The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 is approaching 100,000, as the world-wide death toll surpasses 350,000. This prayer was written at the request of the Central Conference of American Rabbis in an effort to remember and mourn those lost hearts and souls as the U.S. marks this sad milestone.
ADDENDUM: As of February 17, 2021, the U.S. death toll surpassed 500,000 and total deaths world-wide are nearing 2.5 million people.
One-by-One: A Prayer as the COVID Death Toll Mounts
God of consolation,
Surely you count in heaven,
Just as we count here on earth,
In shock and in sorrow,
The souls sent back to You,
The dead from the COVID pandemic,
As the ones become tens,
The tens become hundreds,
The hundreds become thousands,
The thousands become ten-thousands
And then hundred-thousands,
Each soul, a heartbreak,
Each soul, a life denied.
God of wisdom,
Surely in the halls of divine justice
You are assembling the courts,
Calling witnesses to testify,
The compassion of some
And the callousness of others
As we’ve struggled to cope.
The souls taken too soon,
Whose funerals were lonely,
Who didn’t need to die,
Who died alone,
Will tell their stories
When You judge
And our failures
In these hours of need.
God of healing,
Put an end to this pandemic,
And all illness and disease.
Bless those who stand in service to humanity.
Bless those who grieve.
Bless the dead,
So that their souls are bound up in the bond of life eternal.
And grant those still afflicted
With disease or trauma
A completed and lasting healing,
Until suffering ceases,
And we can stop counting the dead,
And on earth.
© 2020 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com
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Postscript: My other coronavirus prayers are: “Sheltering in Place,” “On the Front Lines of the Pandemic,” “Healing from Coronavirus“, “Coronavirus: A Prayer for Medical Scientists” and “Traveler’s Prayer in a Time of Pandemic.”
Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and my two CCAR Press books: This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.
Photo Source: The New York Times, May 24, 2020