The sorrow and horror I feel at yesterday’s murders at the Living Tree Synagogue in Pittsburgh have left me disoriented and inarticulate. But those events have also strengthened my resolve to act for justice and peace in our land and beyond.
I urge you to join me in resisting hate, prejudice, injustice, and violence in the voting booth, on social media and in our ordinary speech. Speak love. Join the struggle for equality, respect, and freedom for all. Strive for peace and insist on respect for the dignity of every human being.
As a start, I offer these prayer resources for use in your houses of worship, your homes, or wherever you find yourselves this day and beyond. May your hands and feet be animated and guided by these prayers.
A Prayer for the Departed
God, filled with mercy, dwelling in the heavens’ heights, bring proper rest beneath the wings of your Divine Presence, amid the ranks of the holy and the pure, illuminating like the brilliance of the skies the souls of our beloved and our blameless who went to their eternal place of rest. May You who are the source of mercy shelter them beneath Your wings eternally, and bind their souls among the living, that they may rest in peace. And let us say: Amen. (El Maleh Rachamim)
A Prayer for Social Justice
Almighty God, who created us in your image: Grant us grace fearlessly to contend against evil and to make no peace with oppression; and, that we may reverently use our freedom, help us to employ it in the maintenance of justice in our communities and among the nations, to the glory of your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. (Book of Common Prayer, 260)
A Prayer for the Whole Human Family.
O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP, 815)
A Prayer for Social Justice.
Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart [and especially the hearts of the people of this land], that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP, 823)