Litany of sorrow (prayers for others)

Litany of Sorrow

(Source: 30th anniversary service of death of Archbishop Oscar Romero)

In the midst of hatred that divides people of different nations, ethnic groups, classes, religions and genders,
God forgive us.

In the midst of our difficulty in accepting each other and in respecting our differences,
God forgive us.

In the midst of the covetous desires of the people and nations to possess what is not their own.
God forgive us.

In the midst of the greediness which exploits the work of human hands and lays waste the earth,
God forgive us.

In the midst of our envy of the welfare and happiness of others,
God forgive us.

In the midst of our indifference to the plight of the imprisoned, the homeless, the refugees and the migrant workers,
God forgive us.

In the midst of the lust that dishonours the bodies of men, women and children,
God forgive us.

In the midst of pride which leads us to trust in ourselves and not in God,
God forgive us. Lord have mercy upon us. Amen.

Look around you, can you see?
Times are troubled, people grieve.
See the violence, feel the hardness;
All my people, weep with me.

Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison.

Walk among them, I’ll go with you.
Reach out to them with my hands.
Suffer with me, and together
We will serve them, help them stand.

Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison.

Forgive us Father; hear our prayer.
We would walk with you anywhere,
Through your suffering, with forgiveness,
Take your life into the world.

Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison.
Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison.

Liberator Christ,
you came into a holy place
and read the sacred word
about sight for blind folk and freedom for prisoners.
Come to this place now.
Read these words to us
till our own eyes are opened, our faith is unlocked,
and we can see the world as it is,
and as it could be;
till the yearnings of ordinary people are taken seriously, and the visions of the young are valued,
and the potential of the old in released;
till your reign is celebrated everywhere,
and your Church is good news to the poor.


A Great Lament
God who mourns
Christ present in our suffering
Spirit comfort in our struggles,
We offer a lament
We who organise ourselves, not based on connecting lines of love and care,
But on such separations of wealth and property and culture and other divides.
We lament the state of our cities,
These vast organisations of resources and materials
Gathering people from far and wide,
Concentrating people in location,
But rarely fostering community.
We lament the scarring of the earth,
The pollution that pours out from us and is discharged like the pus from an infected wound.
We lament the scarring of souls,
The hopelessness people face. We lament the ills of our societies,
Concentrated in our metropolises
We lament the victims of our self-focused consumption and greed,
The homelessness,
The lonely,
The indentured,
Those enslaved,
The unemployed,
The exhausted,
The exploited,
The unfulfilled,
The overworked,
The underworked.
We lament the state of the world where cities have become,
Places of danger,
Battlegrounds for war,
Concentration of famine,
We lament that our cities are filled with fear,
Where laws do not protect,
Where perpetrators perpetrate crime and violence
Where policing too often fails,
Being under resourced, overwhelmed or corrupted.
Where bystanders stand by and onlookers look on
Where media simply stir up sensationalism
And justice is left unattended by the masses.
We lament the human condition
Our sinfulness and failings
All the more intensified in our concrete jungles,
Where beneath the fa├žade of civilisation,
The wildness of the human spirit is contorted and distorted,
And suffering and struggles abound ,
As people strive to survive,
As the acidity of wealth and privilege,
Erode the substrate of our communal being.
God who mourns
Christ present in our suffering
Spirit comfort in our struggles,
We offer a lament
For we are bound to the cultures and systems
We feel unable to untangle ourselves from the fabric of our societies
And our faith flounders under the pressures of hopelessness.
Create in us clean hearts
Renew right a right spirit within us
That we might join in hour work for the common good
And creatively redeem the messes we have made.
Thus lamenting we pray.
(Source: Jon Humphries, Facebook post)

About admin

Rev Sandy Boyce is a Uniting Church in Australia Minister (Deacon) in placement at Pilgrim Uniting Church, in Adelaide CBD (12 Flinders St). This blog is mainly to resource worship planners for our services, but of course may be useful for others. We have some great writers of music, words for hymns and liturgy at Pilgrim, so this blog also includes their words.
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