By the Rev. Mantu Joshi*
I wrote this liturgy after the recent tragedy. Please feel free to use this if it is helpful for your community.
Leader: When the music stops and unexpected grief breaks in, we struggle to find meaning.
People: When a haven for our loved ones is ruptured, so too our hearts break.
Leader: Queer and straight, we come together to ask God to puncture the hatred that leads to such violence, such a waste of love and life.
People: We confess that too often we turn away from our role to bring understanding and healing, to confront bigotry in our everyday living.
Leader: So God of all, give us the courage to stand in love to support all who live in the shadow of fear.
People: Pour your healing on families and loved ones who must bury together, hold hands together, and together unclasp meaning out of the grip of such perverse senselessness.
All: So help us God of all,to be one with those we may not know, but whose requiem of sorrow is our own, and whose music of love and life plays on for us all.
God of Straight and Queer,
of Muslim and Christian,
of the Right and of the Left;
God of all the nation and ALL the world,
please right the music.
Wherever bigotry is played,
wherever hatred is given stage,
we ask for your love and heart to claim solo
and beckon all to your light.
Bring us together,
bring us into understanding,
and release our fear of one another.
Let your redeeming love hit this violent chaos,
much as the sun confronts even the most brutal storms,
and lead us all to rainbow living.
In the name of the Redeemer and the Rainbow Maker,
*Rev. Mantu Joshi is an elder from the California-Nevada Conference who has served several churches in the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference. He currently lives with his family in Portland, Oregon.
Photo Credit: “stand in solidarity” by Flickr user Penn State, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
Thank you for taking the time to present this brief liturgy so beautifully and giving it space on your website.
I wrote this with my thumbs on the phone after dropping my oldest daughter who is eight at school on Monday. She had just asked me why the flags were lowered and I was trying to find words for the pain the whole nation is feeling right now. A teacher kindly watched my 3 year old for an hour and in the lobby of the school I had time to write, ponder, and morn. The fruit of that hour is shared here.
I hope that this liturgy shared into the wild spirit of the Internet finds a place for healing for you and your beloved community.
You are welcome. Thanks for writing it and freely sharing!
Here is the story of how my eight year old asked me about the flags being lowered and how that conversation lead to this liturgy. http://www.nwkidsmagazine.com/2016/06/bridging-orlando-tragedy/