It's St Patrick's Day 2020, and today the churches of the United Kingdom closed for public worship. The last time the whole of any one of these kingdoms went without public worship was when the churches in England were closed on 23rd March 1208, almost exactly 812 years ago, in the reign of King John. So from the days of Robin Hood until today, nothing quite like this has happened to Christian worship in these islands.
And yet, worship and prayer continues, whether or not public worship services continue. So tonight I'm just really writing to point you to something to help you pray in these unusual days.
To encourage us to pray for all the different needs this pandemic presents, the Litany During a Pandemic is really helpful. I've prayed it with my tutorial students in college, used it at our last college Communion, and talked through it with students to think about what we need to be praying for and how to pray for it, as well as what we should be doing (or not doing, as the case may be). I've also added it to my praying of the daily office. The original was written by Fr Rick, the Rector of St Mark's in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. (So I really want to thank Fr Rick for something that will help so many people in prayer.) We've slightly adapted one line, so here's a PDF of our (slightly more Pentecostal friendly) version. (It's an A5 sheet, which will fold into an A6 booklet.)
I'll post some more things to help us pray and worship in the coming days, but wanted to point you to this as soon as I could.