Friday, July 19, 2013

A Prayer For the One Year Anniversary of the Aurora Theater Shootings

This afternoon, I participated in an event commemorating the one year anniversary of the Aurora Theater Shootings.  I spoke after the personal testimonies of those impacted by violence:  In Aurora, Sandy Hook and Columbine.  Following our presentations, a vigil began that consisted of reading the names of all those who were killed by guns violence in our country since the Sandy Hook Shootings last December.  The reading of the names will continue until 12:38 AM tomorrow morning - the exact time that the first bullets started flying in the theater.  Here is my prayer:
A Prayer For the One Year Anniversary of the Aurora Theater Shootings
Rabbi Joseph R. Black
Temple Emanuel, Denver, CO

Our God and God of all people:

You created us in Your image –

You give us the ability to see the good in the world – even in the midst of ugliness

You allow us choose how we live our lives…..


We have come here, united in grief on this sacred day of remembrance, to pray for Your healing presence.

Be with those whose loved ones were cruelly struck down – in Aurora, in Sandy Hook, in Boston, in Columbine and the countless other places where gun violence stole the lives of innocents.

Help them to find peace – wherever and whenever they can.

Be with those who were wounded– whose lives were changed in an instant and whose bodies will forever bear witness to the bullets and fragments of destruction that tore through flesh and bone.


Be with those who witnessed the carnage  –who may have escaped physical harm, but whose emotional and spiritual wounds continue to ache - deep inside their souls.


Be with the first responders – the unnamed heroes who risked their lives to save others:  The Police, Firefighters, paramedics, Doctors, nurses, therapists, health care professionals, innocent bystanders and so many others who refused to allow rage and hatred to triumph over decency and human kindness.

This morning we remember.

Today we pledge to ourselves and to one another that in our remembering, we will work to make the world a better place – for all of your creatures.

We crave healing O God.  We want to work with You to build a better world.

WE seek answers, O God:  When will the violence come to an end?

We want to partner with You and with one another to bring peace into the world.

Guide us to see the good in the midst of evil.

Grant us peace – Your most precious gift – and help us to be partners with You in shining the light of peace in the darkest corners of Your creation.

Oseh Shalom Bimromav – He Ya-ahseh Shalom Ahleynu va’l Kol B’nai Adam

May the One who makes peace in the High Heavens –send peace to us and to all Creation.

And let us say: AMEN


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