Prayers for the people of Newtown

UPDATED

Prayer for Victims of Trauma:

Holy One, you do not distance from the pain of your people, but in Jesus bear that pain with us and bless all who suffer at others’ hands. Hallow our flesh and all creation with your cleansing love bring healing and strength to the victims of the shootings in Newtown and by your justice lift them up, that in the body you have given them, they may rejoice. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.


Prayer for Emergency Services Workers and First Responders:

God our strong deliverer: when those charged with the urgent mediation of your healing power feel overwhelmed by the numbers of the suffering, uphold them in their fatigue and banish their despair. Let them see with your eyes, so they may know all their patients as precious. Give comfort, and renew their energy and compassion, for the sake of Jesus in whom is our life and hope. Amen.

At the death of children:

God, as Mary stood at the foot of the cross, we come before you with broken hearts and tearful eyes. Keep us mindful that you know our pain, and free us to see your resurrection power already at work in the lives of the children of Sandy Hook Elementary School. In your time, raise us from our grief as you are raising them to eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

–from Enriching our Worship

A prayer for those who have suffered trauma:

Most merciful God, bless all who have suffered trauma in their lives.

Support them with love during their time of shock.

Grace them with peace as they wrestle with the challenges of each day.

Sustain them in hope as they prepare for the days ahead.

Amen.

Live updates found here.

From the Hartford Courant.

New York Times and here.

Helping your children manage distress in the aftermath of a shooting.

On Twitter.

Updated at 2:50 pm 12/14/2012

Statement from the Bishops of Connecticut

A STATEMENT FROM THE BISHOPS – DEC. 14, 2012

Dear Friends in Christ:

We are shocked and overwhelmed by the horrendous tragedy of the school shooting in Sandy Hook. We hold the victims, their families, and all who are affected by the shooting in our thoughts and prayers for healing and strength. We pray that those who have died will be held in the arms of our loving God whose heart aches for those affected by this tragedy.

We bishops have been in touch with the Rev. Mark Moore, the rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Sandy Hook which is adjacent to the school were the shooting took place. We have also communicated with the leadership of Trinity Church, Newtown, and we understand that the Rev. Kathie Adams-Shepherd, rector of Trinity Church is on the scene ministering to the bereaved.

We are departing immediately for Newtown/Sandy Hook to be of whatever assistance we can. We will be in contact when we have additional information.

We invite all clergy to open our churches for prayer.

Please keep all who have died, the one who has perpetrated the shooting, and all affected by this incident in your prayers. May the God who we await this Advent season bring us hope and new life in Jesus the Christ.

Faithfully, Ian, Laura and Jim

The Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas

The Rt. Rev. Laura J. Ahrens

The Rt. Rev. James E. Curry

UPDDATED AT 3:15 PM EST

Washington National Cathedral Statement:

Washington, D.C.—The Very Rev. Gary Hall, dean of Washington National Cathedral, has released a statement in response to the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. This Sunday, December 16, 2012, the dean will preach at the 8:45 and 11:15 am services of Holy Eucharist, calling on the nation to address gun violence.

“The horrific shooting of children and adults in Newtown, Connecticut, is a tragedy that elicits both our grief and our moral outrage on behalf of the victims and their families,” said Dean Hall. “In a political climate unwilling to address the realities of gun violence in America, a wide range of faith traditions, including the Episcopal Church, has strongly advocated gun control for several decades.

“Washington National Cathedral pledges to pray for the victims, their families, the assailant, and the survivors. And we pledge to work with our national leaders to enact more effective gun control measures. As a worshiping community we invite all who grieve this shooting join us in prayer, worship, and action in the days ahead.”

Statement from President Obama:

Category : The Lead

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6 Comments
  1. Erik Campano

    Thank you. Newtown’s just a few miles down the road. I and many of my loved ones are devastated with grief.

    Erik Campano

  2. Clint Davis

    Gun control is a sexy issue, but a sustained commitment to mental health issues is just as important, if not more. There are lots of ways for mentally ill people to kill lots of people other than just guns. We must, as a country, ramp up our efforts to prevent and treat mental illness, and to root out the causes of it. We must commit ourselves anew to the prevention of domestic terrorism of all kinds, and by that I especially mean domestic violence, sexual abuse, mental abuse and bullying.

    Holy Innocents, pray for us.

  3. Karen Heilborn

    Clint Davis said it, oh, so very well. We MUST commit ourselves to the prevention of “domestic violence, sexual abuse, mental abuse and bullying.” Filling our prisons with the mentally ill is wrong and ineffectual. Gun control alone won’t fix the problem. Funds for mental health have all but dried up and we’re going to see more and more of this sadly, disturbing activity unless we put our hearts, our minds, and our money into it.

  4. Ann Fontaine

    Thank you for posting prayer and chant, Sara.

  5. E B

    Clint raises a good point, which is our dire under-commitment to serving those with mental health issues.

    Years ago I served on the board of a community mental health organization. The budget process was appalling, as every year we faced the dilemma of trying to bridge the gap between needs and resources. The process started with a list of must-haves, or situations in which persons absolutely had to have services in order just to live. From there, we moved to high-priority issues, about 70 percent of which could be funded. And then there was the great swath of persons in need, some of whom would contact us in tears, begging for services. To help those people, we got good at reaching out to clergy and other resources and begging for what help we could get.

    Ultimately, what was very distressing was having people, some very troubled, who just could not get more than a band-aid approach to care. Yes, a few hours a month with a priest may be soothing for someone with major mental illness, but it does little to address the underlying issue.

    In short, until we make a real commitment to a multi-pronged approach involving proactive, open access to mental health care, gun control, and improved security for soft targets like churches and schools, we will continue to suffer tragedies such as this.

    I’d add that even here im Virginia, so close to the recent shootings in Maryland, few if any churches have taken steps to improve security. Please — particularly if your parish operates a school — take seriously your obligation to protect the children in your care. It’s not possible to prevent all acts of violence, but there is much that can be done at little or no cost to improve security. Even just routinely keeping classroom doors closed and locked when school is in session can make a huge difference in an emergency.

    Eric Bonetti

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