Fr. Matthew Brench over at St. Aelfric’s Customary has put together a wonderful resource for prayer. It’s just the sort of thing that I’ve been looking for. It’s an order of prayer, not to replace Morning and Evening Prayer or the Great Litany, but something extra for us to use in our homes in this time. You can find it here: Prayers in Time of Infectious Disease.
“Five groups of prayers (most of which are collects, but let’s not get hung up on nit-picks) are appointed:
- Preparatory Prayers = more generic prayers to set the tone and capture the spirit of the times
- For those who are vulnerable, at risk, or sick = specific petitions for various demographics and groups, ultimately praying for the suffering and the needy
- For those who are responsible for others = specific petitions for those who care for the sick, for the infrastructure and leadership, and even the media, all of whom play they parts for good or for ill during a crisis
- For peace of mind = these prayers are especially for the benefit of you, us, all who are praying, so that God’s people might be a people of peace, and not of fear
- Concluding prayer = prayers that turn it all back over to God, or even adopt a posture of thankfulness for his action already
The idea is that you pray one prayer from each of these five categories, thus customizing this office to the need or passion or concern of the moment, and preventing it from becoming overly long and burdensome. If you have the stamina and attention span and time to pray more of these prayers, by all means do! It is the progression of these five sorts of prayers that is important: Setting the Scene, Praying for those in need, Praying for those who act, Praying for ourselves, and Placing it all in God’s hands, is a logical and spiritually sound movement of prayer that I believe will be a refreshing and grounding for the panicked soul.”
Thank you, Fr. Matthew, for putting together this resource.
Image: Rembrandt: St. Peter’s Prayer Before the Raising of Tabitha