Posts Tagged ‘prayer after a school shooting’

 

Columbine, Again and Again

Posted on: February 15th, 2023 by Alden No Comments

In memorium for those who lost their lives at Michigan State University, and to all who were wounded physically or emotionally, I’ve added the school to “A Dream of Columbine: Psalm of Protest 13.” Here is a three-prayer liturgy also including “After Uvalde: The Court of the Innocent” and “After a Deadly Rampage.”

A Dream of Columbine: Psalm of Protest 13
A dream of Columbine High School,
When the U.S. was beset by guns.
Red with blood,
A dream of Thurston High, Red Lake High, Virginia Tech, and Michigan State University,
Wet with tears,
A nightmare of Sandy Hook and Robb Elementary.
A lament of guns and death,
At NIU, Marshall County High, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, Santa Fe High and Saugus High.
Crying out
With so many others,
Too many dead,
So many wounded and scarred.
Crying out,
O Columbine!
How long? How long? How long?

After Uvalde: The Court of the Innocent
The court of the innocent
At the gates of heaven
Is twenty-one souls larger today.
Two adults and nineteen children shot dead.
They bring their blood as evidence against us,
As evidence of our failure to protect them
And the impotence of our rage.

The court of the innocent
At the gates of heaven
Have stopped listening to our speeches.
They no longer say ‘amen’ to our prayers.
They have turned their backs to us,
As we have turned our backs to them.

The court of the innocent
At the gates of heaven
Minister to the souls of the newly murdered,
They minister to those cut down
By guns and violence,
By politics and inaction,
Tending to these recent companions in death,
Consoling their lifeless hearts.

After a Deadly Rampage
Author of life
Source and Creator,
Grant a perfect rest under Your tabernacle of peace
To the victims of the massacre
At Michigan State University,
Whose lives were cut off by violence,
A rampage of aggression beyond understanding.
Their hopes were severed.
Their dreams were 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 justice and mercy,
Remember, too, the survivors of this attack,
Witnesses of shock, horror and dismay.
Ease their suffering and release their trauma
So that they recover lives of joy and wonder.
Grant them Your shelter and solace,
Blessing and renewal.
Grant them endurance to survive,
Strength to rebuild,
Faith to mourn,
And courage to heal.

Remember the families and friends
Of the dead and the wounded.
With comfort and consolation.
Grant them Your protection,
Your wholeness and healing.
May they find hope and renewal.

Heavenly Guide,
Source 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,
Speedily, in our day.

© 2012, 2022, and 2023 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com.

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Postscript: See also “Against Gun Violence.”

Please check out These Words: Poetic Midrash on the Language of Torah and my other CCAR Press volumes: This Grateful Heart, This Joyous Soul, and This Precious Life, which can also be purchased as the Grateful/Joyous/Precious trilogy. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines, 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. For a taste of my teaching, see my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer.”

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Photo Source: Bridge Michigan

After Uvalde: The Court of the Innocent

Posted on: May 26th, 2022 by Alden No Comments

The Court of the Innocent has lost faith in us: a rebuke from the gates of heaven. This is another meditation written in the sorrowful aftermath of gun violence, this time at Robb Elementary School, Uvalde, Texas. Here are the stories of the 21 victims of this massacre. And here are links to three of my related prayers, with additional links in the postscript, below: “Against Gun Violence,” “For Survivors of School Shootings,” and “A Dream of Columbine: Psalm of Protest 13.”

After Uvalde: The Court of the Innocent
The court of the innocent
At the gates of heaven
Is twenty-one souls larger today.
Two adults and nineteen children shot dead.
They bring their blood as evidence against us,
As evidence of our failure to protect them
And the impotence of our rage.

The court of the innocent
At the gates of heaven
Have stopped listening to our speeches.
They no longer say ‘amen’ to our prayers.
They have turned their backs to us,
As we have turned our backs to them.

The court of the innocent
At the gates of heaven
Minister to the souls of the newly murdered,
They minister to those cut down
By guns and violence,
By politics and inaction,
Tending to these recent companions in death,
Consoling their lifeless hearts.

© 2022 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com.

New here? Subscribe here to get my newest prayers by email.

Postscript: Here are links to additional related prayers: After a Deadly Rampage,” “Racist Violence against Houses of Worship,” “Tree of Life, Pittsburgh,” “For the Children of Newtown,” “After the Washington Navy Yard Shootings,” “For Orlando, For the USA,” and “In Memoriam: Sandy Hook.”

Please check out my CCAR Press Grateful/Joyous/Precious trilogy. The individual books are: This Joyous Soul, This Grateful Heart, and This Precious Life. Here’s a link to my ELItalk, “Falling in Love with Prayer..” 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.

Please consider making a contribution to support this site and my writing.

Photo Source: Yahoo!

For Survivors of School Shootings

Posted on: March 31st, 2019 by Alden No Comments

Sydney Aiello / Jeremy Richman

This prayer is a response to three recent suicides. In the past week, Jeremy Richman, the father a first-grader killed in the Sandy Hook School shooting, was found dead of an apparent suicide. Days earlier, Parkland, Florida, was rocked by two apparent suicides involving survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School rampage, Sydney Aiello and an unnamed Parkland Student. Here’s are two related prayers: “For Terror Survivors” and “A Dream of Columbine: Psalm of Protest 13.”

For Survivors of School Shootings
O grief beyond consolation,
Release your grip
On the survivors of terror in our schools,
The witnesses of this violence,
And the families of the slain.

You who have endured this grievous loss,
You who have mourned and lamented,
Surely sorrow pierced your heart
When murder raged,
Staining your memory red with blood.
Let love bind your wounds.
Let tears sooth your soul.
Let your life be a tribute
To the memory of the lost.

