DAY 30: Resources for Prayer and Worship in a Time of Tragedy

We continue our reflection on God’s call to us through the ELCA’s “60-Day Journey Toward Justice in a Culture of Gun Violence.”

DAY 30: Resources for Prayer and Worship in a Time of Tragedy

These worship resources for a time of tragedy were originally shared by Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod in response to the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn. The Sandy Hook shooting took the lives of 20 children and six adults. The shooter took his own life as well as that of his mother.

The prayers and rites can be adapted and contextualized for communities and congregations experiencing grief, suffering, and outrage after incidents of gun violence.

Let us pray:

“A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children;
she refused to be consoled, because they are no more” (Matthew 2:18). O God, as you heard the cries of Rachel for her children, hear our cries for the people of ____________________ —especially the children, teachers, and parents. Receive into your loving arms those who lost their lives far too soon; console all the parents and loved ones who are still numb with shock and grief; strengthen and direct the counselors, educators, religious leaders, and first responders who are helping the community grieve while processing their own loss. Let your light brighten and in time overcome the darkness of these days, as we look forward to the advent of your kingdom of peace and justice here on earth. Through Jesus Christ, your son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, God forever. Amen.