Maundy Thursday Pandemic Prayer

Today is a day unlike other days,
a Thursday of mysteries,
where we remember your final meal with your friends.
Taking a towel, you washed their feet.
Knowing what was to come,
and what you had to suffer,
you instructed them to love one another.
You told them, ”Peace I leave with you,
Do not let your hearts be troubled,
and do not let them be afraid.”

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Palm Sunday Pandemic Prayer

On this Palm Sunday, things are different.
No children waving palm branches in processions,
no collective singing of hosannas, loud hosannas,
no exultant crowds, here or anywhere.
The streets are quiet.
What resonates is the image of you, Jesus,
weeping over Jerusalem,
crying for a people surrounded by enemies,
who do not know the things that make for peace.

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Committal Service after a Death During a Pandemic

Dearly beloved:
We are gathered here today in the sight of God,
under this spring sky, to lay (name) to rest.
For everything there is a season,
and a time for every purpose under heaven.
There’s a time to be born and a time to die;
a time to plant and a time to pick up what is planted,
a time to laugh and a time to weep.
Today is a time to say good-bye.

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Prayer after Death During a Pandemic

Almighty God,
we come to you filled to the brim with sorrow
because our loved one, (name), has died.
We can hardly absorb this fact.
This time of quarantine and social distancing
has meant that not everyone was here
who wanted to be here.
We may have different feelings about
the care that was given
or was unable to be given in the hospital.

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Prayer for the Critically Ill in a Pandemic (when you can’t be physically there)

God of infinite care,
how we long for your presence in this heavy time.
Our loved one, (name), is so sick, they may be dying;
we know they are suffering,
and we cannot be at their bedside to hold their hand.
Like so many other family members
who are separated from the sick through travel restrictions,
or levels of quarantine,
our hearts are torn open with grief and anguish.
We need your presence at that bed,

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Prayer in Virulent Times (after St. Patrick)

We bind onto ourselves
the loving power of God our Creator,
the enlivening power of the Spirit of Truth,
and the steadfast faithfulness of Jesus Christ.
We bind onto ourselves 
the glories of the earth, this gift:
the power of heaven,
the light of the sun,
the brightness of the moon,
the splendour of fire,
the flashing of lightning,

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Pandemic Prayer

Great God,
you are an ever-present help in times of trouble,
and that’s why we’re praying now.
We are troubled and we’re worried things
are going to get more troubling.
This virus is spreading around the world:
so many are seriously ill
or will be seriously ill,
so many health care systems are stretched
or will be stretched.

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About Carol Penner

I am a Mennonite pastor currently teaching theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. I’ve served congregations in Ontario and most recently, Alberta.

I love to write and to lead worship! If you are finding my writing helpful, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to use or adapt the material here, it is all written by me. If printing material, please credit “Copyright Carol Penner” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at

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