We thank our partner organizations and our members for submitting the following resources. Send yours to our webmaster at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updates and resources related to the Covid-19 pandemic are at www.nacc.org/resources/coronavirus-resources
We want to make special note of the prayers and resources at the CHA Spiritual Resources for Covid-19 page. We will not replicate content from the CHA site here, so please be sure to also visit their page: CHA: Spiritual Resources for Covid-19
Prayers for World Day of the Sick
The following three prayers were submitted in response to our request for WDS prayers for 2021. While these three were not chosen, we feel they are worth showcasing here.
Prayer for World Day of the Sick By Nancy Donovan, RSM, BCC
A Prayer asking for God’s Guidance and Protection (A Prayer for Healthcare Workers) by Sister Jane McConnell, OSF, BCC
Prayer of the Sick by Lynne Gallison, BCC
Blessing for the Vaccine
Staff Prayer For Vaccine – from Northwell Health
Words of Hope
by National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman
I thought I’d awaken to a world in mourning.
Heavy clouds crowding, a society storming.
But there’s something different on this golden morning.
Something magical in the sunlight, wide and warming.
I see a dad with a stroller taking a jog.
Across the street, a bright-eyed girl chases her dog.
A grandma on a porch fingers her rosaries.
She grins as her young neighbor brings her groceries.
While we might feel small, separate, and all alone,
Our people have never been more closely tethered.
The question isn’t if we will weather this unknown,
But how we will weather this unknown together.
So on this meaningful morn, we mourn and we mend.
Like light, we can’t be broken, even when we bend.
As one, we will defeat both despair and disease.
We stand with healthcare heroes and all employees;
With families, libraries, schools, waiters, artists;
Businesses, restaurants, and hospitals hit hardest.
We ignite not in the light, but in lack thereof,
For it is in loss that we truly learn to love.
n this chaos, we will discover clarity.
In suffering we must find solidarity.
For it’s our grief that gives us our gratitude,
Shows us how to find hope, if we ever lose it.
So ensure that this ache wasn’t endured in vain:
Do not ignore the pain. Give it purpose. Use it.
Read children’s books, dance alone to DJ music.
Know that this distance will make our hearts grow fonder.
From a wave of woes our world will emerge stronger.
We’ll observe how the burdens braved by humankind
Are also the moments that make us humans kind;
Let every dawn find us courageous, brought closer;
Heeding the light before the fight is over.
When this ends, we’ll smile sweetly, finally seeing
In testing times, we became the best of beings.
A reflection (on hope)
Our member Elizabeth Ecks, author of the Prayer for the NACC that also appears here, sent us the following note and reflection:
With appreciation for the prayers for all those affected.
A reflection (on hope)
May skies be blue again.
May divisions cease.
May love reign instead of hatred.
May kindness be met with justice.
May darkness turn to light.
May the tunnel of these hard days
teach us the preciousness of them.
May we never hunger for You again
the way we hunger for You these days.
May your light be shed upon us,
to guide the way toward better days.
May those days be full of
and kindness that knows no bounds or boundaries.
May these days bring us closer to You and Your will.
May we never hunger again like this.
Let us place our trust in You –
our anchor and our light.
You have called to be better –
to one another,
to our planet.
May we not miss this opportunity to bring forth
that which you have called us to do.
Prayer for the NACC
In this age of anxiety & stress, we ask for your Presence to be made clearly amongst us.
Be with us as we confront illnesses that leave many of us in a state of worry for our families, our friends, our colleagues, our communities, our nation and our world.
As hospitals and health care providers seek to continue the healing ministry of You, may they have fortitude for the road ahead, knowing that you are walking this journey with them with your mighty Hand. Remind them of both their strength and Your strength.
We ask for Your comfort upon those who have already lost loved ones during the time of viruses. And, may healing be upon those who are physically suffering and spiritually suffering through this season.
May the wilderness of this time, & the uncertainty we may feel, strengthen our resolve to lean on your word, abide in your presence, and be guided by your enduring and powerful Spirit.
You have been with us in every age and will remain a refuge — to take solace, to recollect our thoughts, to remember that all things of this world are fleeting, and this too shall pass.
Let us recall the calming of the storm by your Hand. Let us today and tomorrow and the days ahead lean on Your fortitude, and resolve to care for each other and support each other through this difficult journey before us in our lives both collectively and individually.
