Micah Bucey is one of S&P's film reviewers. A United Church of Christ-ordained minister, he currently serves Judson Memorial Church of New York City, a congregation committed to curiously seeking the intersections between spirituality, justice, and creativity. He has been posting short prayers on his Facebook page that touch upon the concerns of populations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. He kindly agreed to let us share his posts, to bring you fresh energy and inspiration.

We add to them daily:

May 24th Tiny Prayer (for those we’ve lost):
May your lives be remembered for the unique gifts they were and remain to this world, may those who mourn your deaths find some comfort in those memories, and may all of us view these memories as clear and continuing calls to recommit to saving as many lives and memories as possible.
Amen

May 23rd Tiny Prayer (for congregations of faith):
May you trust that the most essential spiritual imperative you hold is to nurture health, may you remember that you need not be inside your buildings for you to pray, connect, sing, dance, rejoice, and do basically everything you need to do, and may you keep your physical spaces closed so you may continue to keep your spiritual lives open and thriving.
Amen

May 22nd Tiny Prayer (for our future):
May you invite us to be creators, seekers, and listeners, not merely clumsy predictors, and may you remind us that humbly and thoughtfully transforming into who we need to be, for ourselves and for one another, is far less daunting and far more achievable than magically thinking that we can foresee some predestined, perfect other side to all of this.
Amen

May 21st Tiny Prayer (for those who want to scream):
May you let it out, really, at full volume, for as long as you need and as often as you need, trusting that anyone who hears will know exactly why you’re doing it and perhaps even give themselves allowance to do the same, simply because they witnessed the sound of your full-throated authenticity.
Amen

May 20th Tiny Prayer (for those in states that are opening more slowly):
May you appreciate this cautious approach, even with its continued inconveniences, even with its economic uncertainty, even with its frustrations and fears, and may you spend a moment today offering gratitude for this kind of slowness we are getting to know, this kind of slowness that protects and calms and pays attention, which is quite different from the power hoarding hang-ups that truly delay justice, the kind of slowness this country often knows too well.
Amen

May 19th Tiny Prayer (for those who are feeling down and don’t know why):
May you take a long pause and a deep breath, may you stop thinking that you need to explain this inexplicable feeling to anyone, even yourself, may you remember that this place is not a permanent residence, that you have been here before and will leave again, return again, and leave again, and may the reminder that you know this daily balancing act well bring you a bit of inexplicable balance today.
Amen

May 18th Tiny Prayer (for those who are keeping watch on the data):
May you absorb the voices of experts warning that what we know now only reflects what was happening weeks ago, making this information frustratingly out of date by the time it arrives, and may you continue to accept this truth humbly, no matter how bored you are, realizing that, although this reality remains very complicated, the individual response required remains very simple: Stay home, or if you cannot, cover your face and keep your distance.
Amen

May 17th Tiny Prayer (for those who refuse to wear a mask):
May you be engulfed in wisdom and empathy, surprising yourself with how freeing it feels to connect your own life to the lives of those around you, and may you admit to yourself that a little individual discomfort, a little extra individual effort is really nothing compared to the enormity of both continued danger and potential safety for all.
Amen

May 16th Tiny Prayer (for those who are graduating remotely):
May you feel the same rush you would were you traveling triumphantly across a stage, diploma in hand, an effervescent mix of accomplishment, fear, and dreamy vision beating loudly in your heart, and may you be honest about the fact that the absence of pomp and tradition is a true bummer, but may you still know that you have achieved something remarkable today, that you have overcome remarkable obstacles to get here, and that, even via the virtual, we all await, in vibrantly real life, the remarkable ways that your vision will change a world sorely in need of you.
Amen

May 15th Tiny Prayer (for the CDC):
May you hold firm to your mission to offer life-saving, expert, and detailed guidelines, despite the greed of those who cannot bring themselves to honor people over profit, and may you be lifted by the abundant gratitude and solidarity beaming at you from so many of us, shedding stark light on the rampant spread of shadowy, money-obsessed misinformation.
Amen

