Light a candle at 7pm today as sign of hope in coronavirus outbreak as churches link for National Day of Prayer
The Church of Scotland has joined with other religious groups across the country to sign a letter commending the Call for a National Day of Prayer in response to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
Signatories include the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of Scotland, the Scottish Episcopal Church, the United Free Church, the United Reformed Church, the Baptist Union of Scotland, the Methodist Church, the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Congregational Federation in Scotland, the Salvation Army, the Church of the Nazarene, and Redeemed Christian Church of God.
Taking place on Sunday March 22, people of faith are being encouraged to light a candle and place it in their window at 7pm.
The letter asks that communities all over the Highlands "join in prayerful solidarity with this witness", describing the candle as "a visible symbol of the light of life, Jesus Christ, the source of hope in this life."
The following prayer has been written for the event, and people of faith, or none, can use it if wished when lighting the candle:
For all that is good in life, thank you,
For the love of family and friends, thank you,
For the kindness of good neighbour and Samaritan stranger, thank you.
May those who are vulnerable, hungry or homeless, experience support,
May those who are sick, know healing,
May those who are anxious or bereaved, sense comfort.
Bless and guide political leaders and decision-makers, with wisdom,
Bless and guide health workers and key workers, with strength and well-being, Bless and guide each one of us, as we adapt to a new way of living.
And may the light shining from our windows,
across road and wynd, glen and ben, kyle and isle,
be reflected in our hearts and hands and hopes.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
The signatories of the letter are:
Rt. Rev. Colin Sinclair, Moderator of the General Assembly, Church of Scotland.
Most Rev. Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Roman Catholic Church.
Most Rev. Mark Strange, Primus, on behalf of the College of Bishops, Scottish Episcopal Church.
Rev. John Fulton, Moderator, United Free Church of Scotland.
Rev. Dr David Pickering, Moderator, United Reformed Church (Scotland)
Rev. Martin Hodson, General Director, Baptist Union of Scotland.
Rev. Mark Slaney, District Chairman, Methodist Church (Scotland)
Ms. Adwoa Bittle, Clerk to General Meeting for Scotland, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
Rev. May-Kane Logan, Chair, Congregational Federation in Scotland.
Rev. Jim Ritchie, District Superintendent, British Isles North District, Church of the Nazarene.
Pastor Chris Gbenle, Provincial Pastor, Province of Scotland, Redeemed Christian Church of God.
Lt. Col. Carol Bailey, Secretary for Scotland, Salvation Army.
The Church of Scotland also issued a warning to anyone using candles, a spokesman said: "Please take all necessary fire precautions when using a lit candle. Ensure you remain with the lit candle at all times, and do not leave it to burn if you leave the room. Ensure there are no fabrics or materials such as curtains near the candle."