In the last couple of weeks I have been writing ‘collects’ –  an ancient form of short prayer which addresses an aspect of the Divine and makes a plea,. I learnt this practice in a workshop with my friend, Pádraig Ó Tuama last year. ‘Collects’ gather up our prayers and state them in a brief form. You may have seen an earlier blog of mine with ‘collect’ prayers for our relationship with the Earth..
There have been so many generous and beautiful offerings of artistry, love and kindness in this awful time of Covid 19. These collects form part of my offering and more will follow. Please visit again. Feel free to use these prayers –, see the note below about linking and acknowledgement. Warm thanks to Ian Ferguson for access to his photographs taken recently in East Gippsland.

a prayer a plea… collects in the time of virus

God of those who are numbed,
stunned by loss,
enfold us in a gentle darkness,
a hidden sleep, a long stillness.
Re-member us to ourselves
awaken the courage we’d forgotten we had.


God who knows chaos
Who creates in darkness,
makes life from mud.
Give us back to ourselves
dissolved and helpless
may we feel ourselves forming
know our own shape.


Fierce Lover of life,
give strength to our arms and our resolve.
Critical is this time for cleaning, swabbing, scrubbing
and washing our hands again.
And again, and again.
Let us join ourselves to the task
with readiness, steadiness, clarity.
Because we too love life,
our own and our neighbour’s.
photography Ian Ferguson
These prayers and photographs may be used freely with acknowledgement of authorship.
Please quote this link:

Julie Perrin, 2020  https://tellingwords.com.au/collects-in-the-time-of-virus/
Photographs: Ian Ferguson

4 thoughts on “short prayers in a time of virus”

  1. Thank you Julie for these beautiful words of prayer and deep reflection. I am going to use them for my Senior School Chapel service (recorded of course!)

  2. Cynthia White

    Thank you for these prayers – I will use them for our Zoom Prayer Circle withy Pastoral colleagues at the hospital where I work ! Bless you for sharing !

    1. So glad to know the prayers are being taken up and used Cynthia, thanks for letting me know. Julie

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