National Day of Prayer and Reflection
March 23rd marks a year since the beginning of the first Lockdown.
What a year it has been. A year of loss and grief and change and challenge and beyond any of our imagining.
We are encouraged to take time on the 23rd to pause, to pray and to reflect. To remember those who have died, to remember each other, to remember those grieving and those who are still ill. And to pray for the months ahead as hope begins to seep back into our lives now, on the cusp of this Easter tide.
The Church of England is joining with Marie Curie in promoting prayers and activities for this day. In Steeple Aston and in Tackley, at midday after a minute's silence, a bell will be chimed for ten minutes. We are encouraging everyone to place candles in their windows at 8pm.
The CofE website (available here) has all sorts of prayers that you might like to make your own.
Perhaps the best way we can mark the day is simply to phone someone, to reach out and make contact - and not to be alone.
One of the most enduring lessons of this whole year has been how important it is to find ways of being together, especially when life is hard. So talk to someone. Say hello.
Because we are all very precious.
God of Love,
As we think about all that has changed this year,
help us to trust that you are always with us.
As we remember those who have died,
help us to trust they are at peace with you.
As we reach out to others with kindness and care,
may hope shine out in every heart and home.