Prayers during the time of Coronavirus

Resources to encourage a deepening of prayer and worship of Our Lord as we face difficult times during the global outbreak of COVID-19 Coronavirus.

Hopefully there is something for everyone. 

More will be added as the weeks go by. (Editor)

Please scroll down the page.

 

CORONAVIRUS

How to pray and re-connect with the church as places of worship re-open for private prayer

 

Archbishop John Wilson, the Archbishop of Southwark, has spoken to us as his Cathedral, St George’s, and other churches that can safely do so, are reopening for individual, private prayer.

This is a excerpt from a longer podcast interview above that offers a simple reflection on prayer and being in the presence of God as lockdown is eased across our countries and a staged re-opening of churches is permitted.

 

Excerpt Podcast Transcript

So today, we’re opening our church – St. George’s Cathedral, here in Southwark, after this period of lockdown. We’re opening it just for a limited time.

And here in the cathedral, we’ve got all the important social distancing measures in place. We’ve got all the signs in place. We’ve got the sanitisers at the entrance and the exit. We’ve got separate doors to come in and out. We’ll have stewards on-hand. So everything’s ready to welcome people. And I think that’s the most important aspect – we want to offer a sense of welcome – whoever you are.

If you need to come and first of all just find time and quiet in a sacred place, then the cathedral is is open for you. If, perhaps, you want to come and pray – and maybe you’ve not prayed for a while or you’ve got out of the habit of praying – then let me offer you just some simple words of encouragement.

The first thing is to imagine your prayer as talking from your heart about the things that matter to you, to your best friend. And when you come into the church, find a quiet space. All the benches have been properly laid out, some of them put together to enable social distancing, but you can find a quiet space to sit or to kneel.

Simply close your eyes and in silence, just say to yourself, Lord God, I believe you are here. And I open my heart to you now. And then just speak from your heart. Speak to God, tell Him the things that are on your mind. Maybe the things that first are worrying you – the things that have been a real concern during this time of lockdown. Maybe about your family, maybe about your work, maybe about our city, our world. Just speak to Him from your heart, tell him anything that’s worrying you. Share it with him. And know that He’s listening.

Then perhaps think about the particular people that you want to give thanks for, the particular events that you want to give thanks for during this time of lockdown. Who’s been there for you? Who sustained you? Who’s really helped you? You want to say, “Lord, thank you that that person was there – that that experience was there”. Just let these things tumble out from your heart – don’t overthink them, just speak. And know He listens. Because He loves you.

Perhaps if you get to the point where you think you’ve said everything that you’ve got to say, just be with your eyes closed. And if you know the Our Father, just pray it quietly, slowly, savouring each word.

If you don’t know the Our Father, take a simple phrase. Like

 “Heavenly Father, give me your love”. And repeat it.

Heavenly Father, guide me moving forward”. And repeat it.

Heavenly Father, protect those who I love”. And repeat it.

Prayer at its best is when it’s simple. So speak to your heart, to the God who loves you and allow Him to reassure you with His peace.

 

Prayers for the Pandemic

For those who miss going to church

 

God of the last supper,

who knew real presence: a beloved one

reclining into you, holding dusty feet as you poured water

over them, the tug at the hem of your garment,

touch us now,

unable to receive your risen body in church,

unable to gather as your body

touch us with your word,

handed on from your mouth, from memory,

written down, broken and shared over centuries

from the pulpit, the kitchen table;

touch us

with the glimpses we can see of spring,

of our vulnerable brothers and sisters,

of your presence within.

 

Raymond Friel

Prayers for the Pandemic

A Morning Prayer for a School Community

 

God our loving Father

we gather together this morning

but it’s not the same: many of us are not here

and there is distance between those who are –

not the distance of fear or mistrust,

but the distance of care, of thoughtfulness,

the distance that will help us to stop the virus from spreading.

 

We pray for friends and classmates who are at home.

We know we will see them again in real life

and value their real presence even more, the gift of friendship.

Help us to ‘see’ more clearly what is important,

the good things we had perhaps overlooked,

the small details of everyday life,

graced with your presence.

