National Day of Lament to follow Pentecost

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), in which the Erie Benedictines are represented through prioress and council membership, is partnering with interfaith leaders and mayors across the nation calling for all people to spend some time in prayer during this weekend of May 29—June 1. It is an invitation to lament and mourn the 100, 000 persons who have died in the United States from COVID-19 and to pause at noon on June 1 to honor the deceased.

“Our lament will also honor the hard truths we have learned during this pandemic: our suffering has been unequal. Elders, black and brown neighbors, native communities, refugees and immigrants have borne disproportionately the brunt of sickness and death,” said Sister Carol Zinn, SSJ, LCWR Executive Director, in a letter to the LCWR membership. “Our prayers for the healing of the nation must acknowledge the brokenness of our democracy and call us to repair the injustices this pandemic has revealed.”

Sunday, May 31, is the Christian celebration of Pentecost. “Pentecost is the day on which the first Christians, enlivened by the Spirit, were given courage to work with commitment and compassion for justice and peace,” said Sister Anne Wambach, prioress. “Let us pray that the indwelling of the Spirit of God will allow us to open our eyes to a vision that will birth freedom and justice, peace and prosperity, healing and hope for all.”

In an ecumenical spirit we invite you to pray “A Prayer for the Power of the Spirit among the People of God,” composed by a team of Episcopalians and Lutherans:

God of all power and love,
we give thanks for your unfailing presence
and the hope you provide in times of uncertainty and loss.
Send your Holy Spirit to enkindle in us your holy fire.

Revive us to live as Christ’s body in the world:
a people who pray, worship, learn,
break bread, share life, heal neighbors,
bear good news, seek justice, rest and grow in the Spirit.

Wherever and however we gather,
unite us in common prayer and send us in common mission,
that we and the whole creation might be restored and renewed,
through Jesus Christ. Amen.