The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have written an open letter to the nation as we reach the dreadful milestone of losing 100,000 people to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Archbishops invite everyone to pause as we reflect on the enormity of this pandemic. They said, "100,000 isn’t just an abstract figure. Each number is a person: someone we loved and someone who loved us. We also believe that each of these people was known to God and cherished by God.
"We therefore encourage everyone who is feeling scared, or lost or isolated to cast their fears on God.
"None of this is easy. Very many of us are experiencing isolation, loneliness, anxiety and despondency like never before. Many people have lost their livelihoods. Our economy struggles. Also, the necessary restrictions we live with have also prevented us from being alongside loved ones as they died, or even at their graveside. All grief profoundly affects us, but this pandemic grief is so hard.
"Therefore, we need to support each other. We do this by following the guidelines. But we also do it by reaching out to each other with care and kindness.
"One thing we can all do is pray. We hope it is some consolation to know that the church prays for the life of our nation every day. Whether you’re someone of faith, or not, we invite you to call on God in prayer."
Starting on 1 February we invite you to set aside time every evening to pray, particularly at 6pm each day if possible. The important thing is to pray regularly for the life of our nation in this time of pandemic.
A number of resources are available at www.ChurchofEngland.org/PrayerForTheNation.
A prayer for those who mourn
as we remember before you the thousands who have died,
surround us and all who mourn with your strong compassion.
Be gentle with us in our grief,
protect us from despair,
and give us grace to persevere
and face the future with hope
in Jesus Christ our risen Lord.
GREATER MANCHESTER REMEMBERS
Greater Manchester Remembers is an online space to honour those that have died as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic who have lived in, or have a link to, Greater Manchester.