Note: This week’s New Every Morning is structured differently to follow the format of our featured title, Rally: Communal Prayers for Lovers of Jesus and Justice, which addresses issues of social justice through a compilation of reflections and call-and-response prayers known as litanies.
Telling the truth about pain includes those moments when our bodies cry out in protest against death and violence and the agony we cannot prevent from unfolding. Telling the truth about pain includes the heartbreak of silence and isolation, when the shame of fear and the fear of shame drive us into a corner, far away from the reminders of peace and joy, far away from the embrace of acceptance and wonder, far away and abandoned to chaos. Telling the truth about pain is a hard, honest, mind-body-spirit exploration of the landscapes in which God with us and God for us find their meaning: the ashes that might be replaced by a garland, the mourning that might know dancing again, the parched tongue that might find its voice for praise.
—Rachel G. Hackenberg, “When Holy Days Are Hurting Days: Christmas Litany Amid Wars and Rumors of War & Easter Litany for Long Nights of the Soul,” Rally: Communal Prayers for Lovers of Jesus and Justice, edited and compiled by Britney Winn Lee (Fresh Air Books, 2020)
How might you tell the truth about pain in the presence of God or a loved one today?
Join the conversation.
He heals the brokenhearted,
and binds up their wounds.
—Psalm 147:3 (NRSV)
VOICE ONE: Sometimes pain becomes familiar and love a distant memory.
VOICE TWO: Tears and bandages are good news when all else is taken away.
ALL: Come, bring the spices and oils.
VOICE ONE: Come, bring the spices and oils,
VOICE TWO: And now lay down these preparations for death.
ALL: Feel the dawn on your face and your skin.
VOICE ONE: Take your time. Resurrection doesn’t rush.
VOICE TWO: Christ is here, calling you by name.
ALL: Peace be with you. Peace be with you. Amen.
—Rachel G. Hackenberg, “When Holy Days Are Hurting Days: Easter Litany for Long Nights of the Soul”
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
The final litany from Rally was written by Britney Winn Lee in the beginning days of the global pandemic. This prayer reminds us that hope endures; goodness prevails; people surprise us; and love cannot, has not, will not fail. Watch and listen.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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