Churches across the country remember those who died in special worship services with a “message of hope in resurrection and eternal life”.
The coronavirus health crisis has left thousands of people dead in Spain. According to the forecasts of different sources, there will be around 30,000 or 40,000 people, with countless people affected and families in crisis.
The Spanish evangelical churches have also been affected, they have lived this enormous convulsion with faith and hope, also sharing the suffering and pain in their own lives and those of their fellow citizens.
Those common feelings have led to the idea of organising a memorial service under the motto “bring memory to life”, which describes several shared feelings among the Spanish evangelicals.
The memorial aims to “focus on those who have died, giving them dignity and showing respect", as well as "to give comfort to families, strengthening the message of hope in resurrection and eternal life”.
It also seeks to “invite society to the shared recognition of pain and tragedy", and "to strengthen our communities”.
The “Evangelical memorial: bringing memory to life” will be held during Sunday services on June 14. It will last around 15-20 minutes, during which biblical texts will be read, and there will be a special commemorative video, songs and testimonies.
This will be offered to the churches as a general program proposal, so that each congregation will optionally and freely adapt it to their reality.
The program “will help those who are still alive, to face the reality of death (the first step in overcoming mourning). It will also provide friends and family an opportunity to express the love and respect they feel for someone who was important to them”, the organizers explained.
“Realizing how significant and loved someone was, can be a great spiritual and emotional help for a troubled family that is coping with their loss”, they added.
This memorial “will also allow our communities to strengthen themselves in the hope of resurrection and eternal life, certainties of our faith that a society disconnected from the Bible cannot offer, leaving only desolation of despair in the face of the inevitability of death”.
The idea came from Marcos Zapata, President of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance, who himself went through the ilness. After transmitting and shaping his vision, he shared it with the different evangelical denominations and entities, and the majority of them joined in a joint convocation; something rare in the Spanish Protestant setting.
As Marcos Zapata pointed out, “Evangelicals understand that dedicating a day to remember them is key to fulfill various purposes. A Memorial day fulfills important needs in our society, since it provides a space and time for the memory, dignity and respect of the deceased”.
“It is also a special tribute to a unique, unrepeatable life that has passed away without the family, and the social environment that accompanied them throughout their lives, being able to say goodbye”, he said.
Although there are still entities pending a formal response, since they require an approval from their respective leaders, many organizations and denominations have already expressed their support, and will participate in the memorial.