An online space for lamentation during the pandemic

A handful of the laments posted to Church Mission Society's LamentSpace project(Photo: CMS)

Church Mission Society (CMS) has created an online space for people to share their frustration, confusion and grief during the coronavirus pandemic. 

It said that the project, Lamentspace, had taken off in ways it never expected as people young and old share their honest feelings about the pandemic that has gripped much of the world. 

One person shared candidly that they were "finding it so difficult to pray at this time". 

In another poignant post, another admitted: "I'm angry God, not at You but at us."

"When you look at it altogether, what you see is a raw, honest gallery of grief," said Naomi Steinberg, CMS head of communications. 

"Christians aren't always very good at grieving, either alone or together and so I'm grateful we've been able to provide what seems to be a much-needed outlet for lament at this time."

The project ties in with the 'Lament for Lent' theme that CMS introduced in February with its resource called 'Only With Eyes That Have Cried'. 

With Holy Week being experienced under lockdown this year, Steinberg said that the idea of lament was even more pertinent. 

"When we first produced the Lament for Lent resource, we felt there was much to be sad about in our world, much to bring before God. Little did we know how events would unfold," she said.

Some of the prayers shared on Lamentspace are to be used by Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, for its online Easter Eve Vigil, Rumours of Hope.

Diocesan Canon Precentor for Christ Church, the Rev Canon Dr Grant Bayliss, said the rawness of the lamentations would resonate with many at this time.

"At a time like this we need our faith to be grounded not glossy," he said.

"That's something CMS have been doing for over 200 years and #lamentspace shares a raw honesty before God that I think many will find helpful. We're delighted to be praying through that together on Easter Eve, as we listen for 'Rumours of Hope.'"

While the subject of lamentation can be sorrowful, CMS said it wanted people to use it as a channel through which they could arrive at a place of hope and newness before God. 

Alastair Bateman, CEO of Church Mission Society, said: "We hope that by encouraging people to be real with God and each other about their grief, hope and love will be released in our nation and our world."