We have entered the season of Lent, a season to prepare ourselves to celebrate the joys of resurrection, of Easter. It has been a year of loss and waiting since this global pandemic burst upon us about a year ago. Over 500,000 of our neighbors in the U.S. have died from COVID. While we may feel more than ready to jump over the time of preparation and get on with the new life of resurrection beyond the pandemic, still we need to prepare. After all, if Jesus has skipped his passion, of what hollow value would have been his triumph and victory over death. Let us mourn and lament together this season of Lent as a way to prepare ourselves for the joy of Easter which is surely coming. I suggest that we dedicate ourselves to prayer on behalf of those who have endured loss and death in this past pandemic year. Of course not all losses have been deaths and not all deaths have been the result of COVID, but going through them during a pandemic has been extra trying for many. Here are seven days of prayer intentions that you might use to focus your prayer times week by week during Lent:
Monday: Pray for the spouses and partners of those who have died during this past year. May their
mourning be eased and may they not feel alone.
Tuesday: Pray for the children (youth or adult) whose parent(s) died. May they be comforted that God
has welcomed their parent home to Love’s Presence.
Wednesday: Pray for parents whose children have died in this past year. May their grief be eased by
God’s loving presence.
Thursday: Pray for the friends of those who have died. May their sorrow pass and their memories of
their friends be kept alive and warm them in their loss.
Friday: Pray for the medical and support staffs of care facilities and practices whose coworkers have
died while caring for the loved ones of others.
Saturday: Pray for ourselves, our families, and our friends who are waiting and watching for deliverance
from these pandemic conditions, from the stress of lockdowns, and from the burden of near-
constant uncertainty about what tomorrow will bring.
Sunday: Since Sundays are always mini-Easter celebrations, pray with joy and thanksgiving for God’s
saving intervention in the world through the life and ministry, the sacrifice and triumph of Jesus
When shall we gather in person? We are taking advice from the New Hampshire Conference UCC and the NH Council of Churches. While expecting conditions to improve toward spring, it is too early to set certain dates for a return to regular indoor gatherings. Also, we expect that those will have to be modified for some time to come.
What we CAN say for sure is that we will have an outdoor celebration and blessing of palms on Palm Sunday morning at 8:30 at the church. We will use masks and distance to minimize risk and exposure.
Also, we will celebrate Easter Sunrise Service at 7 AM on 4/4 outdoors at church. Again, masks and distancing will be required.
Regular Sunday Services, as well as a special Maundy Thursday Service at 7 PM on 4/1 will continue to be live through Zoom, as well as recorded for playback on the Bristol UCC YouTube Channel.