Each Thursday at Eight

Liturgy for a Pandemic

second floor in sunlight

Each Thursday at eight, we stand at our lintels

to clap for care-workers we hope never to meet.

Behind the fence, unseen neighbours bang pots.

When the antiphon dies, I linger outside.

A blackbird trills. From the hushed street its partner answers.

In our city the pandemic spikes, aloof as the cats

who watch our prayers from behind the glass.



Matthew R Anderson April 25, 2020 Chilwell (Nottingham)


  1. We have about four houses on our block who come out and bang pots at 7:30. It has become a bit of a liturgy for me, and the others I assume. I hope it is shaping me in some helpful way. Some days it feels like prayer. Some days it feels like a chore. Some days I forget. But still, it matters in some way, I think.

    1. Yes – it’s only once a week here, but very much a liturgy. Feels like a chore….sometimes prayer feels like that too, until the antiphon rescues me from having to do it for myself…

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