COVID-19: Christians around the globe join ecumenical Week of Prayer
On the first anniversary of pandemic, Christian churches and organizations pray for healing and hope
(LWI) - One year on from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Christian churches and ecumenical organizations across the world are coming together for a Week of Prayer to remember all those affected by the global health crisis and its far-reaching consequences.
Since 11 March 2020, when the World Health Organization first declared the novel Coronavirus to be a global pandemic, there have been over 99 million cases of infection and over 2 million deaths. In the 12 months since then, countries on every continent have been grappling with the resulting crises that have impacted the mental, physical, economic and spiritual health of their people.
To mark this milestone, the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) is joining with many ecumenical partners in an initiative led by the World Council of Churches (WCC) to remember the dead, to pray for healing and to affirm our common human fragility which the pandemic has highlighted.
Lament, healing, protection, hope
From Monday 22 to Saturday 27 March, members of many Christian communities will join together in daily prayers and reflections, which will include elements of lament, as well as intercessions for healing, protection and hope. The shared worship services will remember especially the most vulnerable, including all health care staff and front-line workers, as well as leaders of nations and communities as they seek to make the right decisions to further the common good.
The week-long initiative will also include a focus on the need for an equitable distribution of vaccines, especially in low-income countries where the rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations has not yet begun. Each day of prayer will be accompanied by a fact sheet with details of the different facets of the pandemic that are being addressed in the intercessions.
We can carry each other's burdens [….] in the hope that ways are opened for ever deeper cooperation, service, and witness.
Prof. Dr Dirk Lange, LWF’s Assistant General Secretary for Ecumenical Relations, invited all Christians to join the week-long initiative. He said: “Coming together as global communions and ecumenical organizations, we pray, we lament, and we hope. We can carry each other's burdens and the burden of a suffering world, still finding its way in the midst of this pandemic.
In this ecumenical prayer, many of those burdens and challenges are named in the hope that ways are opened for ever deeper cooperation, service, and witness.”