May 14th Tiny Prayer (for the Navajo Nation):
May your cries for investment in infrastructure that values your relationship with the natural world be heard, absorbed, and heeded, acknowledging the colonizing trail of broken promises, stolen land, and brutal violence that has blazed for centuries, long before this pandemic shed new light on the buildup of intentional failings that now allows this virus to ravage your land and bodies, and may all of us with privilege gain enough insight to fight for and with you, not only to heal this immediate pain, but to listen to the open, ages-old wounds that will remain.
Amen

May 13th Tiny Prayer (for those who are tired of looking at screens):
May you remember that, just as with life outside your home, when your body, brain, and eyes are weary, you can take a break from the glare, the stress, the relentless push to be connected, you can say, “No, thank you,” to invitations, you can limit a typically hour-long meeting to thirty minutes, you can be honest with yourself and with one another about the fact that having tools to communicate can simultaneously be mightily amazing and mightily tiresome, and you can power down, reschedule, and pick it all back up another day.
Amen

May 12th Tiny Prayer (for Dr. Anthony Fauci):
May you feel gratitude surround you today as you hold firm to your own expert opinion, certain that you have done the work, knowing that you have already grieved the fact that you will be further maligned by many and balanced that sorrow with the assurance that you will also continue to be the voice of radical reason for many more, and may your message of ultimately hopeful caution spread more quickly than this virus, changing hearts, minds, and the current course of human history.
Amen

May 11th Tiny Prayer (for those who are losing patience):
May you seek ways to trade in that growing feeling of irritability for a deeper sense of humor, not because any of this is funny, but because the gift of not taking oneself too seriously might just clear away the debilitating dread of unnecessarily critical self-focus and nurture the space, time, energy, and lightness we need to take our commitments to the rest of the world a bit more seriously.
Amen

May 10th Tiny Prayer (for those who mother in myriad ways):
May you feel the love and nurture you pour into the world come flooding back to you in waves of gratitude, of patience, of commitment to interdependence, and may we all remember that the power of mothering is most profoundly felt in subtle, simple nudges, like reminders to take care of one another, to listen, to ask for what we need, to admit to our mistakes, to try again, and to wash our hands.
Amen

May 9th Tiny Prayer (for New York City):
May we continue to hum with the energy of who we really are beneath all of this, a city of friendly strangers, unabashedly bumping against one another, rushed and filled with the rush of possibility, loud with laughter and protest, packed with creativity and diversity, even as our streets lie in quiet wait, and may we use this time to examine ourselves, our systems, our failures and fantasies, so that when we wake up in this city that so rarely sleeps, we will stay awake to the call of who we really can be.
Amen

May 8th Tiny Prayer (for those who are feeling lonely):
May you give yourself ample time to discover new ways to hold yourself, new ways to appreciate what good company you are for yourself, new ways to reshape monotony into moments of quiet, affectionate self-reflection, and when those ways do fail (and they do sometimes), may you have the self-assurance to reach out to another, someone who will probably say, “Oh, thanks for reaching out! I was getting a little lonely.”
Amen

May 7th Tiny Prayer (for those in states that are reopening):
May you be enveloped in safety, and when you know in your heart that your leaders and fellow citizens aren’t aiding in that, may you have the strength and means to envelop yourself in safety, finding ways to steer clear of crowds, to model mask-wearing, and to spread wisdom in a country that can’t seem to wrap its collective brain around the simple facts that lives are always more important than money and that boredom should never be the basis of any decision.
Amen

May 6th Tiny Prayer (for transit workers):
May you continue to loudly shed light on the hurried, unhealthy conditions that our society so often allows to stay buried underground or bottled up in buses, until we can move ourselves to more carefully celebrate and protect the human beings who regularly risk their own lives to keep city life bright and bustling.
Amen

May 5th Tiny Prayer (for those who don’t want things to return to “normal”):
May you continue to connect to the growing number of people who are responding to this tragic moment by reimagining organizing, activism, and mutual aid, refusing to allow the status quo to sweep back in too quickly and dangerously, as we find new ways to care for communal need, hear the call of a picture bigger than individual wants, and learn to be something far more thoughtfully dynamic than “normal.”
Amen

