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Grief, Prayers, Action

The Bishop of Los Angeles has responded with a statement and a prayer in response to the shooting death of 12 people at Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

“The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles joins in mourning the victims of the Borderline shooting in Thousand Oaks and offering words of comfort and support to their families and those who were wounded,” said Bishop John Harvey Taylor.

“This act of anger, hatred, and violence reminds us of Jesus Christ’s invitation to his realm of forgiveness, love, and peace. We make our way there together by merciful acts of prayer and consolation and then resolute acts of justice and mercy: Advocating along with Bishops United Against Gun Violence for common-sense reforms; supporting organizations pledged to serve veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq who are battling trauma and the effects of moral hazard; and working to erase the stain of social isolation by making our churches and other faith institutions places of connection and care for all people.”

He added this prayer:

Merciful Creator, in moments of unendurable loss, especially when your creatures act toward one another with murderous anger and hatred, it is hard to remember that we are made for love, saved by love, and bathed in love; may your eternal, unfailing, and immediate rebuke to hate with love and darkness with light illumine and comfort all those who have been wounded in body and spirit by the shootings at Borderline in Thousand Oaks. By the grace of your Spirit, even on this day, may we make progress along the Way toward your kingdom of peace. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, who bore all these wounds. Amen.

Read the rest.

Bishops Against Gun Violence also responded with a statement, and a rite that mentions the nationally known shootings in recent years:

While the phrase “thoughts and prayers” might have become devalued by elected leaders who believe speaking these words discharges their duty in the wake of a massacre, we nonetheless believe that we are called to pray for the dead, those who mourn them and those who respond to the scene of mass shootings. We, thus, offer the following “Litany in the Wake of a Mass Shooting,” to commemorate the dead, to comfort their loved ones, and to honor survivors and first responders. And we do so with the reminder that one does not pray in lieu of summoning political courage, but in preparation for doing so. We invite you to join us in this litany and our commitment to take action so that our country can be freed from the epidemic of gun violence.

The rite lists each mass shooting and the number who died. It ends with these prayers:

All those who have died in any incident of gun violence.
Give to the departed eternal rest.
Let light perpetual shine upon them.

For survivors of gun violence.
Grant them comfort and healing.
Hear us, Lord.

For those who have lost loved ones to gun violence.
Grant them peace.
Hear us, Lord.

For those first responders who care for victims of gun violence.
Protect and strengthen them.
Hear us, Lord.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Read the rest.


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