Prayer for the People of Norway

On July 22, 2011, a brutal bombing attack and shooting spree rocked Norway. On April 16, 2011, the killer went on trial in Oslo. This prayer was written in the days after the violence. To listen along, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.

For the People of Norway
Author of life,
Man has turned violent,
Cutting down youth in Utoya, Norway,
Our children,
Future leaders,
Brothers and sisters,
Crushing lives,
Upending dreams,
Attacking hope for tomorrow.

Source and Creator,
Grant a perfect rest under your tabernacle of peace
To the victims of murder in Utoya
Whose lives were cut off by violence,
An act of witless aggression.
Remember the survivors of this horror,
And the victims of any disaster,
Any violence, suffering or despair.
Grant them shelter and solace,
Comfort and consolation,
Blessing and renewal.
Grant them endurance to survive,
Strength to rebuild,
Faith to mourn,
Courage to heal,
And devotion to each other.

Heavenly Guide,
Hand of love and shelter,
Put an end to anger, hatred and fear,
And lead us to a time when no one will suffer at the hand of another.
Grant the people of Norway Your protection,
Your wholeness and healing,
And Your peace.

© 2011 Alden Solovy and All rights reserved.

Postscript: This is an adaptation of a prayer I wrote in response to recent attacks in Mumbai, which was based on two of my other prayers, “At the Hand of Violence” and “In Devastation.”  You’ll also find related prayers in my “Liturgy for 9-11.”

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