Wednesday, November 18, 2020

A Prayer for Putting on a Face Mask

                                                Moderator Richard Bott -- United Church of Canada

I am grateful that we live in a region where the donning of masks in shared spaces is treated neither as a virtue nor an infringement of personal freedom. People just put them on when around others, including at church, or the gym, or the shopping mall.Nearly all of us have figured out how to make this part of our routine, and while it can be inconvenient at times, it is for a greater good, In our fairly large geographical area there are only a handful of active COVID-19 cases and we want to keep it that way. 

Back in August the moderator of the United Church, the Rev. Richard Bott wrote a prayer for putting on a mask, and somehow I missed it at the time. Recently I began seeing links to the prayer on Twitter from pastors and priests across the country and in the United States, where there is such nonsense about wearing masks and people are getting infected as a rate of more than a million a week.

One Roman Catholic priest in the US posted the prayer for his parishioners and was attacked for this "heresy." There are only seven sacraments in Catholicism, some fussed, and to suggest otherwise is dangerous! Of course, Moderator Bott is not suggesting that an eight sacrament be added to the tradition of the church. So much for metaphor to the self-appointed true defenders of the faith. 

You can decide what you think for yourself. I really appreciate the notion of transforming an irritant into a blessing for all. Thank you Richard. 

as I prepare to go into the world,
help me to see the sacrament
in the wearing of this cloth –
let it be “an outward sign
of an inward grace” –
a tangible and visible way
of living love for my neighbours,
as I love myself.

since my lips will be covered,
uncover my heart,
that people would see my smile
in the crinkles around my eyes.
Since my voice may be muffled,
help me to speak clearly,
not only with my words,
but with my actions.

Holy Spirit,
as the elastic touches my ears,
remind me to listen carefully –
and full of care –
to all those I meet.
May this simple piece of cloth
be shield and banner,
and each breath that it holds,
be filled with your love.

In your Name
and in that love,
I pray.

May it be so.
May it be so.

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