G-d of compassion,
Heal the broken-hearted,
Comfort the bereft,
And bring solace to the hearts of the bereaved.
Make a swift end to the scourge of terror in our schools,
And let the souls of the innocent
Rest in peace.

© 2019 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com.

New here? Subscribe here to get my newest prayers by email.
Share the prayer! Email this to a friend.

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: CNN

A Dream of Columbine: Psalm of Protest 13

Posted on: February 2nd, 2019 by Alden No Comments

The massacre at Columbine High school took place more than 20 years ago. And still, we have school shooting after school shooting. This Psalm of Protest, listing school shootings, imagines that those schools stand as witness against all gun violence, as witness against all mass murder. See also, “Against Gun Violence” and “In Memorium: Sandy Hook.”

Addendum: Written in 2019, this has been updated on May 25, 2022, to include Robb Elementary School, Uvalde, Texas.

A Dream of Columbine: Psalm of Protest 13
A dream of Columbine High School,
When the U.S. was beset by guns.
Red with blood,
A dream of Thurston High, Red Lake High and Virginia Tech.
Wet with tears,
A nightmare of Sandy Hook and Robb Elementary.
A lament of guns and death,
At NIU, Marshall County High, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, Santa Fe High and Saugus High.
Crying out
With so many others,
Too many dead,
So many wounded and scarred.
Crying out,
O Columbine!
How long? How long? How long?

© 2022 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com.

New here? Subscribe here to get my newest prayers by email.
Share the prayer! Email this to a friend.

Postscript: See also: “Psalms of Protest 1, and 3,” Psalms of Protest 4, 5 and 6,” “Psalms of Protest 7-10,” “#MeToo, No More: Psalm of Protest 11” and “Psalm of Protest 12.”

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: NBC12

In Memoriam: Sandy Hook

Posted on: December 12th, 2013 by Alden No Comments

Burning-CandlesThe seventh anniversary of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., is today, Saturday, Dec. 14, 2017. Here are two prayers to mark the day. The first, “For the Children of Newtown,” is prayer I wrote in response to the attack. The second, “At the Hand of Violence,” is a memorial prayer for individual victims of violence. The second prayer includes space to name a specific person who died in the massacre. Here’s a link to a prayer “For Bereaved Children.” 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,
Parents,
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.

Heavenly Guide,
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.

At the Hand of Violence: A Yizkor Prayer
Author of life Source and Creator,
Grant a perfect rest under your tabernacle of peace
To ______________________ (name in Hebrew or your native tongue),
My [father / mother / sister / brother / child / wife / dear one / friend]
Whose life was cut off by violence,
An act of witless aggression.
We remember his / her / their wisdom, talents and skills,
Joy, laughter and tears.
Let these memories continue to bless us
Even as we pray for him / her / them to find peace
In the world to come.
Put an end to anger, hatred and fear
And lead us to a time when no one will suffer at the hand of another.
May his / her soul be bound up in the bond of life,
A living blessing in our midst.

© 2011 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: “For the Children of Newtown” prayer is an adaptation of “After a Deadly Rampage,” a general prayer to be used in response to mass killings. Please also see “For Bereaved Children,” a prayer for the brothers and sisters of the young victims.

If you use these prayers, please click take a moment to post links to your Facebook page, your blog or mention them in a tweet. Thanks. For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. Connect with To Bend Light on Facebook and on Twitter.

Photo Credit: The Candles Spot

Meditation on the Burial of a Young Child

Posted on: December 16th, 2012 by tobendlight No Comments

Flower GraveThis prayer is a response to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. It can be used as a private meditation or as part of a funeral service. Gender selections are identified with a slash (“his/her”), there are two places to insert the name of the child and an optional section, identified with [brackets], for adding memories and personal reflections. Here’s a prayer “For the Children of Newtown.” May the memories of the righteous be a blessing.

Meditation on the Burial of a Young Child
My dear __________ [name of the child],
My son/daughter/child,
Your hands were so small,
Your skin, so smooth,
Your smile, as bright as sunlight.
We had so little time,
And so much more to do, to discover, to share.

Oh grief,
Oh loneliness and sorrow,
The coffin that holds you is so small,
The wood, so smooth,
This moment, dark with despair.
And still, your laughter echoes in my heart
And your face shines in my eyes.

[If desired, speak silently or aloud memories and moments
To honor the life of your child and the difficult days ahead.]

G-d of compassion,
Grant our family the wisdom to be gentle with each other
In these hours of grievous loss.
Lead us on the path to hope and renewal
So that we may become a well
Of comfort and support for each other.

G-d of All,
Grant a perfect rest among the souls of the righteous
To ______________________ [name of the child],
My son/daughter/child who has gone to his/her eternal rest.
May his/her memory be sanctified with love and
May his/her soul be bound up in the bond of life,
A living blessing in our midst.

© 2012 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: This will appears in Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing. Here’s a link to a memorial prayer to be said for an individual killed “At the Hand of Violence” and a prayer “For Bereaved Children,” which can be said on behalf of the brothers and sisters of the victims.

Please consider making a contribution to support this site and my writing. For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo credit: Laume’s Studio

For the Children of Newtown

Posted on: December 15th, 2012 by tobendlight No Comments

Burning-CandlesThere 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,
Parents,
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.

Heavenly Guide,
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.

If you use this prayer, please click “like” on this page and subscribe. Please take a moment to post a link to your Facebook page, your blog or mention it in a tweet. Thanks. For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!

Photo Credit: The Candles Spot

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