As the United Kingdom passed the devastating milestone of 100,000 deaths from Covid-19, Cardinal Vincent Nichols said he mourns each and every one and offers prayers for all those grieving.
The cardinal described Tuesday 26th January as “a day of great sadness all over the land”, while Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it is “hard to compute the sorrow contained in that grim statistic” of more than 100,000 deaths.
Cardinal Nichols noted that so many people, families and communities were remembering those who had died during the “terrible months of the pandemic”.
“Each one is mourned. Each one is to be prayed for,” he said.
“This is our instinct, our faith, our practice. Our prayer is rooted in the faith that, in death, life is changed, not ended, for the promise of eternal life opens the door of hope even in our darkest moments.
“I pray for each and everyone, those who have died, those who mourn, those who serve.
“Please, please, join me in prayer.”
The Prime Minister also expressed his sorrow at the tragic loss of life, as he offered his “deepest condolences” to all those who had lost a loved one and promised that the nation would come together once the crisis is over to remember each and every one.
“To all those who grieve, we make this pledge: that when we have come through this crisis, we will come together as a nation to remember everyone we lost, and to honour the selfless heroism of all those on the front line who gave their lives to save others,” he said.
“We will remember the courage of countless working people – not just our amazing NHS and care workers, but shop workers, transport staff, pharmacists, teachers, police, armed forces emergency services and many others – who kept our country going during our biggest crisis since the Second World War.
“We will commemorate the small acts of kindness, the spirit of volunteering and the daily sacrifice of millions who placed their lives on hold time and again as we fought each new wave of the virus, buying time for our brilliant scientists to come to our aid.”
Mr Johnson added: “In that moment of commemoration, we will celebrate the genius and perseverance of those who discovered the vaccines and the immense national effort – never seen before in our history – which is now underway to distribute them, one that has now seen us immunise over 6.8 million people across the United Kingdom.
“And when those vaccines have finally freed us from this virus and put us on a path to recovery, we will make sure that we learn the lessons and reflect and prepare.
“And, until that time, the best and most important thing we can all do to honour the memory of those who have died is to work together with ever greater resolve to defeat this disease.
“And that is what we will do.”
Picture: Memorial to the victims of the pandemic. (iZhenya).