 

We pray for a better world to come out of this –

more grateful for the people who do the ordinary jobs,

more just in the way people are treated, more caring for the vulnerable.

We pray for a world which is more determined

to look after the earth, our common home;

a world that will live wisely, think deeply,

love generously.

 

We make all our prayers through Christ our Lord. Amen

 

(Raymond Friel)

 

 

Prayers for the Pandemic: for keyworkers 24th May

 

God of a day’s work,

who knew the early start,

the long shift, the thankless task,

help us to ‘see’ keyworkers in the pandemic

in a new and lasting way –

the ones who leave home to mingle

with the virus

 

to keep us fed,

keep us safe, keep us clean,

to care for us: in school, in care, in intensive care;

help us to help them by being careful ourselves

and remembering, on the other side of this,

who deserves our esteem, our national applause,

our lasting care.

 

Raymond Friel

Prayers for the Pandemic: for those who are anxious

17th May

God of Gethsemane,

who knew deep anxiety,

the desire for the cup to be taken away,

your sweat dropping onto the clay of earth like blood,

be with those who suffer at this time

from anxiety, the fear of their world

running out of control.

 

The facts alone

fan the embers of anxiety

in all of us: the grim daily numbers,

the fear of falling ill, of facing our end.

In our loneliest darkness,

in the night of our Gethsemane,

may we find you there.

 

Raymond Friel

If you’re missing the opportunity to go to church to light a candle and pray for an intention, here is a beautiful alternative (Courtesy of the S.V.P)

 

You can now Light a Candle here via this website for any cause of your choice – a loved one, the victims of Covid-19, NHS workers or even yourself.

 

Click the red button below which will take you to the page, simply click the button as directed and a flickering candle will appear on the page for your chosen intention. Gradually, over time, it will burn down, just like a real candle, and when it finally goes out you can light a new candle if you wish.

 

You can light as many candles as you like, and each time you light one you will be invited to make an optional donation which will go towards supporting the SVP’s work to help people in need. It’s up to you whether you make a donation or not and how much you give, but rest assured the money will go to a worthwhile cause.

 

There is a long tradition in the Christian faith of people lighting candles to symbolise the light of Christ. Lighted candles are reflections of our emotional self and help to illuminate our hearts when we feel burdened.

 

During the current coronavirus crisis many Christians are missing the opportunity to find peace and serenity in church, praying for their chosen intention and lighting a candle to symbolise that prayer. But now they can find a small place of spiritual calm on the SVP website.

 

Click the red button below

Prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux

Click the red button below to pause to spend time in prayer or silent meditation, with two minutes in God’s good creation.

One of St Teresa of Avila’s most famous teachings is a poem known as “Teresa’s Bookmark” that was found in her own prayer book after her death:

 

    Let nothing disturb you.

    Let nothing upset you.

    Everything changes.

    God alone is unchanging.

    With patience all things are possible.

    Whoever has God lacks nothing.

    God alone is enough. [2]

 

I hope Teresa’s words will bring you some comfort in this challenging time. 

A different way to pray, through music......

Andrea Bocelli's Music For Hope live concert from the deserted Duomo di Milano has broken world records.

The opera singer's Easter Sunday performance became the largest live-streamed classical music event of all time, with a combined 35 million people viewing the 30-minute concert

Click the red button below to listen to this beautiful music. (Skip any adverts)

Below that is Andrea Bocelli's Lord's Prayer. Click on the red button.

Light in the darkest times: Prayer: Linda Jones/CAFOD

"A light that shines in the dark, a light that darkness could not overpower."

[John 1:5].

Loving, ever-living and compassionate God,

You understand the pain of loss, the heartache of bereavement,

May we hold in our hearts all those whose families or friends have died.

You are a light that shines in the darkest times,

Guide us and heal us in our sickness and sorrow.

You comfort us in times of fear,

May we comfort each other, even as we keep apart.

You console and lead us in times of doubt and confusion,

May we follow the light of your love and spread hope.

You move our hearts to acts of generosity,

May we be led to share what we have with those in need.

God of life,

We thank you for the signs of your light in the midst of our darkness,

May we be signs of your compassion in the heart of your world. Amen.

