Lament and Mourn: An Invitation to Grieve

Join us in Prayer Monday, June 1

Prayers for A Day of Lament

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Sister Marcelline Koch, OP

Faith leaders from across many traditions have called for a National Day of Mourning and Lament to grieve and honor those who have died from COVID-19 and to pray together for the healing of our nation.

Our nation has passed a grievous point in history: 100,000 U.S. residents have died from COVID-19.

In Peru, where our sisters minister, we mourn the loss of more than 4,100 people, more than half of them elderly.

In the United States on May 29, 30, and 31—Friday, Saturday, and Sunday—religious communities will gather for the first time —many still virtually.

Keeping with their own traditions and practices, each will mourn the dead and pray for the healing of our nation:

  • On Friday, with Ramadan finished, Muslims will remember the revelation of the Quran.
  • On Friday and Saturday, Jews will remember God’s covenant as they celebrate Shavuot and read their yizkhor (remembrance) prayers.
  • On Sunday, Christians will celebrate Pentecost Sunday, when the first Christians were given courage through the reception of the Holy Spirit.

As we pray for those lost to COVID-19, we also lament the hard truths we have learned during this pandemic: our suffering has been unequal:

  • elders have been vulnerable and alone;
  • black and brown neighbors have borne disproportionately the brunt of sickness and death while they labor on the front lines against this disease.
  • Native communities have been particularly hard hit, as they have been so many times in the past.
  • Asian Americans have been targeted by hateful words and actions.

Our prayers for healing must acknowledge the brokenness of our democracy and rededicate us to the task of repairing the injustices this pandemic has revealed.

“Aware of our interconnectedness in the cosmos, and in solidarity with the rostros concretos" of the victims of the COVID-19 virus, we are invited to:

  1. Add intercessions to your prayer at Sunday worship.
  2. On Monday, June 1—at noon local time—pause for a moment of prayer and remembrance for those who have died. You may use your own or choose from these specially prepared: Prayers for Day of Lament.  You can also mark the moment with bells—hand-held bells, church bells, bells on your phone, etc.
  3. Take the Pax Christi USA  Pledge to Protect Others  as a thoughtful, compassionate response for this next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For additional information, see Sojourners’ Resource Page.

Sister Marcelline Koch, OP, is the co-promoter of justice, peace, and care of creation for the Dominican Sisters of Springfield.

1 thought on “Lament and Mourn: An Invitation to Grieve”

  1. Prayers for all affected by COVID especially those who have lost their life, those who are currently sick, and for the most vulnerable populations still at risk. Prayers of thanksgiving for all those who remain healthy and well. Prayers for an effective vaccine and treatments in a speedy manner. And prayers especially for those who feel scared, anxious, depressed, and alone that they feel God’s presence and peace in them and around them.

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