May 4th Tiny Prayer (for those who are feeling more tired than usual):
May you remember that your body is completely confused, with your limbs far less active during waking hours and your brain working overtime, with all parts anxiously keeping a score of your fears, your disappointments, your stress, even when unconscious, and may you be gentle with yourself and with one another, as right now, we’re also all parts of one big confused tired collective body.
Amen

May 3rd Tiny Prayer (for the youngest among us):
May you observe this time with deep curiosity, recognizing the suffering of a society that has not grown up, even as its consumption and production have grown, and as you yourself mature, may you continually choose to contribute to a collective growing up, paying close, careful attention, especially after we’re told we can return to blissfully bankrupt ignorance.
Amen

May 2nd Prayer (for the Black community):
May you hold this country accountable, not only to history, but to the continued ways that our current moment exposes this country’s rampant, unchecked systemic racism, be that in the form of armed white people encouraged by our administration to threaten us all, or in the form of this virus affecting Black bodies in far larger ways, spotlighting the blatantly intentional failings of our infrastructure, and may all of us with privilege admit that we must change this, if we truly wish to transform.
Amen

May 1st Tiny Prayer (for those who are finding it difficult to focus):
May you take a moment to make a list of your current tasks (“current” meaning immediate, not days or weeks from now) in order of priority, not so you get all of them done today, and not even so you get any of them done today, but simply because making a map of the landscape in front of you not only might make the terrain a tad less treacherous, but might even make the trail a tad more inviting.
Amen

April 30th Tiny Prayer (for sanctuary cities):
May you hold fast to your spiritual imperative to protect and empower, may you continue to be models for cities everywhere, and as racist, fascist, nationalistic Empire threatens our states with bogus, illegal, unnecessary deals and falsely claims that we must choose between heart and health, may you continue to loudly declare that we can and must always have both.
Amen

April 29th Tiny Prayer (for those who are feeling “meh”):
May you settle into this gray, liminal space, this place somewhere between panic and ease, between despair and faith, between down and up, and may you feel the strange sense of balance that comes from being honest about the just-okay, the just-enough, the just-getting-by, and may you trust that this is a perfectly-imperfectly valid spot for you to exist for a while.
Amen

April 28th Tiny Prayer (for Dr. Lorna M. Breen, medical director of the emergency department at New York-Presbyterian Allen Hospital):
Thank you for your tireless service, for your compassionate leadership, for your open heart, for embodying the role of “Hero” without ever seeking the title of “Hero,” for your remarkable life, which will continue to be a remembered blessing coursing through every breath of every life you have touched, healed, and saved.
Amen

April 27th Tiny Prayer (for journalists):
May you continue to ignore the attacks and uncover the truth, always serving the good of the people over the egos of the powerful, and may you be assured that your integrity is always quietly appreciated, even as the loudest, most vitriolic voices continue to blather in your direction.
Amen

April 26th Tiny Prayer (for those who are losing hope):
May you find solace in the simple fact that uncertainty is not the opposite of hope, but rather a natural and necessary aspect of hope that keeps us on our toes and off our high horses, and unshakable surety is never required in order for us to wake up, get out of bed, get ready, and seek wonder, even in a world that often feels far from wonderful.
Amen

April 25th Tiny Prayer (for those who currently have no shelter in which to shelter in place):
May you encounter kindnesses on every corner, may you not only be offered funds, but guidance toward sustenance both edible and spiritual, may you be safe when you do find a place to rest, and may you be assured that many of us are fighting to end this housing crisis, even in the midst of this health crisis.
Amen

April 24th Tiny Prayer (for our elders):
May you feel enveloped in love, care, and respect, even if you cannot visit with your friends and family, even if the technology connecting so many of us feels alien and annoying, even if you fear that your winter years will be spent in deepening isolation, may you deeply know how much we miss hugging you.
Amen

