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For Orlando, For the USA: A Prayer After the Pulse Nightclub Shooting

For Orlando, For the USA: A Prayer After the Pulse Nightclub Shooting

In Orlando early Sunday, 49 people died in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S history, in an act of domestic hate and terror focused on a popular gay nightclub. This is a prayer of shock, mourning, and consolation, incorporating quotes from a man who escaped the club and said, “there was blood, blood everywhere” and “it was chaos.” It’s based on another prayer I wrote called "After a Deadly Rampage." May the memories of the righteous be a blessing.

For Orlando, For the USA

There was blood everywhere.
Forty-nine dead. And blood everywhere.

Author of life,
Source and Creator,
Grant a perfect rest under Your tabernacle of peace
To the victims of the massacre
In Orlando, Florida,
Forty-nine people whose lives were cut off by violence,
In a rampage of aggression beyond understanding,
Targeted by vehemence and hate.
May their souls be bound up in the bond of life,
A living blessing in our midst.
May they rest in peace.

There was blood everywhere.
Fifty-three wounded. And chaos.

God of justice and mercy,
Send healing to those wounded in this assault.
Fifty-three people who were
Struck by brutality.
Remember all the survivors of this attack,
Witnesses of shock, horror and dismay.
Ease their suffering and release their trauma
So that they recover lives of joy and wonder.
Grant them Your shelter and solace,
Blessing and renewal.
Grant them endurance to survive,
Strength to rebuild,
Faith to mourn,
And courage to heal.

Yes, there is blood everywhere.
Columbine. Virginia Tech. Fort Hood.
How much more blood will be spilled?
Sandy Hook. Killeen. San Yisidro.
When will sanity return?
Aurora. Charleston. Washington Navy Yard. Red Lake.
When will the U.S. confront this scourge of violence?
There is blood everywhere.

God of love and shelter,
Remember the families and friends
Of all the dead and the wounded
In Orlando and throughout the U.S.
Remember them with comfort and consolation.
Grant them Your protection,
Your wholeness and healing.

Heavenly Guide,
Put an end to anger, hatred and fear
And lead us to a time when
No one will suffer at the hand of another,
Speedily, in our day.

See my prayer "At the Hand of Violence" for a prayer in memory of an individual. See also a prayer called "Pride Wins: A Prayer after Homophobic Brutality."

© 2016 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Alden Solovy is a liturgist, poet, and teacher. His teaching spans from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Jerusalem to Limmud UK and synagogues throughout the U.S. Before making aliyah to Israel in 2012, Alden was a member of Beth Emet-The Free Synagogue, Evanston, IL, and a regular participant in worship at B'nai Jeshoshua Beth Elohim, Deerfield, IL. He’s the author of Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing. His writing also appears in several CCAR Press books, including the newly published anthology of his work, This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day.

Alden Solovy
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