ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton has called on the church to join with faith communities across the United States in lament and remembrance, and on our elected leaders to observe Monday, June 1, as a day of mourning to honor the more than 100,000 people who have died from COVID-19.
“I encourage all of us in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to join together across faith lines in this time of collective mourning,” Eaton said. “This weekend our Jewish neighbors will remember God’s covenant, our Muslim neighbors will recall the reception of the Quran, and as Christians we will celebrate the power of the Holy Spirit present among us. In the significance of these days in our traditions, our faith communities will collectively lament and remember the more than 100,000 lives that have been lost to COVID-19. We join together in prayer for the healing of this nation, and for the world that God so loves.”
The day of mourning calls on all religious communities to come together in observing this historic moment in their own traditions and practices. A toolkit and other resources are available for local religious leaders and mayors.
Federal and local governments are also being called on to observe the day of prayer and remembrance by the lowering of flags, moments of silence and other methods of reflection.
In contemplation of the gravity of the COVID-19 situation during the season of Pentecost, Eaton, along with Michael Curry, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, invite members to pray for and with one another through a new prayer, “A Prayer for the Power of the Spirit Among the People of God.”