Praying for Orlando – A Service of Evening Prayer

Yesterday evening we gathered at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church with other Uvaldeans to stand together as a people of the light. We grieved, prayed, and confessed. We lit fifty candles and remembered by name each person killed in Orlando. We prayed for the dead, the injured, and their friends and families. We acknowledged the darkness of gun violence, terrorism, fear, and prejudice toward those who differ from us. We reminded ourselves that the light shines in the darkness and that we are to be the light of the world. We offered our hands to be anointed with holy oil that we might be instruments of God’s peace.

Though the liturgy has ended, our work continues. If there is to be peace it must begin in the human heart. If love is to prevail it must be an embodied and enacted love. If things are to change we must take responsibility. Pray for the pain of the world. Proclaim peace with your words and by your actions. Let your light shine knowing that it cannot be overcome by the darkness.

The entire liturgy may be downloaded as a PDF: Evening Prayer for Orlando. Below is the litany of prayer we offered.

Orlando, Prayer, Litany, Gun Violence, Prejudice

A Litany of Prayer for Orlando

O God the Father, Creator of heaven and earth,
Have mercy upon us.

O God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy upon us.

O God the Holy Spirit, Sanctifier of the faithful,
Have mercy upon us.

O holy, blessed, and glorious Trinity, one God,
Have mercy upon us.

Hear our prayers, O Christ, our God.
Hear us, O Christ.

Holy Mary, Mother of God,
Pray for us.

Blessed Philip, patron of this parish,
Pray for us.

As your holy angels always serve and worship you in heaven, so by your appointment may they help and defend us here on earth.
Hear us, good Lord.

St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael, St. Uriel,
Defend and protect us.

All you holy Archangels, Angels and, bodiless powers of heaven,
Be at our side to guide and guard us on our way.

All you holy Saints of God,
Intercede for us.

For all who died at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, that they may be given entrance into the land of light and joy, in the fellowship of all your saints,
Rest eternal grant to them, O Lord; let light perpetual shine upon them. May their souls, and the souls of all the departed, through your mercy, rest in peace.

For all who were injured at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, that they may be healed, and given strength and courage to meet the days ahead,
Lord, hear our prayer.

For all who grieve the death of family and friends; remember them in your mercy, nourish them with patience, comfort them with a sense of your goodness, lift up your countenance upon them, and give them peace.
Lord, hear our prayer.

For all who suffer in body, mind, or spirit that they may be comforted, healed, and given courage and hope,
Lord, hear our prayer.

For all who live in fear and suffer persecution, violence, or discrimination because of their sexual orientation, skin color, or religious faith and beliefs,
Bless and keep them, O Christ.

For persons in the LGBTQ community who live in fear and suffer persecution, violence, or discrimination,
Bless and keep them, O Christ.

For Muslims who live in fear and suffer persecution, violence, or discrimination,
Bless and keep them, O Christ.

For African Americans who live in fear and suffer persecution, violence, or discrimination,
Bless and keep them, O Christ.

For Hispanics who live in fear and suffer persecution, violence, or discrimination,
Bless and keep them, O Christ.

For parents, family members, and friends who live with fear, worry, and concern for the well-being and safety of their loved ones,
Bless and keep them, O Christ.

That we may forgive our enemies,
Give us your grace and strengthen our will, Lord Christ.

That we may love our enemies,
Give us your grace and strengthen our will, Lord Christ.

That we may not seek revenge,
Give us your grace and strengthen our will, Lord Christ.

That we may not act with violence, hatred, or prejudice,
Give us your grace and strengthen our will, Lord Christ.

That we may not persecute,
Give us your grace and strengthen our will, Lord Christ.

That we may work for peace, healing, and reconciliation,
Give us your grace and strengthen our will, Lord Christ.

To the leaders of our country, especially the President and Congress,
Give humility and guide them in the ways of peace and justice.

For all who kill and injure,
Almighty God, soften and turn their hearts.

For all who plot terror and seek to do harm,
Almighty God, soften and turn their hearts.

For all who persecute and instill fear,
Almighty God, soften and turn their hearts.

For all who speak or act with violence, hatred, or prejudice,
Almighty God, soften and turn their hearts.

We have not loved you with our whole heart, and mind, and strength. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We have not loved our enemies.
Have mercy on us, Lord, forgive us and heal us.

For the wrongs we have done: for our blindness to human need and suffering, and our indifference to injustice and cruelty,
Have mercy on us, Lord, forgive us and heal us.

For our false judgments, uncharitable thoughts, prejudice, and contempt toward those who differ from us.
Have mercy on us, Lord, forgive us and heal us.

For our failure to guard, preserve, and promote the sanctity and dignity of every human being,
Have mercy on us, Lord, forgive us and heal us.

To see that you have created all men and women in your image and likeness,
Open our eyes, O Lord.

To see that you have made of one blood all the peoples of the earth,
Open our eyes, O Lord.

To see that you have linked our lives one to another,
Open our eyes, O Lord.

To see ourselves in one another,
Open our eyes, O Lord.

To see that we if do not love each other we do not love you,
Open our eyes, O Lord.

For an everlasting memory of all who have been killed or injured in mass shootings throughout this country, that we might demonstrate our faith not just in thought and prayer but in words and actions,
O God, empower us to change.

For the political will and wisdom to end gun violence in this country,
O God, empower us to change.

For the courage to speak against violence, prejudice, and indifference,
O God, empower us to change.

For actions that promote and respect the sanctity and dignity of every human being,
O God, empower us to change.

For justice and peace among all people,
O God, empower us to change.

For your will to be done on earth as it is in heaven,
O God, empower us to change.

For those who work for unity, peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all people,
We thank you, Lord.

For men and women who have given their strength, their wisdom, and their lives for this country,
We thank you, Lord.

For firefighters, police officers, first responders, nurses, and doctors who respond to acts of terrorism and gun violence,
We thank you, Lord.

For all who participate in interfaith dialogues, acts of reconciliation, and relationships of inclusivity and diversity,
We thank you, Lord.

For all that is gracious in the lives of men and women, revealing the image of Christ,
We thank you, Lord.

That we are the light of the world,
May we let our light shine before others.

That we would not put our lamp under a bushel basket,
May we let our light shine before others.

That we might give light to all in the house,
May we let our light shine before others.

The light shines in the darkness,
And the darkness did not overcome it.

The light shines in the darkness,
And the darkness did not overcome it.

The light shines in the darkness,
Be our light in the darkness, O Lord.

In the communion of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Blessed Philip, and all the saints, let us commend ourselves, one another, and all our life, to Christ our God.
To you, O Lord, our God.

Orlando, Gun Violence, Prejudice, Litany, Prayer

Jesus Wept (By Tabitha Kaylee Hawk – originally posted to Flickr as Oklahoma City Bombing National Memorial, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)

3 thoughts on “Praying for Orlando – A Service of Evening Prayer

  1. Pingback: Setting Our Faces To Go To Jerusalem – A Sermon on Luke 9:51-62 | Interrupting the Silence

  2. Pingback: Where is the Peace of God Today? – A Sermon on Luke 10:1-11, 16-20 | Interrupting the Silence

  3. Pingback: Aleppo Doesn’t Need Our Prayers | Interrupting the Silence

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