Today we are struggling with coming to terms with reality that 100,000 people have died from COVID 19 since the beginning the pandemic. The UK is the fifth nation to reach this “sombre milestone”. What is so sad is that the families of those who have died of Covid 19, have in many cases were unable to say a proper goodbye.
As a young priest and as one of the chaplains at St Thomas Hospital, London, I often was called to be with someone who was dying. I remember entering the room of one man and finding it full of close family so there was hardly any room to move. It was good that he was surrounded by those who loved him in his last hours.
On another occasion I was called to anoint a dying patient who had no one with him and after the prayers and blessing I sat with him. While I sat there in silence he took his last breath. I felt that for me this was a privileged and special moment. Let us pray today for all families who are struggling with the loss of their loved ones who have died and especially when they have not always been able to be with them at the moment of death.
Our funeral liturgy have some beautiful prayers, here is one.
“Father of mercies and God of all consolation, you pursue us with untiring love and dispel the shadow of death with the bright dawn of life. Comfort your family in their loss and sorrow. Be our refuge and our strength, O Lord, and lift us from the depths of grief into the light of your presence. Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, by dying has destroyed our death, and by rising, restored our life. Enable us therefore to press on towards him, so that, after our earthly course is run, he may reunite us with those we love, when every tear will be wiped away. We ask this through Christ out Lord.”