Berlin (dpa) – The churches in Germany have called on society to pause and commemorate in the midst of the corona pandemic.
“Sickness, dying and death cannot be pushed away in this long year, they cut deep into the lives of many people,” Georg Bätzing, president of the German Bishops’ Conference, said Sunday in Berlin at an ecumenical service for those who died in the pandemic. . “Death and dying have come closer to us than before.” It is good that Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier invites you to pause this day and commemorate the many dead.
A good year after the outbreak of the corona pandemic, the state is organizing a central memorial event for the deceased this Sunday in Berlin. The Federal President also wants to offer his condolences to the relatives and remind them of the many people who died a similar lonely death as a result of the pandemic as the victims of the virus. At the beginning of the afternoon, five relatives and the heads of the five constitutional organs take part in the commemoration ceremony in the concert hall on the Gendarmenmarkt.
In addition to the Federal President, these are: Bundestag President Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU), Bundesrat President Reiner Haseloff (CDU), Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the President of the Federal Constitutional Court, Stephan Harbarth. Berlin Prime Minister Michael Müller (SPD) and a representative of the Diplomatic Corps are also expected to attend the event, which will take place under the strictest hygiene measures.
In Germany, according to figures from the Robert Koch Institute, 79,914 people had died from or been involved in a proven infection with Sars-CoV-2 on Sunday.
“The crisis experience of the pandemic age lies on our souls like a trauma, crying out for healing,” said the chairman of the council of the Evangelical Church in Germany, Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, in the ecumenical ministry. “We will take a long time to process it, especially our children, our adolescents, for whom this crisis feels like an eternity.”
The chairman of the working group of Christian churches in Germany, Archpriest Radu Constantin Miron, said the virus has been dominating our daily, social and professional lives for more than a year. “And it doesn’t stop with denominations, religions, or nations. That’s why it’s all the more important that we mourn along with this service today, but also present a sign of comfort – across borders that the virus doesn’t know either.”
In the service, which was organized by representatives of the Jewish and Muslim faith, the writer Ulrich Noethen recited the story of the Emmaus disciples from the Gospel of Luke who mourned the loss of Jesus who died on the cross. This Emmaus story is encouraging, said Bätzing: “Our dead find their way to life through the hand of the risen Jesus. And the mourners will be well guided and hopefully be able to find their way to a new zest for life. And we – together and in responsibility for each other – are finding our way out of this pandemic. Because God goes with us. “