This piece of liturgy was originally written for the interfaith prayer service held prior to Los Angeles Pride Parade. The prayer memorializes those who have employed the various ways individuals can and have made a difference in promoting justice for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. It can be used in interfaith services of all kinds as well as in synagogues anytime the struggles of those seeking equality are remembered.
In this piece of responsive liturgy, bolded text indicates that a section is to be read by many.
We pause now for moments of memory for those who came before us
The ones who personally stood up and were counted
and who thus made a difference for all of us today
We remember you
Whether by combating an ugly word against another
Or through the personal act of coming out
Whether by challenging the system
or by changing it from within
Whether by actively sharing your ideas with broad audiences
or by quietly affecting individuals one at a time
Whether by looking outward to help others understand us
or by looking within to help make ours a better community
Through all of these courageous actions
and so many more, every time
You brought us forward
Even under the pressures
of physical pain and torture
of economic devastation or political failure
of social estrangement or worse
You braved it all
Each of you adding in your essence
Your talented endeavors
and elegant movements
Your clever words
And dignified existence
Your dedicated heart
and focused mind
Your infectious smile
Your quirky ways
In all, your persevering spirit brought others forward behind you
And moved us all a little closer
to a world that more fully celebrates love
Your contributions are remembered.
You are remembered.
And your memory is a blessing.
Rabbi Heather Miller serves several congregational communities in Los Angeles, CA. Prior to ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 2008, she majored in Peace and Justice Studies and Africana Studies at Wellesley College in Wellesley, MA. She and her wife, Melissa de la Rama, were named the 2013 Liberty Hill Foundation "Leaders to Watch." Learn more at www.rabbiheathermiller.com .