April 23rd Tiny Prayer (for parents and teachers):‬
‪May you be filled with patience for yourself, appreciating the fact that what you are doing (engaging and educating our youngest in a time when they and you are frightened, distracted, and frustrated) is a monumental task with so few immediate rewards and so much immediate stress. ‬
‪Amen‬

April 22nd Tiny Prayer (for the Earth):
May you rest and breathe while so many of us abide indoors, may your plants grow freely, may your non-human animals sing and stretch wildly, may your clouded air clear, may your wounded lands heal, may your waters churn happily, and may we be so wowed by your beauty upon our reentrance that we finally get our act together and heed your warnings.
Amen

April 21st Tiny Prayer (for immigrants):
May you rage against the continuing racist, xenophobic, fascist overreaches by our Federal government, and may you also feel the fiery fight continuing to spread in this country, growing numbers of eager neighbors ready to not only welcome you, but celebrate you.
Amen

April 20th Tiny Prayer (for those who are feeling just fine):
May you enjoy this moment as a time when you can pour energy into this gift economy we sustain together, holding others through their lows, not forcing them to feel more fine than they are, trusting that there will be energy in the pool for you when you are feeling far less than fine.
Amen

April 19th Tiny Prayer (for those outside the epicenter):
May you hear the pleas of those of us who are in the thick of it, and may you understand our urging you to stay home not as an attack on your perceived current freedoms, but as a deep recommitment to a more just, more safe, more interconnected future freedom for all.
Amen

April 18th Tiny Prayer (for our masks):
May you protect our noses, our mouths, our lungs, our lives, creating a system where we all work together, precautions not only for ourselves but for others, and may wearing you remind us that we can still practice this communal care and cooperation even after the masks come off.
Amen

April 17th Tiny Prayer (for farm workers):
May you feel gratitude spreading and surrounding you as more and more of us become aware of how essential you are, not because you put food on our table, but because you are human beings, both strong and vulnerable, who deserve and demand ample government protections and ample respect.
Amen

April 16th Tiny Prayer (for those who are facing unemployment):
May you feel surrounded by empathy, knowing that so many of us have been and are in the place where you are now, frightened, angry, seeking new paths, and may you find support who will both root for your bright future and simply hold you through this terrible present moment.
Amen

April 15th Tiny Prayer (for those who are feeling stagnant):
May you remember that your body and life are not mere tools for productivity (no matter what capitalism tells you), but rather dynamic, breathing realities that need rest, quiet, time, and space, and will organically tell you when they are ready to do and not just be again.

April 14th Tiny Prayer (for postal workers):
May you be assured to your core that, no matter what shallow messages you are receiving from our Federal government, your lives, your employment, and the daily risks you are taking to keep our country connected, matter deeply to us.
Amen

April 13th Tiny Prayer (for David Driskell, African-American artist and art historian, who died from coronavirus):
Thank you for making an art of showcasing the overlooked, for using your own reality to draw attention to ignored realities, for gifting us with images both beautiful and troubling, inviting us to reflect on how our systems and lives are always both at the same time, and how only through creative interrogation can we own up to who we are and become who we say we want to be.
Amen

April 12th Tiny Prayer (for those who are far from those they love):
May you have ample bandwidth, both for your technological devices and for your heart, and may you offer gratitude for the ways we have to connect, even when apart, but may you also be unafraid to call this distance what it is: absolutely painful.
Amen

April 11th Tiny Prayer (for those who are navigating their mental health):
May you be kind to yourself, acknowledging the weight that this current fear adds to your plate, trusting the power of your past resilience, even when it's currently out of sight, and reaching out to those who will simply accompany you while not trying to fix anything.
Amen

April 10th Tiny Prayer (for essential workers):
May you feel our deep gratitude, though our smiles are hidden beneath our masks, though our greetings come from several feet away, and though, when we‘ve been told that we’re safest inside, each day beckons you back outside.
Amen

April 9th Tiny Prayer (for those who are ill):
May you reach out to those who will not only comfort you but also help you to secure the expert care you need, and may you not be embarrassed to weep, rage, fear, be human, even as you trust this care to both hold and heal you.
Amen

