Monday, December 16, 2013

A Reflection on Tragedy and the Liturgy

As I reflected on the one year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, I found these words that I posted to my congregation's Facebook page one year ago:  

"Many times I have found that when words fail me, the liturgy of the Church helps me to pray. The liturgy of Morning Prayer (Matins) gives us words to pray when we are at a loss for words following the events of yesterday:

"In the tender compassion of our God, the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace." (The Song of Zechariah, also known as the Benedictus, from "For All the Saints - A Prayer Book For and By the Church")."

One year later, we still dwell in darkness and the shadow of death. When our faith is shaken by events such as the shooting in Newtown, and when our minds have difficulty grasping how to deal with such a tragedy, sometimes it is all we can do to cling to the words of the liturgy.  In the midst of the shadows and the darkness, they remind us of hope - a hope that one day, the dawn from on high will guide our feet into the way of peace.

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