Litany of Lament for One Year of COVID-19
March 16, 2021
COVID-19 Litany of Lament
Written by Stacey Lundy
Associate Pastor for Adult Discipleship and Pastoral Care
First UMC, Salisbury
For two voices, alternating and/or with bell tone at the end of each section.
Lord, we did not want to live in “unprecedented times.” The trouble we had was enough. Inequities have been revealed and intensified, trends accelerated, hands forced. We did not want this.
The world groans under so much unbearable weight. 550,000 deaths in the United States. So many more live with lingering effects on their health, livelihood, and financial future.
The things that provided boundaries and stability in our life have changed, and continue to change, yet we are asked to be creative, patient, and flexible. Extroverts aren’t getting enough time with other people, and introverts aren’t able to get away and recharge. All of us are struggling with being confined and constricted. How long, O Lord?
We struggle with the deaths and loss of relationships because of the pandemic. We grieve for those we have lost, as well as our normal ways of grieving.
We have been cut off from human touch: from hugs, from handshakes, from flashing smiles not under masks. We’ve lost hallway conversations, long dinner conversations, fun events.
Our holidays and celebrations have all been affected: Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays, graduations, retirements, weddings, funerals, and births. How long, O Lord?
As if the virus were not enough to contend with, we have had bitter battles over government, civil rights, our role and responsibility in care for one another, and science. Free-floating anxieties have added to our own anxiety, and have been amplified by social media. We’re not sure we want to see some people face-to-face anymore.
We have had constant disappointments, unmet expectations, frustrated efforts. We want things to go back to “normal,” even as we realize things will never be the same. We are not ok with that.
There have been joys along the way: sensing God’s presence in prayer and in The Story of scripture, more time with people in our household, opportunities to learn something new or connect with nature, connecting with people through technology. But sometimes, this does not feel like enough in the face of all we have lost.
Holy God, we trust that you are big enough to hear our lament, and care deeply for our health and well-being. You, and you alone, have the power to turn our world around and bring your kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven. So hear us as we pray as Jesus continues to teach us to pray:
Download a copy of the litany of lament for use in your church.