April 8th Tiny Prayer (for John Prine, American singer/songwriter who died from coronavirus complications):
Thank you for telling us honest stories of ourselves, set to sweet melodies that allow them to sneak into our hearts, comforting us with universality, teasing our follies just enough to invite us to take ourselves a tad less seriously.
Amen

April 7th Tiny Prayer (for those who are detained):
May you feel solidarity seeping through cracks in your prison walls, even as those of us outside taste only a small bit of your fear, your isolation, your vulnerability, and know that we are fighting for all to be free.
Amen

April 6th Tiny Prayer (for those experiencing cabin fever):
May you find solace in the fact that so many of us are also seeking surprises in too-familiar spaces, flashes of wonder in corners we know too well, moments of delight in too-similar days, and may this uncomfortable comfort connect us all.
Amen

April 5th Tiny Prayer (for those who are angry):‬
‪May you remember that rage can be a step toward collective recommitment, inviting us to sustain steady flames together as we fight for change, instead of burning out in a moment of individual combustion.‬
‪Amen‬

April 4th Tiny Prayer (for those who are grieving):
May you seek solidarity and solitude as each is needed, may you feel empathy surround you, even when alone, and may you reject any calls to move through this more quickly, especially when they come from your own heart.
Amen

April 3rd Tiny Prayer (for Ellis Marsalis, Jr., an American jazz pianist and educator who died from coronavirus complications):
Thank you for teaching us that we can break rules and still be disciplined in our collaborative generosity, and that we can listen for the unique logic in even the music that doesn't immediately satisfy our own expectations.
Amen

April 2nd Tiny Prayer (for striking workers):
May your voices carry, for those who have no voice and for those whose lives need to be interrupted, not only by fears of a virus, but by the cries of the human lives and dreams that so often invisibly sustain our decadence.
Amen

April 1st Tiny Prayer (for our breath):
May you stay steady, but may you also offer gasps of wonder at how renewable a resource you are, the only free gift we continually pour into and take from the world, each exhale announcing our recommitment to every other living thing.
Amen

March 31st Tiny Prayer (for Lorena Borjas, activist for the rights of the transgender community, died from coronavirus complications):
Thank you for embodying true motherhood as a daily mix of transforming pain into passion, reorganizing in the face of organized oppression, demanding community-building over wall-building, teaching the powerful to use it well, and empowering those who fear they have none.
Amen

March 30th Tiny Prayer (for elected officials):
May you care more about humans than attention, more about lives than markets, may you admit what you don’t know and own up to what you do, and may you remember that current reality must be faced in order to truly shape a future.
Amen

March 29th Tiny Prayer (for our bodies):
‪May you do exactly what you are meant to do, giving us information, telling us where the pain is, moving to rhythms of heart and lung, calling our attention not only to parts in need but also to all parts working beautifully together.
‪Amen

March 28th Tiny Prayer (for artists):
May the spark of inspiration that so thrilled you last night, then seemed completely trite this morning, let you rest for a bit, then bubble back up through your imagination, messy with new energy, begging to be explored as only you can.
Amen

March 27th Tiny Prayer (for those who are afraid):
May you use the fears that keep you alert to caring for yourself and others, reshape the fears that nudge you toward new ways of knowing yourself and others, and dismiss the fears that lie and tell you neither is possible.
Amen

March 26th Tiny Prayer (for faith leaders):
May you remember that many of us don’t so much need to be brought back to a rock-solid, fail-safe faith, but rather invited into an authentic conversation about fear, mystery, and death, in order to find new ways to live.
Amen

March 25th Tiny Prayer (for healthcare workers):
May you have enough moments of breath, enough moments of rest, enough voices saying, “You’ve got this,” enough moments of simple calm in the midst of this storm, as you fight so lovingly to make sure we all have the same.
Amen

March 24th Tiny Prayer (for Terrence McNally, Tony-winning playwright; died of complications of coronavirus):
Thank you for giving unapologetically vibrant voice to queer love that will live forever, outlasting viruses that might kill bodies, but never Truth.
Amen


Next Post: Praise Song for the Pandemic