Catholic Papers: Due to the Coronavirus, many of the UK Catholic Diocesan newspapers are now on one website so parishioners can stay in contact with their Church and their community. The website, http://www.churchpaper.co.uk

contains over 600 editions of newspapers from around the UK..

Psalm 91

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."

Surely, he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence.

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,

nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.

A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.

You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.

If you make the Most High your dwelling-- even the LORD, who is my refuge--

then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;

they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

"Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.

He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honour him.

With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation."

Join the sisters for a daily Live Lectio Divina

As we sisters are as confined as everyone else (although we're pretty confined generally speaking as it is!), we're launching a Live Lectio Divina, which you can join online while this confinement lasts.

All of us confined people can meet together to listen to the God who Speaks, with the Bible and a cup of tea. This time of Lectio Divina will take place every day, Monday to Saturday (we'll have a break on Sundays!) at 4pm, and will last for up to 45 minutes. Join when you can!

Each day, we'll pray and reflect on the Gospel of the day. To join, simply click here at 4 pm each day, and share in the conversation. No registration is necessary. You will simply have to fill your name and email address to join.

The first session will take place this Wednesday, 25th March, to mark the Solemnity of the Annunciation.

Click the button below to join.

An Invitation to Listen - National Campaign

The God who Speaks National Campaign is encouraging everyone to make this time of confinement an opportunity to seek God more fervently in prayer and to intently listen to Him who speaks to us through the Scripture.

You can join this initiative of prayerful listening from the 25th March to the 12th April and share your insights with Fleur Dorrell, the national Campaign’s coordinator.

“By spending some time each day from 25 March – 12 April asking God to speak to us more deeply, we’re confident that new discernment will begin to emerge for our campaign.

While we are already committed to Lenten reading, prayer and reflection – this isn’t designed to be an added burden. We wish to infuse all that we already offer in prayer with an intent to listen to God speak to us all more pro-actively in the light of this new crisis.

We’d like to welcome feedback about emerging God who Speaks themes from 13 April – 13 May inclusive. This feedback will shape our next phase with the campaign.

If we trust in God and the Holy Spirit to guide us through this crisis, ask Mary to protect us, and be accompanied by Jesus as he journeys to his death and resurrection, then there will be many fruits for us to share this year and beyond.”

You can find out more here: https://www.godwhospeaks.org/listening and here: https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/events/the-god-who-speaks/listening-to-the-god-who-speaks/

Universalis

Universalis is an app you can use on your computer, and on Apple and Android devices. It contains all of the daily Mass readings and prayers, the prayers of the Angelus, and the Prayers Divine Office in several languages.

Godzdogz

The Dominican Student brothers at Blackfriars, Oxford, run an excellent blog called 'Godzdogz' with spiritual resources and regular reflections.

Word on Fire

'Word on Fire' has a huge range of online resources for prayer and catechesis on their website and social media accounts, including a live daily Mass

Prayers during a time of ‘flu and illness

When Jesus entered Peter’s house, he saw his mother-in-law lying sick with a fever. He touched her hand, and the fever left her, and she rose and began to serve him. That evening they brought to him many who were oppressed by demons, and he cast out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick. This was to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: ‘He took our illnesses and bore our diseases’. Matthew 8:14-17

 

General Prayer for Health

Christ be with me, Christ within me,

Christ behind me, Christ before me,

Christ beside me, Christ to win me,

Christ to comfort and restore me,

Christ beneath me, Christ above me,

Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,

Christ in hearts of all that love me,

Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

 

Prayer for those in Authority

Loving God, in Christ Jesus, the servant of all,

you call us to the service of others.

Grant to those who govern the community

the skill to recognise its urgent needs

and the strength to pursue the common good.

Endow us all with patience and courage,

that we may care for the suffering,

feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, and sustain the needy.

Through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 

Prayer for Health Staff

Wondrous God, author of life,

you fashioned us in your likeness

and breathed into us

the life which is your own.

Be with those whose special care

is the health of mind and body.

Fill their hearts with awe

for the life which is your gift

and sustain them daily in your service,

that their hands may bring to others

the comfort of your healing touch.

