The following prayer is adapted from one written a year ago on the fifth anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, CT. Wednesday’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL was a similarly horrific event — and it is a tragedy that these events continue to occur on a regular basis in our country. While a prayer cannot solve this terrible problem, it can have the power to bind us together in the face of such heavy grief.
O God of the ages and God of the generations, ever we pray for the peace of Jerusalem that her weeping may cease, and this day we pray for the peace of Parkland, FL.
Tender and joyous and expectant, the visions of children glimmer before our eyes, sundered by an image of the unspeakable.
Tears belong to the living, blessings belong to the dead, and grief belongs to all.
In this hour of deep darkness, we cast ourselves upon every foundation, grasping for a sense of firm ground to sustain bodies and hearts that are without frame to uphold them.
Cradle the souls of the departed who have left this earth, and cradle the hearts of those whose grief is greater than any solace.
Welcome every spirit home and call each by name for their names are now sacred remnants carried to you on a current of sorrow and loss.
Consecrate the memory of every now breathless child to timelessness itself. Envelope in gentleness those who bore them and loved them and sustained them and now anguish for them in unfathomable measure.
Consecrate as well, those teachers and caretakers whose lives have been dedicated to, and now sacrificed alongside, the children they daily stood among and with whom they now eternally dwell.
Bind us to others in their loss and emptiness. Let it be that the void that now surrounds them not consume all. May the powers of compassion and kindness and empathy strike at the deep darkness of the hour and may all who have been devastated be visited with some tender mercy that they may carry on.
O God of the ages and God of the generations, ever we pray for the peace of Jerusalem that her weeping may cease, and this day we pray for the peace of Parkland.
Hear our prayers we beseech you.