For the people of Haiti

Last evening, at a gathering of the regional Mennonite-Catholic Dialogue (a group of six Mennonites and six Catholics which meets several times a year), John Long of the host parish led us in a prayer for the people of Haiti that he had adapted from Edward Hays’ Prayers for the Domestic Church (1979). It was deeply meaningful to gather up in prayer the many responses and emotions we feel as we try to absorb the news. John gladly gave me permission to share some excerpts here, from “Prayer upon Hearing of a Death.”

Blessed are You, Lord our God,
     who are the keeper of the Book of Life. 
This week we have learned of the death of many in Haiti
     and, as this type of news always does,
     it comes as a shock.
We know, Lord, that we all must die,
     and that You alone keep the dates of our death
     within Your Book of Life,
     but we still share the shock of death.
 That news carries with it the shadow of fear,
     for it is a reminder that, someday, we too shall die.
Today, then, we pray for all these
     who have passed through the doorway of death,
     and we pray for ourselves as well.
We remember in our prayer
     the members of the families
     who surely are lost in sorrow at this time.
Support them with Your Holy Spirit
     and grant them the courage to embrace this tragic mystery…. 

May we best remember these men,
     women, and children unknown to us
     by being grateful for life today
     and by loving You, our God,
     with all our heart, strength, and mind.
Lord, grant eternal rest to all who have died,
and divine consolation to all of the surviving families.

Blessed are You, Lord our God,
Keeper of the Book of Life. Amen.

 
 

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