A Prayer for Orlando

Holy One
It is a familiar grief that we bring before you

How Long,
O Lord

must we etch out the same words?

Words of sorrow
Words of angry grief

and words of disbelief at something that we watch happen again and again

repeated like a sick litany of hate.

We bring our shock, our own agony before you.
We bring our callousness—something that has grown from violence made all too familiar.

Please take these things we bring you,

Gracious God,

for we bring them

that you might remind us

That while it is human to feel shock

It is human to protect ourselves
to cocoon ourselves
from those things that hurt and disturb us

You call us

to be your children
and to be your children is

to remind others that
they are your beloved family, as well.

Forgive the ways we turn away from those who suffer

Forgive the ways we participate in their suffering.

Forgive the way we worship violence
and make idols of the tools of violence.

Forgive us the ways we are unable to forgive
those who seem unforgivable.
even those who perpetrate mass violence

God, we bring not only this

but so many things before you

Our own grief and trauma, from violence we’ve experienced and perhaps never even named

Our own guilt and anguish, from violence we’ve committed.

We bring ourselves, Gracious God.

and we bring all of your children

The young, the old, those who were born
with this morning’s sun,

those who will return to you soon.
May they all be safe in your arms, Holy one.

May you teach us ways of building sanctuary

May there be peace

May there be peace

May there be peace.


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