A Balm In Gilead

On Pentecost evening, Sunday, May 23 at 5:00 p.m., the Diocese of Los Angeles will host “A Balm in Gilead,” a memorial service celebrating the souls of unsung heroes throughout our diocesan family who were lost to COVID-19.

The service will include prayers, readings and music shared by various soloists and groups — and a message of hope and blessing from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. The music for the service is drawn from the songs featured in Bishop Curry’s book Songs My Grandma Sang; songs of hope, courage, and inspiration in times of pain and peril. The 5:00 p.m. service will be streamed on the diocesan YouTube channel and Facebook page.

Organizers of the service have created a public Facebook group as a place to share photos and remembrances of those we love but see no more – a place to share our grief and celebrate their lives. It will provide photos and names for the “Balm in Gilead” service on May 23 and will also stand alone as an ongoing tribute to those we have lost during this global pandemic. You can add your contributions here. Deadline for inclusion in the service is Monday, May 17.

The service is the inspiration of Lisa Naulls, a parishioner at St. John’s Episcopal Church Rancho Santa Margarita. “One Sunday while attending a virtual service at St. John’s I was overcome by the magnitude of two things: the immensity of COVID’s devastating effect on all aspects of our lives, and the power of God‘s love to heal us through our families, our friends, and the comforting words of Jesus,” Naulls said. “Our nation’s COVID memorial ceremony in January sparked in me a desire to convene with my brothers and sisters to honor those touched by COVID, and to express triumphs and tears together, in a communal and sacred space, with our most precious faith family.”

Names and photos may also be forwarded via email to the Rev. Canon Susan Russell, diocesan canon for Engagement Across Difference, at srussell@ladiocese.org.

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