Amidst the darkness, the confusion and the storm of worry, may your Presence be abundantly revealed so that Your light, Your hand and Your strength, give us steadiness, refuge, clarity of purpose, and hope.
by Elizabeth (Lisa) Ecks in Sacramento, CA
Prayers and prayer resources
Centering Prayer in Times of Covid 2020 – by Linda Bronersky
Gathering Prayer – by Linda Bronersky
A New Way to Mourn is a podcast about using technology to gather friends and family in the visitation and funeral ritual, shared with us by Carla Schommer, BCC, Director of Mission Integration and Pastoral Care, Felician Village, Manitowoc, Wisconsin (transcript and audio version are both available at the link).
Washing With Wisdom is a list of prayers and poems to use while handwashing, compiled by Chaplain Rabbi Anna Beroll. Thanks to Kevin Sheehan BCC, Chaplain Coordinator at Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin, for sharing this.
STRONG IN THE FACE OF TRIBULATION – The Church in Communion: A Sure Support in Time of Trial (Vatican Apostolic Library)
USCCB prayer cards (PDFs):
Rev. Thomas W. Harshman, System VP Pastoral and Spiritual Care Mission at CommonSpirit Health in San Francisco sent us a reflection:
There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.
Lockdown is a touching poem about coronavirus penned by Brother Richard Hendrick, a Capuchin Franciscan living in Ireland.
Also, here is a BBC radio reading of Brother Richard’s poem: Lockdown – radio version
A Coronavirus Prayer (Kerry Weber, America: The Jesuit Review of Faith & Culture)
Here is a CNS translation of the prayer Pope Francis recited by video March 11 for a special Mass and act of prayer asking Mary to protect Italy and the world during of the coronavirus pandemic.
Text of pope’s prayer to Mary during coronavirus pandemic
The Dominican Sisters of Sparkill shared with us this moving prayer written by Cameron Bellm, a Seattle mother of
two young boys. Let us pray these words and try to live them as we face the challenges in our country in these difficult days.
Prayer For A Pandemic By Cameron Bellm
Chaplain Jerry McCallum, MSA writes:
COVID 19 Coronavirus Prayer (general For Group Gathered)
Poem by Dr. Anita Sircar
Visitors don’t come here anymore.
The cafeteria is nearly closed.
The gift shop ladies with their t-shirts and chocolates have locked their doors and gone away.
The boy with the backpack who plays the piano is nowhere to be found.
The volunteers with their newspaper carts have abandoned their posts.
No more flower deliveries fill the lobby.
I hardly remember they ever came.
The world is a quiet place now and we have become quiet with it.
The hallways, still.
The waiting rooms, silent.
The vacant spaces of familiar halls, now nooks to run to, to rest in, to hide from, to take a moment’s breath. To tell ourselves it will be OK.
These unprecedented days have turned into unpredictable ways and we have learned to adjust with them.
We do not know what happens next.
We only know it’s here.
Eyes met through masked faces ask the same questions,
“What will happen next? Are we ready? Will I be OK?”
There are no answers here. No words that fit.
In isolated rooms, alone in their beds, they ask the same questions,
“What will happen next? Am I ready? Will I be OK?”
There are no answers here. No words that fit.
These are days of wins. Intubated for 19 days. The tube is out. He shook my hand.
These are days of losses. Her husband died in the bed next door. She cannot breathe. It won’t be long.
These are the days of fear. “Probable” to “confirmed,” “probable” to “confirmed,” one room after the next. How long before it’s everyone?
And we, like our patients, caught in mid-sentence, stopped in mid-breath, suffocated and tied off from all the answers we wish we had, struggle to find our breath.
We are not a frontline. We are a last defense.
A last defense of limited weapons asking for Time to help.
These are days of hope,
Days we know the only way to come together is to stay apart.
Days we know the only way to save each other is to share everything we know.
Days we know the only way out is through.
And so, it is with this hope, we return day after day, again and again to empty halls, and quiet spaces, learning our way into ourselves and each other, until we breathe again.
— Dr. Anita Sircar
PLCM, Torrance, CA
When this is over,
May we never again take for granted
A handshake with a stranger
Full shelves at the store
Conversations with neighbors
A crowded theatre
Friday night out
The taste of Communion
A routine checkup
The school rush each morning
Coffee with a friend
The stadium roaring
Each deep breath
A boring Tuesday
When this ends,
May we find
that we have become
more like the people
we wanted to be,
We hoped to be,
and may we stay
that way – better
for each other
because of the worst.
— Laura Kelly Fanucci