There are no words. Yet we need them. Words of consolation. Words of prayer.
This is an adaptation of “After a Deadly Rampage,” a general prayer of mourning and consolation. This adaptation reflects the sorrow and pain coming from the number of young children who died at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., as well as the number of families traumatized. Here’s a prayer “For Bereaved Children,” which can be said on behalf of the brothers and sisters of the victims, and a “Meditation on the Burial of a Child,” also written in response to the tragedy in Newtown. May the memories of the righteous be a blessing.
For the Children of Newtown
Author of life,
Source and Creator,
Grant a perfect rest under Your tabernacle of peace
To the victims of the massacre
In Newtown, Connecticut,
Children whose lives were cut off by violence,
All who fell at the hand of anger,
A rampage beyond understanding.
The future was severed.
Hopes, joys and dreams
Lost to brutality.
May their souls be bound up in the bond of life,
A living blessing in our midst.
May they rest in peace.
G-d of mercy,
Remember, too, the survivors of this attack,
Sisters and brothers,
Witnesses of shock, horror and dismay.
Ease their suffering and release their trauma.
Grant them endurance to survive,
Strength to rebuild,
Faith to mourn,
And courage to heal,
So that they recover lives of joy and wonder.
Remember the families and friends
Of the dead and the bereaved
With comfort and consolation.
Grant them Your protection,
Your wholeness and healing.
May they find hope and grace.
Source of love,
Guard the children of Newtown.
Grant them Your shelter and solace,
Blessing and renewal.
Put an end to anger, hatred and fear
And lead us to a time when
No one will suffer at the hand of another,
Speedily, in our day.
© 2012 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.
Postscript: This prayer is an adaptation of “After a Deadly Rampage,” which is an adaptation of “For the People of Norway.” Sadly, the number of mass killings made it clear that we need a more generalized prayer. Please also see “At the Hand of Violence,” a prayer for memory of an individual victim, and “For Bereaved Children,” for the brothers and sisters of the young victims.
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Photo Credit: The Candles Spot