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Posted by on Dec 15, 2018 | 0 comments

Gun Violence Vigil

 

Here is a simple liturgy for a Gun Violence vigil held at Charlotte Congregational Church, Charlotte, VT in December, 2018.  The liturgy below may be used in a group, or simply printed on sheets for attendees to use on their own.


They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious.“Peace, peace,” they say, when there is no peace. – Jeremiah 8:11

~

Welcome. The Judeo-Christian prophetic tradition teaches us that for real change to occur we need both lament and hope through God.  Lament is the act of acknowledging what is broken.  Hope through God brings with it the energy we need to do the hard work of moving the old pieces into entirely new patterns of peace and justice.  This vigil is a time and place for you to both lament, and to be energized through hope.

 

Candles

You are invited to light a candle or two on the altar at the front of the church to remember the victims of gun violence, to lament what is broken, and to ignite hope for world in which violence is a word we no longer know.

 

Prayer – As you hold vigil you may choose to say this prayer to yourself or another one of your own.

All is not well:

   daily mass shootings;

   mouths open with angry rhetoric;

   ears closed to truth;

   eyes shut to another way;

   as guns blaze and God’s children fall.

 

It’s easy:

   to point fingers;

   throw our hands in the air;

   repeat well-worn talking points;

   or just become used to the violence as it is.

 

God of hope, make us to fall in love:

   with life;

   with connection;

   with vulnerability;

    with just change;

    and with those who see things differently.

 

All is not well, but it will be:

   for love is stronger than violence;

   truth is stronger than rhetoric;

   relationships are stronger than talking points;

   and life is stronger than death;

   and life is stronger than death;

   and life is stronger than death.

In Christ we pray:

Our (Mother) Father (Creator) 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 debts as we forgive our debtors and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil for Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever.  Amen.

 

Benediction

As you leave tonight, may you have courage to lament the gun violence in our community, country and world.  May you find hope in the God of peace.  And may you be energized for the work ahead.  Go in peace.  AMEN.


© Rev. Kevin Goldenbogen, 2018

Kevin Goldenbogen is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ serving Charlotte Congregational Church in northwestern Vermont. He skis, runs, bakes bread, rides a red Vespa, and tries every day to follow Jesus. He is married to the perfect woman and has two boys who he loves beyond words.

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