Through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 

Prayer for those Affected

Merciful God,

come to the help of your people.

Be our shelter in this time of peril

and strengthen the bonds of our community.

Bring healing to all who suffer

the ravages of disease

and assist those whose skill and art

can put an end to this affliction.

Through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 

O God,

our refuge and our shield,

even when we walk in the shadow of death

you are there at our side.

Be with your people in this time of danger:

bring strength to the afflicted

and protection to those untouched by disease.

Give us love and courage,

that we may trust in your power to save

and reach out to all who need our care.

Through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 

Self-Isolation

If there is a chance that a person has Coronavirus healthcare professionals may advise self isolation for up to 14 days. Government advice should be followed.

Those who are self-isolated may wish to spend some of the time in prayer. Use might bemade of websites such as

Pray as you go[https://pray-as-you-go.org

 or Universalis [www.universalis.com

 — to follow the readings at Mass each day or to join in the Prayer of the

Church. Parishes will find ways of supporting people through prayer, communication (phone or social media) and practical support (food etc.).

 

Phrases from Scripture

O Lord, come to my rescue,

Lord, come to my aid. Ps 39:14

Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed;

save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise. Jer 17:14

Lord, save me Matt 14: 30

Amen, Come, Lord Jesus. Rev 22:20

 

Invocation of Our Lady

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary,

that never was it known

that anyone who fled to your protection,

implored your help, or sought your intercession

was left unaided.

Inspired with this confidence,

I fly to you, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother.

To you I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful.

O Mother of the Word Incarnate,

despise not my petitions,

but in your mercy, hear and answer me.

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.

 

Prayer of St Ignatius

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,

my memory, my understanding,

and my entire will,

All I have and call my own.

You have given all to me.

To you, Lord, I return it.

Everything is yours; do with it what you will.

Give me only your love and your grace,

that is enough for me.

 

Prayer for the Household

Hear us, Lord, and send your angel from heaven

to visit and protect, to comfort and defend

all who live in this house.

Amen.

 

(Liturgy Office England & Wales)

 

 

The Catholic Truth Society – CTS – are launching a new series of blog posts on the Catholic approach to COVID-19, where it is hoped you will find inspiration to draw closer to God during this difficult time. Every Monday they will be posting a new blog on their website. In addition, CTS will be working closely together with Hozana – the social prayer platform, to help you stay close to God, when your normal routine is disrupted and particularly when you can’t get to Mass.

PRAYER FOR THE RENEWAL OF OUR DIOCESE – (to be said at home during Church closure).

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, we beg you to change us, to convert us and to make us holy. Fill us with a deeper faith, hope and love for you. Send into our hearts the cleansing fire of the Holy Spirit and powerfully renew all the clergy, religious and laity of our Diocese. Unite us in love and respect for one another and unify us as your one, holy people. Grant us a new passion and zeal for the Catholic Faith, for Mission, Outreach and Service. Help us to proclaim your Gospel generously to the poor and needy that many more souls may be saved by finding their way to you in your Church. May Mary Immaculate help us. May St. Edmund of Abingdon and Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati pray for us. Amen

St Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who wander through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen

Reading Matthew in Lent Podcasts

‘Reading Matthew in Lent’ is a series of simple podcasts for the Lenten season offering a daily reading from St Matthew’s Gospel from Ash Wednesday to Easter Monday. We’ll upload a reading on weekdays from Monday to Friday. (Catholic Bishops of England & Wales)

Click the red button below

BIBLE IN ACTION – A NEW DIOCESAN SERIES FOR LENT

Bible in Action, which has been provided for the Diocese by CAFOD and Caritas, is being introduced by the Diocese as part of the Year of the Word. This series features short podcasts to help us live this Lent in the light of Scripture and Laudato Si’, with practical suggestions. 

To tune in, visit: http://www.godwhospeaks.org/media and scroll down to Bible in Action.

Each week during Lent, Jo Lewry from CAFOD Portsmouth, and Kevin Gallaher from Caritas Diocese of Portsmouth, will offer us a reflection on their work in the light of Scripture and Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’, with concrete suggestions for us to live according to the Word of God in our personal, family and parish life.

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