A Prayer While Waiting for the End of this Pandemic

As my life is lived in anticipation, this Covid waiting is so so slow
I can’t hold my waiting-breath longer, I want to let it go
When I breathe in again, can it be with new life from you, my God?

Forgive my unrighteous impatience, directed at those who are doing their best
Increase instead my capacity for a righteous grace and an ability to see
That future day of your return when all creation will be set free.

Be present in this moment, set it free from all the others, to enjoy
The wonder of my God come near, waiting with us
Longing the day to share heaven’s joy, its glory and dazzling light.

I am as fragile as you made me, my aching heart you know
Fill me again, with your breath of life and grace
To wait with you.
Peter Cunliffe,  8 October 2020

Liturgies of Sorrow & Lament …for the Anniversary of Loss

When I turn the page in my diary, O Lord,
it is heavier than all the others.
I have been feeling the weight
of this page for weeks
and now it is here.

That number marks the day,
the anniversary of my loss,
and it’s here again like a day of rain
when what I need is a refreshing shower
followed by warm sunshine.

O Lord, redeemer, redeem this day.

I do not ask that these lingerings
of grief be erased, but that
like a gentle brush through tangled hair
I might feel again the caress of flowing locks
and the breath of your Spirit.

You are present, Lord, so speak
in whispered words of grace,
that even as I hear them
the sounds of dawn may also come
as hope of the new world.

As the loss-hollowed day arrives
in all my years to come,
remind me that you set eternity
in every human heart.

May my past wound,
and memory of it, Lord,
spur me to be closer present with you,
in ways that I was not before,
making me fully alive to the pain and joy,
the sorrow and hope of my life with you.

Peter Cunliffe, 16 July 2020

Liturgies of Sorrow & Lament …for Missing Someone

You created our hearts for fellowship with one another.
Yet in this time the stuttering rhythms of life
have broken the sweetness of simple embrace.
We find ourselves bearing the sorrow of separation.

We acknowledge, O Lord, that it is good and right
to miss deeply those whom we love
but with whom we cannot be physically present.

Grant us the courage to love well and wisely during this pandemic
and to shrink neither from the aches nor joys that love brings.

So I will choose to praise you even in the midst of sadness,
knowing that all in this life will in your perfect time be redeemed.

Peter Cunliffe, 9 July 2020

This liturgy inspired from Liturgies of Sorrow & Lament by Andrew Peterson, should be read alongside Colossians 2:5, John 16:22.