As I string the mask around my head, and adjust it to my ears.
May it be in honor of all the women the Bible who donned the veil to pray–Sarai as she longed for a child, Miriam as she sang jubilant songs, Mary as she attended the blessing of her son Jesus.
Holy Spirit, breath of God, as I feel my breath hot and heavy on my face, as it tickles my nose and dries my lips–remind me that a mask can reflect your love. Just as Moses wore a veil because his reflection of your glory was too blinding to see.
As I adjust it one more time to be snug around my face, dear Jesus I imagine you appearing to the women in the garden. I think-today-perhaps you were masked. Wrapped in a head covering of the dead with a scarf muffling your mouth so you had to say “Mary” twice. I think it lay up past your nose, disguising your face beyond recognition on the day you rose again from the dead.
Remind me that my mask is holy, that it follows a long footsteps of messengers and prophets and followers of God all wearing cloth upon their face as a reflection and sign of safety and love.
And when I feel short of breath, send your Holy Spirit to help me breathe, and to inspire me to continue to wear the mask.
And when I feel weak or afraid, God please hold me in the palm of your hand, so that my steps can be sure and strong.
And when I feel alone, send Jesus to be my sibling and my friend, and to remind me I am beloved I pray.
As I wear this mask, let it too be the image of God, I pray.
Feel free to use or adapt with Credit to Pastor Katy Stenta
Pandemic Prayers & Resources
Pastor Katy has enjoyed ministry at New Covenant since 2010, where the church has solidified its community focus. Prior to that she studied both Theology and Christian Formation at Princeton Theological Seminary. She also served as an Assistant Chaplain at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital and as the Christian Educational Coordinator at Bethany Presbyterian at Bloomfield, NJ.
She is an writer and is published in Enfleshed, Sermonsuite, Presbyterian's today and Outlook. She writes prayers, liturgy, poems and public theology and is pursuing her doctorate in ministry in Creative Write and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.
She enjoys working within and connecting to the community, is known to laugh a lot during service, and tells as many stories as possible. Pastor Katy loves reading Science Fiction and Fantasy, theater, arts and crafts, music, playing with children and sunshine, and continues to try to be as (w)holistically Christian as possible.
"Publisher after publisher turned down A Wrinkle in Time," L'Engle wrote, "because it deals overtly with the problem of evil, and it was too difficult for children, and was it a children's or an adult's book, anyhow?" The next year it won the prestigious John Newbery Medal.
Tolkien states in the foreword to The Lord of the Rings that he disliked allegories and that the story was not one. Instead he preferred what he termed "applicability", the freedom of the reader to interpret the work in the light of his or her own life and times.
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