Mark Jaeger writes, “We invite you to join with us and with your loved ones and communities to mourn together the world’s losses and sorrows.  We also invite you to join us in holding a moment of silence at sundown on Memorial Day, when we will light a candle and step outside, and grieve, and remember others who are grieving.”

As a way of caring for ourselves and others we invite you to worship, express your pains and pray for others through this adaptation of Psalm 31 anytime during the day on Monday, May 25. At sundown wherever you live, join with the Friends Meeting by lighting a candle, stepping outside, and holding a moment of silence for what we have lost together.

Psalm 31 prayer (adaptations of verses from the Psalm are in red):

Have mercy on us, Lord, because we are depressed.  Our vision fails because of our grief, as do our spirits and our bodies.  Our life is consumed with sadness.

We come to you O God, acknowledging the grief of many who have lost beloved friends and family members. (name those you have lost; pray for those you know who have lost loved ones; pray for all who have lost loved ones)

You, O Lord see our afflictions; you take heed of our adversities.

We also mourn the loss of many of life’s important interactions as we continue to keep our distance:  (think of those you long to see and touch; pray especially for those sheltering alone)

You, O Lord see our afflictions; you take heed of our adversities.

We bring to God the little losses we feel because of the constraints of this time: (think of those things you miss doing)

 You, O Lord see our afflictions; you take heed of our adversities.

 We come to you Lord even with our fears: fear of getting the virus, fear of death and fear of even more loss. (name your fears)

 Be a rock of refuge for us, a strong fortress to save us.  You are indeed our rock and our fortress; for your name’s sake lead us and guide us, take us out of the net that is hidden for us, for you are our refuge. Into your hands we commit our spirits.  You hear our request for mercy when we cry out to you for help.

We realize that many are in the front lines of this virus, caring for the ill and delivering important essential services:   (prayer for those in the medical profession and those working so that we all have access to life’s essential services; pray that employers will be fair and flexible for those needing accommodations)

 Let your face O God, shine upon your servants; save them in your steadfast love.

 We are aware also that many do not have access to a safe place to shelter.

 Their strength fails because of their misery, and their bones waste away. They are the scorn of all their adversaries; those who see them in the street flee from them.

 (pray for those without a place to shelter or a way to get basic needs; pray for those who care and work to meet these needs)

 In the shelter of your presence, hide them from human plots; hold them safe under your shelter.  Be a rock of refuge for them, a strong fortress to save all.

 We admit that we long for this to be over and ask for your strength in our lives each day.  (prayer for God’s strength for yourself, your community and for all!)

We trust in you, O Lord; we say, “You are our God.”  Our times are in your hand; deliver us from the hand of our enemies and persecutors.  Let your face shine upon your servants; save us in your steadfast love.  All you who are faithful, love the Lord!   All you who wait for the Lord, be strong and let your heart take courage. We will exult and rejoice in your steadfast love, because you have seen our afflictions

The Friends Meeting also invites us to join with them in a visible action. At sundown wherever you live, light a candle, step outside and hold a moment of silence for what we have lost together.