John Paul Ito

COVID-19 Park Prayer

About COVID-19 Park Prayer:

Resource for small-group prayer in public parks as an alternative to corporate worship: A contribution to limiting the spread of COVID-19.

This is only for use in places where social distancing (as opposed to isolation) is considered adequate.

For a while this was no longer possible where I live, so this was back-deck prayer shared by a few adjacent houses.



The materials below provide a template for a simple prayer service for small groups meeting in public parks, with each person following the order of service on their phone. This is intended to provide a reasonably safe way to receive the many benefits of in-person interaction. If we maintain adequate distance from one another and have the ground under our feet be the only object touched by multiple people, then especially given the naturally disinfecting effects of sunshine, such groups should promote the spread of illness less than other in-person gatherings. The QR code and the tinyurl below can be used to share the URL in case people wish to join spontaneously - but note that interacting outside of normal social circles may not be something to encourage at this time, depending on local conditions.

Groups should observe the following guidelines:

These groups must stay small and must be directed from within -- each participant should help make sure these guidelines are observed. In the moment some of these things may seem unloving or uncommunal, but please remember that the point is to save lives, probably the lives of people who aren't present.


Sample Program

From: Sunday, December 20 (Advent 4), 2020

This project focuses on supporting morning prayer on Sundays; similar resources for both morning and evening prayer all days of the week are found here.

The service comes from Morning Prayer, Rite II, from the 1979 Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church. Readings come from the daily office, using the prayer book for the psalm and the New Revised Standard Version for the other readings. Compline online is found here.



We can save lives if we minimize in-person interactions. Right now, this is one of the most powerful and practical ways to love our neighbor.

For many people the best thing to do is to avoid in-person faith gatherings of any kind, and for many, many people this would be the best course of action.

But some people may feel such a drastic step is not needed, and others may feel impelled to gather for various reasons . For such people, provided that they are younger and healthy, it seems reasonably safe to meet outside in small groups, in sunlight, without physical interaction. I will change or take down this page if that changes.