A Liturgy for Loneliness & Isolation

Father, Son, and Spirit,

In this time of disease, in this time of distancing,

we feel alone.

 

We are isolated from friends, 

isolated from colleagues, 

isolated from community.

 

We miss the way incarnate human presence gives life, 

eye to eye, 

face to face, 

life to life,

 

all of which serves as a sign to the beautiful beginning, middle, and ending of Christ’s story:

bodily creation, 

bodily incarnation, 

bodily resurrection.

 

Bodily presence one with another.

Bodily being-with in the festive light of life eternal.

 

Yet right now we are scattered, quarantined, alone. 

We are not with but away. 

And we ache for the lasting presence of that future day.

 

Give us patience to persevere in this time, 

trusting your promise that says,

“I will gather them in. For I have redeemed them, … and they shall return” (Zech. 10:8-9).

 

Give us creativity to cultivate community in this time, 

knowing that the goodness and pleasure of “kindred dwelling together in unity” (Ps. 133:1) 

is worth the somewhat contrived and awkward work of calling and zooming and streaming.

 

Give us kindness to care for the most vulnerable in this time

through the concrete acts of phone-calling, grocery-buying, hand-washing, space-keeping,

hearing and doing the call to “do justice to the afflicted and needy” (Ps. 41:1).

 

And give us memory to remember in this time

the rare gift that Christian community is;

the rare gift that it is to see each other, hear each other, help each other,

“face to face” (1 Thess. 3:10).

 

In the strong name of the Trinity, communion itself,

whose faithful presence is with us always, even till the end of the age.

Amen.