Litany of Lament for One Year of COVID-19


COVID-19 Litany of Lament

 Written by Stacey Lundy
Associate Pastor for Adult Discipleship and Pastoral Care
First UMC, Salisbury

For two voices, alternating and/or with bell tone at the end of each section.
Lord, we did not want to live in “unprecedented times.” The trouble we had was enough. Inequities have been revealed and intensified, trends accelerated, hands forced. We did not want this.
The world groans under so much unbearable weight. 550,000 deaths in the United States. So many more live with lingering effects on their health, livelihood, and financial future.  
The things that provided boundaries and stability in our life have changed, and continue to change, yet we are asked to be creative, patient, and flexible. Extroverts aren’t getting enough time with other people, and introverts aren’t able to get away and recharge. All of us are struggling with being confined and constricted. How long, O Lord?
We struggle with the deaths and loss of relationships because of the pandemic. We grieve for those we have lost, as well as our normal ways of grieving.
We have been cut off from human touch: from hugs, from handshakes, from flashing smiles not under masks. We’ve lost hallway conversations, long dinner conversations, fun events.
Our holidays and celebrations have all been affected: Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays, graduations, retirements, weddings, funerals, and births. How long, O Lord?
As if the virus were not enough to contend with, we have had bitter battles over government, civil rights, our role and responsibility in care for one another, and science. Free-floating anxieties have added to our own anxiety, and have been amplified by social media. We’re not sure we want to see some people face-to-face anymore.
We have had constant disappointments, unmet expectations, frustrated efforts. We want things to go back to “normal,” even as we realize things will never be the same. We are not ok with that.  
There have been joys along the way: sensing God’s presence in prayer and in The Story of scripture, more time with people in our household, opportunities to learn something new or connect with nature, connecting with people through technology. But sometimes, this does not feel like enough in the face of all we have lost.
Holy God, we trust that you are big enough to hear our lament, and care deeply for our health and well-being. You, and you alone, have the power to turn our world around and bring your kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven. So hear us as we pray as Jesus continues to teach us to pray:
Download a copy of the litany of lament for use in your church. 

Resources for Vital Congregations



Lewis Center for Church Leadership

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Books

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Serve Your Neighbor

GBHEM Leadership Resources


Living Faithfully: Human Sexuality and the United Methodist Church

Englewood Book Review

Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations

Ted Talks: The Golden Circle

Ted Talks: The Power of Vulnerability

Ted Talks: The Price of Invulnerability

Design Thinking

Meditations on the Ministry of All Christians


Be A Disciple

A Disciple’s Path; A Guide for United Methodist

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Adult Christian Studies from the Wesley Ministry Network

Traveling Together: A Guide for Disciple Forming Congregations


Living As United Methodist Christians

Methodist Doctrine: The Essentials

Reclaiming our Wesleyan Tradition: John Wesley’s Sermons for Today

John Wesley Sermons: Anthology


Get Their Name

Evangelism & Theology in the Wesleyan Spirit

Canoeing the Mountains

Fresh Expressions

Fresh Expressions: Dinner Church

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Reach New Disciples

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: 50 Ways to Reach People

Community: The Structure of Belonging


Institute for Emerging Issues

Congregations 4 Children


The Royce and Jane Reynolds Ministry Fund Grants

The Duke Endowment


The Appalachian District Church Vitality Team has been prayerfully seeking ways to help support you and the ministries of your local congregation during this COVID-19 pandemic. Together they have diligently researched and connected with others throughout the conference and our denomination to identify resources and offer them to you. We hope they will be helpful to you and bless you greatly in leading your churches and communities through this unprecedented time. We are very grateful to the District Vitality Team and other contributors for their great work on this resource.
This faithful team has created three documents, two of which you are receiving today. They include:

  • Family Home Worship – designed to help families establish a regular worship space within their homes as well as a time where they can worship together.
  • Tech Strategies – to help guide you in selecting effective tools and resources within your budget to best communicate in the digital world.

We believe these resources will be of great benefit to you. Also know that the District Vitality Team is available to answer any questions you might have in regards to the documents attached. If you have questions, you may email Rev. Howard Fleming at


  • Resources
Follow Jesus. Make Disciples. Transform the World.