Posts Tagged ‘School Shooter’

 

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.

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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.

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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

For the People of the United States, From Israel

Posted on: April 19th, 2013 by tobendlight No Comments

Breaking News BostonAs events unfold in Greater Boston, here’s a new prayer for the people of the United States, written from Israel. Although this prayer is aimed at the immediate wound of the Boston Marathon bombings, it carries a sensitivity toward other violence and tragedy. Here are two prayers which I previously posted in the wake of the bombings: Bombing at the Boston Marathonand For Terror Survivors.

For the People of the United States, From Israel
Ancient One,
Source and Creator,
Grant the people of the United States,
The citizens of Massachusetts,
And the greater community of Boston
Safety and shelter,
In these hours and days of fear and dread.
We, too, know the sound of gun fire,
The echo of explosions,
The terror and pain,
The loss and dismay,
The long wait for news
And long journey to heal.

As we remember the victims and survivors of this horror,
We also remember the suffering and despair that has
Wounded the nation:
School shootings,
Factory explosions,
Coal mine disasters,
Domestic terror,
Family violence and
International terror.

Renew this land, G-d of Old.
Protect the residents from physical harm.

Restore this people, G-d of Justice.
Shield them from emotional pain.

Heal this nation, G-d of Mercy.
Bind these wounds with your steadfast love.

Heavenly Guide,
Hand of consolation and shelter,
Grant the people of the United States Your protection
Your wholeness and peace.

© 2013 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com All rights reserved.

Postscript: Click here to read the entire Liturgy for 9-11, including an overview of concerns that emerged in developing these prayers. It also includes suggestions for other prayers that fit with the themes of 9-11. Here are links to “To the Terrorist” and “Memorial Prayer for 9-11 First Responders.”

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: TV image from a Facebook post

For Terror Survivors

Posted on: April 17th, 2013 by tobendlight No Comments

Boston-candleIn the wake of the bombings at the Boston Marathon, I’ve taken a prayer published as part of A Liturgy for 9-11and generalized it for all terror victims. A new optional line is shown in [brackets] includes the opportunity to name one or more specific acts of terror. This prayer was originally written for the HUC-JIR continuing education blog Tzeh U’limad to provide clergy with resources for 10th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks. Click here to read the prayer Bombing at the Boston Marathon and one For the People of the United States, From Israel.

For Terror Survivors
G-d of the survivor,
G-d of the mourner and the witness,
Grant solace and peace to those still held by physical, emotional and spiritual distress from acts of terror.
Remember now those who are suffering from trauma after the ___________ (add name of event, such as Boston Marathon bombings, 9-11 attacks, Sbarro restaurant suicide bombing, Sandy Hook massacre).
Release them from visions of death and destruction. Release them from guilt or shame, from fear or anger. Bind their wounds with Your steadfast love. Lift them on Your wings of kindness and grace.

Blessed are those who have found peace.

Blessed are those without tranquility.

Blessed are those who speak.

Blessed are those who stay silent.

Blessed are those who have healed.

Blessed are those who suffer.

Blessed are those who forgive.

Blessed are those who cannot forgive.

Blessed are You, G-d of healing, Source of strength for survivors of violence and tragedy in every land and in every age. Blessed are You, Source of hope and comfort.

© 2013 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Click here to read the entire Liturgy for 9-11, including an overview of concerns that emerged in developing these prayers. It also includes suggestions for other prayers that fit with the themes of 9-11. Here are links to “To the Terrorist” and “Memorial Prayer for 9-11 First Responders.”

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: BostInno

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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