A Moment of Silence

162162036_114262290735539_8509643599529767762_nOn Thursday, 4 March, the Synodal Council of the ECCB sent the following message to hospitals and social service facilities across the Czech Republic:

To doctors, nurses, social workers, carers, medical orderlies and other healthcare and social service facility employees.

 „Dear all whom this concerns,

During these difficult times of the ongoing pandemic, you bear a significant portion of the burden that we are all dealing with in one way or another. You bring many sacrifices serving in the first line, in the face of all the suffering. More than ever before, you are forced to cope with the fact your patients are dying, and that you have access to limited resources, both material and human. We want to assure you that we all share this burden. We know you are doing all you can, in fact you are doing more than could ever be required or expected of you. Often, however, it is beyond human capability to prevent a death from happening. And it is exceptionally hard to accept our limitations and our helplessness.

You are in our thoughts, with understanding, admiration, love. As individuals and as a community of churches, we pray for the healing of the sick, for relief for those that are suffering and dying, we pray that their loved ones have hope and patience, and we pray for hope and strength for you, the doctors, the nurses, the carers.

159171621_441585153776617_8638670978121756275_nMay you find support in your friends, your superiors, your neighbours. May you find efficient specialised help – supervisory, psychotherapeutic, and spiritual.

Our hospital chaplains and ministers are not only here to serve those who believe in God. Anyone can turn to them when seeking understanding, support, encouragement. We are quite certain that representatives of other confessions feel the same way about this. God bless you all.“

On Monday, 22 March 2021 at noon, life in the Czech Republic slowed down for one minute. Church bells rang in many places. The Czech Republic commemorated the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic with a moment of silence.

In the course of the past twelve months, almost 25,000 thousand of our citizens died of causes related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is highly likely that many more victims are missing from the statistics. And it is certain that the death toll is not final yet.

1tit-scaled„We are convinced that sharing our grief as well as our memories of the victims will enable our society to make better and more dignified first steps forward into the future that awaits us after the pandemic is over. The victims should always be remembered,” explained the organisers of the society-wide initiative. “The moments of grief are not intended for trying to find someone to blame or for promoting any partial interests. We cannot erase grief and death in the times of the pandemic from our collective memory. The moment of silence for the victims of the pandemic is supposed to be an act of solidarity and respect for the victims and their bereaved families, but it should also be a way to show our gratitude for life, as we now see its cost more clearly than ever before.“

Jiří Hofman