A litany of blessing in time of grief

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Bishop Ricken

My brothers and sisters in Christ. As we continue to shelter at home, follow the guidelines for social distancing and wear masks when we are out in public, I cannot help but think, in the midst of all this discouragement, there can also be found great joy and many blessings. That is right, joy and blessings. Joy in the ability to slow down, joy at our family dinner tables and around computer screens visiting with family, and joy in the moments of silence when we connect fully with our Lord in prayer. All of these are blessings.

What triggered me to think in terms of blessings is this beautiful litany I read in a recent issue of Give Us This Day, written by Diana Macalintal. I hope each of you find this litany, which is really a prayer of thanksgiving, inspirational. As we move to a new normal over the weeks and months ahead, remember to be grateful and count your blessings. Happy Easter. May God bless you and keep you well.

A Litany of Blessing in Time of Grief

Before we breathed our first, O God,
you etched surnames upon your hands,
like stretch marks on our mother’s skin.
And those same hands that bear our lives
will carry us home as we breathe our last.

So even in our grief, O God,
let every breath we carry within
announce your goodness with praise unending.
For you have made us to be your own,
a people of your Spirit with blessings on our lips.

Therefore:
Sun and moon: Bless the Lord!
Stars of the sky: Bless the Lord!
Depths of ocean: Bless the Lord!
Birds of air: Bless the Lord!
Let all creation: Bless the Lord!

Blessed be God for doctors and nurses: Blessed be God forever!
For scientists and researchers: Blessed be God forever!
For pharmacists and technicians: Blessed be God forever!
For social workers and caregivers: Blessed be God forever!
For all who endeavor to keep us safe: Blessed be God forever!

Blessed be God for grocery clerks and janitors: Blessed be God forever!
For restaurant chefs and fast-food workers: Blessed be God forever!
For farmers and delivery drivers: Blessed be God forever!
For field laborers and postal carriers: Blessed be God forever!
For all who feed and care for us: Blessed be God forever!

Blessed be God for pastoral staffs: Blessed be God forever!
For clergy and religious who pray for us daily: Blessed be God forever!
For catechists teaching in creative ways: Blessed be God forever!
For liturgical ministers tackling technology: Blessed be God forever!
For all who serve the domestic church: Blessed be God forever!
Blessed be God for teachers and parents: Blessed be God forever!
For those who sing and those who dance: Blessed be God forever!
For musicians, artists, composers and poets: Blessed be God forever!
For comedians, actors and story-tellers: Blessed be God forever!
For all who inspire and sustain our hearts: Blessed be God forever!

And blessed be God for the human spirit: Blessed be God forever!
That strives to live in more gentle ways: Blessed be God forever!
That connects with others while staying apart: Blessed be God forever!
That weeps and laughs and sits in silence: Blessed be God forever!
For the human family in deeper communion: Blessed be God forever!

In faith and love, we ask you, God, let not this virus consume our world.
But breathe your Spirit in us again that we may praise you unceasingly
with Christ our Lord, from whom all good things come.

Reprinted with permission of Diana Macalintal, 2020.