WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 15, 2018) In response to the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Ash Wednesday, the Very Rev. Randy Hollerith, Dean of Washington National Cathedral, issued the following prayer:
Almighty God, whose wisdom is beyond our understanding, surround and comfort all those affected by the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Grant to those who lost their lives eternal rest, and may the consolation of your love surround and comfort all who mourn.
In this holy season of Lent, as you call us to examine the parts of our lives where we fall short, grant us forgiveness when we become numb to the scourge of violence in our homes, schools, houses of worship and neighborhoods.
Forgive us, Lord, when our leaders fail to take action to protect the most vulnerable from the dangers of gun violence. Give to them, and to us, your strength.
Forgive us, Lord, for the times when we lack the courage and political will to work together. Open our eyes and our hearts to work across our divisions to end the plague of gun violence.
Forgive us, Lord, when we think that “thoughts and prayers” are enough. Grant to us the resolve to act, and the compassion to care for the mentally ill before they descend into violence.
Forgive us, Lord, when we cling to the idea that more weapons somehow make us more safe. Cleanse us of the arrogance that leads us to believe the right to bear arms trumps the right to life.
Forgive us, Lord, when we too easily divide ourselves into left or right, red or blue, black or white. Help us tear down the isolation that separates us from one another, from our better selves and from the loving God who created us.
Forgive us, Lord, for the times when we feel helpless and overwhelmed in the face of violence. Give us your peace, and sustain us in the work ahead.
Lord, in your mercy, protect the vulnerable, comfort the mourners, inspire our leaders and equip your children to build your peaceable kingdom, on earth as it is in heaven.
All this we ask through the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.