In Memoriam: Sandy Hook

By: 
Alden Solovy

These two prayers are to be read in commemorating the anniversary of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT (Dec. 14, 2012). The first, “For the Children of Newtown,” is prayer I wrote in response to the attack. May the memories of the righteous be a blessing.

In Memoriam for the Sandy Hook victims

For the Children of Newtown
Author of life,
Source and Creator,
Grant a perfect rest under Your tabernacle of peace
To the victims of the massacre
In Newtown, Connecticut,
Children whose lives were cut off by violence,
All who fell at the hand of anger,
A rampage beyond understanding.
The future was severed.
Hopes, joys and dreams
Lost to brutality.
May their souls be bound up in the bond of life,
A living blessing in our midst.
May they rest in peace.

God of mercy,
Remember, too, the survivors of this attack,
Parents,
Sisters and brothers,
Witnesses of shock, horror and dismay.
Ease their suffering and release their trauma.
Grant them endurance to survive,
Strength to rebuild,
Faith to mourn,
And courage to heal,
So that they recover lives of joy and wonder.

Remember the families and friends
Of the dead and the bereaved
With comfort and consolation.
Grant them Your protection,
Your wholeness and healing.
May they find hope and grace.

Heavenly Guide,
Source of love,
Guard the children of Newtown.
Grant them Your shelter and solace,
Blessing and renewal.
Put an end to anger, hatred and fear
And lead us to a time when
No one will suffer at the hand of another,
Speedily, in our day.

© 2012 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

“At the Hand of Violence” is a memorial prayer for individual victims of violence, and includes space to name a specific person who died in the massacre.

At the Hand of Violence: A Yizkor Prayer
Author of life Source and Creator,
Grant a perfect rest under your tabernacle of peace
To ______________________ (name in Hebrew or your native tongue),
My [father / mother / sister / brother / child / wife / dear one / friend]
Whose life was cut off by violence,
An act of witless aggression.
We remember his / her wisdom, talents and skills,
Joy, laughter and tears.
Let these memories continue to bless us
Even as we pray for him / her to find peace
In the world to come.
Put an end to anger, hatred and fear
And lead us to a time when no one will suffer at the hand of another.
May his / her soul be bound up in the bond of life,
A living blessing in our midst.

© 2011 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Alden Solovy is a liturgist, poet, teacher, editor and writing coach, as well as an award-winning essayist and journalist. He’s written for the secular and Jewish press. Before making aliyah to Israel, Alden was a member of Beth Emet-The Free Synagogue, in Evanston, IL, and a regular participant in worship at B'nai Jeshoshua Beth Elohim in Deerfield, IL. His work appears in the CCAR Press book Mishkan R’fuah: Where Healing Resides.

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