Organised by Marie Curie, the National Day of Reflection looks to reflect on our collective loss, support those who've been bereaved, and hope for a brighter future. You can access prayers and liturgical resources, as well as downloadable postcards and poster below.
How can churches get involved?
- Include it in your notices and prayers on Sunday 21st. See further down the page for Intercessions that use the key words – reflect, support hope.
- Put up posters in your community raising awareness.
- Toll the church bell just after noon to mark the end of the minute’s silence.
- Email or print off and send the prayer postcard to anyone and everyone to use at home on that day.
- Encourage people to phone or send a card to anyone who may feel bereaved: Church of England research shows that 6 out of 10 adults have lost someone in the last year where they would have attended the funeral. 4 out of 10 say they have lost someone close to them.
- Involve the local school and encourage them to use the simple prayer at noon or to colour daffodil cards and deliver them to a local care home. Find out more on the Marie Curie website.
- Invite people to plant a seed, a bulb, a bush as a sign of hope.
- Invite people to tie yellow ribbons to a prayer tree or railings as a sign of their prayer and support for all who are bereaved.
- Contact your local media to see if you can go and talk about grief and loss: Our research shows that two-thirds of people definitely expect the church to be there for those who want to talk.
- Light a special candle in the church and say the prayer – record it on your phone or tablet and share the film on social media.
- Use the 8.00pm ‘share the light’ moment to light candles and lanterns in windows
- Open your church for private prayer on that day, if you are able.
You hold all our times in your hands, our past, our present, our future. Be close to us now as we remember all the difficulties and disappointments of the past year. Be especially close to all of us who are thinking of someone we loved and knew, but see no longer, whether family, friend, colleague or neighbour. Help us to trust that they are at peace with you, and comfort us with your presence.
You place us in families and communities, and we give you thanks for all those around us who serve us and help us in so many ways. Give wisdom to community leaders, to our schools, hospitals, care homes and other agencies who make a difference to our lives. Help each of us to have the courage to reach out with thanks and kindness to those around us and to speak words of faith as we share the good news of your love.
As we journey towards Easter, help us to live as people of hope, knowing that beyond the pain of the cross lies the joy of resurrection. Inspire us in our worship, through our churches and in our homes, that we may bring glory to you and joy to others. Be with those who are struggling in mind, body or spirit, and give courage to those who are facing uncertainty and change ahead. Help each of us to keep our eyes fixed on you, that we may reflect your light to all whom we meet.
Be with us as we think about all that has changed this year,
And help us to trust that you are always with us.
Be close to us as we remember those who have died,
And help us to trust they are at peace with you.
Show us how to reach out to others with kindness and care,
So that hope shines out in every heart and home,
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.
A prayer for 23 March
Lord Jesus Christ,
when fear and anxiety besiege us
and hope is veiled in grief,
hold us in your wounded hands
and make your face shine on us again,
for you are our Lord and God.
A prayer for all those affected by coronavirus
Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy
in this time of uncertainty and distress.
Sustain and support the anxious and fearful,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may rejoice in your comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us
from your love in Jesus Christ our Lord.
A prayer for all who mourn
as we remember before you
the thousands who have died,
surround us and all who mourn
with your strong compassion.
Be gentle with us in our grief,
protect us from despair,
and give us grace to persevere
and face the future with hope
in Jesus Christ our risen Lord.
A prayer remembering the departed
Lord of all, we praise you
for all whom we love but see no longer,
who have entered into their rest.
Give us grace to follow in their footsteps
as they followed in the way of your Son.
Thank you for the memory of those you have called to yourself:
by each memory, turn our hearts from things seen
to things unseen,
and lead us till we come to the eternal rest
you have prepared for your people,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Collect of the week
Most merciful God,
who by the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ
delivered and saved the world:
grant that by faith in him who suffered on the cross
we may triumph in the power of his victory;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Download an Act of Prayer
A short Act of Prayer for individuals or households can be downloaded as a PDF below:
- An Act of Prayer for individuals or households to mark 23 March: the beginning of the first lockdown
Download Church Resources
A postcard and poster for churches to use to highlight the National Day of Reflection can be downloaded from the A Church Near You Resource Hub. We have also listed them below: