Support the Café

Search our Site

Denominations create prayers for mass shooting victims

Denominations create prayers for mass shooting victims

Members of several denominations, including Episcopalians, have developed prayers for the victims of mass shootings.

Michelle Boorstein, religion reporter for the Washington Post:

Episcopal Bishop Scott Hayashi thinks of that split second in a Tacoma record store decades ago. The beat when he turned toward a man with a gun to ask, “What did you say?” and saw his own 19-year-old face in the man’s mirrored shades before his body hit the floor.

Hayashi spent two months in the ICU and almost died after being shot in the stomach during the robbery. He now advocates with a group of other U.S. Episcopal bishops on the issue of gun violence. In 2018 the clerics decided their push was missing something: a prayer.

What resulted was a pleading that could only have been created by and for our modern America: “A Litany In The Wake Of A Mass Shooting.”

The prayer is among a new generation of spiritual tools specifically designed for the horror of mass shootings. Written by an Episcopal priest for the bishops, it was constructed with the cruel assumption of its growth, with additional shootings that result in more than four deaths continually added at the end. The litany now takes more than 12 minutes to pray.


In 2016, the Union for Reform Judaism — the largest and one of the most liberal denominations of Jews — released “Against Gun Violence,” a prayer written in response to the 2016 mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, where 49 people were killed.

In 2016, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops offered “Prayer for Peace In Our Communities.” The prayer, which refers to being “surrounded by violence and cries for justice,” is also, like the litany, constructed as a pleading.

There are more links to resources in Boorstein’s article.



Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

Support the Café
Past Posts

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café