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Churches around Scotland are supporting National Day of Prayer today, Sunday March 22, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Religious organisations across Scotland have temporarily stopped worship in groups in line with government advice to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
But as some churches, including St Margaret’s Roman Catholic Church in Lochgilphead, turn to live video streaming for services, there is widespread support for a nationwide event.
Religious groups involved in the National Day of Prayer include the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of Scotland, the Scottish Episcopal Church, the United Free Church, the United Reformed Church, the Baptist Union of Scotland, the Methodist Church, the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Congregational Federation in Scotland, the Salvation Army, the Church of the Nazarene, and Redeemed Christian Church of God.
As part of the day, people all over Scotland are being encouraged to light a candle and place it in their window at 7pm.
In a joint letter, religious leaders urged communities to ‘join in prayerful solidarity with this witness’, describing the candle as ‘a visible symbol of the light of life, Jesus Christ, the source of hope in this life.’
The following prayer has been suggested for use when lighting the candle:
For all that is good in life, thank you,
For the love of family and friends, thank you,
For the kindness of good neighbour and Samaritan stranger, thank you.
May those who are vulnerable, hungry or homeless, experience support,
May those who are sick, know healing,
May those who are anxious or bereaved, sense comfort.
Bless and guide political leaders and decision-makers, with wisdom,
Bless and guide health workers and key workers, with strength and well-being, Bless and guide each one of us, as we adapt to a new way of living.
And may the light shining from our windows,
across road and wynd, glen and ben, kyle and isle,
be reflected in our hearts and hands and hopes.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
The signatories of the letter are:
Rt. Rev. Colin Sinclair, Moderator of the General Assembly, Church of Scotland
Most Rev. Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Roman Catholic Church
Most Rev. Mark Strange, Primus, on behalf of the College of Bishops, Scottish Episcopal Church
Rev. John Fulton, Moderator, United Free Church of Scotland
Rev. Dr David Pickering, Moderator, United Reformed Church (Scotland)
Rev. Martin Hodson, General Director, Baptist Union of Scotland
Rev. Mark Slaney, District Chair, Methodist Church (Scotland)
Ms. Adwoa Bittle, Clerk to General Meeting for Scotland, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
Rev. May-Kane Logan, Chair, Congregational Federation in Scotland
Rev. Jim Ritchie, District Superintendent, British Isles North District, Church of the Nazarene
Pastor Chris Gbenle, Provincial Pastor, Province of Scotland, Redeemed Christian Church of God
Lt. Col. Carol Bailey, Secretary for Scotland, Salvation Army
Please take all necessary fire precautions when using a lit candle. Ensure you remain with the lit candle at all times, and do not leave it to burn if you leave the room. Ensure there are no fabrics or materials such as curtains near the candle.