home could join in with others across the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Here are some screen shots from those livestreams, and some of the prayers that were offered.
From Bishop John Watton of the Diocese of Central Newfoundland:
Creator, we gather in what feels to us to be captivity, holding on, hoping, praying, and believing even as we gather in an electronic wasteland. Now our hearts, joined together by our presence here are laid before you. Hear the cry out to our people, Lord. Hear the longing, our need, and hear our faith. Come Holy Spirit, come. Amen.
From Bishop Sam Rose of the Diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador:
Holy one, we come before you today knowing that you are with us. In the midst of persistent change and unknowing, we crave your ever present grace. In this space of many questions and few answers, we are desperate for your truth. In this storm of confusion and uncertainty, we desire your constancy of love. Speak peace to the fears we name in our hearts and minds. Calm the inner and unspoken anxieties we carry. Soothe our wearied and worried souls from the incessant angst. For those whose bodies bear illness, we pray. For those whose minds are trapped in fear, we pray. For those whose spirits are devastated by isolation, we pray. Help us to remember that you are with us, for you alone give us strength and wholeness of being. In your holy name we pray. Amen.