Write In Between

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Holy Innocents: prayers for victims of school shootings

Our nation's school children and families have suffered three school shootings this past week. Heck, we're all suffering. What parent isn't? Did you send your children to school today with an extra prayer for their safety? All I can say/pray is Lord, have mercy.

In the most recent incident, this powerful witness to Christian love and faith in action takes place in the midst of anguish:

The Amish have also been reaching out to the family
of the gunman. Dwight Lefever, a Roberts family spokesman, said an Amish
neighbor comforted the Roberts family hours after the shooting and extended
forgiveness to them.

"I hope
they stay around here and they'll have a lot of friends and a lot of support,"
Daniel Esh, a 57-year-old Amish artist and woodworker whose three grandnephews
were inside the school during the attack, said of the Robertses.

Huntington, the authority on the Amish, predicted
they will be very supportive of the killer and his wife, "because judgment is in
God's hands: `Judge not, that ye be not judged."
news source.


And so we pray:

We remember today, O God, the slaughter of the holy innocents of Bethlehem by King Herod. Receive, we pray, into the arms of your mercy all innocent victims; and by your great might frustrate the designs of evil tyrants and establish your rule of justice, love, and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Source: Episcopal lectionary.

Lord God, whose blessed Son our Savior gave his body to be whipped and his face to be spit upon: Give us grace to accept joyfully the sufferings of the present time, confident of the glory that shall be revealed; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Source: The Book of Common Prayer 1979.

A Prayer for Surviving Friends

Grant, O Lord, we beseech Thee, that while we lament the departure of Thy servant, we may always remember that we are most certainly to follow him. Give us grace to prepare for the last hour by a good and holy life, that we may not be taken unprepared by sudden death, but may be ever on the watch, that, when Thou shalt call, we may go forth to meet the Bridegroom, and enter with Him into glory everlasting. Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O most wise and merciful Lord, Who hast ordained this life as a passage to the future, confining our repentance to the time of our pilgrimage here, and reserving for hereafter the state of punishment and reward; vouchsafee to us who are yet alive, and have still the opportunity to reconciliation with Thee,the grace so to watch over all our actions, and to correct every slightest wandering from the true way of heaven, that we may not be surprised with our sins uncancelled, or our duties unfulfilled; but when our bodies shall go down in the grave, our souls may ascend to Thee, and dwell with Thee forever in the mansions of eternal bliss.Through Jesus Christ our Lord and only Saviour.Amen.
Source: Catholic.org.

Copyright 2006 Patricia W. Gohn

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