Tuesday 23 March 2021, marks the one year anniversary of the first UK lockdown. Since then, millions of people have been bereaved, both as a result of Covid-19 and due to other causes. The restrictions we've all been living under have meant that many people have had to grieve without the comfort of having friends and family around them.
Marie Curie, a charity which supports people around the event of a terminal diagnosis, has organised a National Day of Reflection to acknowledge grief and loss over the last year.
What will happen on the day of National Reflection
There will be a minute's silence at 12 noon on 23 March to create a moment that shows support for the millions of people who've been bereaved. It might also be a day to connect with someone who is grieving. This might be in simple ways such as having a chat with them, sending a card, a message, or giving them some spring flowers.
How can our Church be involved?
These are several suggestions for how you might join in as a church — even just doing one or two things will help the whole campaign to reach bereaved people in your community.
- Design your service on March 21st so that details about the Day of Reflection can be included.
- Put up posters to raise awareness
- Publicise the day through your usual channels — social media, newsletters, service notices, etc.
- If you can, make arrangements for the church's bell to be tolled for one minute at noon on the day.
- Email or print off and send a prayer postcard to anyone and everyone to use at home on that day — you can download a free one, see below under resources.
- Encourage people to phone or send a card to anyone who may feel bereaved, everyone knows someone: six out of ten adults have lost someone in the last year where they would have attended the funeral. Four out of ten 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.
- 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 sign of their prayer and support for all who are bereaved
- Light a special candle in the church and say the prayer — film it with your camera and share 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.
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