A Prayer In Times of Violence

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Suggested Hymns: Make Me a Channel of Your Peace, God of Day and God of Darkness, Peace Prayer

Leader: Let us still ourselves in the presence of God and one another and pray for God's peace in our hearts, families, communities and world.

Psalm 23: The Lord is my Shepherd

Reader: The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

All: The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Reader: The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

In verdant pastures he gives me repose;

Beside restful waters he leads me;

he refreshes my soul.

He guides me in right paths

for his name sake.  R/.

All: The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Reader: Even though I walk in the dark valley

I fear no evil; for you are at my side

With your rod and your staff

that give me courage.  R/.

All: The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Reader: You spread the table before me

in the sight of my foes;

You anoint my head with oil;

my cup overflows.  R/.

All: The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Reader: Only goodness and kindness follow me

all the days of my life;

And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord

for years to come.  R/.

Gospel: Do Not Be Afraid
Matthew 10:26-31

Reader: A reading from the Gospel according to Matthew.
So have no fear; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. 
What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. 
Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.

The Gospel of the Lord.

All: Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Reflection
The prayer leader should invite others to a silent or shared offering, or feel free to offer a reflection of their own.

Prayers of the Faithful

Leader: Please respond, God of Peace, Send us your Spirit

For those hurt by violence: families who have lost loved ones and those with physical injuries, Loving God, be for them a steady comfort, source of healing and safe resting place. We pray,

All: God of Peace, Send us your Spirit

For those who seek to harm others, Loving God, soften their hearts and steady their minds. May hate be replaced with love, violence with peace and darkness with your light. We pray,

All: God of Peace, Send us your Spirit

For those gathered here, that we might be witnesses to peace in our daily interactions and advocates for peace in the world. We pray,

All: God of Peace, Send us your Spirit

For those who have died because of violence, may they be greeted with choirs of angels and experience your eternal peace and joy. We pray,

All: God of Peace, Send us your Spirit

Our Father

All: Our Father, Who art in heaven
Hallowed be Thy Name;
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,
the power, and the glory
forever and ever.
Amen.

Leader: Let us share with one another a sign of God's peace in the world.
(Allow ample time for the passing of the peace.)

As we depart, let us pray together the words of Saint John of the Cross:

All: O blessed Jesus,
give me stillness of soul in You.
Let your mighty calmness reign in me.
Rule me,
O Son of Gentleness,
Son of Peace.
Amen.

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