Lent blog: Day 30 – A DIFFICULT DAY

Published Tue, 23/03/2021 by

Some of our neighbours stood outside on the doorstep tonight at 8pm, with candles and torches.  But not so many.  This has been a difficult day for the nation.  

It’s hard to take in the sheer scale of the death toll we have suffered in this country.  It’s impossible to quantify the other losses we have sustained – in terms of social contacts with close family and friends suspended; businesses disrupted; jobs lost; timely medical attention postponed; and for many, the mental stress.   

It’s been very sad we have not been able to say a fitting goodbye to so many of those we have cherished, whether family, friends or fellow parishioners.  I think of several funerals I’ve had no choice but to conduct outdoors, entirely at the graveside; and others I have personally been unable to attend as a mourner, because of restricted numbers.  The deceased and their families deserved better, but it was the best that could be managed in these strange times.

All told, the churches of our parish have been closed more than they have been open during the last 12 months.  I’ve missed you!  The outdoor Mass was a chance to see many for the first time in a long time.  Others I saw at Christmas.  The streamed Masses have given us just enough to keep a sense of our special Parish community alive.  A sincere thank you to everyone who helped create those.  

Many thanks to the stewards and cleaners who have made Mass in church possible during the times when we have been able to meet.  Also to all those too who have taken the trouble to keep in touch – helping with shopping and other little acts of kindness; keeping up phone contact; posting things on the parish Facebook Page etc. And, not least, those who have prayed for others.

Thank God, we will open once more.  Easter is nearly at hand.  Jesus promises resurrection.  His is the life that can never die.  Together we are for ever in him, members of his body.  Let’s keep firm hold of our Christian hope.  

MICHAEL KIRKHAM