For Parkland, Florida

Received by email this morning:

Dear Mr. Solovy,

I wanted to thank you for your prayer “For the Children of Newtown” that we found at These comforting words have now been shared to thousands and more at my own congregation the night of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, at a City of Parkland Prayer Vigil, and this afternoon at a Broward County teacher’s labor union. I am only sorry that I have to write you to say that I needed to use this prayer and substitute Newtown for Parkland 6 years after you wrote this prayer.

On looking at your website I saw you just posted on 2/14 about love and it was so beautiful and wanted to ask if you could perhaps write a prayer for our suffering here in Parkland, FL. We are a bit too close to what is happening to sit still and think, but I know we would be appreciative and would share your words for comfort

Shavua tov,
Rabbi Melissa Stollman
Director of Lifelong Learning
Congregation Kol Tikvah

I finished this an hour later…

For Parkland, Florida
Oh grief,
This grief suddenly forced upon us
With violence and weapon,
That your names have become prayers,
To keep us safe from violence,
That your sweet lives,
Once held with joy and light,
Are now among the accusers of those who fail
To protect us from the plague of guns.
Scott, Aaron, Chris, Martin
Luke, Cara, Jamie, Nicholas
Gina, Alex, Joaquin
Alaina, Peter, Meadow
Helena, Alysa, Carmen

Oh grief,
This grief suddenly forced upon us
With malice and anger,
That Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Florida,
Would join the list of schools attacked,
Traumatized with horror,
Knowing that this hasn’t ended yet,
Let justice prevail.

Author of life,
Source and Creator,
Grant a perfect rest under Your tabernacle of peace
To the victims of this massacre in Parkland, Florida.
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,
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 consolation and solace.
Grant them Your protection,
Your wholeness and healing.
May they find hope and grace.

G-d of Consolation,
Every soul is Yours,
A world, unique and holy.
Let Your peace reign quickly among us.
Let violence, hatred and terror vanish.
Let Your comfort descend from heaven,
And let the righteous rest in peace.

© 2018 Alden Solovy and All rights reserved.

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Postscript: This is a combination of new writing and elements from “For the Children of Newtown” and “One is Everything,” two more prayers after violence and terror.

Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: ABC Action News

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